18th Oct 2013

Heading East

Our trip to the East has been wonderfully fulfilling. We have seen so much and have learned a great deal. The way in which Augusta Jones produces their wedding gowns is a delicate yet in-depth task and they were kind enough to take us on the journey of bringing to life a bride's special dress, Tivoli.

On arriving at Augusta Jones HQ, we were met with glorious 3D letters of which spelt out the brands name in strong, bold, lettering. Reflecting the brand so clearly, we certainly knew we had arrived. On entering the building we came across many awards and fashion editorials from the early days. Augusta Jones is still quite a young brand, but it has stood solid ground throughout it's life time thus far. It was amazing to see the transition from early designs, before White Mischief even stocked them, to now and how their editorial styling has evolved into something rather high fashion!

The AJ team welcomed us with warm arms without hesitation. Charlotte and June, the designers, have always taken pride in their beliefs in taking care of your team as if they were your own family. And this certainly felt like a family. The team was a lot smaller than expected, when you hear the word "factory", you unfortunately automatically envision mass production in a sweat shop of hundreds of staff.. Suffice to say it was the complete opposite! Although swamped with orders from all over the world, once an order is submitted to the girls, great care, love and attention is given in producing the made-to-order, bespoke gowns. Every dress (bride) is important.

Tivolli is quite a plain gown, but it has a lot of detail in the construction; made up of many panels, giving it a corset-like look and feel, it takes a lot of precise preparation to get it exactly right for the bride.
When ordering a dress we measure the bride and depending on her measurements we have to take into account weather or not she needs an inch ease on her hips, if she is a 12 bust and 14 hip and we have to take into account her height for importance of proportions. The best bit about Augusta Jones is that you can personalise your gown. For example, some brides like to change the neckline to a sweetheart or add more buttons, change the fabric and even the colour! This is all written down on an individual order form for the bride and sent directly to the factory.

The pattern is cut from the original patterns kept in the factory, with the correct colour and fabric and individual specification. The corset is then made ready to be sewn into the dress.
Tivolli doesn't have lace but we managed to get a peak at how lace dresses are made with the precision required. The scalloping is marked out along the edge of the fabrics ready to cut for the particular component such as a neckline scallop or sleeve edge. Each component is checked against the original layout to ensure that it is identically cut each time and that for instance the scalloping on a sleeve is identical.

Once all components of the dress are completed and carefully stitched together piece by piece, the dress is then steamed and carefully wrapped to be shipped straight over to the shop where the bride will be able to try on her dress for the first time.
Weddings are all about love, through and through. But you really don't realise to what extent, until you have witnessed how much care and love goes into making the most important part of every girls big day; the dress!




Dress: Tivolli
Location: Hong Kong, China
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