Flying Solo Paris Fashion Week (PFW) showcased Bretagne Studio’s “Spring Court” collection on Oct. 2.
Flying Solo is a collection of designers at work together to put on fashion shows to ensure that fashion is cherished. They take applicants who are selected for both New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.
Designer Brittany Schofield, owner of Bretagne Studio, showcased her haute couture collection, “Spring Court,” based on the book series “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas.
She has always loved fashion. She started creating outfits and costumes when she worked for princess parties. She did not want the actresses to wear something one could find off the shelf. She wanted them to feel unique.
“It makes you feel your best,” Schofield said. “Costume design inspires me, [with] costumes you can do whatever you want.”
Schofield has a strong passion for this craft. “It's not an easy industry to succeed in. I love it so much and I cannot give it up. I hope people love it as much as I do.” She hopes others will appreciate her products and cherish the beauty that it portrays.
One of her biggest influences is “Mrs. ’Arris goes to Paris.” This 1950’s story, written by Paul Gallico, follows the story of Mrs. Harris, a cleaning lady in London who yearns to have a Dior dress after seeing it in a client’s closet. She learns the price of the gown and takes the next several years to save up. She then travels to Paris and goes to the House of Dior where she finds the dress of her dreams. I can see how this can inspire someone into making haute couture clothing.
History, 18th century France and the Victorian era are major design influences to Schofield’s creations. “They have a different way the gowns are structured,” Schofield said. Designers like Charles Fredrick Worth and Dior also helped with the inspiration for this collection. “Dior took women’s fashion and made it beautiful again. It is revolutionary,” Schofield said.
Schofield plays off of her sister's creativity. Madison Schofield (@madschofield artist on Instagram), was also a model for her after she got out of the mannequin stage of the creation process. Schofield said bodies are very different from mannequins even though one creates a collection on a mannequin. The designer wants to be able to see what it looks like on a person.
In regard to the day of the show, Schofield was very impressed with the interior decor of the room. It fit well with her 18th-century style of garments. The show was with 30 up-and-coming designers working together and putting on the show through Flying Solo. She was, however, disappointed to not be able to go live on Instagram for those who could not be in attendance.
“The photoshoot elevated the whole experience,” Schofield said. “We got to create something that was mine.” She later added that they were able to go to many different locations across Paris. “Being in Paris for Fashion Week was amazing,” she said.
Schofield was hesitant when asked what her favorite gown was. That shows, again, her passion for her craft. “They all have a special place with me because I created them with my own hands,” Schofield said. She did mention that she loved the beading on silk and multiple layers on one of the gowns. The beading on the dresses is all custom hand-beading. The beading alone took two weeks for one of the gowns.
There is a lot of planning involved with dress making. It starts as a two-dimensional piece, and one needs to figure out how to make it three-dimensional. One needs to take everything into account. It can be very heavy; it needs to flow in the correct way and it needs to be walkable. From the drawing state, to creating a paper pattern, to cutting fabric and all of these steps that one takes to assemble the actual garment, it can take several months. It took a whole year to create the eight total gowns featured.
When I asked Schofield why she picked the book series ACOTAR, she talked about “the merging of costume and couture.” This fantasy series helps portray the “feeling of wonder” that Schofield wanted to represent. She said that “Disney has done so much” and that she wanted to create “something [different] that people would enjoy.” She pulled on 18th-century French fashion when fusing the story and style.
Looking at all of these gowns as a fan of the books, I can picture scenes and feelings that are portrayed on the pages. One gown in particular, the corset mini dress featuring raised floral hand embroidery with a removable silk taffeta cape, carries a strong message to me. For one, it is very structured and secure which is how the main male character wants his bride to feel. It also shows that not everything is as it seems, especially when one only sees one side of a person or thing. The cape on the back gives the illusion of a full dress when viewed from behind. “Dressed up as a doll and trapped…lots of corsets and structure,” Schofield said in regard to how the main character is seen in the book. I love this look.
Another gown I love is the Italian tulle ruffle gown with custom hand embroidery, illusion bodice and sleeves. This gown is incredible. The way the light casts through it and how it has the beading on the sleeves is mesmerizing. This dress, in regard to the book, can also have a few meanings. One being that the main character used many illusions in the second book to get back to her love. Also, she is said to glow at times. The model in this gown is clearly glowing.
Schofield mentioned that she is looking into one of the other courts within the ACOTAR series — Night, Day, Dawn, Winter, Summer and Autumn — for her next collection. She is currently taking custom orders for bridal wear and custom gowns. She would like to eventually take orders for individuals to order these gowns from PFW in a variety of sizes. Schofield hopes to drop a line of limited-edition corsets themed from the book to be accessible compared to the prices for the dresses.
To see more images of the collection and for more information about Bretagne Studio, go to info.bretagnestudio.com or check out @bretagnestudio on Instagram.