Eniola Ariyo Of Abebihautesignature On The Creative Process Behind Making The Owambe Victorian Corset Dress

The process involved in producing a fashion item is one of the most important parts of building a reputable brand. While fashion designers take many different approaches to make their products come out perfect, they have to make sure they follow the right processes. 

Last week, we spoke with Adepeju Okunuga of the Oza Woman fashion brand on the process involved in making the customer fave one-strap bridal gown. This week, we spoke with Eniola Kofoworaola Ariyo on the process involved in making one of her pieces, an orange Victorian corset asoebi dress for that owambe. 

A graduate of Theatre and Media Art from the Unversity of Oye Ekiti, Eniola Kofoworaola Ariyo, is the founder of Abebihautesignature. Founded in 2018, after her compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Abebihautesignature is a fashion brand that aims to give ladies beautiful and elegant designs beyond their expectations. 

Abebihautesignatures is a bridal, bespoke, and ready-to-wear fashion brand. In her opinion, an outfit is formed when an individual puts together or curates pieces of clothes together for someone for a particular occasion or event. 

What was the Process of Making the Orange Victorian Corset Dress Like?

Before making the dress, we had a lengthy discussion with the client on her preference, what she wanted, and what we thought would be nice additions to the outfit before we concluded the design. 

After concluding on the design for the dress, we sketched the upper part of the dress on a pattern paper, as is our usual practice, and cut the fabric. The making of this outfit was a bit different from the making of some of our other outfits because we did not use the main fabric – the orange lace – for the upper part of the dress, instead, we used crepe. 

After cutting the crepe to suit the upper part of the dress, we similarly cut the lining. This was then followed by cutting the lower part of the outfit and ironing air stay onto the top part of it because every dress needs structure.

Finally, to make the Victorian corset, we joined the pieces of fabric together and sewed bias onto it before adding boning to it. A bra cup was not put into the dress because the client has a full upper area and did not want that area to look too full or revealing. 

The sleeves followed and we used the plain fabric for most of it before adding the lace fabric to make the ruffles at the lower part of the bell sleeves. After this process, we decided with the client to make a subtle beading design at the front of the dress, so, we came up with the interwoven beading design. The client was pleased with the outcome. 

Where do You Draw Inspiration From?

I draw creativity from anywhere and everywhere.

For most of our asoebi and custom made dresses, the client comes up with their styles and then we try as much as possible to tweak the designs to the client’s body type and taste. 

On occasions where clients do not come with their designs, I get inspiration from online platforms. However, I get inspired by anything and everything, I have designed sleeves and dresses from shoes, cartoon, children’s casual dresses, and many more. 

What Factors did You Consider When Making the Dress?

A lot usually goes into consideration before we make any outfit, but I will like to focus on the most important factors: The clients’ budget, fabrics, body type, and timing

1. The Client’s Budget

The client’s budget is the number one thing to consider and it is the first thing we talk about before going into a lengthy discussion with any client. We must be on the same page and level of thoughts on prices charged for making a piece. The reason I say that is that some people have the mentality that they cannot spend up to #10,000 on an asoebi dress and that is so wrong because a lot goes into making an asoebi.

So you see why I said the client’s budget is the number one core factor. It will not be nice if, after all the long discussions about the dress and design, and the sketching and tweaking are done to the client’s initial design, they end up taking that design to another designer because of the price.

2. The Fabric 

Fabric is the next important factor for me because some designs do not sit well with some fabrics. These fabrics make them look awkward and diminishes the beauty of the design. For example, in most cases of what I ordered vs what I got, the fabric was the major problem.

Consultation with the client at the beginning of the design process, whether physically or virtually is very important.

So, when a client comes and says I want to make this with this, I tell them if it will come out well or not. Another thing about fabric too is colour combinations.

Because clients are not trained in the fashion field, they think some colours will go well together, whereas they cannot. The fashion designer then has to make them see that those colours will clash and proceed to show them samples of the ones that complement each other.

3. The Client’s Body Type

The body type of each client is very important when designing an outfit for that client. The outfit a person with an hourglass shape can wear and look stunning in might not suit a person with a pear shape body type. I have to make clients understand this without making them feel bad about their bodies because everyone is gorgeous irrespective of their body type. 

I help clients see the reason why certain outfits will not go well with their body types and then help them see the designs that will go well with the styles they like.

4. The Client’s Timeline

I do not like working under pressure. I do not do my best under pressure. By pressure, I mean having a client bring a job to me 8 hours before they need to use it for an occasion, especially if it is not a very casual dress like kaftans, abayas, or simple ankara dresses.

I can make an outfit in 2 days and deliver it on time without any adjustments needed, but I cannot do the same in just a matter of hours because I work alone.

How do You Decide on the Accessories to use For Each Design?

For accessories like flowers, pebbles, trimmings, and beading that I attach to outfits, I consider the style of the outfit and the taste of the client. I always make sure to never overdo it. If the fabric is busy then I go for minimal accessories on it, but if the fabric is plain, I go all out, while still considering the client.

In closing, Eniola said, “Before you cut a piece of fabric, think well and see that you understand every part of the dress, from the neckline to the bust cut, the sleeves and even the tiniest details, well. If you feel you don’t understand some aspects of the outfits, contact your client on that. Also, if you are not clear about a design, make a miniature version of the style first and see how it looks before going into the main design process.”



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