Dana pointed out emilyryan's Etsy store to me a couple of days back. Emily Ryan is an independent designer from Portland, Oregon, and wow, she has some amazing, almost couture-like designs. Okay, the prices seem pretty steep, but then again, all the pleating and detail looks extremely time-consuming, and everything is hand-made by her and her interns.
Spiral Pleats Dress $375
Jersey Butterfly Tunic $174
All images from emilyryan's Etsy store
Speaking of hand-made, I have managed to finish my first sewing project (more of which later). It took me several hours to complete the most simple piece of clothing. Okay, I am a beginner when it comes to sewing, so of course it takes time and effort to put together even something very basic. It does make one wonder, though: how do the cheap high street stores do it? As far as I know, it is still actual people that do the cutting and the sewing, although with extremely low salaries. Add material production costs, design costs, export-import and marketing, plus retail expenses, and I have to wonder how on earth do they pull it off. More importantly: how come us consumers allow it? Why do we want it?