All our dresses are handmade in very limited edition with one per size only and our collections are constantly renewed! But who is the artist behind our designs and where does she find inspiration?
Meet our “Queen of Smocks” : Monique Ramahay! Discover the creative soul behind Charlotte sy Dimby!

We could write an entire book on our talented 76 years old founder but in this article we will focus on her design process! We will say no more and let Monique share in her own words!

Handmade party pearled smocking - The story of our brand and know-how : the Charlotte sy Dimby design process
Textile is my starting point!  To create I first need to be inspired by a fabric, I would even say I need to be physically attracted by it. A fabric has a color, a weight, a specific glow and a texture, it must be pleasant to the eyes and the fingers : all my senses must be seduced.
When I choose my fabrics, I feel just like a child entering a huge candy store! It is a key part in my design process which I particularly enjoy. The mere sight of a bright pile of cotton poplin, a pretty print or a glowing organza can create an echo within me or revive buried memories. I pick each and every single one myself. It is my playing field : I am fascinated by the never ending opportunities it offers. I love to mix and match them and come up with unexpected twists. I can spend hours at the atelier finding the perfect print for a collar or detail.
Beautiful red taffeta smocked dress, the story and know-how of our brand : The Charlotte sy Dimby design process

Once I fall in love with a fabric my imagination starts to whirl and design ideas start to flow: textiles speak to me and very quickly become garments in my mind! I could almost draw them straight from the fabric. They guide my inspiration and make me travel through time and space! 

Childrens's dress collection plan, the story behind our brand and know-how, the design process
I then decide on the shape and cut and quickly move on to the smocks and embroideries, another very important element of the design process. Looking back, I think what first attracted me to this delicate and sophisticated know-how was the colour diversity. Oscar Wilde once said that  “mere color can speak to the soul in a thousand way” and I totally agree. I am very demanding on the matter and can start a smocking pattern several times before finding the correct color harmony. It is very subtle and getting the right shade thread can be quite challenging. But what a joy once I feel fully satisfied, it is the same feeling as a painter in front of his finished work.
Flower embroidery design, the story of our brand and know-how, the Charlotte sy Dimby design process

Indeed I consider smocks and embroideries a bit like a painting, only with a needle! Actually the term needle painting exists to define the handmade technique of blending long and short stitches to create realistic pictures. Not only are there unlimited colour possibilities but also an incredible number of stitches, creating different volume effects. It is never a flat surface!

Handmade embroidery, needle painting, the story behind our brand and know how, the design process

Creating limited editions is a way to challenge my creativity. I put my love and passion into each and every design. It is like giving birth to a new child each time! And what a joy to then see our Charlotte sy Dimby dresses worn by happy little girls and cherished by families!

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