I’ve been meaning to talk about the seamstresses of the Atelier for quite a while.
I still remember my first day at the office, which allowed me to see them all and hear them as they were working, so I had the chance to observe them for the first time. Having worked for a multinational firm, among other companies before I started working for the Atelier, I was used to keeping a professional distance at my workplace, so this was a sudden (and wonderful) transition.
Their DNA is to mainly be mothers, if not grandmothers, who just happen to be little haute couture masters at dressmaking, by tailoring in an outstanding manner. It’s a vibrant beehive, each one of them with her own habits and stories to tell!
To be honest, I don’t think that they still fully understand what I actually do in front of my computer, keystroking the whole day, but from the very first day they saw me, they started treating me to a piece of the pie they had made (because “I am too skinny”), or remarking that I should have worn a jacket.
They have the sweetest daily habits, which I don’t think that they realize how charming they are, like waiting for one another in order to leave the atelier altogether! Everything passes through their hands, and you can see them creating the most contemporary gowns with a valuable traditional approach.
In order to present them in the most realistic way, I spoke to Mrs. Argyro, the second most senior seamstress, who has been working at the Atelier for 27 years. I chose her because the dressmaker who has worked the longest for the Atelier is deaf-mute -counting 36 years in the Atelier!
Back to Mrs. Argyro, who at the age of 12-13, was an apprentice seamstress on the island of Chios (where the Zolotas family also comes from), during the summertime or after school. Tailoring was something she would often do while bringing up her children. When she came to the atelier, she didn’t have to learn how to tailor, but actually brought her own expertise, and as she characteristically mentioned: “I would always set my mind in motion while sewing”. Therefore, she had a creative approach as well -and she also noted that she is unsurpassed in matters of fine stitching details!
When VG took the reigns as creative director, he introduced his own style to the bridal house, and I wanted to know what she thought of this transition, having worked for his mother for many years. When I asked her to comment his collection, she said that it is exquisite and that it requires more detailed work than ever! She also said that the work you put in a wedding dress is not something that everyone can realize!
The ladies of the Atelier are wonderful. Not only because they have become family, but also because they are truly rare and precious. They carry the Hellenic traditional techniques and convey them in a beautiful reality that travels around the world. And without their daily hive of activity, my office would be unbearably quiet!