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My Dressmaker – Couture Love foto

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In the past, I only used to go to a seamstress or tailor when I had bought a dress or a pair of trousers which needed some adjustment. But one fine day I was lucky enough to come across a passionate tailoress – a creative perfectionist!


Oetenbachgasse 13 – a treasure of artisanship

Her name is Agi Keel and her shop-cum-workshop-cum-design-headquarter is located in prime position in Zurich at Oetenbachgasse 13, just a few steps above Bahnhofstrasse – one of the most expensive shopping miles on the planet!

What I find so overwhelmingly appealing is the fact that Agi is so refreshingly down to earth and straight forward. There is not a tiny bit of snobbism if you meet her in her workshop which is a rare find in this posh environment.

Her customers are very demanding and used to expect nothing less than excellence if they order a dress or need some alterations done to their existing frocks. No matter whether you come up with very fine chiffon or stretch leather – she’ll conquer every challenge with the same don’t-worry-approach!


Luxury brands versus bespoke tailoring

In fact, I have known her for a few years before I decided to let her manufacture two wonderful long silk dresses. Based on the ludicrous price tags of the luxury brands, I simply would not expect to get a handmade, one-of-a-kind dress, cut to my body, at such a competitive price.

Back in early September, I had brought her some winter frocks for adjustment. While she was chatting with my husband, I scoured her shop and found a few absolutely beautiful pieces of printed silk. I always get very excited when I come across irresistible fabrics – I just want them! My cupboards are chock full of vintage and even antique pieces.


Spoilt for choice

She had a good laugh when she saw my obvious desperation while I tried to pick my favourite. She helped me out by showing me some design ideas which she had in mind when she bought these amazing prints. Eventually, I ended up with two different pieces of printed silk satins. She drew a few sketches to show me what she would love to do with them.

I was perfectly happy to let her have a go at her design ideas because I appreciate her passion and her attention to details when it comes to cutting and sewing. I had not the shadow of a doubt that these two dresses would look stunning once she had finished them. In fact, she was really obsessed with getting every tiny little detail just right.


Added value – great Couture

The fittings were great fun. These moments gave me the opportunity to see how much work and artisanship went into my gorgeous dresses. Seeing things taking shape during the manufacturing process suddenly made the finished piece so much more valuable. Bespoke tailoring is so much more exquisite than ready-made stuff. The clothes are unique and produced locally by talented and creative people, and pricewise these pieces easily beat the expensive luxury brands – not only with their price tags but also with regards to the quality of manufacture!


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