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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Madame Paulette - Tailor to the Stars

If you have worked in the luxury fashion, you are probably familiar with Madame Paulette.  They are known as a “dry cleaner to the stars”, a clothing restoration specialist trusted by the likes of Vogue, Vera Wang and Bergdorf Goodman.

The Fashion Societe held a session at their Manhattan studio last week.  The Societe is part social club/part school for fashionistas.  Cathy Berger organizes seminars with a fun, cocktail party atmosphere like tonight’s program.  The evening’s agenda focused on how master tailors tricks of the trade could be applied to one’s personal wardrobe. 

The quickest, easiest fix for a tailored blazer for a busty woman?
 Simply shift the center front button over closer to the edge.  A much tougher alteration would be a couture wedding gown that is the wrong silhouette for its wearer.

Proprietor John Mahdessian gave an overview of the history of this family business.  He described memorable projects such as restoring the gowns of Princess Diana, cleaning the private jet of Donald Trump and preparing the garments for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anglomania exhibit.  

To call Madame Paulette a dry-cleaner is not really accurate.  You wouldn’t go through the expense of just bringing your stained t-shirt there.  Upscale designers, haute couture owners come to this establishment for their expertise in clothing preservation and restoration.  Their clothing concierge service houses the special pieces of their clients in optimal conditions that their home closets may not be capable of.  

What makes a tailoring job at Madame Paulette different from the one down the street from you?  Master tailors showed the guests a couture gown with hand-stitching and specialty finishes on the interior.  These needed to be reproduced identically to match the original gown.  How about a pair of high-end jeans with a specially treated hem with targeted abrasions?  If the jeans are shortened, the hems needed to be hand sanded, the thread color matched to match the original.

The charming Mr. Mahdessian gave everyone a quick tour of the facilities. The dressing rooms demonstrate how seriously they take each garment.  Each client fit room was equipped with multiple forms of lighting to accommodate any setting their special garment might be seen in.  This included black light.  This wasn’t for a nightclub setting, but to see special coatings on beads or fabric finishes that might need to be matched.

Do you have grandma's great Chanel suit to restore?  Their website has several promotions and John is always ready for you.

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