Hello, my name is Christ and I have a passion for creating perfectly tailored individual fashion. Alongside my designing I work for an expert centre for social research. Being both a change manager and a fashion designer is a natural combination for me. I love focussing on creativity, innovation and change, exploring new networks and connections between them.
I made a contribution to the modernisation of the fashion world by starting a luxury label for wheelchair users. Next I decided to broaden the range of designer items to include the clothing desires of everyone who values quality, style and a bespoke fit. Simply because I love creating beautiful clothes. For walkers and non-walkers alike. For each uniquely beautiful body.
So that’s the story of Chairmelotte New Style in brief.
You can read my full story below.
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THE AWARENESS OF BODY PROPORTIONS
As a child I often got to wear clothes handed down from my older sisters. When I was about nine I realized that dresses that had made them look pretty and gained them compliments from everyone, didn’t have the same effect when worn by me.
Years laterI discovered why. My sisters have my mother’s figure, but I look like my paternal granny. It simply was a matter of different proportions.
Fortunately, my mum was a professional dressmaker and bridal seamstress. She showed me me how to work with patterns, got me sewing and taught me the tricks of the trade. While at university I started following courses to increase my technical skills in pattern-making, to be able to make tailor made clothes for myself. I fell in love with quality fabrics and the magic of turning them into beautiful clothes that were perfect for me. This didn’t go unnoticed and very soon, in my spare time after work, I was busy creating garments for family and friends too.
CREATING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL
I found out that making custom work is really my thing.
And the less ‘average’ a person looks, the more fun I have creating something beautiful for them. To get ever more experienced I invested in more sewing and designing courses and professional sewing machines.
I focussed on pattern making techniques and read books on a costume history.
And started many new habits, like reading fashion magazines to stay up to date, visiting fashion shows and fairs, as well as museums in various countries to see special collections, shopping in Paris for the best fabrics…
THE START OF LUXERY LABEL CHAIRMELOTTE WHEELCHAIR COUTURE
In 2013 I started Chairmelotte, together with my son, who is a graphic designer. We created a couture label for people who live in a wheelchair. As a duo we underlined the importance of the performance, participation and independence of wheelchair users. In our online store Chairmelotte.com we offered clothes that combine elegance and sitting comfort. Adaptive fashion items cut for an optimal fit for the sitting position, featuring special extras that remain hidden from view.
See The Hidden Qualities with an explanation in texts and images of the extra features.
We started with stylish garments produced in small editions, using deluxe fabrics that feel great to wear. At start we had the clothes produced in factories in Bulgaria, later we hired Dutch dressmakers to do the sewing work. We opened an online shop filled with high end ready to wear luxury adaptive clothes, designed for sitting only. We developed a size system of our own to be able to meet the special requirements of wheelchair users.
FANS AND CUSTOMERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Proudly based in the Netherlands we have fans and customers in the United States of America, in the United Kingdom, in Germany, France, Italy, Swiss, Belgium, Sweden, Brasilia, Russia, China and of course in the Netherlands.
Our special ambassador in Los Angeles, graduated fashion journalist Stephanie Thomas from Cur8able, promoted Chairmelotte on Styleogue:
Chairmelotte on Styleogue
ADAPTIVE FASHION REDEFINED
We had a great time making a promotional video with a group of young professionals. We used non-disabled walking models to present sitting-only clothes, designed for ladies and gents living in a wheelchair. As soon as you start walking in this garments, the magic disappears.
Press WATCH THE MOVIE to see the Video Adaptive Fashion Redefined
“We filmed on a swelteringly hot summer day and conditions in the infinity room we used were tropical. But the whole crew worked incredibly hard and the enthusiasm of these young professionals was overwhelming. I was so lucky to work them and the beautiful models.
And will love the result for ever!”
Press Behind the Scenes to enjoy the backstage pics.
MY DESIGNS INCLUDED IN DUTCH TOP DESIGN CAMPAIGN IN CHINA
It was a momentous event when my work was selected as Dutch Top Design and presented in China along with the work leading Dutch designers from various disciplines, such as Studio Dumbar and Daan Roosegaarde. An adventure for all of us, from the models, living in a wheelchair, our Chinese and our English translator, the photographer, the visual designer, to our volunteers we work with. Museum The Mauritshuis in The Hague gave their unique permission for a photoshoot inside the museum, close to Vermeers ‘Girl with a Pearl-earring’.
Press Dutch Design in China to see the presentation.
PHOTOSHOOT IN LOS ANGELES
Lookbook Californian Lovin’
We had a great opportunity to have a photoshoot in Los Angels. Cur8able took pictures of the Chairmelotte garments for a Look Book, Californian Lovin’.
They were very excited about our special edged aprons and the sophisticated cut for the seated body type.
NOTE At Instagram you will find more pictures of the Chairmelotte Collection. See the icon on top of this page.
Chairmelotte New Style
BESPOKE FASHION FOR EVERYONE: BOTH WALKING AND NON-WALKING PEOPLE
Then 2020 came along: time for some changes. First the shift from a web shop selling ready to wear fashion for wheelchair users to made-to-measure wheelchair fashion on demand.
Next: the step to bespoke fashion, but no longer non-walking customers only! It’s my way of promoting and starting a true revolution in the fashion industry. It’s about normalizing the image of wheelchair users. It’s about simply having a mix of fashion customers who can wear beautiful clothes bearing the same designer label. To finalizing the change, the shop Chairmelotte.com was transformed into bespoke Chairmelotte (Wheelchair) Couture.
The techniques I developed for creating garments for the seated body I now use for designing clothes for walking people too. Like extra zippers, some strategically placed pleats or other adaptations to deal with any ‘body issues’ the customer might have and to bring out their best features.
PressGo to Suit-dress to find out how bespoke design can work for you.