If your questions are not answered below, please contact us now by email - or for an immediate response call d'Italia on 03 9509 4633
Q: Where does d'Italia source its fabric from?
A: All our stock is imported from only Italy and France, as we believe these sources are superior in their manufacture of the finest quality fabric. We purchase from the most reputable 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.
A: d’Italia’s stock ranges from classy casual to very formal. We cater for 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 here, and know they will always find something more unique and unusual than at any other fabric store.
A: The answer to this lies in the fact that d’Italia operates on a completely different basis than all other fabric shops. The fabric we have available on the shelves is current season stock - NOT old, past seasons, out-dated remnants. d'Italia’s main business is that of wholesale to top Australian designers, whilst offering the stock to the public for retail (until the stock is sold wholesale). In other words, we import new seasons’ fabric from Italy and France, and make it available on a temporary basis to you for first-pick, whilst marketing it to Australian designers. Once a particular fabric is sold by one of our agents wholesale, it is immediately taken of our shelves and is no longer available for retail. The stock is thus by far more fresh, unusual, unique and exclusive than any other fabric retail or remnants store in Australia.
A: Our buying agents travel to Italy and France every 6 to 8 weeks to personally hand-select the new up-coming seasons’ fabrics. This is necessary to keep up with the demand here in Australia on the wholesale market. As such, you will constantly find new and exciting stock on our shelves, including a good range of summer and winter weights all year around in order to cater for those traveling overseas.
A: 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. We extend this service to our interstate telephone/mail enquiries especially, however we do caution that 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.
A: Simply due to the fact that our main business is that of fabric wholesale, we are able to provide our retail customers with prices that are more attractive than the few other Australian stores who stock fabric of comparable quality.
A: Of course! Due to the limited availability and exclusivity of the stock here, it is highly recommended that if customers love a particular fabric they should place a deposit on it. That way, the fabric is cut and put aside for them that day in order to avoid disappointment should it be returned to our warehouse for wholesale, or sold out.
A: All members of our team of experts available on a referral basis are of an excellent standard, and we are extremely confident in their quality of work and expertise. Not only to we scrutinise them for fundamentals such as the quality of their work, we also expect them to be able to design and to communicate well with customers, in a professional manner. We monitor our customers' feedback on their work and professionalism regularly, as approximately 95% of our regular customers employ their services on an ongoing basis. Remember, many of our regular customers come to us to 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 of our quality fabric. These customers rely on our referrals, and as such our reputation is on the line in a indirect sense. This is why we must have ultimate confidence in the expertise of our referral team!
Considering their work is of the highest standard, their prices are surprisingly reasonable and very much affordable. Due to an exclusive arrangement whereby d’Italia refers all customers them, these ladies deliberately work from their own professional studios (so there are no overheads here at d'Italia), so 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.
Fees charged include the initial consultation, pattern-making, calico mock-ups (where necessary), at least 2 to 3 fittings, and the final finishing.
Q: Do customers need to know exactly what style they want before meeting with a dressmaker, and do they need to provide a pattern?
A: Not at all – our dressmakers' experience makes them an excellent source for suggestions. Customers only need have a basic idea of what they are after, as the dressmakers' studios have many fashion books and pictures to help with ideas, plus they all store images of past creations on their computers. It is usual for them to sketch designs until you both come to a mutual understanding of exactly what will be created. Our 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.
What we stress to customers is that a design is often best left to develop. It is easy for us to calculate know how much fabric is required for a basic design, which will qualify you for a referral to a dressmaker. After the making of the garment has commenced, there are many stages where the design can be tweeked along the way - so you will end up with a completely unique and individual design, custom-made for you! Although this requires a fair amount of faith in the dressmaker's talents, it is often 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 trust and understanding...
A: Our 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 our 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!
A: We can help you here at the boutique with free and friendly styling and design advice - including sketching designs we believe would flatter you the most - and will measure you 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, we are able to 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 one of our dressmakers. It is always easier - and much more fun - than most expect it to be!
A: Appointments are most welcome, and are encouraged for those who would like to be served with minimal interruptions or in complete privacy, or for those who have a busy schedule and can only make it here after 5pm. It is highly recommended especially for brides and bridal groups to book appointments, as it is more practical to have one of our staff members allocated to help them personally (rather than on-the-spot, without an appointment, on a busy Saturday morning for example).
Appointments are welcome after-hours (ie. between 5pm to 8pm) on any weeknight. We appreciate that many customers are women who work during normal trading hours and are thus not able to make it here otherwise. We like to be as accommodating as possible!
A: Prices for Dresses and Garments
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
Womens Suits from $1,400
Prices for Wedding Dresses
The averagecost of d'Italia custom-made wedding dresses – including couture and fabric - range from only:
Without French lace, beading or embellishments $2,500 - $3,000
With French lace, beading and/or embellishments $3,500+
(varies according to what you choose to use)