Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rowantree Designs 'Meet Caludia'

Inspired by the French school blouse.   Crisp and bright

I love this print, all peachy and warm

I have been super busy this week, working late into the early mornings finishing off new designs for my autunm/winter collection of dresses, smocks and blouses.  I love the eclectic collection of clothes I put together, I work really hard making sure that each piece is perfect in every way.  No unsightly unfinished seams or button holes,  all my hem lines are generous, not to mention the beautiful fabrics I choose, some from from my vintage collection, others sourced from Japan and Europe. The fabrics, the simple elegant styles and quality are a trademark of Rowantree Design.

I have a long history of fashion in my family, My grand-mere being French was a fabulous couture creating bespoke clothing for the Paris fashionistas and their children, she past this onto my mother and she past it on to me.  My grand-mere always instilled in me that you don't need a wardrobe full of rubbish, you don't walk around with a bin on your back. (French women are very arrogant where fashion is concerned, quality and style are foremost).  Therefore, I have always bought fewer clothes, more expensive, let's say investment pieces, than most of my peers, given that, I learnt from an early age how to style few garments into many outfits using accessories.
When my three daughters were young I made them beautiful clothes just like the clothes that I design and make for Rowantree, every where we went people would go out of there way to comment on their clothes and enquire as to where they could buy them.  I soon had a following of very loyal customers from the right side of town, but in those days I had  one of "those 80's" dream jobs that you could never, not in a million years consider giving up to follow your passion.  Sad!  

So back to my Rowantree  Collection!  I only make a small run in each style, I have fabric left over therefore I can always recut.  I have two shops in the lower East side of NYC that stock a small range, which each season is growing.  I know there is a few celebrity off spring running around in Rowantree.  Yahooo!    There are a few boutiques in the eastern suburbs who would stock my collection at the drop of a hat, but would need to charge triple my online store price to cover there overheads.

I don't do markets anymore as most of the boutique markets just ain't boutique anymore.  I am tired of listening to mothers who love to talk the talk about quality and bespoke clothing for their children, and then tell me that forty dollars or so, is far too expensive to pay for a  beautitful hand made one hundred percent cotton garment thats exudes style and will last a few childhood lifetimes?

At this point you are probably wondering where all these words and thoughts came from, this blog was simply to introduce you to Claudia, but when I started to write the blog,  thinking about how I would describe her to you, I started thinking learning to cut and sew.  My Grand-mere in her thick tonque telling me,
"too much length in the cotton, it won't make you any faster, it just make it ugly"
All these thoughts and words are my passion and the history behind Rowantree.  My history of making classic and quality bespoke clothing for little people.

We all have dreams and passions and today I feel so much lighter for sharing with you mine and why I love it so much.  And to tell you how sad I feel today, that I didn't have the courage follow the dream before.

What's your passion!  Will you find the courage to follow your dream?


  1. Hi Roberta, what a lovely post, so glad you are now following your dream. I'm not sure what direction I'm heading in, I am very naughty and have about ten things on the go all at once, which leaves me feeling very frustrated and then its time to cook dinner and wash uniforms, I'm also very grateful for that. Your Claudia designs are beautiful.x

  2. I love the "Claudia" I always gravitate towards sweet little styles like this. What pretty little florals too!

  3. Oh ... mon ... dieu!

    It is divine, & desperately makes me want a one-day-little-girl! :)

    Will you have an Auntumn/Winter collection for little boys? I cringed at the thought of people haggling your prices, awful. They are timeless pieces, & I am glad you don't have to go to market any more :)

    Keep creating! Your grand-mere would be oh so proud! xx

  4. Oh my, if only I had a pink one!!! Both tops are absolutely divine and exactly how I would dress a little girl! So looking forward to following along with you. As for my dream... it is something I have thought a lot about recently.... just not sure which one exactly to pursue. I hope I work it out one day! xx

  5. Good for you, never let up on your dreams. Very few of us get the chance to follow them through. Great post, thanks for sharing. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  6. I love these designs, but maybe I'm partial to them because they have my name. Lovely choice, if I do say so!

  7. Thank you for sharing your dream Roberta, I have a soft spot for the name Claudia.
    My mother instilled the saying quality not quantity in me as a child, and it still is always in the back of my mind.
    People often ask me, why aren't you working with food, as it is such a focus for us.
    I know that I'm too scared to jump into the deep end, but I think, at the back of my mind is a dream to work somehow/somewhere with food.
    My day job pays our bills, but it doesn't really inspire me!

  8. Your designs are lovely Roberta and it sounds like they are not only well made but made with love and care. xx


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