By Kathryn Unterberger
Couture by Calley, a successful women’s clothing line launched by Calley Gonzalez in 2007, was created to be the embodiment of classy that reaches out and holds the attention of the “working woman.” Gonzalez’s designs are a hybrid of modern fashion and vintage fifties flair, and have landed her feature articles in British Vogue, San Antonio Express News, and previously in the pages of Vicissitude Magazine. Her Spring 2012 line was in Atlanta’s International Fashion week in 2011. This March, Couture by Calley will be introducing its Fall 2015 line for the first time during the company’s expansion re-launch event.
Calley Gonzalez was always a designer at heart, starting to create as a young girl. She kept her inspiration going through her military and engineering years, and then after she was honorably discharged, she began pursuing a career as a designer full-time. She passively studies the trends of the fashion world, but she creates solely on what inspires her: vintage fifties. The beauty inspires the designs, but they are engineered for mobility and comfort.
The dresses featured in this spread are especially unique pieces. They were not created for any of Gonzalez’s collections. They were freely designed without the restrictions of fitting in to a fashion line or consumer demands. Gonzalez believes that sometimes a designer has to create just for the sake of creative inspiration. She stumbled across the materials one afternoon, then, without an idea of what she was going to do, purchased them. Typically, when Gonzalez is working on new material, she already has a calculated pattern and material pre-selected. It is out of the ordinary that she would purchase something without having everything in order.
When she began creating the dresses, Gonzalez draped the material over a mannequin and began sewing the first piece – a blue dress. She got halfway through it before she decided to take it apart and redesign it. The material presented a challenge because knit is harder to work with: the stitching has to be done aggressively because the dress wouldn’t hold its shape. The second time around, she repeated the first step, but started cutting the material. Then she cut the pattern to fit the material, which is typically done the opposite way. This process took Gonzalez about two years from start to finish resulting in the beautiful pieces you see pictured here.
Couture by Calley not only designs products, but also offers an array of services for the consumer. There is Private Label Design and Consulting, where the company provides insight on the client’s illustrations or marketing of a private label. The company also offers Wardrobe Consulting, where they curate an individual’s wardrobe. And Couture by Calley has Ready to Wear material, which can also be custom designed to fit the individual’s needs. And finally, clients can get a completely custom design for both formal and professional attire.
For details about the Couture by Calley re-launch event and to follow the company’s progress, check out www.couturebycalley.com.