Abisola Lateef Of Sherryoge On The Creative Process Behind The Grand Ankara Ball Gown With Petticoat
Every fashion designer is a creator. A creator of art and beauty. The creative process behind each fashion piece requires a lot of planning and execution to bring out the desired result - a beautifully crafted work of art.
Like last week, when we spoke with Olamide Ajayi on the making of the strapless corset and tulle skirt ensemble, this week, we spoke with Abisola Lateef on the making of the grand Ankara corset ball gown with a petticoat.
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Abisola Lateef is the founder and creative director of Sherryoge Fashion House, an affordable luxury womenswear brand. Abisola, who is a graduate of Food Science and Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, turned to fashion designing out of passion.
"Sherryoge was born out of a passion to serve exquisite designs with great finishing and prompt delivery at affordable rates."
Growing up, Abisola found it difficult to get tailors and fashion designers that designed beautiful outfits that both were beautiful and arrived on time, without breaking the bank. Over time, she realised she could solve this problem, and thus, Sherryoge was born.
What was the Process of Creating the Petticoat Ankara Ball Gown Like?
The entire process of making the dress was divided into 3 categories;
- The Design stage,
- The Pattern Drafting stage, and
- The Cutting and Tailoring Stage.
The Design Stage
The design stage is where all the brainstorming and critical decisions for the outfit were done. From the choice of fabric to the underlying details of the design itself.
"I always allow the personality of the client or wearer of the dress to guide the design process."
At this stage, I consider my client and ask questions like, "Is my client conservative or not?", " Would she mind a revealing design?", and "What are her best body features, for example, does she have great legs?"
The point of going through this stage is to make decisions that will help draw attention to the wearer's best features while still making her comfortable in her outfit. At this stage, we also consider the client's complexion as there are certain colours that look great on different skin tones.
The Pattern Drafting Stage
Having taken the client's measurements, we move on to create a working pattern from the basic pattern based on the decisions made at the design stage. After this, we proceed to transfer the pattern on fabric and cut.
Here, every infrastructure, like boning, hard net, lining, and so on, and fusing are added where necessary.
"Corsets can have any kind of closure, depending on the effect you want to achieve as a designer. The corset part of the ball gown has a lace-up. It was achieved by putting fusing and boning at strategic areas on the back area, to give the gown support, then a lace-up was added."
The Tailoring Stage
The tailoring stage is the final stage, and it is where all the pieces of the outfit are coupled together to give it that final look.
To make a petticoat, tulle fabric (or crinoline) is used to bring out that extra fullness. Using the measurement of the skirt of the ball gown, minus one inch, divide the tulle into 3 parts.
The ribbons for the 3 tiers of the petticoat, along with the tulle used, are then created, gathered and joined together to form a long skirt to be worn under the dress.
"Although there are ready-made petticoats in the market, it is not always easy to get one that suits your designs. That is why we make ours."
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Where Do You Draw Inspiration From?
I draw inspiration mostly from my clients. I can take a good look at a client and know what designs will look awesome on her and what will accentuate her best features.
"I also draw inspirations from vintage designs and fashion trends, so, I try to blend the two to achieve something different. Sometimes, I get inspired by my environment."
What Factors did You Consider When Making the Outfit?
1. Her Personality
The personality of each client dictates to a large extent the type of outfit we make for her. Like I stated earlier, we have to consider her preference when it comes to designing outfits for her.
If the client is simple and does not like bogus designs, then we keep it simple. If she prefers conservative styles to revealing styles, then we go with that.
2. Her Features
Every client has a different body shape, body structure and different features that stand out on them. We always consider our clients' features before we make outfits for them.
We pick out their best features, like maybe great legs, a nice shape, or something else, and we highlight those features to draw attention to them. We do this with the client's comfort in mind though.
3. Her Budget
We create our designs based on how much the client is willing to pay. Since the style and design of each outfit greatly depend on the client's budget, we always discuss it beforehand.
4. The Occasion
The occasion she wants to wear the dress to is very important upon designing the outfit. The occasion determines the style we make for the client as well as the embellishments we put on it.
How do You Decide on the Accessories to use For Each Design?
"Most of the time, the outfit determines the choice of accessories used."
When it comes to accessory choice, the outfit we are making determines what we use. For example, a heavily embellished outfit needs very simple accessories or no accessories at all, depending on the location and placement of the embellishment on the dresses.
For example, when an outfit already has a lot of embellishment on the neckline, I usually advise my clients not to bother using necklaces.