The fashion industry is laden with beautiful styles and designs that take our breaths away. Behind all of these styles are people and creative processes.
Previously, we interviewed Albright Tejiri on the creative process behind her VR/3D outfits for fashion designers. This week, we spoke with Damilola Ibigbemi on the creative process behind her Blue Wedding Guest Dress.
Damilola Ibigbemi Is the creative director of Damcheal. Damcheal is a womenswear fashion designer that caters for every woman’s fashion needs. They specialise in ready-to-wear, custom made and bridal outfits.
Damcheal was born out of its creative director’s love for fashion. One who couldn’t sketch or sew but loved everything about fashion, Damilola was always creating new designs and combining fabrics in her head. After learning to sew from a road-side tailor during her service year, quitting her job with a financial organisation, and attending a fashion school to acquire more skill and depth in fashion design, she started the brand.
What was the Process of Making the Blue Wedding Guest Dress with High-Slit and Side-Flounce like?
Creating this outfit was interesting. My client wanted a dramatic design so she sent me several styles to pick from. After going through them, I merged several designs and came up with the sketch for this design.
To create the waist-length corset, I first drafted a corset pattern to fit int the type of corset I wanted. I used an interfacing and bra cup to achieve the corset and of course boning as well.
All of this gave the corset the structure and fit I wanted for the dress. The details on the corset was a 3D flower lace applique. The corset was made using velvet and lace fabrics with the flower applique.
Since my client is dark-skinned, I used a dark-skinned stretchy mesh to achieve the invisible neckline mesh for the dress.
For the lower part of the dress, I drafted a full skirt pattern to achieve and manipulated it to achieve the ruching and high slit. To create the side flounce, I drafted a flounce pattern and hand-stitched it to the dress using a dress form.
My client complained about the lace saying that she did like the fabric. Since she did like it, I suggested we use velvet material to make it look more classy. So, the outfit was made of a combination of lace and velvet fabric. She really liked the end result and I was happy about it too.
What Inspires the Designs for Each of Your Outfits?
As a person, I normally sketch out a lot of styles. When I’m dealing with a first time client, I ask them about their preferences. Some of them won’t have any design in mind so I suggest we take a look at my sketches to help them decide on what they like. From there, they pick what they want.
On the other hand, some clients already know what they want and they share it with me. The style they pick might be very nice but won’t suit their bodies, at this point, I tell them my concerns. I let them know why that style won’t be a good idea for them because of their body size or shape. I then suggest other designs to them.
Some others know what they like but are confused about what style to sew. They come up with about 4 designs and from there we come up with a style they like.
What factors do you consider when making owambe outfits for clients?
1. Client’s Preferences
Every client has a preference. Some clients like certain styles and designs while others don’t. So, for me, understanding what they like is very important. I wouldn’t want to sew anything my clients would not be comfortable in.
2. My Client’s Body Shape and Size
Another important thing I look at in considering their preferences is if those preferences will suit them. Because clients are not designers, sometimes they see a nice design on someone and they want to get it. They don’t understand that their body is not the same as that other person’s body.
I always try to let them know why I don’t think that style will suit them and suggest an equally nice style as an alternative.
The event my client is attending is key to making a suitable outfit for her. Depending on the occasion, we come up with designs that will compliment that type of event they are attending. I have to make sure my clients always look topnotch.
What factors do you consider when picking accessories for outfits?
The design of the dress and the design on the accessory are two things I look out for. Whatever accessory I use has to suit the style of the outfit I’m making. I don’t want clashing designs or colours when I add accessories to my designs, I want everything to go well together.
Also, the design of the accessory has to be lovely, if not, I’m not using it. Everything I do must speak class.
2. Client’s Preference
My client’s preference also comes into play here. I like to use what my clients love. Whether it, beads, applique, stones, or any other thing, I go with what my client wants. You know not everyone has the same taste and its important for me as a designer to know what my client likes.
In closing, she said, “Always put God first. Yes, it might sound funny but that is what I do and it has been working for me. When I am making a particular outfit for the first time I pray about it and the final result I get leaves me speechless.
Secondly, being consistent is key to every fashion designers success. At times it might be so frustrating and tiring trying to achieve some styles but with consistency, you can do it. Thirdly, patience is a virtue every designer needs.”