Copycat Couture
June 6, 2011 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I need someone to copy a dress without taking it apart (preferably in NYC, but I'll consider shipping it!)

I am not great with fashion and clothing - in fact, I had to hire someone to dress me for work! But I have one really lovely dress that I wear to formal events that makes me look like a million bucks. It's brown silk, with a rather complicated ruching-type pattern in the front.

Every time I wear the thing, I worry it will be the last - the dress is five years old now, and starting to show signs of wear. I'd love to bring it to someone, and have them make me a bunch of new dresses with the same pattern! I'm willing to drop some bucks on this, I just want my original to be returned to me safely and without holes. I don't want to lose the original in the process. I've Googled the heck out of custom tailors (all seem to be men's, in my area) and looked on Etsy and AskMe to no avail. Surely, this service must exist somewhere? Help me, Obi-Wan, you're my only hope.
posted by mccn to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Could you contact your style consultant and see if they have anyone who could do this for you?
I wouldn't hesitate to ask any of the men's tailors in your area as they themselves may offer this service or if they have any recommendations about those who do.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 7:27 AM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: @tipsyBumblebee - d'oh! That's a great thought. I have reached out to her and I'll see what she says, and I will call around, too, if no MeFites have direct recommendations.
posted by mccn at 7:31 AM on June 6, 2011

I know some tailors can do this - obviously it's easy on very simple garments (I've seen it done with men's shirts), but it's worth a try with your dress. Why not call up your neighborhood tailor and ask their advice?
posted by Sara C. at 8:34 AM on June 6, 2011

There are a vast array of dressmakers out there who specialize in knocking off prom dresses and bridesmaids gowns from nothing more than catalog pictures, so you might want to look around with an eye to that market.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

You may also be able to contact drapers/patternmakers at local theatre establishments - if they have patternmaking skills, a lot of them do prom/fancy dress stuff on the side. Please get references first, though!
posted by needlegrrl at 10:14 AM on June 6, 2011

Tailoring Room, 42 Clinton Street, in the LES.
I've never used them, but a shop owner that I buy a lot of dresses from says that they are good with complicated tailoring, and they have a sign out front that advertises the very service that you are looking for.
posted by newpotato at 11:03 AM on June 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

mustafa at laura & melinda, 137 rivington st (between norfolk & suffolk) on the lower east side. he does patternmaking and designs his own dresses, so he costs slightly more money but does more complicated work better than other tailors in the neighborhood, most of whom mainly do hemming and repairs for their bread & butter. i've brought stuff to him that other guys in the neighborhood have turned down and he's always done right by me.
posted by lia at 2:05 PM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: My fashion lady didn't have anyone she could recommend for this service, but a friend pointed me to: Madame Paulette Custom Couture Cleaners (1255 Second Avenue, near 66th Street; 212-838-6827). I haven't seen the finished product yet, but they assure me they can copy the dress! I will let you know how it turns out.
posted by mccn at 6:11 AM on June 13, 2011

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