My Creative Path in the fashion industry
Hi, I’m Ezmé, I was always passionate about various creative crafts and fascinated by architecture and the fashion world. I grew up inspired by both my parents who were in the creative industry, mum was a seamstress and dad was a cobbler both from a very young age. They told me in order to succeed you have to be prepared to work very 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 embroidery and pattern cutting tutors, my art, needlework and photography teachers at secondary school, my local library which I practically live in 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 boldly 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 of leather with embroidered leather cables the other was a plain machine knitted bag and leather hats, sadly I didn’t make the shoes on this occasion. I was all geared up to becoming a knitwear designer when my career pivoted into a different direction several weeks after graduation.
After graduating from two courses at London College of fashion in 1985, the first one was textile machine embroidery followed by a fashion design course. I was offered my first job in the fashion industry as Lindka Cierach’s junior assistant working as an embroidery, fashion designer, pattern maker and machinist in couture as part of a team of three. You could say this was a dream job doing all the crafts I am still passionate about today. Producing one-off couture commissions, made-to-measure clothes 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 my job interview and trial. I absolutely loved working in couture with the most beautiful fabrics which reminded me so much of my mum, I met so many wonderful people and learnt so much about the industry.
After six months into my new role as a junior design assistant, Lindka received a phone call about a very special wedding dress, you may be familiar with this one below. She 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, as you do. Sarah invited Rosa and me to attend her and HRH 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
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.
1) Lindka and I hand sewing bows inside Sarah’s dress. 2) We made two identical royal wedding dresses, one for Sarah and the other for Madame Tussauds in London, UK display. 3) Me in the midst of it all securing some loose beads on Sarah’s train by hand sewing.
1) Sarah at one of her wedding dress fitting in Fulham. Luckily Lindka’s front room was long enough to accommodate Sarah’s long train. 2) Lindka, Rosa and me packing away Sarah’s wedding dress for special delivery.
1) An article in a magazine. 2) Sarah at her wedding dress fitting. 3) 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 delivering 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. 4) Sarah and HRH Prince Andrew’s royal wedding 1986.
WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 1986
Lindka, Marie-Claire, Rosa and I attended HRH Prince Andrew and Ms Sarah Ferguson’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in a black chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
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.
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 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 ivory 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.
1) Lindka, Marie-Claire, Rosa and I went back to the Fulham studio to continue with our celebrations.
2) Later that day we delivered Sarah’s second wedding dress to Madame Tussaud’s 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.
To sum it all up I can safely say we loved making the royal wedding dresses, it’s not often one gets an opportunity for your hard work to be appreciated by a worldwide audience. 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. Mum said she was so proud of my achievements in such a short space of time and yes all my hard work had paid off. It’s definitely something to show to my children and grandchildren.
1st CLASS PATTERNS
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 designer 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 platform where we create clothing patterns for international fashion designers and teach pattern cutting and fashion draping. You can be anywhere in the world 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.
To your success, Ezmé