Some things we cherish and think you should know, straight from the MURMUR design team.
The atelier work
Handcrafted and made to measure products require amazing work experience. It’s a completely different way of working on a piece. You need to employ a far greater array of skills than when working in a factory, and you even need to be able to have a personal input, to think the product as you work on it.
Not any seamstress can do handmade. It requires so much attention, precision, patience, because there is no exact recipe for success – you build something special and you need to be fully immersed in the work.
Think only about the Sculpt bra cup, which is moulded by hand. It’s something you’d rather see in hat making, where the milliner spends so much time moulding the felt on hat blocks. It’s fully manual.
Some of the fabrics we use are so sensitive – you can’t pinch them with a needle, because it leaves a mark, one single droplet of water, one little moment of carelessness can ruin days of work. Making such a product involves such a strong bond with it.
Made to measure
For a made to measure piece, you must see more than the client does, in order to make a product that suits her in every way. You need to ask all the technical questions – how you develop the product, how you cut the patterns, how you assemble them -, but you then apply the same algorithm to the client, in order to adapt the piece for her.
The way the piece is handled differs from seamstress to seamstress, from piece to piece. It’s an almost artisanal bond. That piece of clothing comes alive, in a way, and you can feel it in the atelier – it’s not just the fact that it has tiny defects, just like humans do. It has an energy of its own – you can see the long hours of work in its aspect and complexity, but you can also feel them.
This is one of the great advantages of atelier pieces – although they seem the same, each single one is unique. And when it’s also made to measure, it’s not only unique, but it’s yours completely. It’s built on your body.
What else you should know about Signature Atelier
The fabrics are exquisite and they come from France, Italy, Portugal and Japan.
A Signature product involves so many elements, and each single element has to be tried and tested, fine tuned and questioned. You need a very happy marriage between all things involved, from fabric to handling, that’s what makes work in the atelier so complicated, and also so special.
We can work on developing or fine tuning a product from one season (like we did with the Blackcherry series) to entire years. The Sculpt Bodysuit is a good example – we’ve been working on it for years, questioning its proportions, trying new fabrics or accessories. It took three years, I think, for us to be fully contempt with the Genie and the Figure series.
We periodically try our products on several body types. It’s an extended fitting which tells us what needs to be improved. Sometimes you spend an entire season looking for the ideal cut. Sometimes it takes more than a year to find the fabric you want. Sometimes you discover the snaps you have tested and used could be better, so you change them and begin the testing again.
How long it takes
The attention to detail and proportions can be excessive. If you include the measuring stage, it would take at least three working days to make such a piece. So if you only worked on that product, which is impossible, it would take more than 24 hours of non-stop work to finish it. Even more for the Figure Dress, which is an extremely complex item, or the Pulp Dress, that has a lacing system which involves such mathematical precision. But then you see the result, and you understand that it’s totally worth it.