Mei Chi of Emcee Couture is a designer and seamstress who designs her own pieces and takes custom-made orders. I first found her site a few weeks ago, and was enamoured by her Infinity BodyCon Dress- have a look, isn't it the most versatile party dress you've ever seen?
When I saw this, I just thought that I had to meet this girl! Mei Chi was nice enough to return my email and to my absolute amazement, agreed to do an interview. She specialises in making the most gorgeous bridesmaid dresses, and every week she creates a dress of her own design. Absolutely in awe.
You blog at Emcee Couture. What is the story behind this name?
Well, My name is Mei Chi. So I wanted something that sounded like my initials ‘MC’ , and Couture meaning dressmaking in French. So it’s really just me, doing what I love best =)
What made you first get into sewing?
When I was younger, I was always fond of making/creating things. So sewing is really one of my favourite ways of executing it. I did quite a bit of role playing as a part of my growing up in the past. I remember making myself a pair of gloves because I was playing an 80’s superstar.
As I grew older, due to the fact that I’m quite petite, I started encountering fitting problems. Dresses’ armholes which are too big for me, or a knee-length dress would end up being a midi dress (midi wasn’t cool back then!) I was frustrated! And of course there were things that I (or my mother, more precisely), felt unwilling to pay for. It just came to me – “I can totally make that!”
So then I started off with my first piece, a smocked off-shoulder top. And after that, I can’t stop finding things that I’d love to try and make. After all, which girls don’t need a new cute dress each week?
What is your most favourite project so far?
It’s really hard to pick one, and I find that my favourite projects are always one of the most recent ones.
Any particular designers who inspire you?
Hmm… I don’t really have one in particular.
What is your design process? Please share how you work your ideas into reality.
More often than not, I get ideas from everywhere! Magazines, TV, the internet etc. I’ll picture it in my head with the details, the colours, the materials and the techniques to be used in each step of making.
When they (my ideas) more structured, I’ll start to doodle and sketch. To be honest, this isn’t really my best skill (sketching) but it solidifies the ideas pretty well. By then, I have a clearer idea of which techniques to use in order to create a certain effect. Next, I’ll draft the paper patterns, followed by cutting them up. Then it will be sewing time!
What does a working regular day look like at Emcee Couture?
I start my day with reading the mail and answering some of them. Then I’ll start working on the orders. I’ve grown to like sewing in the morning recently as I find it quite productive this time of the day. Once a week I use this time to draft new projects.
After I’ll take some time off for lunch and TV or the Internet. I resume with some cutting and more sewing later in the afternoon. Some days of the afternoons are spent trying out new skills, materials, techniques in new creations. This is my favourite time! =)
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on two sets of bridesmaids dresses and some orders. Oh! I have constructed a blazer last week, and I was delighted with the result. It was my first, really did not expect it to seems “proper enough” and wearable =) These blazers are suited to Malaysian hot and humid weather. (Yes, above 30 degrees thoughout the year and that still doesn’t stop us from putting on a blazer just because it’s trendy!)
Will we be able to see this soon?
I update every week! And most of the time I can’t resist updating as soon as it is completed! So yes, each update is indeed freshly baked!!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
With kids on my back, cooking freshly made pasta with basils from my garden! Kidding! Truth is I can’t be sure! There are a lot of things that I feel strongly upon, and I do hope that I’ll get the opportunity to try many different things in life. What is to be certain is that, dressmaking will still be a part of me whether in 10,40 or 50 years time.
Who knows if I’m lucky, I’ll be a Dietitian with a fashion clothing line. I’m different that way =)
Do you sell your work? Where can we buy it?
Yes!! My website is Emcee Couture- www.emceecouture.blogspot.com. I accept Paypal and ship worldwide, drop by to have a look see! =) I'm thinking about putting them up on Etsy too in the near future!
Also I’m currently looking for stockists preferable in Australia, so if you like what I’m doing, feel free to contact me so we can discuss something.
Thank you Mei Chi! x
If you enjoyed this brief preview of Mei Chi's line, have a closer look at more at Emcee Couture! Thank you Mei Chi for taking the time to be interviewed. I love your creations and I hope to see more of your beautiful dresses and designs in Australia in the future.