One of the top questions I hear after a performance is about my costume. WHO is it? Meaning, what designer created the sparkly magnificence I am wearing.
The WHO for me can vary. I don’t have any one designer that I order from. I have a hard size to fit and I am not the best seamstress so I tend to custom order so I know that it will fit “out the box”. I order my costumes from Maz Couture, Fatima Habib, Eshta Amar, Sahar Okasha, just to name a few. I also order from the well-known designers such as from Bella, Eman and Pharaonics. I have stuck with and continued to order from those designers that I get a consistent fit and good overall quality.
I know, I know, the moment someone says custom order, huge dollar signs bounce up and down in your mind. Sometimes ordering custom CAN be more expensive, but in that price I am paying for originality, fit AND quality. This is where the WHAT in costume buying comes in. I have rarely ever gotten the fit or quality from a “no-name” that I have from a well-established designer. My experience with lesser known designers has included costumes whose rhinestones have fallen off as I have taken it out of the bag- and no, these were not glue on stones. I have had to safety pin a costume together, because the elastic has given out after JUST putting it on and/or the stitching has come loose. Also, where the color and shine on the fabric has worn off after one performance, and usually in a very conspicuous place.
Typically, WHAT you are paying for from a well-known/established designer is a costume that has higher quality materials and fit. I am not going to say that these designers are perfect. There have been cases where the quality that comes from a designer is NOT up to par or there is an issue with the fit. I have had one experience personally and have heard about others from fellow dancers. Usually a simple email or phone call clears up such matters, as long as the request is within reason. (Asking for a costume in purple and upon receipt deciding that you don’t like purple, is not what I could consider a reasonable request.) If a designer is not willing to work with you, then regardless of name, that isn’t a designer that you want to work with.
The final choice is yours. WHO you want to give your hard dance earned money to and WHAT you want in return.
(Up next, the WHEN and WHERE of costumes)