Fashion designer Rosie Martin wants to show the world how to make their own DIY couture.
In a shopping world smothered with rack after rack of expensive, one-size-fits-all, brand name clothing, the everyday fashion gal needs a major change, which is exactly what Rosie Martin has to offer. Rosie runs the company DIYCouture, a fashion-forward website whose ultimate goal is to make high-end, fashionable clothing more accessible to the general public. She says that her goal is to provide an alternative to pricy couture by showing women around the world that they have the option to make, not buy. “DIY” stands for “do-it-yourself,” a mindset that has become increasingly familiar in recent years. Rosie’s initiative is similar to others of this generation, whose main goal seems to be creating an accessible, eco-friendly alternative to mainstream fashion, while at the same time adding personality and edge.
Rosie’s interest in fashion began from a very early start. She says, “[I] always had really strong ideas about what I wanted to wear. At about seven years old I was really attached to a pair of flowery leggings and a canary yellow sweatshirt made for a large man, which hung around my knees.” Striving to fit in was never a goal of Rosie’s, and she realized early on the lack of originality in high-fashion. “It was because I was completely unfashionable that I felt I needed to make my own clothes, as the high street shops in Britain, which were always filled with what was currently trendy, weren’t stocking all the colorful and disgusting clothing I imagined myself wearing!” Which is why, without question, it is so easy to see why Rosie feels passionate about the DIY movement. “To DIY is to get pleasure from building something from scratch, rather than receiving something ready-made at the snap of your fingers,” she says. “For me, making and sharing is what makes people people. In the current way we have organized ourselves globally, we most commonly share what we make through the universal money translator, and we often need money to get something made.”
DIYCouture was created with the simple manifesto of aiming “to help democratize personally tailored clothing, making unique garments accessible to anyone – so we no longer have to merely gaze at the catwalks as if they are a high end art exhibition.” The website offers books of patterns and how-to’s available for purchase that create a step-by-step guide to creating your own clothing. It assists those interested in creating their own designs, and offers the catchy slogan “Be your own sweat shop,” encouraging women to piece together their own wardrobes by hand. As far as looking towards the future, Rosie hopes to finish publishing all of the books and perhaps even begin including textiles in the sales. She finished by saying, “This is a series of 12 books and so far I have only published three, so I am only a quarter of the way through the full collection... Something I would like to do is work with a sewing machine manufacturer to make their instruction manuals more user-friendly in a DIYcouture way, with pictures and colourful diagrams. I have also thought about working with young textile designers to produce unusual, fairly-traded or sustainable textiles to be sold with the books in cuts of 3 meters.”