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Blog posts of '2014' 'April'

bespoke lace for new dress design

Sophie hallette fashion design Tengdahl

Tengdahl has collaborated with the world's oldest lace mill - Sophie Hallette, in France - to create a bespoke stretch lace series for Julie Tengdahl's new Sophie dress.

           Tengdahl sophie hallette evening lace dress black  Tengdahl white lace dress sophie hallette

Founded 120 years ago by Eugene Hallette, the Caudry-based lace mill fell into the hands of Eugene's wife when he suddenly died in 1898. At the time it was called 'Etablissements Veuve Eugene Hallette ('Widow Eugene Hallette's Company').

Under her management, the mill thrived and was passed onto Ettienne Hallette, who expanded the company and opened its Paris office in 1967. He renamed the brand 'Sophie' after his neice.

Sophie Hallette tengdahl australian designer Sophie Hallette lace mill

Over the past century, generations of craftspeople have worked Sophie Hallette's looms, weaving delicate lace and tulle from several thousand miles of thread, 5,000 shuttles and 12 tons of cast iron. Commissioned by fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior and Alexander McQueen, Sophie Hallette lace has come to represent the pinacle of lace manufacturing.

Sophie Hallette is now managed by the third generation of Hallette owners. Combining its rich tradition and expertise with modern methods of production, the lace house holds true to its artistic craftsmanship, with post-production quality checks taking up to 15 hours of meticulous examination a single peice of lace.

        Brisbane designer Tengdahl sophie hallette lace        Kate Middleton Sophie Hallette lace

After nearly 30 years of using the mill's lace in her designs, Julie Tengdahl began working with Sophie Hallette designers in 2013 to sketch a lace that would suit the Australian climate and provide the flexibility and wearability Australian women desire in their clothes. 

sophie hallette lace mill tengdahl australian fashion

The lace was then hand loomed in Sophie Hallette's antique Caudry mill and arrived in Australia, exclusive to Tengdahl, in March 2014. The lace appears in Julie's current A/W14 collection, in the form of the Sophie dress (pictured above and below).  

Own a little peice of Sophie Hallette history here

 Pia Du Pradal, Dale Olssen, Julie Tengdahl

Pia du Pradal, Dale Olsson and Julie Tengdahl (far right) wearing the Sophie Hallette Dress at the Uncovering The Brisbane Look launch. Photo: Warren Jopson 

Julie's India Journey

australian fashion designer Julie Tengdahl in India

Tengdahl Australia designer Julie in indiaJulie Tengdahl india sabbatical fashion designer Indian women fashion designer Julie tengdahl visit IndiaIndian textiles fabric australian fashion designer tengdahl

Last month I set off to India for a trip that has mixed business with a personal journey. I am currently writing from an Ashram in Jaipur. On the design front, I am here to meet with textile designers and organisations that provide local women with opportunities to use their traditional skills to have financial autonomy through fashion design and manufacturing. Amidst the terrible stories of slave labour and substandard working conditions that we have heard of recently, my Australian friends who work in India have urged me to come over and see the ‘other side’ of female-focused industries.

There is a growing awareness amongst organisations over here that they must provide women with opportunities to use their talents in a safe, fair and financially rewarding environment. While these businesses only comprise a small segment of the overall manufacturing industry, my hope is that with growing awareness in western countries, they can create a demand for ethically made textiles and garments.

If there is a demand for ethically produced fashion, and western businesses and consumers are willing to pay for it, the Indian industry will improve working conditions and remuneration in order to obtain the lucrative western contracts. Amongst some beautiful artisan pieces, I will be brining back some amazing fabric made by women in Bangalore, and cashmere shawls from the tribes of Rajasthan; known as ‘the land of Kings’. Each piece is unique - I can’t wait to share them.

TEngdahl Australia india fashion designer brisbane Yoga India yogi Julie Tengdahl brisbane fashion designer India Julie tengdahl brisbane australia fashion designer Julie Tengdahl ashram india brisbane women eat pray love

Between work meetings I have had the opportunity to see the other side of Indian life. My current stay in an Ashram has involved 4 hours of yoga each day, as well as chanting and meditation. Sheryas, another Ashram that I stayed at outside Bangalore, was like a scene from Eat Pray Love. Having just finished A/W and in the process of launching into preparations for the S/S range and Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival, this time has been an invaluable opportunity to switch off to the noise of everyday life and restore the energy that, as women, we constantly give to others.

Much has been written about the female sabbatical recently (both personal and professional types) and I’m glad it is moving past the typecast of self-indulgent western whim. Women are givers, carers, lovers and nurturers. But often, very little is left for them - until it’s too late. Emotional or mental breakdown, or physical illness, often present themselves. Sometimes we care too much about what others think; worried that we’ll seem selfish for taking a short time out for reflection or to nurture ourselves. While staying in a country filled with women who often have to fight for the right to education, fair employment, reproductive rights or the ability to just walk the street safely, we’re able to put our concerns of day-to-day life in perspective, while also appreciating how far women in many countries still have to fight on a grass roots level to achieve equality.

Most of all, India has shown me the magnificence of the female spirit; it’s ability to endure and love through adversity, to show strength and resilience while pushing boundaries and slowly but surely forcing our communities to cherish and value all we have to offer. With the support of their communities and the international community, the women in India have a future of prosperity and power. We can’t hide from the beauty of the world or the raw honesty of a country such as this. It’s visceral and captivating; provoking internal reflection, and external observation.

Julie xx