© Liz Loh-Taylor
Tartan 3-piece suit
Dressmaker: Sophia Kons
Tartan/Leather Convertible Cape
Dressmaker: Julianne Jones
Tartan is in my opinion, the ultimate winter print. It has a regal richness and a warmth to it that I find so comforting and its my favourite option for a winter print.
Liz and I have a bit of an obsession with tartans and there are literally thousands of different ones. We took our search for the most desirable tartan straight to the historical birthplace of the iconic plaid; Scotland!
We discovered scotweb.co.uk a site that has the worlds largest library of registered tartans that can be woven into various fabrics from heavy wools to dress silks. Each of the tartans have their own history and significance. The addiction for us was being able to design your very own tartan!! I threw myself into this design process with gusto, I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed creating a check that represented my own family and when I was finished with my design, I registered it with the Scottish Tartan Registry and it is now an official tartan registered as the Rose Family Tartan. Now that it is registered I can get it woven to order in any of their wool or silk volumes.
Thus, I chose a light weight wool for the purpose of having a classic three piece suit made to fully showcase my family tartan! This suit is so versatile. I can wear the pants with a white shirt or cream cashmere sweater. I can wear the blazer with jeans or leather pants and I can wear the waistcoat with a leather skirt and a white bodyuit underneath. I absolutely love it and I’m quite proud of my design!
I think throwing ourselves into the designing with gusto is an understatement! We were utterly obsessed about it! I even got hubby obsessed and that’s not an easy thing to achieve.
Scobtweb, the sister company to DC Dalgliesh, is actually the last artisan tartan weaving mill in Scotland. In the age of mass production where speed and scale is of paramount focus, it was such a treat to incorporate authenticity, quality, integrity and a piece of history into our design process. It took almost 3 months from the initial design process, sending a million designs to my mother-in-law (who was just as excited as I was) to the moment it was meticulously hand-woven in Scotland. I am not the most patient person in the world but I would not do this any other way.
After all that fun, I had to decide what to do with this beautiful piece of material! If you’ve been following our blog through winter, you would know that I just can’t resist adding a bit of leather… well a lot of leather. I decided on a cape. That is something I didn’t own believe it or not! I wanted something a little different…as usual, a bit military … as usual … I began with using the tartan for the majority of the cape, limiting the usage of leather to just the rain flaps and epaulettes. Again if you have been following our blog through winter, you would also know that my designs tend to evolve! One day at my fitting, I said to my amazing dressmaker, Jules, “I have an idea! ” Jules’ eyes lit up, a reflection of mine that were nearly popping out of my skull! “Why don’t we have a reversible cape?! Tartan on one side, leather on the other, to be worn either way?!” This applied to the body, the epaulettes and the rain flap! I can literally wear this cape whichever way I like and in any combination I like. We didn’t want to inundate you with photos so the ones above only reflect two options: tartan cape/leather rain flap/leather epaulettes and leather cape/leather rain flap/tartan epaulettes. Oh I nearly forgot the pleats on the back… on both the tartan and leather sides! I feel like I’m waffling but it was a waffle when I excitedly relayed my idea into words that Jules could understand and execute! Such is the nature of our fittings and such is the nature of designing our own garments!
*High five* Han, to our shared passions, our obsessions and our beautiful friendship!
Our Stiletto Lives