‘Behind the Seams’ – Meet the Calèche Team
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.
We have all been affected by COVID in many different ways over the past few years. You may have noticed a visible shift in ideas and opinions on the nature of the globalised fashion industry. Ultimately, international manufacturing is a big part of our world and brings with it many positives and benefits. However, we have certainly seen a long overdue appreciation for Australian Made.
Over the past few years we have had many conversations with our brides about how the COVID global shutdowns 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.
International manufacturing is important – but it can be harder to demand transparency over ethical and sustainable practices and to build a reciprocal relationship of trust. For some brides, building a relationship with those who are making your gown is so important for the made to measure process. A face to face connection builds trust and rapport. It helps us understand you and exactly what your expectations are. This is something we are so grateful to be able to offer to our brides and is the reason we have stopped wholesaling across Australia, in order to focus on providing an exclusive and intimate made to measure experience.
So, without further ado – lets introduce the faces of Calèche. These are the women who make your gown. The talent and hard-working hands behind the reputable South Australian label that without these women, Calèche simply would not be.
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’. 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 / 28 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.
Libbi – Couture Designer & Store Manager / 6 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 Manager & Admin Assistant / 4 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 sustainable clothing, called Valerie & Bob.
Laura – Handwork & Workroom Supervisor / 4 years
Laura is a co-team leader at Calèche and has been a part of the team for 4 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.
Elana – Bridal Consultant & Handwork / 1 year
Elana is one of our gorgeous new front of house faces, working for Calèche as a bridal consultant. Elana is also training in the workroom as a handworker and seamstress. In her own time, Elana enjoys hairdressing, travelling, and keeping fit with boxing and crossfit.
Naomi – Bridal Consultant & Handwork / 1 year
Naomi is another new addition to our wonderful sales team, joining Calèche just under a year ago. Naomi’s roles include bridal consultant and handwork, specialising in our veils. When she’s not helping brides find their dream gown, Naomi loves to travel and experience different cultures and cuisines.
Jo – Fitter & Patternmaker / 4 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 / 15 years
Kerren has worked with Calèche for 15 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 – Seamstress / 5 years
Daniella is one of the friendly faces you might see during your fitting process. Daniella’s day in the workroom typically involves fittings, and machining. Outside of the workroom Daniella loves the beach, coffee and baking for family and friends. And most excitingly, Daniella recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world!
Wendy – Fitter, Patternmaker, Seamstress & Workroom Supervisor / 2.5 years
Wendy is a team leader at Calèche and is one of the friendly faces you might see during your fitting process. Wendy studied a Masters in Sustainable Fashion and Textiles and has been making wedding dresses ever since. Wendy’s flexible role includes design, fittings patternmaking, sewing and handwork. Wendy is hands on and always has a projects on the go from cooking to knitting, sewing and crochet.
Jackie – Handwork / 6 months
Jackie is a new face on the handwork table. Jackie’s daily tasks typically include hemming gowns, hand-stitching delicate lace and aplying any other finishing touches to a gown. In her own time Jackie lovess getting outside, especially for a hike or to take her kids to the beach for a snorkel!
Rosa – Handwork
Rosa is another brand new face on the handwork table. Fashion has always been a passion for Rosa and after recently completing her Bachelor in Fashion, Calèche is Rosa’s first job in the industry. When asked what she enjoys most about her work Rosa says ‘looking over a garment for the last time, knowing how much work each team member has put into it’.
Alie – Cutter, Seamstress & Handwork / 4 years
Alie joined the Calèche team 4 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 9 years – regularly performing and making costumes for herself and others.
Willow – Cutter & Handwork / 5 years
Willow (our self proclaimed crazy cat lady) has has been in the bridal industry full time since the age of 17 and been a member of the Calèche team for 5 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 also welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world last year!
Elena – Fitter & Seamstress / 1 year
Elena is one of our couture seamstresses and one of the lovely faces you might see during your fittings. Elena has been sewing since she was 7, beginning with making clothes for her dolls! Now in her spare time Elena makes clothes for herself and others. When she’s not sewing Elena loves spending time with her family, cooking and going for long walks.
Ty – Seamstress / 17 years
Ty has been a part of the Calèche family for 17 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.
Julia – Seamstress / 10 years
Julia has been a member of the Calèche team for 10 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 / 9 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 / 32 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).
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.
Eric – Company Director & Administrative Manager
Eric has been working for Calèche for over 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.