About a month ago I discovered this amazing Haute Couture designer Krikor Jabotian and fell in love with several of his ethereal and sculptural dresses.
My favorite was this short dress that I immediately wanted.
So I did some searching and discovered that this dress is not being re-produced anywhere in the US, but he does sell them from his showroom in Beirut and will ship abroad. I have no doubt that such a high quality handmade dress is way above my budget for a party dress so I went looking on a site I’ve always wanted to order a custom dress from…DHGate
No doubt many have thought about ordering straight from a Chinese manufacturer and I certainly was curious about how much would get lost in translation as well as the quality of the garment when it arrives a month later. When I placed my order I gave them my measurements and specified the color of light pink. They had a photo of sample colors and I chose the light pink #77 on the swatch.
Here are my results from this experiment.
The first thing I noticed was how shockingly bright the pink was. One single layer of the polyester organza is indeed a light pink, but many layers unfortunately turned it a darker shade.The second thing I noticed was how stiff and shiny the fabric is. Polyester “chiffon” doesn’t lend itself to flowyness, and makes the whole dress feel plasticy. From the side it doesn’t have a bad silhouette, but the fit is really off in the top half around the bust.
With this front view you can see the seamstress did not get those layers to lay right, and the proportion of the skirt is way too long, making me look even stumpier than usual. Not to mention all the extra room I have in the bust area (I specified 32, this feels like a 34-36). Oh the back…..it just doesn’t look, or fit right at all with loose tulle netting and droopy buttons
Here is a detail shot of the lace applique they used. Now this quality I was expecting, but the color is just way too bright and the dye job is really spotty where some pieces are not completely dyed all the way through. Here was a major flaw, some of the polyester chiffon layers were not properly secured and are already starting to detach. I know I was prepared for low quality, but to have it start to unravel as I am trying it on for the first time is very disappointing.
Here is one last detail shot of the different layers they sewed into the dress to give it volume. Polyester all the way! From the stiff tulle, to the under garment, to the heavy layers of “chiffon”
All in all this experiment cost me the grand total of $113.05 and a month of waiting to see what a Chinese manufacturer can create from a couple of images off a fashion designers website. I suspect if I had asked for the pricier materials (real nylon/silk chiffon) it might not have felt so heavy, but I’m not even liking what they did with the overall design of the dress. This is going to take some major fixing on my part so get this looking how I want it. I give this a C+, and it will probably be another $100+ to fix this into something I’d actually want to wear. Stay tuned! I will post photos in a few weeks of what I do to make this ugly ill-fitting mess into a cute party dress.