Here we explain why couture lace is important & why it’s the only lace used in the creation of Shell Belle Couture.
Evolving across Europe from the 15th century, lace derives from the hand-crafting of netting & embroidery. It’s specific country of origin is unknown. With many European countries laying claim to it; France & Italy to name just two.
Due to its intricate nature, traditional lace making takes great skill & therefore time.
Technological advances in the 19th century enabled the use of machinery, whilst at the same time protecting the necessary skill. Still requiring a high level of technique to operate, lace began being produced in reams of intricate patterns.
These machines significantly sped up production times, helping lace to become a more widely available fabric.
The French levers lace used in the creation of almost all Shell Belle Couture, is delicately made by these original machines. The vintage patterns sourced from the archives.
As consumer demand for garments grew & the world sped up, so did the production of lace. The machines that still required skill to operate to produce quality lace, were replaced by faster, more efficient versions. Producing a flatter & less detailed version of its original form.
Mass-manufacturing took hold. Quality of lace & garment production compromised for price. The quicker the production, the cheaper the garment - the more satisfied the consumer. Or so it seemed.
Today we are wise to the impact of mass-manufacturing; on the people employed by big corporations, the communities they live in & our planet. The trend for fast-fashion is on the decline, a demand for slow-fashion emerging in it’s place.
The tide is beginning to turn with consumers wanting to buy well & buy once, investing in quality garments that are made to last. A new love for clothing is emerging, with consumers cherishing their pieces, even treating some as heirlooms to be passed down generations.
Never to compromise on quality, every lace used at Shell Belle Couture is sourced from suppliers protecting this craftsmanship. In fact, Design Director & Founder Michelle Blenkinsopp-Guild adores the beauty, detail & craftsmanship of French Leavers lace so much, that she feels there is no other alternative.