‘Behind the Seams’ – Meet the Calèche Team
With the current unsettling state of the world, many of us have seen that which we take for granted close down around us. We have all been affected in many different ways – the longly anticipated special occasion of weddings being no exception. During this time we have had many conversations with our brides about how the global shutdown affects us and what to expect for their dress process. Fortunately for us we are a proudly Australian owned, designed and made company – all our gowns are designed and made right here within our South Australian boutique. This has meant that we have been able to avoid international delays and keep our workroom running.
We really want to express our gratitude for your continued support during this time – it helps to secure not only the future of our business, but also the future of Australian manufacturing. So, influenced by the #WHOMADEMYCLOTHES campaign by Fashion Revolution, we took this opportunity to provide you with a little behind the scenes look into the our workroom and the faces behind Calèche.
This is where the magic happens – our busy workroom just outside the Adelaide city centre in Norwood. With dedicated areas for design, cutting, sewing and handwork, the bustle of the workroom just flows – we call it ‘organised chaos’. Actually, our workroom and boutique are located within the same building, and so that means when you visit us for your appointment we are more than happy to give you a tour of the workroom in action.
Liz – Creative Director & Head Designer / 26 years
As head designer and creative director Liz is in charge of designing collections and providing one on one consultations with brides, including specialist fittings for individualised styles. Liz has been with Calèche for over 26 years and co-runs the business with the second-generation owners, her husband Herve and brother in law Eric. Before Calèche, Liz studied Fashion in the UK and worked in London, designing fashion for high street brands such as Top Shop and H&M. Liz is passionate about sustainable fashion and is working with her daughter Jess to create a range of linen overalls.
Libbi – Couture Designer & Store Manager / 4 years
Libbi is our beloved Couture Designer and Store manager. With 42 years of experience in the industry Libbi has had the pleasure of designing for many shapes, beautiful brides and celebrities. As a couture designer Libbi works with our brides to design and customise their gown. For Libbi – the passion to design and see that beautiful finished gown come to life is extraordinary and rewarding.
Jess – Social Media & Shop Assistant / 2 years
Jess is the face behind our social media and keeping our website up to date with new collections (and some of the more boring admin jobs on the side). Jess is also in charge of communicating with our past brides so that we can share their beautiful wedding photos with you. As a side project, Jess and her mum Liz have created their own range of Adelaide-made linen overalls called Valerie & Bob.
Laura – Handwork & Workroom Supervisor / 2 years
Laura is a co-team leader at Calèche and has been a part of the team for 2 years. Laura’s day typically involves handwork, applying finishing touches to gowns and organising work for other team members each day. Being a busy gal, Laura’s side hustle is ‘Laura Jayne Wicks’ – a leather accessory business designed and made in Australia.
Jo – Patternmaker / 2 years
Jo is one of our patternmakers – who particularly enjoys the challenge of creating patterns for unique custom designs. Jo has been a patternmaker for swimwear, lingerie and bridal labels and owns her own business ‘Daydream Patterns’ selling digital home sewing patterns online. When Jo isn’t at work you might find her enjoying yoga, reading or walking her cavoodle Rigby on the beach!
Kerren – Handwork / 13 years
Kerren has worked with Calèche for 13 years, since April 2007. A country girl at heart, Kerren is a long distance shooter and a bit of a social butterfly. In the workroom Kerren is the last stop your gown will see – applying the finishing touches, handwork and embellishment to make the gown beautiful; as well as finishing veils and helping with wholesale orders.
Daniella – Fitter, Patternmaker, Seamstress & Workroom Supervisor / 3 years
Daniella is a team leader at Calèche and is one of the friendly faces you might see during your fitting process. Daniella’s day in the workroom typically involves fittings, patternmaking, machining and communicating with wholesale customers. Outside of the workroom Daniella loves the beach, coffee and baking for family and friends.
Wendy – Bridal Consultant, Patternmaker & Seamstress / 6 months
Wendy is the newest face at Calèche, joining the team in 2019. Coming from South Africa, Wendy studied a Masters in Sustainable Fashion and Textiles and has been making wedding dresses ever since. Wendy’s flexible role includes design, patternmaking, sewing, handwork and is an important member of the sales & customer service team as well. Wendy is hands on and always has a projects on the go from cooking to knitting, sewing and crochet.
Alie – Seamstress & Handwork / 2 years
Alie joined the Calèche team 2 years ago as a handworker and seamstress. Alie loves the creativity and passion of her job and getting to work with beautiful fabrics to create dresses that really are works of art. Outside of work Alie loves dancing and has been a belly dancer for 7 years – regularly performing and making costumes for herself and others.
Willow – Cutter & Handwork / 3 years
Willow (our self proclaimed crazy cat lady) has been a member of the Calèche team for 3 years as a fitter, cutter, handworker and the most importantly – the coordinator of chocolate Fridays. When asked what she enjoys most about her work Willow said ‘seeing brides faces light up when they put on their finished garment’. Willow is one of the faces you might see during your fitting process and has been in the bridal industry full time since the age of 17.
Julia – Seamstress / 8 years
Julia has been a member of the Calèche team for 8 years and has the fun task of working on developing new collections with designer Liz. Julia is a big part of bringing Liz’s designs to life from machining to handwork and lace placement. When asked what she enjoys most about her work at Calèche Jules replies ‘solving the puzzles of lace placement, all the people I work with, cake/chocolate Fridays and escaping my children’.
Angelina – Seamstress / 7 years
Angelina is one of our couture seamstresses and is with your gown through most of its construction phase, including corsets, machining and lace placement. Angelina loves the process of constructing beautiful bridal gowns and developed a passion for sewing at a young age from her Russian mother who was a seamstress in China.
Tuija – Seamstress / 30 years
Tuija is our longest running team member at Calèche, having been with us in our Norwood workroom for over 30 years! As a couture seamstress, Tuija loves working with beautiful fabrics and watching them come alive through each step of the process. Also, Tuija is our lunchroom travel guide – with a passion for learning about different cultures and having been to many different places (the favourite so far is Canada).
Ty – Seamstress / 15 years
Ty has been a part of the Calèche family for 15 years as a couture seamstress and often works alongside Julia on constructing many of our new collections. Ty absolutely loves a challenge and when it comes to machining – there is no style too difficult! Also a self-proclaimed shop-a-holic Ty LOVES going shopping.
Eric – Company Director & Administrative Manager
Eric has been working for Calèche for 40 years, joining his parents to run the business whilst studying at University. As second-generation company director Eric loves working with the Calèche team – some who Eric has been working with for over 20 years! Outside of work you’ll often find Eric beach side with his three daughters enjoying an ocean swim, paddle boarding and participating in surf lifesaving club activities.
Hervé – Company Director & Production Manager
Hervé is joint company director of Calèche with his brother Eric. Hervé joined Calèche as a second-generation family member soon after finishing school. At Calèche Hervé juggles his time between production manager, cutter and maintaining control of the workroom music. Hervé and his wife Liz are keen walkers – and recently enjoyed some down time during the COVID break to explore new and challenging walking trails all around the Adelaide Hills.