Not Just Another White Blouse

A white blouse is a staple in most women's wardrobes. Our white blouses have a story to tell. I take great care in naming each design in the April Cornell collection, and this one is Clothilde. It has many, many details - tucking, slimming long seams, applique trim and an invisible button placket. It's beautiful and an exceptional value, but more importantly, it has a story.
It was born in the sketch of a designer, in this case, me. That sketch holds all the information that all the other people who take part in creating the blouse will follow. Half a world away, a merchandiser has the skills to break the sketch down into all the ingredients needed to source each part to the trades who will make it.
The soft white cotton comes from southern India where it is grown and woven. I think of the labor that goes into growing and picking the cotton. The families living from those wages. I think of the weavers following ancient traditions. The cloth will be washed in large tubs and hung to dry, all done by hand.
While the fabric is being prepared, the pattern is in process. The expert in the spec department has lined up the measurements of the design; a combination of grading rules and computer programs assures that the fit is fine. The pattern master with sketch and specs in hand, cuts the first pattern, marking all the pleats and tucks and darts that both the cutting master and the tailor will need to guide them. The tailors sew all the tucks and pleats carefully with skilled expertise. The small mother-of-pearl which are my trademark, are made from shells that glisten like ivory. They carry the sea, those tiny buttons, like a vintage find and they are all sewn on by hand.
Then there is the labeling and tagging, the pressing, and thread clipping. More hands do a quality check, and then others carefully fold and package this pretty blouse to be shipped. The blouse makes a journey that includes boats or planes, freight, and involves customs - all impacting commerce and employment along the way. And before it arrives, many people are preparing to merchandise and market this beautiful blouse. Warehouse staff and analysts and customer service people are all a part of the story of the story too. When I think of all the hundreds of people and multiplicity of skills, from fabric to finish, the employment circle is large. It ripples and contributes to the livelihood of many families. This white blouse has a story to tell - with its fine lines of pintucks and style that brings grace into your life. It is far more than just another white blouse.

Feel Beautiful, Be Beautiful, Live Beautiful


Anonymous said...

I love this "journey of the blouse" story. It really hits home and makes me appreciate the garment that I select each morning as I prepare to go out into the world. Thank you, April, for taking us back to the basics!

RURAL said...

April, I have always admired your clothing when I saw it in store. Beautiful colors, amazing finishing, and great tailoring. I had no idea what it took to present to the consumer such a lovely piece.

My favorite line, "They carry the sea, those tiny buttons, like a vintage find...."

This is not just a post about a clothing line, or a blouse, you have brought to life the very process of creating.

Thanks for sharing.


harpreet Sindhu said...

Hi April,This journey is amazing especially seen,felt,read and experianced through your eyes and writing!Harpreet.

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