I recently received these images via e mail asking my opinion of this 'copy' wedding gown made not in the UK!
"I've attached pictures of my dress. I think the back is ok but the front leaves a lot to be desired - like the neckline! Bits of the net also fell off as I got it out of the bag! I've sold it on ebay now, and as you well know I have a new, fantastic Ian Stuart dress so I suppose I can laugh at it now. It was also the wrong colour, I ordered champagne, had a colour swatch, and the dress arrived yellow! Anyway, enjoy the pics of my 'disaster' dress!"
I was recently chatting with a friend who lives in Asia and he asked if I had ever thought of taking on someone to help with my booming business. I told him I am always inundated with offers to 'ship' my designs out and have them made up abroad, honestly! But we both agreed that outsourcing might be cheaper, but I'll marginalise my control and ultimately diminish the quality of work I provide. Profit margin might be better but I'll forever be worrying about that next batch/dress coming in and... whether it meets the standard my client requires. Ok for a summer frock, a zillion miles from ok for what the customer wants when she/he rocks up the aisle.
I'm not one of those who thinks a premium should be paid for a wedding gown.. especially if it is to be made in ivory. However, occasion wear and wedding gowns are very different depending on what 'scaffolding' is going on inside. A basic strapless gown will always have an inner corselette inside when I make them. Adds a bit of definition to the bodice and stops having to hike up the top. If someone opts for a corset or lace up back, there will be a separate bodice made which will be shaped and boned and then inserted between the linings and outer fabrics. A bit more goes on in those.
Looking at the above images, the size of the 'pick up points' look more to me like giant pockets you could get away with stuffing a little more than a mobile phone in to! As for the net which seems to have been stuffed in here and shoved in there, I still have yet to see a 'copy' frock reaching anything but medium to high expectations !
This is what would scare the bejesus out of me. Allowing my hard work to be taken apart and reproduced substandardly. (Certainly in my eyes!)
I shall always be British produced and affordable and I think that is the difference between loving the job I do, to doing a job for the money.