About

Our Vision 

 

Form without function has no purpose.  Function without form has no meaning.  A designer's job is to cleverly disguise usefulness in desirable objects so that we can be more efficient without more effort.  The result is what we call elegance.

   ~ Erica Waddell

 

 

Our Philosophy

 

Haute couture originated as small-batch, artisanal tailoring, but since the 1950s, there has become a vast divide between its original intent and its current reality.  Before the supermodels and glossy spreads showing off thousand-dollar wares, there were expert tailors who innovated the way we dress - the wall that protects us from and displays us to the outside world.  

 

Our Process

 

Now, most of what is called haute couture is not cut and sewn by the designer as is done at the Erica Waddell Work/Shop.  The idea of small batch production and tailor-made clothing doesn't match the global demand for conspicuous consumption that most major fashion labels cater to.  

 

However, small batch creation is not the antithesis of ambitious business pursuits. It's actually more ambitious than the mass-market production that floods store shelves. Making a few items at time and just-in-time is a gutsy attempt to reduce waste, reconnect with clients, and refocus commerce on quality rather than quantity. The funny thing is, small batch fashion is just as versatile as high fashion and far more nimble than mass market fast fashion, because designers like Erica Waddell can react instantaneously to market demand while still maintaining an artistic vision in more deliberate collections.

 

The designer benefits from small batch creation through less capital outlay, lower inventories, and creative freedom.  But the consumer experience benefits also.  Lower overhead means lower prices for comparatively high-quality items.  And artisanal production means tailor-made clothing, the literal meaning of haute couture. Our focus on insourcing cut-and-sew, local sourcing when possible, and direct consumer interaction at our Work/Shop means that we can better meet the needs of our stockists and our customers by giving them exactly what they individually want.

 

But there's even more to it still.  When we wait for things, we tend to appreciate them more. The craftsmanship necessary to create the clothes in one's closet far exceeds the cost that most of us are willing to pay for it. Yet, too often, we're sold the idea that paying more is the price for quality. In reality, the cost itself is affordable because the real price for quality is patience.  We buy clothing with less forethought when we buy mass market ready-to-wear items, which means that we get whatever's on the rack. When individual shoppers plan ahead for their needs rather than taking whatever is at the mass market store, it allows artisans like us to make something truly special that last and last. Don't just shop for clothes! Invest in our craftsmanship and savor the results.

Our Policies

For information on sizing, returns, and exchanges, see our store policies here:

POLICIES.

Custom Orders

From men's suits to women's swimsuits, we do made-to-order clothing. Pick the fabrics from our selection of thousands, specify every last button and stitch, and get a garment that fits you in every way. Find out more by clicking here: BESPOKE SERVICES.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Erica Waddell doesn't run a typical shop, so it follows that she isn't exactly a typical designer. Meet the designer behind the label - a handmade renegade and Harvard-educated entrepreneur.

VISIT THE WORK/SHOP

The Work/Shop is part retail store and part design studio. Get the full experience of personalized style and VIP treatment the next time you're in Southern California. Fashion your way is within your budget.

© Erica Waddell.  

All rights reserved.

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All images copyrighted by Kimberly Denny Photography or Rolling Love Photography.

All rights reserved.

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