The Importance of Tailoring With Julie Goodwin Couture – Lei Lady Lei
Why do we try to change ourselves to fit our clothes? Why is it not the other way around?
I asked this question in a recent blog post and have been thinking about it ever since. That is where a couturier like Julie Goodwin comes in.
Julie is a fairy godmother in the true sense of the name. She designs and creates made to measure women’s clothing using traditional techniques and quality fabrics. Her incredible bespoke pieces are enough to make any women feel invincible.
I recently attend an evening hosted by Julie. She invited us into her beautiful Albert Park home and spoke about The Process of Bespoke. I learnt a little about the tailoring process when my husband had his tuxedo made for our wedding. I remember thinking then, “Why aren’t there more female tailors?”. Indeed there are, I just hadn’t met them yet.
What distinguishes Julie Goodwin Couture from other high-end suits?
Well, they’re made to measure, made to the client’s specifications, made in Australia (in Melbourne, by me!) and made to last over a decade.
They fit perfectly, hang beautifully on the body, and are moulded to the curves of the individual.
My focus is on the ‘hidden’ areas of a garment – the layers between the outer fabric and the lining – they are the skeleton and muscle that give the garment its structure. I love to make a flat piece of fabric into something that curves and floats over a woman’s frame.
How does Julie Goodwin Couture fit into the Australian woman’s wardrobe?
That depends entirely on the individual. For some it’s the one amazing overcoat to last a lifetime, an heirloom piece, or one great suit a year to build into a wardrobe over time. For others it’s race wear that nobody else will have, or the gown of their dreams.
Having a bespoke garment made is an experience many women save for their wedding gown, but it can be a wonderful way to gradually build a wardrobe of pieces that will hold their style, value and beauty for years.
Who have been your most interesting clients?
I could not begin to tell you. I love working with people, getting to know them, understanding their needs and sensitivities. It is a very personal service I offer and I become friends with many of my clients over time. The most interesting thing about my clients is that they are all human, with all the insecurities, problems, body issues, joys and heartache as the rest of us.
How do you take your client’s vision and put it into your pieces?
Many patrons will come to me claiming they have ‘no idea’ what they want, but I generally find they know what they don’t want. It’s an exploratory, conversational process that gradually reveals how a woman wants to feel in her clothes, as well as her practical needs.
I offer advice on what will be flattering, and I have a world of experience in working with all sorts of shapes and sizes, but in the end its about the woman first and the garment second.
What is your advice to Australian women who want to dress better?
Dame Vivienne Westwood said “Buy less, choose well, make it last” and I have to agree.
Wear what suits you in the best quality you can afford. Only wear what makes you feel your best version of yourself. You don’t need many clothes to make an impression – just to make everything you wear count.
This article first appeared on Lei Lady Lei’s Blog