Revisiting my “Homage” Swan Jacket

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A few weeks ago I realized I had to do inventory –  my studio is very compact and everything is packed away very tightly.  As a result, every time I had to locate something the entire studio would get torn apart!  Had to do something about that.

So while digging thru and counting the skins that have been stashed away,  I found some gorgeous pearlized shades that on their own were not enough to do much of anything with.

I found three skins of a pearly sunflower lamb.  A little mottled, so not all usable.  Some scraps of purple.  2 small pieces of a cool iridescent distressed green cowhide and another – literal – scrap of pink cowhide that I purchased just for the color – thinking I might one day make a bag for myself.

(As if I ever manage to make anything for myself!  I suffer the same syndrome as any fabric hoarder – it’s just much heavier and much more expensive….)

After having watched the first 2 episodes of “Girlboss” (NOT Recommended).   Just for the fact that they featured an Original East West Musical Instrument Co. jacket as a plot point.  I realized I had enough skins in a theme of sorts to re-create my East West Musical Instruments Homage.  My Swan Jacket of some 22 years ago!

So here’s the revisit to my East West Musical Instruments Homage Jacket, aka my ‘Swan’ Jacket.

First of all, I reworked the fit on the jacket again to update it to current standards, keeping it fitted and sleek.  

The appliqué on this style almost doubles the amount of leather you’d usually have in a jacket of this cut.  It also more than doubles the work.

Extra steps were added to the process because I really wanted to conserve that gorgeous pink cowhide (in the hopes of still making that elusive bag one day).  So each of the pink inlays were individually cut, rather than connected and the edges skived so they won’t transfer thru the lightweight purple of the wings. Messy and nasty work with the very primitive skiving tool I use. 

While there’s lots of careful hand cutting, matching gluing and stitching in any piece,  it’s particularly intense with appliqué and inlay work.  There’s roughly 75 pieces of leather cut for this jacket. Then another 10-12 pieces for the lining. 

I can hardly believe I did this jacket in production…

But we did it.  Production is a plus when making something like this –  with so many colors, production helps yields across a run.  

Now,  I offer this jacket on a MTO basis, where each client can chose their own colors.  So besides adding sourcing time, this jacket requires much more leather than it does in a production run with one color-way

This is the nature of Custom Made,  extra time, extra attention and extra care. 

This is what makes a hand-made garment, one-of-a-kind, personal and Rare.  

My MTO has the same attention and care spent on its creation – the difference is in the pattern making.  Using patterns designed and developed to a standard size range cuts back on a ton of labor and time.

The majority of time spent on a custom-made garment is in the pattern making and fitting process. But thats used once for one garment. In made-to-order that same care goes into the development, and is able to be spread across multiple pieces.

My Made-to-Order work is as carefully thought out, designed and fitted, as my custom work, and  crafted as a piece meant to last a lifetime.  It’s just not-one-of-a-kind. 

To me there is no point in working with such beautiful, long lasting and living materials unless the end product is of impeccable standards.  

Neither my custom work or my MTO can be considered “Instant Gratification”.  MTO still takes weeks.

Design, fitting, pattern making, sourcing materials, cutting & final hand crafted construction.  The process demands our utmost respect.  That is how I approach all of the work.

Our work is not comparable at all to any type of RTW item,  it’s an experience more than just a purchase.  It’s holds a much deeper and very personal story…. it’s why I got into design.  It’s a relationship on several levels.  Clothing can say a lot about a person, it can affect mood and create confidence – leather is an especially powerful medium in clothing to the point where it becomes a best friend and cohort, your daily companion and a loyal talisman. There’s no reason to not have fun with any of it either!

Swan Jacket inspired by EWMIC Parrot jacket

Order Our "Homage" Jacket

Unlike its inspiration, our Homage Jacket is cut to fit a modern body and features RiRi zippers in your choice of metals, 2 exterior pockets and 2 interior pockets (sorry, no hidden stash pocket!) and is fully lined in 100% silk. 

The leather finishes & colors are completely customizable by you.

Once your Order is received, we will curate a selection of leathers for you to chose from base on your color preferences.  You’ll receive 3 color mock-ups based on your choices so you can see your options.

Once you have made your selection, your jacket is then cut-to-order and hand-crafted just for you.

Made-to-Order takes approx.  4-6 weeks once your color selections are finalized.  

Our Homage Jacket is available in our standard women’s sizes (2-8) 

Made-to-Order takes approx.  4-6 weeks once your color selections are finalized.  Standard color selections may be found here.

If there is a color you want, but don’t see don’t see, we can usually accommodate. 

Our Homage Jacket MTO in the colors of your choice


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