I have always been a maker of things. I have worked throughout the fashion industry in technical and design areas but what I have always loved the most was working with my hands. No matter where I was working I always had time to make a dress or a skirt or a hat for a friend.
I am passionate about fit, I have come to understand how this makes all the difference when making someone look and feel amazing. The old rules of certian body types not being able to wear certian dress shapes are all a lie. They only apply if the dress has not truly been designed to fit you.
I love weddings and see it as a gift to be able to create something that will be an important part of a couples life forever. Every wedding is so that every bride is a new challenge for me. My job is to interpret what they want to achieve, to inspire them with ideas they may not have considered and create a finished dress that the bride feels immense pride in.
Having your wedding dress made is completly unlike buying one from a boutique. The fabric is selected and the direction planned but there is no map. I always make a first sample in a substitute fabric, sometimes 2 for a complex gown. All the details are able to be assessed and refined while the dress is on, some parts can even be sculpted while the bride watches, suggesting adjustments herself. If someone asks what your wedding dress will look like the answer can be ‘I haven’t decided yet’.
I draw inspiration from fashion history. There is also a wealth of construction techniques, not often used currently that bring something special to what I do. What we so often buy now is made with more consideration to the machinist than the look of the garment. There are some finishes where only hand work will do.
A childlike love of dress ups is at the heart of my obsession, this means I am open to the bizzare and amazing. Whatever you can imagine can be done. For your wedding but also for parties, performances, your own dress up box. Equally I am happy to apply my skills to basic work skirts.
Couture and vintage tragic
Kathleen Brewster is a designer and dressmaker based in Merimbula NSW