Friday, September 10, 2010

Ella Lai

A while ago, I mentioned a young Chinese designer, Ella Lai, in one of my Etsy posts. Well, I ordered a trench dress from her a few weeks ago, and today it has arrived - made to order, and beautifully.

This dress/jacket (since it can be worn as either) is made of surprisingly sturdy cotton fabric, which feels like canvas, and is fully lined. Polka dot cuff, belt, and collar lining gives it an extra touch of character. It fit me nicely:


Here's a somewhat shaky closeup of the neckline and the collar:


If you look at Ella's shop, you'll notice that the clothes tend to be neutral and they look basic. But the design and the tailoring is anything but. I took some closeups of details that cannot be seen in a larger view, but when you wear the garment, you can't help but love them. The construction is just superb.

First, pleating in the center back, right under the collar:

It makes the heavy fabric drape in a very fluid way.


The placing of shoulder seams in many garments, especially outerwear, is tricky and vexing. Not here though, because the sleeves are cut in in a very ingenious way, so there's no shoulder seam as such:


And this attention to detail carries over to the branding. I was pleased to see that the dress came with a very nice tag with the designer's name:


It might seem like a small thing, but I like my indie designers, and I like it when they have professional logos. So really, I couldn't be more impressed with the craftsmanship of this designer, and I cannot recommend her enough to those who love their clothes simple, classic, and well-made.

4 comments:

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I came over to your blog via your comment on Academichic and read your excellent post from July. I wrote two posts addressing the commentary on the Chronicle article that you referenced in your comment last month. Here is one of them, in case you are interested: http://fashionableacademics.blogspot.com/2010/08/first-days-and-more-musings-on.html

This is a fantastic garment, and the collar is fantastic!

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