Most of d’Itlaia’s stock is from Italy and France, as we believe these sources are superior in their manufacture of the finest quality fabric. The designer stock is sourced directly from the most reputable Italian manufacturers who create for the top European designer fashion houses – such as Gucci, Armani, Versace, Balenciaga, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, Roberto Cavalli, Escada, Valentino and Chanel… d’Italia’s stock includes these labels regularly.
d'Italia's stock ranges from classy casual to very formal wear; bridal gowns, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, ball gowns, formal gowns, evening wear, cocktail gowns, professional/office wear, smart casual wear, everyday wear and even resort/holiday wear. Customers are constantly impressed with the diversity of the fabric available, and know they will always find something more unique and unusual than at any other fabric store.
What makes d'Italia's range so much more unique and exclusive than other quality fabric stores?
The answer to this lies in the fact that d'Italia operates on a completely different basis than all other fabric shops. The fabric available on the shelves is current season stock - NOT old, past seasons, out-dated remnants. As the designer stock is produced in Europe in limited quantities and will never be reproduced, it cannot be re-ordered once sold - so this makes it limited and exclusive.
d’Italia’s agents travel to Italy and France every 6 to 8 weeks to source the new up-coming seasons’ fabrics. As such, you will constantly find new and exciting stock on d’Italia’s shelves, including a good range of summer and winter weights all year around in order to cater for those travelling overseas.
Yes, of course. Small strips are handed out freely, however many customers prefer to purchase 10cm strips as they provide a more true representation where a proper colour match or pattern is important. This service is extended to interstate telephone/mail enquiries especially, however time is of the essence when it comes to whether or not the fabric would still be available for sale in the short-term future.
All 15 of d'Italia's makers who are available on a referral basis are of an excellent standard, and boast a high quality of work and expertise. Not only scrutinised over many years for fundamentals such as the quality of their work, they are fully competent in design and can communicate well with customers in a professional manner. d'Italia monitors customers' feedback on their work and professionalism regularly, as approximately 95% of regular customers employ their services on an ongoing basis. Remember, many of d'Italia's regular customers have most of their wardrobe made to fit, as they have trouble finding suitable clothing off-the-rack. This involves a significant outlay on the cost on quality fabric, so the quality of the making must also be excellent.
Considering their work is of the highest standard, their prices are surprisingly reasonable and very much affordable. As they are so heavily booked into the future, they have no need for commercial studios and instead deliberately work from their own private professional studios. As such, their fees are maintained at a very much lower rate than other quality seamstresses in Melbourne who are either on a salary or operating from a shop front, and fees are paid directly to them with no mark-up or commission to d'Italia. Fees charged include the initial consultation, pattern-making, calico mock-ups (where necessary), at least 2 to 3 fittings, and the final finishing.
Not at all – the dressmakers' experience makes them an excellent source for suggestions. Customers only need have a basic idea of what they are after, (which is worked out with d'Italia's consultants) as the dressmakers' studios have many fashion books and pictures to help fine-tune their ideas, plus they all store images of past creations on their computers. It is usual for them to work off the design sketches from d'Italia, and then in the process of fittings, the design is fine tuned on the body. The dressmakers make their own patterns, regardless of whether they are making something from a sketch, from a photo or copying an existing garment - so it is completely unnecessary to take patterns to them.
A design is often best left to develop on the body, which is actually what couture is. It is easy for d'Italia's consultants to calculate know how much fabric is required for a basic design, after which you may request for a referral to a dressmaker. After the making of the garment has commenced, there are many stages where the design can be tweaked along the way - so you will end up with a completely unique and individual style, custom-made for you! Although this requires a fair amount of faith in the dressmaker's talents, it is the most creative way to make something amazing. After having "settled in" with a seamstress by having had a number of garments made by her in the past, many regular customers eventually trust their dressmaker to help them create styles individually for them. A personal relationship develops between customer and dressmaker - one based on familiarity and understanding...
d'Italia's consultants and dressmakers have a very good eye for what is flattering for all types of body shapes, and are genuine and honest with the advice they offer. Sometimes you may have an idea of what style you are after, and our dressmakers' experience leads them to be able to suggest more flattering alternatives if, in their belief, there may be a more optimal style for your figure type.
Remember, all the dressmakers/seamstresses are ladies with many years' experience working with all different shapes and sizes - so they are extremely confident in advising what will flatter your body the most...if you are open to suggestions!
You will be assisted at the boutique with free and friendly styling and design advice - including sketching designs that would flatter you the most - and you can be measured up to calculate how much fabric you will require for your garment. Even if you only have a rough idea of what you'd like to have made, it is easy to work out how much fabric you will need so that you can secure the fabric you love.
It is very common for customers to arrive on d'Italia's doorstep completely discouraged, as they have had no luck finding anything off-the-rack that looks adequate to meet the occasion they are planning for - even if its just simple everyday casual wear. Almost always, d'Italia can help them find the right fabric, adapt a style that would flatter them the most with that fabric, and then refer them if required to an expert dressmaker. It is always easier - and much more fun - than most expect it to be!
Appointments are encouraged for those who would like to be served with minimal interruptions and it is essential especially for brides and bridal groups to book appointments, as it is more practical to have one of d’Italia’s bridal experts allocated to help them personally (rather than on-the-spot, without an appointment, on a busy Saturday morning for example).
It is impossible to put a time on how long, because no garment is made in one stretch of time. Instead, appointments and fittings are spread out over a number of weeks - deliberately planned out into the future - so that there is no unnecessary stress involved in having to rush anything. Creation of a perfect garment takes time and care. It is for this reason that the seamstresses are booked well in advance of the events that the garments are being made for - the emphasis being on the actual month of the event - and then the appointments are planned backwards for the months leading up to the event. d'Italia's referral seamstresses are regularly booked up to 12-18 months in advance of events.
The average cost of d'Italia custom-made garments – including couture and fabric - range from only:
Mother of the bride garment/dress 1,500+
Cocktail/formal/evening dresses from 1,500+
Women's suits from 1,400+
Bridal gowns without French lace, beading or embellishments 2,500 - 3,000+
Bridal gowns with French lace, beading and/or embellishments 3,500+
(varies according to the speciality fabrics chosen)