In today’s blog post we will offer an exclusive, behind the scenes, look into the Lalage Beaumont atelier where wonderful garments are lovingly created and crafted. Be it shape, length, fit or detailing - each item of clothing comes to life through a long process that ensures every piece is of the highest quality, to be loved, worn and treasured for years to come.
Everything in the collection is designed and sketched by Lalage, after meticulous planning to ensure that the range is balanced and that each season there are shapes that customers will be looking for as well as some new things to entice. After sketching, a working drawing is produced for the pattern cutter - often Lalage herself - to work from, so that the proportions of the garment, approximate finished measurements and other necessary technical information is easily understood.
A pattern can then be created either by ‘flat pattern cutting’ or by ‘draping’ fabric on to a tailor’s dummy for more fluid designs. Once the sample pattern has been finished, it is then tested by making a toile in calico which can be pulled apart and amended as necessary to fine tune the shape, fit, proportion and trim details. The pattern then has to be amended to reflect the changes made to the toile and a sample spec' sheet prepared. Spec’ sheets help to ensure that accurate samples can be realised and include detailed technical diagrams, construction notes and material and trim details. The first sample can then be produced. Lalage’s samples are all made by a small tailoring workshop in London, which ensures that the methods used will be the same as when the garment is in production and therefore a true test of the pattern.
For both her mother of the bride outfits and women's business wear Lalage the fabrics used are as important as the design itself and those selected give her range its true character. After a long career in the fashion business, Lalage has been working with many of the finest mills in Europe and knows just which ones - in Italy, Spain and the UK - are able to create the small quantities of exclusive fabrics that she needs for her collection, many using yarns dyed to her specifications to create her own jacquards, tweeds and prints.
“I am always looking for beautiful vibrant colours and textures that will tailor well into my structured styles. Different areas of the world have different specialities and Como in Italy, where my silks are printed, is renowned for producing very beautiful colours due to the water in the lake.” The only fabric ‘sourced from outside Europe is raw silk tussah from India as this is not woven in Europe. The term ‘raw silk’ refers to silk woven from cocoons that have fallen off the silkworms naturally. This therefore produces a yarn which has varying thicknesses and slubs and when the fabric woven from this yarn is dyed - particularly into vibrant colours - this variation causes the dye to be absorbed in different intensities and ensures that bright colours never look harsh.
For the latest Spring Summer Collection, influenced by the smart, clean modern lines of the early 60s and, of course, by the wonderful and iconic style leaders from that era - Jackie ‘O’, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Lalage pairs her wonderful fabrics with the appropriate styles to create a collection that ensures there is plenty to select from and different ways to put the outfits together so that every customer can have her own individual look.