2020 a view from inside the Atelier
It’s been a busy year for Atelier Tammam, from couture bridal gowns to trips to India to antique dress restorations we’ve been using our unique sustainable studio to make (and reinvent) the best fashion possible, collaborating with incredible talent in India and the UK. We have always offered internships for young talent at the Tammam Atelier, a fantastic opportunity to support and nurture the next generation of creatives in a real life work environment.
Isabella turned up for an interview for a work placement at Atelier Tammam in October last year. Her beautiful portfolio of hand crafted textiles wowed me and her dedication to sustainability and the environment meant she was obviously a perfect fit for our team.
I asked Isabella to write a blog post about her time at Tammam, her words have made me so happy, as she so beautifully describes the environment I have strived to create at our unique fashion studio. I’m really sad she only has a month left with us and so grateful for all the hard work she has put in (and equally grateful that her visa was extended so she could stay on longer than we initially planned!).
During my time at Atelier Tammam I have experienced a truly meaningful opportunity to work at an environmentally conscious couture atelier. Throughout my time at the atelier I have discovered the beauty and grace within the fashion industry.
This experience sincerely reinforced my belief that the fashion industry can change the world. Ethical fashion offers a resolution for the current affairs in environmentalism, stimulates the growth of a circular economy, and advocates for essential human rights. By transforming the conscious perception of how clothes are worn and seen and by embracing environmentally sound practices, it will naturally lead us towards a stronger and more globally cohesive future. At Atelier Tammam I have experienced first hand that there is a way to participate in the fashion industry by utilising morally and environmentally considerate principles whilst creating beautiful garments.
From the start of my internship, I have had an incredible, enriching experience. Each day presented chance to learn something new, and to first hand experience the diligent work necessary to create ethical couture. Atelier Tammam is a true advocate of clothing made through considered care. As I patiently learned each stitch, I found a loving sense of care for each garment. When an item is created through bespoke work, every pristine detail becomes relevant for the seamstress and the customer. I learned that even the smallest ornamental stitch would be considered, demonstrating the evident value the atelier places on the customer. This process gives one time to appreciate the true essence of each garment, and how its story will evolve as it passes through the hands of the customer.
I was truly in awe of the teaching methods found within the atelier. Everyone in the atelier was taught with patience. Each person working there regardless of their background, ethnicity or level of experience was given a chance to cultivate their own unique skill set. This demonstrated the devotion to diversity and it gave me the courage to learn new skills and aspire to a couture level. From the first week I learned the proper stitches for button loops, the tracing of bespoke patterns, to understanding how the cursive words on one dress are to be gracefully embroidered with a split stitch. In this supportive atmosphere I felt accepted with a sense of support and encouragement to further cultivate my skills.
By witnessing this hopeful model of slow fashion, I have been reminded of my love for the craft, as it brought to surface the reasons why I was drawn to fashion as a young girl. At the atelier there was always an ambitious project to take part in to meet production needs. Yet because of the business model that takes mindfulness and a positive work environment into consideration, everyone is so willing to participate. In this way each task has the chance of becoming a positive experience, and I believe this is why those who work at the atelier are willing to put passion into their work and reach to set new goals and heights in the fashion industry.
Throughout my internship I was inspired by the variety of projects and how there is always a new field to be immersed in and learn from. I felt a sense of reverence for the existing collections, as each piece had been contrived through beautiful ethical fabrics and designs that were intelligently rendered. The whole of the atelier captures classicism whilst embracing contemporary design, utilising revolutionary production methods.
Atelier Tammam is more than a fashion studio. It is an environment where like minded individuals who have a passion for environmentalism and human rights can come together. It is a refuge outside of the fast fashion industry that offers both a sense of solace and revolutionary ambitions where fashion is redefined. It reclaims its role as an art form that touches the lives of all and therefore responsibly takes into consideration the welfare of those involved in its fabrication, from those employed in its production to the resources used to produce it.
At the atelier I experienced a shared sense of sisterhood and team work. Every woman working at the atelier supported one another and was devoted to an external philanthropic cause. This sense of collaboration went beyond the atelier to a rendered sense of connection to the women working across the globe through fair-trade initiatives on shared projects such as One Dress. One Dress is a principle example of how the atelier strives to initiate global activism. It allowed me to tell a word of my own story while striving to share the project so women around the world can feel equally empowered.
It is hard to describe my experience at the atelier in words. It has shown me the power we have to pave in the fashion industry. Demonstrating through interdisciplinary collaborations we can all aspire to make a difference through ethical fashion. I am now confident that through strategies of cohesive co-creation and the business models presented at Atelier Tammam, stitch by stitch we can create the world that we aspire to live in. The future is in our hands.
Thank you so much Isabella, we’ll miss you at the Atelier and wish you so much luck with your future career.