From as far back as I can remember I’ve been completely besotted with fashion. I carry a warm nostalgia about the first pieces of clothing and shoes my parents gave me, in particular a pair of black patent Mary-Jane’s that I wore nonstop. My father was a carpenter by trade turned sandblasting industrialist in the Western Australian mining industry. For this reason, we spent a portion of my childhood living up North in WA, where there are vast stretches of red dirt, snakes and cyclones. I dreamed of trips to the city for the fashion, art and atmosphere. My mother was a photographer and dressmaker before devoting her time to raising my siblings & I. Her nature is gentle, caring and loving, I’d say she was drawn to the slightly mad, larger than life, extroverted character that was my Dad.
Both of my parents instilled in their children a love of creating, working with their hands and following their intuition. As I was growing up, I would frequently sew with my Mum and my Grandma Judy, an even more extravagant version of my Dad. We had the best of times making all sorts of things. From high school I went to Curtin University to study Fashion Design. I found the course heavily theory based and I just had the strongest inclination to ‘Make’. Following this urge I switched to a hands-on tafe course where I learnt the fundamentals of pattern making and sewing, enabling me to create just about anything from scratch. We had a phenomenal head teacher who now assists us in our business with Pattern Making, full circle! Alongside studying I worked as a sample machinist with local designers and then as a machinist in a clothing alterations shop. Here I learnt all kinds of sewing and gained invaluable experience in tailoring to many body types. In 2014 I finalised working at the alterations business and became full time creating bespoke pieces under my own name. I started with evening wear, then close friends and family started to get married and I would create their gown.
I fell in love with bridal for many reasons. There is superb attention to detail & the materials are really beautiful to work with. For the next 5 years I created custom made to measure bridal gowns, one on one with women in a small and gorgeous Fremantle studio. Bespoke work gave deep insight into what women want to wear, how varied and beautiful women’s bodies are and what feels good on. It started with just one room, everything squished in, then expanded to two, and now we have a double sized light airy North Fremantle studio space where we work as a team on our made to order collections.
It’s an incredible feeling to be supported by a brilliant team, they are highly talented and all know the ins and outs of what is going on. They wear many hats; allowing my husband Alex and I to raise our two small children, Raf and Magnolia (and border collie Cohen). Motherhood is tremendous love and joy. It is also chaos and turbulence. None the less I feel so lucky to be their mother and grateful for our team and the brides who choose our pieces.
With love, Harriette