Cool is about being comfortable in your own skin without need for external approval and style is about setting your own aesthetic agenda that suits you and your lifestyle and your body. So getting a commission perfect is about listening, interpreting and then adding a little magic. First the commission needs to be confirmed, with costs and colours made clear. We need to avoid unpleasant surprises and missed deadlines, so a brief is articulated along with a quick sketch and some examples of the materials that I will use. Next I lay out all the materials to check that I have all that is necessary. I like to get the colours perfect and ensure that there are contrasting textures with a balance of beautiful and precious, including semi precious and gemstone beads. This commission included pearls, to mirror buttons in the proposed outfit, sapphires celebrating a recent special gift and rubies. The client enjoys a very classic and sophisticated look, so rather than a retro fascinator or one of my more burlesque numbers this commission is based on a traditional hair bow. To ensure that the bow sits beautifully I started by moulding a dupion base, with a second lighter panel so that any unsightly ends can be hidden and it can look satisfyingly beautiful from all angles. The shapes are steamed and pinned to form the required shape, before being reinforced with a soft wire and finished. The outside bow is made form crin which can have mind of its own, and if you work with it for too long the whole thing can unravel. Once the shape is perfect and the ends are secured I can start playing with the beads! I keep an image of the outfit in front of me so that I can keep the colour balance perfect and mirror any motifs. People are surprisingly polar about heart shapes, so I had checked that the client approves before sourcing some beautiful rose quartz hearts. The creation finished I find one of my lovely new boxes. Before I can sign it off can’t resist having a play and making another version. After all, I don’t want my customers just to be happy, I want them to be delighted! The finished version looks even more dramatic than the sketch and very special, but just incase it is a little imposing I have created a toned down version that would work equally well with the outfit. My clients are stylish ladies, they know their style and if they are to walk tall and smile that smile I want them to be in control! The lovely client was delighted and I have learnt one valuable lesson. I need to check to see whether the customers are left or right handed when using spring clips, it can make all the difference when positioning them comfortably.
I almost left it there, but could not resist a last minute interpretation of the look. I had to laugh as I thought that it was not really the clients own style and since then I am delighted that it has been my personal easter bonnet – photos to follow 😉 xx