A story behind the gown

Often people ask if we only design wedding gowns, so we thought we would share more about the other elaborate dresses we have had the joy of creating! We collaborated with Maui artist Hermine Harman on a Queen of Hearts gown for the annual Imua Family Services Gala last year. The theme was the Carnival de Venice Mascheranda Grand Ball! We wanted to share more about this gown we created and the talented artist, Hermine. Find out more about Hermine, her artwork and the gown we collaborated on with her….

Q: Your artwork is often filled with vibrant and rich colors! Can you share with us your inspirations and influences for your art?

A: I love vivid, bright colors and gravitate to them because they light me up and make me happy! [Influences include] My garden, my home, my beach walks, flowers, animals, travel and photography. 

Q: We collaborated on a Queen of Hearts gown for a Gala you attended. The gown won Best Costume that evening! Can you share more about this event and your glamorous outfit? 

A: The fabulous Queen of Hearts gown was created for the annual Imua Family Service Fundraiser last year. They throw the most fun, exciting event on Maui and raise a lot of money for this worthy organization that supports children and families with challenges. The theme was Venice. I was thrilled to be the winner of a weekend at The Hyatt with a couples massage and a sunset dinner on the Beach cooked to our order. The challenging part was walking, climbing onto stage and learning and dancing the minuet! Working with such a talented artist [Jennifer] who was very detail-oriented was a creative, warm pleasure!  Fittings were just simple. The mask I wore, I had purchased in Venice more than a decade earlier!

Q: What art project(s) are you currently working on? What is driving your artwork today?

A: Currently I’ve completed the first three series of a collaboration with Liat Choucroun soon to be shown at the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie in the Shops of Wailea. Other new work in my Mid-Century Modern series completed during the pandemic will also be on my new wall at the same gallery. I’m also taking another class from my mentor, Nick Wilton during this time. During Covid I competed nearly 20 pieces.

To find out more about Hermine Harman and her wonderful artwork visit her website at www.hermineharman.com. Also, if you are on Maui go check out her new series being presented at the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie in the Shops of Wailea! If you have any elaborate, intricate gowns or costumes you are dreaming up, get in touch! We would love to help bring your vision to life. Mahalo Hermine for sharing your art and reflections with us. We can’t wait to see your new series!

Fashion History: Art Deco & Erté

Paper dress by Jennifer Oberg. Commissioned by Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center.

I have always been inspired by the artist and designer, Erté. I love his designs so much! Two years ago, I was commissioned by the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center to create a paper dress for their end of the year, annual shopping extravaganza, Hui Holidays. Erté was my primary influence for creating this dress! Find out more about him below…

Born in 1892 in Russia, Romain de Tiroff, known as Erté designed his first dress for his mother at the age of five–a natural talent. Erté left Russia to go live in Paris with the aspirations of becoming a designer in 1910. He worked for Paul Poiret for a year before entering an esteemed illustration career. In 1915, he began his twenty year work relationship with Harper’s Baazar where the magazine included a color illustration by him every month. He created over 240 covers for the magazine! He went on to create entire wardrobes for theatres, screen actresses and Operas. He even created elaborate production designs at the Paris Opera, New York’s Radio City Music Hall and Casino de Paris. 

Erté’s work captured the art deco movement, which was known for having bold geometry, bright colors, order and glamour. Art deco was a very popular design style during the 1920s and 1930s. It drew inspiration from Cubism, Constructivism, Futurism, Bauhaus principles and the de Stijl movement. A significant amount of the architecture, design and art around the world is inspired by Art Deco. Architects Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey drew inspiration from Art Deco when designing the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Look around and see where you notice Art Deco influences in your towns or cities! What art movements and artists are you inspired by? Comment below!

Pictured are some photos of Erté’s work! Click here for more information about the paper dress I made for the Hui! 

 

Sources

https://martinlawrence.com/pages/erte

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ert%C3%A9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Deco

https://www.art-critique.com/en/2020/02/art-deco-art-lesson/

Meet our Sewing Assistant: Sophia

We have a wonderfully talented sewing assistant, Sophia Gallegos. The world needs to know about her because this young woman is going places! Sophia is currently a student in high school who loves all things fashion and design. She sews at the Atelier two days a week and you will be sure to see her in one of her very stylish outfits. We are so excited to share a bit more about Sophia and her inspirations, future goals and visions. ALSO, we will be having a ‘Sophia Style Day’ once a week on our social media accounts to show off her incredible outfits! Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram because you won’t want to miss these outfits!

Q: How did you get interested in Fashion? 

Ever since I was very little I’ve loved to dress up and put on crazy outfits (mostly princess and fairy dresses of course) so I guess my interest in fashion has always been there. When I was in 8th grade I did a school project where I basically got to do something that I was interested in, so I made clothes. It was like a whole mini collection and it made me so happy, so after that Ive been in love with making my own clothes and improving my style.

Q: Can you share a bit about your personal style? What are your inspirations? How do you put together your outfits?

Most of my outfits consist of thrifted clothing, things I buy on Depop, hand me down items or things that I make. I luv thrifting because everything is one of a kind and u r bound to find some funky things, and it’s better for the environment. 

I am really inspired by fashion designers who are pushing the boundaries of fashion and art like Iris Van Herpin and Didu as well as young artists on Instagram who make clothes or jewelry that is very colorful and unique like @petri_kitsch or @klobyklo. 

When I put together my outfits I always pay attention to color, sometimes i like to match all the colors in my outfits but sometimes contrast can be rly nice as well. I also get bored easily so I like to try out a lot of different styles and looks. Accessories are EVERYTHING and since I have a lot of them it’s so easy to spice up any outfit and they are the most fun thing to pick out! Fashion is such a blessing for me because I use it as an opportunity because every morning I sort of get to decide who I am going to be using my style choices.

Q:  What do you hope to be doing in the future? What are your goals with design and fashion?

I would love to be a fashion designer and hopefully have a small line of clothing:)

Q: Are you working on any design projects now? Can you share a bit about your current project?

Lately I’ve been very focused on creating things for my Halloween costume. I am going to be a fairy so I made some painted wings and added some little dangly beads which hang off the wing tips for an extra flourish. I’ve also been very interested in jewelry lately, mostly funky and colorful almost childish looking pieces, so I made a necklace to go with my costume as well. It’s very pink and has little butterflies and hearts on it to give it that fairy aesthetic.

 

Thank you Sophia!! We can’t wait to see where your future takes you! Until then, catch Sophia and her unique outfits every Friday on our Facebook and Instagram! Follow us at @jenniferobergatelier 🙂

Q&A: featuring local clothing shops of Maui

1.0 – Jana Andrews, Owner of TRIBE Maui

What a year it has been! Small business owners have not had it easy during this pandemic. We have been sad to see so many local stores close their doors. To keep things light, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite boutiques of Makawao and Paia for this ongoing series. In this series, you will hear about the passions and inspirations behind these local shops, some words of encouragement for the future, and reflections/lessons on navigating a business during the pandemic. Starting off our series is a Q&A with the owner of TRIBE Maui, Jana Andrews

Q: Tell us about your shop, your ethos and your inspiration for starting your boutique!

A: My love for fashion started very early on….From the age of 3 I was picking out my own outfits and was pretty decisive about what I wore from then on…just ask my mother! Choosing what to wear—and how to wear it—was a type of creativity that I gravitated toward without really understanding the significance of fashion. I could channel Madonna one day and Janis Joplin the next…the inspiration never ended! But as I got older I started enjoying styling other people as well, and I guess that’s where my career in retail was born.

My husband and I moved to Maui 4 years ago and every Friday we enjoyed a date night at Casanova’s. Year after year I would look across the street and tell my husband if I were ever to open up a retail store…the location across the street—where Tribe is located—would be it!   Styling is my passion and both the window expanse and the exposure of this particular space was absolutely perfect for me. When the location became available I jumped at an amazing opportunity…and within 6 very busy weeks, Tribe Maui opened in September 2018. I had been in retail for over 20 years and worked for Urban Outfitters for 13 of those as a Visual Merchandiser overseeing 40+ stores at one point. I learned so much from that career and was able to apply much of that knowledge into the opening and running of Tribe.

Tribe Maui embodies the playful, yet fearless side of our island “Tom Girl”…seamlessly merging retro beach and streetwear with flirty and classic silhouettes to create a unique and unexpected vibe. Her body is an ever-changing canvas representing an innovative and creative sense of style through risk-taking and being true to her imagination. Our Tribe girl enjoys being outdoors and strives to make healthy choices for her mind, body, and soul. She surrounds herself with encouraging and loving people and embraces their individuality. She is bold…she is the leader of her Tribe.  

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the future of your shop and the community?

A: As I continue this adventure, one of my biggest goals is to bring in more pieces that are made locally. There is such an amazing talent base here on Maui—and on outer Islands—and being able to support that within my four walls feels extremely fulfilling. While I love styling and merchandising…I really love buying as well! We’ve got a handful of diverse shopping options in Makawao and I strive to always offer something different and unique.  I adore researching new and upcoming brands and introducing them into Tribe.

Recently, one of my associates showed me a beautiful jewelry line called Kisiwa Designs out of Oahu.  I immediately fell in love with her work as it’s so different from any other local jewelry line I’ve carried so far. Gaeda uses Japanese glass beads to intricately create colorful patterns which can be seen on necklaces, bracelets, earrings….and now face mask straps! I love that no two pieces are the same so you can buy one and gift one to your bestie and never feel like you are wearing the same piece! So clever!!!

While I wanted to bring new brands to Maui and to support local artisans, I truly wanted to create an environment where people could come, hang and decompress. Tribe has become so much more than just a retail space…it has become a second home to me—and my puppy Aiko—and hopefully to many of my customers as well. The absolute biggest win for me on any day at Tribe is watching someone try something on and seeing them absolutely glow in confidence. Their smiles and sheer delight in feeling beautiful not only energize me, but also fuel my desire to continue to do what I do.

Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned from the pandemic so far?

A: As I anniversaried my first year open…I breathed a sigh of relief as so many people said that the first year would be the hardest; however, my relief was short-lived… Covid hit quickly and by March we were forced to close our doors. For the next six weeks I felt like I was in a battle I just wasn’t sure I could win. There were many prayers and many tears… and little by little the darkness began to lift. I taught myself how to build an online store which was my saving grace throughout this process. I evaluated and re-evaluated my business plans and took risks so that Tribe could sustain this uncertain time. But the biggest take-away from all of this is how much I realized I love and adore my community in Maui. I have been supported in so many ways which has encouraged me to keep fighting even when times have been rough. 

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for this amazing community…and their strength has given me the strength to persevere. I have been blessed and am excited to share that communal love and compassion for many fashionable years to come!

~Mahalo Maui

Thank you so much Jana for sharing your story, your reflections, and your hopes! We are so lucky to be a part of this very special community. We wish you much success as you venture forward in your business both online and in store. If you haven’t checked out TRIBE Maui before, then check out their Boutique in Makawao or visit their website at www.tribemaui.com. Now you can purchase their beautiful collection of clothes from anywhere!! Thank you again Jana! Stay tuned for the next Q&A!

 

Dressmaking & Falling in Love

At the Atelier, we do many different things!  We wanted to share a bit more about our custom wedding gowns, what that experience entails, and a little love story of our own.

For many brides it is their first time going through an entire dressmaking process, and it is amazing for them to see how their idea can be transformed into the sample toile, into fabric, and then all the way through to the final, finished gown.” — Jennifer

The custom wedding gown process includes an initial meeting, a design consultation, a visual design, a toile (or sample of your gown), the creation of your final gown, and before you know it, you have your custom wedding gown complete! After you’ve undergone the dressmaking experience, there is one final perk to ensure it is a memory that stays with you forever. A beautiful painting of your custom-made wedding gown will be created by Maui-based artist, Craig Mullins, who also happens to be my husband.

Craig is a wonderfully talented artist and concept designer. He has created art for numerous films: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Babe, Flubber, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Matrix Revolutions, and many other feature films. He has also created art for books, video games, and films. You can find his work at www.goodbrush.com. And if you are wondering how we met…We were both working in Hollywood at the time. Mutual friends set us up on a blind date. Our first date was at the Hollywood Canteen. And you know how people say it was love at first sight, and often you brush it off and think that isn’t actually a real thing? Well, that’s exactly what our first date was, it was simply love at first sight.

So to conclude, the dressmaking process is a very unique and special process curated to you and with you the entire way. It is accentuated with the perk of a one-of-a-kind painting by my husband Craig. And every part of the process is woven with love, care, and the most meticulous attention to detail.

Weddings in the era of COVID-19

Photography by Sean M. Hower (Maui Wedding Vacation Photography)

The start of 2020 began witha bang and a whole lot of promise. However, the pandemic quickly changed that and gave the entire world an unexpected shift of events. We, being a dressmaking and design studio, want to open up the conversation about weddings and the future of weddings in the era of covid-19. Share your thoughts or ideas in the comments below!

In 2019, the Hawaiian islands saw 20,058 weddings within one year. The Knot lists Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island as some of the best destination wedding locations. The average size of an American wedding is 167 people. The average wedding costs ranged from $27,000 to $44,000 between the years 2017 and 2018. So all of these numbers are to say, that for 1. Weddings are expensive! 2. Most weddings have over 100 people (not so easy to socially distance with crowds this big) and 3. Hawai’i ranks high on the list for destination wedding locations. 

Now, in the era of covid-19 when large crowds and numbers are not in the cards, and we are currently in a recession–and perhaps not trying to throw thousands of dollars into a wedding; how do we go about our dream weddings we once fantasized about? How do we make them just as special but without the large crowds and expenses? 

In re-imagining weddings and the future of weddings, our solutions are tiny weddings and elopements. Take the stress out of planning large and elaborate weddings and instead put it into making a beautifully, intimate wedding. Maybe it is simply just you and your partner, or maybe it is just your immediate family, maybe it is right in your backyard, or maybe it is in the jungles of Maui, on the slopes of Haleakalā, under the hidden waterfalls on Maui, or on the beach near the ocean. Suddenly when you downsize your wedding, the possibilities become infinite. Make your wedding day small, intimate, meaningful, and one that you can truly cherish and remember without all the extra stress.

Photography by Sean M. Hower (Maui Wedding Vacation Photography)

A client we worked with a few months ago, Priscilla, had a jungle elopement! Now that just sounds adventurous, beautiful, and exciting! Her wedding day looked surreal! We worked on her wedding dress for this beautiful elopement with her partner. Check out some photos from her elopement below. Photos by Sean M. Hower (Maui Wedding Vacation Photography). 

How are you reimaging your wedding during the pandemic? Comment your ideas below. And stay tuned for some more conversations and ideas about the future of weddings and some friends on Maui curating some dreamy tiny weddings.

 

References

https://wedding.report/index.cfm/action/wedding_statistics/view/market/id/15/idtype/s/location/Hawaii/

 https://www.theknot.com/content/best-destination-wedding-locations 

https://www.brides.com/gallery/american-wedding-study#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Brides%20American%20Wedding%20Study%2C%20most%20weddings%20have,with%20the%20average%20being%20167

https://www.brides.com/gallery/american-wedding-study#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Brides%20American%20Wedding%20Study%2C%20most%20weddings%20have,with%20the%20average%20being%20167

 

A story behind the gown

Designing your own wedding gown can be a very intimidating and stressful process. Sometimes it is much easier to dream up the perfect gown in your head than it is to display on paper or in words to a designer. My favorite part about dressmaking is the fact that it becomes a co-creation. It is a constant dialogue between the designer and the bride to arrive at each detail and decision. In the end, what becomes created is far more than you could have imagined or dreamed of. 

A past bride, Cory, came to me with a vision of her dress in pencil drawing. The design of her dress was as unique and wonderful as she is. I was so excited to bring this dress to life and make Cory’s vision come true! Every detail was a delight to work on, from the back treatment with the crystal buttons to the collar to the black velvet sash. The experience was wonderful, and Cory was an exquisite bride to work with, too! She was an absolute delight and I was so happy to co-create her wedding gown!

Cory Michelle Hall held her wedding at Hui No’eau on October 19, 2019. Photography featured is by Scott Drexler Photography. 

In Cory’s words: 

“I came to Jennifer with only a pencil drawing of my dress. I had come up with what I wanted on that piece of paper, and Jennifer not only met me with the hope that it was possible, she made it happen! Every step of the way, Jennifer was gracious, incredibly kind and her talent and expertise really shined through in each and every detail. It is such a special time in life but it can be stressful as well. Working with Jennifer alleviated the stress and brought focus on the joy.  Every appointment throughout my dress creation to its fruition, was exciting, comforting, professional and full with the gift of Jennifer’s talent. Not only is her work exquisite with a profound attention to detail and her talent incomparable – she is a caring, patient and beautiful human being. All of these things lent to an overall unforgettable and heart-filling experience. Thank you with all my heart for helping the dress I imagined become a reality!”  -Cory Michelle Hall

Restyling your mother’s old gown

One of my favorite projects is to restyle a mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown. It is such a beautiful continuation of a gown filled with so many special memories. It is also a very affordable and sustainable way to re-imagine your wedding day gown. 

Restyling wedding gowns can be very complicated or fairly simple. For some, it is simply about altering the dress to perfectly fit your body, for others it is about finding new ways to highlight the gems of the gown, and for others it is about adding the subtle details to make the gown feel uniquely their own. 

A past bride I worked with, Sara Mason, wanted to recreate her wedding dress out of her mother’s. We collaborated together through every step to finesse the design of the new dress. We had to hand dye the new lace we added to the dress in order to match the original color of the dress. We used a tea-dye to find the perfect match of color. This dress was such a treat to recreate. I always love the challenge of finding new ways to restyle an old dress! 

Here are some words from Sara, herself:

Jennifer is a joy to work with. She is thoughtful, really listens to what you are trying to accomplish with a design and executes it perfectly, promptly and with a keen attention to detail. I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer to recreate my wedding dress out of my mother’s. She consulted me every step of the way so we could collaborate on each aspect of the design. My dress turned out better than I had ever expected and I was so lucky to have found Jennifer to make an idea into reality!” -Sara Mason

We are so happy for you Sara! And what a beautiful and dreamy wedding day you had on the Amalfi Coast in Italy!

*Emiliano Russo Photography

A story behind the gown

Behind every wedding gown is an eventful story. The beautiful bride, Katherine Conyers, pictured above had quite the transformation and adventure with this Matthew Christopher gown. 

It is hard to imagine, but this dress started out as a size 12 and then we took it to a size 2! After our last fitting we had every detail of the dress in perfect place, ready for the big wedding day. Katherine looked gorgeous in her dress!

I was on a vacation in France, when I got a message from Katherine panicking about having issues with her dress. A week before her wedding day, her dress had come back from the cleaner with a ripple on the butt, shrunken, and it wouldn’t zip! I called Katherine from Paris, and talked her through each issue. I scheduled someone I knew in Colorado to do new alterations for the dress right away. Before we knew it, it was as good as new and ready to go! Talk about wedding scares! This dress had quite the adventure!

Some kinds words from Katherine herself:

Jen was INCREDIBLE to say the least. She was able to flawlessly take my dress from a size 12 to a size 2. It was a very tricky puzzle for her and she embraced the massive challenge! She went above and beyond for me and I’m so grateful for her expertise, professionalism and follow-through. She is such a talented woman, I drive by her old Denver studio a lot and think of her often. I would recommend her services over and over again.” -Katherine Conyers

Spring Break Workshops are here!

Spring Break is upon us, and we have some workshops to offer tweens and teens!  The first is a felt flower crown workshop, bringing a touch of Swedish midsummer to Maui.

The second workshop is a beginner sewing workshop, to learn all about the sewing machine, along with basic skills to get started sewing!  After practicing their new skills, the students will make a simple sewing project to take home.

For more information and to sign up for classes, follow this link:  Spring Break Workshops

Mahalo to our models Cienna and Teela!