My Space: The Emperor’s Old Clothes
This month we head downstairs to explore The Emperor’s Old Clothes on-site studio – yes that’s right one of our local labels hand-makes all their items on the Flock premises. As well as their rail of handmade clothing in the shop the Emperor’s team offers a custom service where you can choose your own fabric from their studio and have one of their designs fitted to your requirements. If you haven’t paid them a visit yet take a tour:
Cecily Blondel of The Emperor’s Old Clothes
My studio is nestled in beneath the shop on Sydney Street. It’s wonderful having my own space in which to create my designs, meet with customers and develop ideas with my team. Being on site means I can get our new one-of-a-kind pieces into the shop as soon as they come off the machine. It also means I get to meet lots of our lovely customers and fit pieces of clothing to their exact requirements which is a wonderful experience as a maker!
My studio is fairly small considering the amount of materials and tools required for dressmaking. We try to be clever with the space – the biggest obstacle is storing fabric, especially after I’ve been shopping on my travels. Luckily my little team & I (Louisa, Lou & Geneva) get on really well so we make it work when it gets full. We love going through my latest finds and the wide range of bright and colourful vintage and end-of-roll fabrics definitely provide the wow factor for customers who visit us downstairs.
Our main tools are the two industrial sewing machines and overlocker which are generally buzzing away most of the day. As well as Flock we also sell online via Etsy and have two other bricks & mortar stockists – Poot Emporium in Frome, Somerset & Godiva in Edinburgh so we are making LOTS of clothing with these machines each week.
I also offer a bespoke service including tailoring and bridalwear which involve a different array of tools. My cutting table has got to be high on the list – it was made to measure when we moved into the studio in November 2015 meaning that it’s exactly the right height for me so I don’t get backache.
Other makers will know seemingly small things like this are a big deal when you spend hours perfecting your creations… Other tools used for bespoke are my pattern-cutting rulers and implements. Every bespoke creation is pattern-cut from scratch – whilst the actual making of a bespoke garment takes many hours the pattern-cutting is the beginning of the process and can take even longer than the sewing to get that fit just perfect.
We make sure we get the absolute most out of this space including opening the studio to customers during Flock shop events and as the set for some of our big seasonal photoshoots like the Flower Show Collection earlier this year.
We’re also planning to hold an exclusive open studio for our favourite customers later this year so watch this space! In the meantime you can book appointments to come and browse our fabrics and designs in the shop or by getting in touch with us directly.
Have you visited the Emperor’s studio yet?
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Credit: Studio images by Light Trick Photography