In my long professional career as a manager in different offices and positions, my outward appearance has always been important.
I was brought up bilingual, and have carried two cultures within me from an early age: on one hand the south Macedonian mentality, in which women place a lot of worth on their appearance; on the other hand the strength that women in Germany radiate.
So it happened that I was invited to a wedding, in which I had been asked to be maid of honour. It was immediately clear to me that I should wear an extremely special dress. I started looking for the right design and fabric, and I immediately fell in love with a shimmery blue-green taffeta – a ‘chambray’ effect fabric. I found I could amplify this effect by gathering the fabric and sewing it in multiple dense creases, a technique known as ‘smocking’. This baroque technique, along with other historical techniques such as ‘embroidery al Aire’, ‘tambour embroidery’ etc, has always fascinated me, and I quickly acquired the skill by watching YouTube videos. A dressmaker from Heidelberg then provided me with a pattern for my self-designed dress, and here you see the result:
Even my mother-in-law, who has designed and sewn over three hundred wedding dresses, was impressed by my work. This encouraged me to continue working with fashion, design, fabrics, and developing patterns. Every day I felt how close it was to my heart, and I didn’t realise how much work I was putting into it. You can only say this when you truly love what you do.
After in-depth research into potential sustainable fabric producers in Europe, I settled on suppliers in France and producers in North Macedonia. In this way, I could take advantage of my bilingualism and local network, as well as support small businesses. These are owner-led businesses, that have more than thirty years’ experience in textile production, are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, and produce for well-known labels. It is my mission to maintain and promote these values, since sustainability and fair production are more important than ever before.
This is my story, and it comprises many parts. Maybe I don’t have a typical fashion background, but all that matters is that I believe strongly in craftsmanship, quality, and love for detail.
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)