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Romance was beaded ...

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I've said this in various ways before ... One of the reasons that the Romance Was Born collections are exciting, time after time, is the way that Anna and Luke work a theme. There's almost always a nuclear concept, from which ideas seem to shoot out on in various directions, and then grow and grow and build and build to extreme and unexpected points of whimsy, weirdness, fantasy.

Each season, RWB's garments range from the (perhaps deceptively) simple to the incredible. In recent years, particularly, elaborate beading has been one of the label's key means for taking pieces to 'the next level'. I knew that, during this time, they'd developed a strong relationship with specialist makers and beaders in India, but I wanted to know a bit more about the people responsible for the stunning craft. And I wanted to know about the time involved! Thank you Anna at RWB for answering all my questions ... <3 <3

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MS: How does the process begin?

Anna: Firstly, we get textile development swatches done in India - we supply digital artwork, and specify in our designs the colours and types of beading we are after ... After that, we work out the base fabrics and the cut of the garment, and how to incorporate the embellishment. We make it up in our studio in Sydney, before sending it back to India for it to go into production.

So, who are the manufacturers?

They are a small family-run business in Calcutta, which we have been working with for over 5 years.

Is their work all done by hand?

Yes!

Do you know how many people are involved?

In total maybe around 7? Each stage of the garment is done by a different person in the workshop; often the men do the beading work and the women do the hand work to finish the garments.

With a piece like the Beaded Plume Lace Top (pictured above), do you know things like …

… how long it takes?

Not exactly but I think around two weeks max to complete the whole process ...

… how many colour sequins/beads there are?

we use many, many different types in our work, but for that piece maybe around 30?

… how many individual sequins/beads there are?!

argh, who's counting!!! We wish there were more always…!

With an even more extravagant piece, like a custom gown, do you know how long it will take to make?

A custom gown takes about a month with the makers but, if we are desperate, they try and push it through for us... Like around show time, they can really work some miracles!

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Pictured above: RWB Beaded Plume Lace Top and RWB Simple Gesture Skirt.

Pictured below: a very small selection of beautiful beaded pieces including special order garments that have passed through Milly Sleeping, and two images that both happen to be by photographer Daniel Boud.


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