This is Signature Atelier (part 2)
Creative director Andreea Bădală on the importance of adding tiny luxuries to your life and more Signature secrets.
Maybe this sounds idealistic, but my dream was to keep that nucleus from the innocent stage of building a brand, when you start with nothing but creating in mind. In the beginning, you only want to turn your ideas into reality. That innocence involves great effort and fantasy. And the big challenge, as you grow, as a designer and as a business, is to keep the imagination vivid, while adding the grown-up touch.
Signature Atelier offers our clients products that are made for them, according to their sizes and body types. It includes dresses, bodysuits, skirts, leggings and kimonos. We use elegant colors like nude, red, wine, blush and black. It is not only about translating an inspiration into a product, but also about being part of a larger movement, where women enjoy their femininity, sensuality, and their capacity to dress according to their needs.
It is also a return to essence, to well tailored fashion products – a statement for quality, not quantity, for personalized products, not one size fits all. Any Signature Atelier item is like a collectable that you can also wear.
Time is luxury. It’s not something we can afford to waste anymore. And Signature Atelier means a lot of time spent completing a single piece. It also means patience, which is almost a virtue nowadays. To spend 8 to 16 hours just to sew an item, not including the training of people, the adjustments, the conversation with the customer – that is luxury to me.
One of the best things about Signature Atelier is that it allows a conversation with the client, it creates a unique energy around the whole process. You cut that fabric for somebody in particular. From the second the order is placed, it’s a piece that we’re making for X. It comes with a name. And that changes everything.
I think it’s important to state that yes, the Zest piece looks like a corset, but it doesn’t follow a corset construction. We don’t use bones, we only use wires for one model. Those spectacular pieces are really easy to wear, considering they are inspired by something as constricting as corsets can be.
We also found inspiration in shapewear. Translating this into pret-a-porter requires so much attention while sewing. For the Stark series we use a lot of elastic bands. You can only piece them together if you have certain skills.
As a designer, I think such a line requires of you to become much more technical, because the changes are much more subtle, so you have to pay great attention to the technicians you work with and to stay close during the whole process. Because it is not only about the uniqueness of the design, but it is also about how practical and comfortable it is. And you cannot achieve all those things without great technical design.
Celebrities have not only validated the product selection for Signature Atelier, but they also validated a direction of the brand. Pieces such as the Sculpt Bodysuit and Sculpt Bra Top or the Zest Long Dress have received enthusiastic responses since 2015. We are talking about stylists and celebrities who are extremely up to date and who have an immense array of products and brands they can choose from. The fact that they choose us is an essential validation.
I, too, have my own personal favorites. The Sculpt Bodysuit obsesses me. I dream of making it in any possible color, according to the desires of every customer. I imagine it with embroidery, I imagine it as a piece of jewelry. We, designers, already took dresses to the next level. But to take the bodysuit to another level… It’s a difficult task, because it’s not as easy to wear as a dress is. But I really want to achieve that.
I also still love the Zest Corset, and I find it extremely powerful. To me, these are pieces that you can discover 25 years from now, in a closet, and they will speak about fashion history. I don’t want it to sound presumptuous, but I believe in them, I personify them, I ignore I made them. It’s pure trust.
Photos taken by George Pruteanu