The Tree of Life leather jacket
The name for this jacket came to me mid-way thru the appliqué. As soon as I realized a root system was forming within my flame inspired tattooing on this piece! The mask also fits into that theme. I did not plan either of these elements, because I like to design my tattoo style appliqués pretty organically. My main goal, is to aesthetically fill in the space created by the shape of my garment, and the pattern pieces. As I get closer to this goal only then, do the details begin to emerge and fill out. So, with the body shape of the jacket in my mind and while creating the muslin fitting garments I began to envision a sort of wrap around motif that worked with the back peplum shape on the jacket. The appliqué, instead of being dictated by a motif of tattooed flames, is inspired by it.
Since I had developed other patterns for my client, we saved a lot of time there. About 15 hours was spent on designing the main body & the pattern making for it.
Almost 100 hours on a single garment is not at all unusual in my line of work.
Overall, creating the appliqué pattern, cutting and prepping all the pieces for the jacket, and the final construction took about 80 hours. It is ALL done by hand. No CAD, no laser cutting, no automated processes at all.
As old school as it may be, I love working this way! And the time involved here is more the norm than the exception. If you look through the bespoke sections of the site there are many projects that have taken at least this amount of time, and some commissions involve much more time. Like this 2 piece gown or this cordovan laced coat.
“A customer once said to me “The thing about hand-made and custom-made, there are only a finite number of pieces possible. There’s no comparison shopping, no price checking, no waiting a month to see if it goes on sale. There it is – it is crafted by hand, by someone who cares passionately about every stitch, every little detail. From the way it fits to how it feels. It’s not mass produced by robots in slave conditions. There’s only one- it’s yours or it isn’t.”
That sort of sums it up perfectly…
Because this is the exact opposite of today’s mainstream, mass produced fashion. It’s “Slow Fashion”, created with one person in mind. As a result, each piece is a personal statement, and more – since we make each piece to fit perfectly, suit perfectly, and last.
If you love a piece you want to wear it – the longer the better!
Different leather choices can completely shift the look and feel of a piece…
For this jacket we chose a lovely washed green lambskin and contrasted it with unique hand-lacquered black lambskin. Together they create a very nice contrast. Our other choice was a washed rich burgundy, which would have been equally beautiful, (and a very different look). The stitching on this jacket, of course had to be green. Overall, this Tree of Life jacket covers 2 out of three of our very favorite leather influences – rock n’roll and western – (number 3 is Mad Max – though if there is apocalyptic couture – we kinda hope it looks like this!)