Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going Custom...

I don't think enough people realize the options out there for reproduction clothing that is actually custom sewn to fit! My favorite of such sites is Whirling Turban.

Let me tell you about my experience: Katherine of Whirling Turban was an absolute DEAR, when I ordered my first dress. She helped me select the style (I chose the Hawaiian Heaven, mainly due to the clean line of the bodice) and fabric, keeping in mind the 1940's aesthetic I love, and made it very clear to me what I needed to do in order to get the proper fit. The website describes the measuring process in great detail (the company is based out of Bali, which is why they can offter custom creations like this, for only a fraction of what such companies in the US Market would charge) and let me tell you, it can be a humbling experience. What you are doing, in photographing yourself in your skivvies and trustingly sending said photos off to total strangers, is providing the dressmakers with an old fashioned 'dossier', befitting a Hollywood Starlet. The brilliant ladies will now have all of your measurements for future dresses/outfits and you have only done minimal work to provide them w/ those numbers. In the future, unless weight gain or loss is drastic, only minimal information will be needed in order to get your dress started and on its way.

The fabrics are available in a wide range of colors and textures; all of which are of the highest quality and impressively unique. The prints are STUNNING, to say the least. I chose a teal on navy floral motif, very Hawaiian...very Vintage. After my fabric was chosen and my measurements turned in, I received a gentle note from Katherine and Honey (another associate), informing me that they had all the necessary information and that I should now be patient while they do their 'stuff'. To be honest, the short weeks that passed were hardly noticeable...probably since it's starting to get cold here and the dress won't really be in season for some months.

Whirling Turban's Dresses are all impeccably designed. The Shaheen Dream, a tribute to fabulous designer-Alfred Shaheen, is one of their most popular designs. It beautifully and lovingly mimics his gorgeous sarong style wrap dress of the 1950's, also paying glorious attention to the curves of the female form. The dress can be customized w/ a full skirt, petal bust bodice, and removeable halter strap. Accessories like a coordinating wrap or bolero jacket (which I chose and psychotically love) are also available. The Hawaiian Heaven is a twist on the Shaheen style but has a simpler bodice instead of the wrap details accross the front. There are also 'Chinese Bombshell' options, featuring exquisite brocades that rival any I've seen. In addition, the ladies at WT offer seperates, darling playsuits, mens' shirts, and even sequin/rhinestone trims for a more glamorous look. Their wedding shoppe is phenomenal as well; don't overlook them if you are planning your own.

When I received my dress, I was first exhilarated by the sheer fact that it came in a BOX...a clean flat box-just like the dresses the ladies brought home in my favorite classic films! No bags for Whirling Turban. I felt instantly spoiled as I removed the ribbon. The dress was gorgeous...everything I thought it would be and more. I ran into my room to try it on and uh-oh...a problem! I couldnt get the thing zipped! I was almost devastated, to say the least, but I held back tears, held my breath, and looked more closely at the dress' construction. The zipper is extremely sturdy and the elastic panels at the sides of the design made it clear that there was plenty of give. So crossing my fingers (difficult while grasping a zipper), I tried again. It zipped! And amazingly, everything just kind of 'sucked' into place! My breasts sat obediently in their designated cups (nicely lined and super supportive, even w/out a bra), my waist was enviably small, my hips sleek and smooth. And here's the kicker: NO EVIDENCE that the dress was too tight or ill fitted. No rolls, no pinched areas...nothing. Is it difficult to breathe? A little. Do I care? Not a fig!

Incidentally, when I told Katherine about the fears I had when I tried on the dress, she stated there is supposed to be a sheet of paper included w/ the dress, explaining the possible necessity of having someone ELSE zip up the frock. Mine wasnt including that information, that I know of, so naturally I was a little worried.

In closing, I'll just say that I have yet to be as happy w/ any item of clothing I've worn...including my wedding dress. I feel so feminine, so desired by my husband, and SO thankful to Katherine and the girls for making all this possible! Look for a hairstyle inspired by my dress on my channel, Lisa Freemont Street, within the next two weeks.

'I've died and gone to Whirling Turban'.