Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Fashion is Personalisation

We all strive to be individual, be that through our tastes in music, the way we speak or the way we dress, we all have an innate desire to be unique. This very concept of ‘being unique’ quite simply boils down into our inner thoughts and the ways in which we express them and quite often the way we dress, our fashion, is at the forefront of this ideal. 

I’m sure most of you reading this know the feeling of rifling through old vintage stores, charity shops, thrift stores and hidden market stalls in the persistent hope that you will find an item that so vehemently expresses the idea of you. You try it on, buy it and go home with a bubbling undercurrent of self-satisfaction only to find that there’s a 50 something year old guy sitting opposite you on the Central Line, gorging himself with a packet of mini cheddars, wearing that very same oversized, now crumb-speckled jumper. Ok, that’s a bit of an over-exaggeration, but my point is that no-one likes to be caught out wearing the same thing as someone else. Especially if your idea of style so radically diverges from theirs; thus creating an amplified sense of self awareness that everyone is staring and judging which of you is wearing it better.  Which in most cases, it turns out, neither of you are winning.

No, not even these guys

Fashion designers understand this, and in many ways pervade our sub-consciousness of what we consider to be our own style. They want their target demographic to be all wearing that same label to create brand awareness yet at the same time, they create a false dichotomy of being ‘in style’ or ‘out of style’. We want to wear what’s popular, or ‘in style’, yet we still want to express our individuality. Perhaps this is why we can see a continuing trend in the personalisation of various apparel, from buttoned shirts to lingerie and nightwear, we are seeing more and more brands shift to offering some form of bespoke alteration in their products in order to solve this catch-22 situation. Ralph Lauren have recently begun to offer monogram embroidery on their line of Polo shirts, with the ability to pick colour, fit, monogram and even the type of pony. Olivia Von Halle, luxury nightwear designer, teamed up with us for a new range of ‘uber-luxury’ pajamas featuring various styles of ‘OVH’ monograms. Louis Vuitton also enjoyed notable success with their line of 'mon monogram' embroidery on their line of couture wallets and bags.

Olivia Von Halle with Hand & Lock
Louis Vuitton's 'Mon Monogram' Collection
 Monogram and bespoke embroidery can be an effective way of personalising your clothes, bags and accessories with your own initials, or whatever design you can come up with. Obviously there are certain limitations, like not being able to stick a needle and thread through a thick leather jacket, but nonetheless, embroidery remains an effective platform in which to express one’s self. As the world’s oldest running provider of hand embroidery, we have produced a wide range of designs from subtle, intricate monograms to ethereal, striking imagery.

Needless to say, monogram embroidery can also help to liven up what is the cultural norm of buying your loved ones winter clothes for Christmas. I think most of us have received enough scarves, socks, and ties to last us for another Pleistocene. Adding one’s initials onto a shirt, dressing gown, purse, handkerchief, scarf or woolly hat might help with some Christmas gift ideas and put an end to the banality of yet receiving yet another pair of comedic socks that you will inevitably see someone else wearing come new years.



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