My Creative Path in the fashion industry
Hi, I’m Ezmé Anderson the creator of 1stclasspatterns.com, I was always passionate about various creative crafts and fascinated about architecture and the fashion world. I grew up inspired by both my parents who were in the creative industry, my mum was a seamstress and my dad was a cobbler both from a young age. They told me in order to succeed you have to be prepared to work hard, demonstrate the craft and your willingness to focus and learn as you grow.
Internship or work experience with a designer or fashion house was not available at the time I attended London College of Fashion college in the early 80’s, neither was the internet, I also learnt a lot from my fashion college tutors (my embroidery and pattern cutting), my art and needlework teachers (at secondary school) and where-ever else inspiration came from because I was always curious, I had to juggle everything so I could learn as much as possible, I was in my own little world.
At college, I fell in love with machine knitting and I was going to become a knitwear designer. My end of year graduation collection I specialised in men’s and women’s wear combining machine embroidery and leather (no surprise) onto knitwear with separates. I made all the machine knitted cotton tops and sweaters with bold embroidered leather cables made on the cornelly embroidery machine, worn with cotton semi-circle skirts for women’s, casual shorts, and trousers for men. I made one bag in leather with embroidered leather cables and the other was machine knitted and plain leather hats.I didn’t make the shoes on this occasion. I was going to be a knitwear designer when I graduated but my career pivoted into a different direction several weeks after graduation.
After graduating from London College of fashion in 1985 after studying two courses, the first one was a two-year course in textiles machine embroidery followed by a two-year fashion design course. I was offered my first job in the fashion industry as a junior assistant working as an embroidery, fashion designer, pattern maker and machinist in couture, as part of a small team of three, you could say this was a dream job doing all the crafts I am still passionate about.
Producing one-off couture commissions and made-to-measure beautiful clothes for British, European and Middle Eastern Royal families using luxurious, exquisite fabrics, tambour beadwork, and embroidery. Although I had my heart set on becoming a knitwear designer I had a change of heart when I went for this job interview. I absolutely loved working in couture with all the lovely clients, beautiful fabrics, tambour beading, embroidery and making made to measure garments.
Then came a phone call about a very special wedding dress, you may be familiar with this one below.
After six months into my new role as a junior design assistant, Lindka was commissioned to create two identical bridal gowns, this one was going to be a little different from all the previous wedding dresses we made in the studio.
Client: Miss Sarah Ferguson | Wedding: 23 July 1986 | Venue: Westminster Abbey
We were all so excited we celebrated the good news with a glass or two of champagne. Sarah invited Rosa and me to attend her and Prince Andrew’s summer wedding, this was one wedding invite where I returned my RSVP promptly.
I assisted Lindka Cierach from her converted attic studio in fulham, London to design and create Sarah Ferguson’s two wedding dresses in 1986 for her marriage to HRH Prince Andrew and four bridesmaids’ outfits. The second dress was delivered to Madame Tussaud’s waxworks in London, the UK where it was unveiled to the public.
MEET THE TEAM
Lindka Cierach and Sarah Ferguson
Sarah’s gown was made from ivory duchess satin with a scooped neck, elaborate (tambour beading) embroidery and bugle beads adorning the bodice, padded shoulders accented by bows, and a large bow at the bustle which flowed into a 17 ½ foot long train emblazoned with an “A” for Andrew, as well as Sarah’s personal coat of arms, which consisted of a bumble bee and a rose.
Her satin shoes were designed by Manolo Blahnik and beaded with bees and ribbons in pearls and diamonds. The bride’s veil was attached to a perfumed coronet of gardenias and the groom wore the ceremonial day dress of a naval lieutenant.
Sarah at her wedding dress fitting in fulham.
Lindka, Rosa and me packing away Sarah’s wedding dress for special delivery.
The day before the royal wedding the photographers were outside Lindka’s fulham studio taking photos hoping to get a glimpse of Sarah’s wedding dress.
Lindka, Rosa and I delivered Sarah’s wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses to Buckingham Palace where Sarah tried on her dress for the final time before her big day.
WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 1986
Westminster Abbey has been the ceremony location for several royal brides and grooms including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, HRH Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and Princess Anne and Lt. Mark Philips.
Lindka, Marie-Claire, Rosa and I attended HRH Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in a black chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
Lindka and Marie-Claire adjusting Sarah’s wedding dress before entering Westminster Abbey.
HRH Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, married Sarah Ferguson in a formal ceremony at Westminster Abbey 23 July 1986. The marriage attracted a billion viewers throughout the world and thousands of people waving enthusiastically to the assembled crowd that lined the route to Westminster Abbey.
The Duke & Duchess of York HRH Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson
The new Duke and Duchess of York Prince Andrew and Sarah exchanged vows in a forty-five-minute ceremony. Sarah looks absolutely stunning in her duchess satin wedding dress.
The Duke and Duchess of York Prince Andrew and Sarah outside Westminster Abbey where the crowd awaits.
The Duke and Duchess of York family join them on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, while the crowd waited for the balcony kiss.
The four bridesmaids: Zara Phillips, Alice Ferguson, Laura Fellowes and Lady Rosanagh Innes-Ker wore pale peach ballerina length dresses trimmed in lace with ruffles and a bow decorating the back.
The young pages: Prince William of Wales, Seamus Makim, Andrew Ferguson and Peter Phillips wore tiny sailor’s outfits, complete with boater hats.
Lindka, Marie-Claire, Rosa and I went back to the fulham studio to continue with our celebrations.
Later that day we delivered Sarah’s second wedding dress to Madame Tussauds waxworks in London where it was unveiled to the public.
The Duke and Duchess of York Prince Andrew and Sarah’s official royal wedding photographs.
After the official photographs and wedding party at Claridge’s in London, the Duke, and Duchess of York Prince Andrew and Sarah set off for their honeymoon in The Azores.
I loved making the royal wedding dresses, I had a wonderful lifetime experience being a part of a team that created the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson’s two stunning wedding dresses, the four bridesmaids dresses and attending the royal wedding at Westminster Abbey for such a historic event. My mum was so proud of my achievements in such a short space of time since graduating from fashion college, all my hard work had paid off. It’s definitely something to show to my children and grandchildren.
After three decades of walking the runways 🙂 for New York, London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks creating beautiful clothes for music and film personalities, red carpet events, high street, and international catwalk designers collections; and teaching on fashion courses in some of the world’s most prestigious universities a new chapter begins…
My team and I have combined our passion and expertise and created 1st Class Patterns an online fashion training platform, where you can be anywhere in the world and in the comfort of your own environment to learn fashion design the technical process of pattern cutting, draping and sewing skills to fashion industry standards. Now how cool is that!
Click on any one of the images below to join us as we teach you THE skills you need to totally rock your own creative project or career in the fashion industry.
XX Ezmé Anderson PGDHE HND CERT