Derroles became my fashion mentor last November in 2019. I had already knew her for at most a year, but I never knew about her as the Dressmaker. We worked for the same company but in different departments, so I saw her from time-to-time when I needed help with things that her department handled. I noticed that she was into fashion because she had this cute little mini mannequin in her office as decor along with a few other small hints of her true gift.
After I was offered the opportunity to participate in a New York fashion show for up and coming designers with my brand new partner Ashleigh, I began doing research on what it took to formally showcase a collection and the Dressmaker's name came up.
"Do you know the Dressmaker?"
Someone asked me while I explained to a friend that my new partner and I might have bitten off more than we could chew.
"D the Dressmaker participates in fashion shows throughout the city, she creates these painted mural-like gowns that serve more like art pieces. She's even had them on display in art galleries for sale".
It turns out that D the Dressmaker is a textile artist and a Fashion Designer with a focus in sketching, painting, pattern making and sewing. The crazy part is, she has been working on her own collections while starting up a circle of sisterhood called the Sew Sistas. The Sew Sistas is comprised of young ladies that want to know more about fashion and plan on diving deeper into the world of fashion as designers. D and Isis, another sew sista mentor, are the big sistas that help keep the sistas inspired during the entire process of design projects. She began offering sewing classes to the local community through the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission prior to the global pandemic; in addition to renovating her in-home design studio aka the Sweat Shop, where my fashion partner and sew sista get all the help we need.
If it weren't for me stumbling across D the Dressmaker by word of mouth, then New York's fashion show debut may have fallen through for Ashleigh and I. New techniques would not have been learned because the new ideas that we came up with would have never transpired. We would not have bounced ideas and inspiration around the sew sista camp fire fueled by women empowerment.
Pretty is defined by Oxford as attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful or handsome. The Dressmaker can make you pretty by way of design. She can adorn you in custom couture pieces with the most tempting fabric to have ever brushed across your bosom. But only you can truly discover your beauty which comes from within. One day we asked D how she comes up with these mind blowing ideas and concepts and she simply starts to explain that customers who aren't afraid to explore their own imagination and are confident within themselves enough to allow the design process to take control, tend to come out with more than just pretty, because the finished designs are breathtaking.
The Dressmaker is not only a mentor of fashion, but she is also a mentor of life and how it applies to current situations that might serve as distractions while we are going through our design projects.
I may not know exactly what I am becoming, but I am enjoying the part where I get to truly discover myself and for some people, its about rediscovering yourself, which can be one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.
The Dressmaker can make you pretty, but when will you allow your inner beauty to strut the runway for that walk of a lifetime? Now throw a Dressmaker custom design on top of that and watch the world stop and look.
Check out some of the Dressmaker's work on instagram @d_thedressmaker