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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    November 21st, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, February 2011, New York

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: www.elkewalter.com // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‘BURKHALTER couture’

    Juli 19th, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, October 2010, Geneva

    speakfashion: Stéphanie, what encouraged you to enter the glitzy and glamorous world of fashion?

    BURKHALTER couture: Well, I’ve already developed a special interest for classic drawing and oil painting in my earliest childhood. Being a very reserved and solitary child, I spent entire days in my room for drawing, contained in my world of fantasy. At the age of 16 I began an international Model career which made me travel in every corner of the world. With this experience I decided to unite fashion with drawing and I attended the prestigious fashion school ‘Marangoni’ in Milan. I obtained my diploma in 2005 and worked with many Italian fashion companies ever since. During this time I started to draw my own collection. In 2008 BURKHALTER couture was born.

    speakfashion: How would you describe your label and what’s the basic style of ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: BURKHALTER couture proposes a sensual timeless line, handmade in Italy. We understand ourselves as no season Haute Couture label with juvenile tendencies maintaining nevertheless some classical and luxurious style. Within this understanding I mainly design cocktail and red carpet dresses using typical high quality fabrics like satin, silk, taffeta stretch, and cadi revers. Our intense Haute Couture style addresses especially women who are sensual and sure of themselves. Although my collections are not limited I mostly create dresses since I love the fact that woman only look perfectly feminine in a dress.

    speakfashion: For you personally, what’s the biggest challenge in designing couture?

    BURKHALTER couture: The biggest challenge is always the transformation of my ideas. It is sometimes slightly tricky to get these crazy and nonspecific thoughts into an actual dress. After I have an idea in mind I usually start to work with materials, touch them, feel them and try to get them to work on the mannequin. Then I have to draw some sketches that are similar to the original but a little less crazy but more wearable.

    speakfashion: Is Haute Couture truly wearable for average people with an average lifestyle or is it still kind of an artsy hobby for wealthy women?

    BURKHALTER couture: I would say that basically everybody could wear Haute Couture. However, the haut couture approach is very expensive and requires a very wealthy target group for this reason. That means that the actual Haute Couture target groups are jet set women between 25 and 65 who are living literally in the high societies around the world. And that’s the good news though: Haute Couture won’t die because there always will be very wealthy people around.

    speakfashion: Ok, let’s talk about the budget then. What’s the price range of your actual collection?

    BURKHALTER couture: My collection starts with pieces for 1.500 Euros and can go up to 4.200 Euros depending on the actual piece, fabric and sewing. My best seller is actually this beautiful dress in gray cadi revers which I gave the name ‘Purity’ because of its clear line. My customers love the clarity of the line that gives them the opportunity to wear this dress for different occasions.

    speakfashion: Compared with ready to wear fashion what would you say: Is Haute Couture the true trendsetter that dictates the rules for upcoming Ready to Wear styles?

    BURKHALTER couture: Haute Couture is high end of sewing, high research and therefore the high end of a Ready to Wear. Haute Couture is the one and only trendsetter particularly because it comes out earlier than ready to wear and works as sort of the genesis for new collections. Both of them are working with the same base but the craziness and the ideas are truly pushed by Haute Couture designs. Although Ready to Wear is certainly the trendsetter for Fast Fashion.

    speakfashion: Well, that sounds obvious. Thanks for sharing with us. Would you let us finally know what’s next for ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: I’m thinking of moving into another country right now. I’ll probably go to the U.S. sometime soon since there are still a lot of opportunities to promote and evolve my label. We’ll see.

    speakfashion: Well, good luck then if you really going to hop over the pond and thank you for this interesting chat.

    Speaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter Couture
    Wanna touch base with ‘Stéphanie Burkhalter’?
    BURKHALTER couture – Geneva Headquaters

    BURKHALTER couture // 129, Rue de Lausanne // 1202 Geneva
    P: + 41 (0) 22 732 47 85 // Email to Stéphanie Burkhalter

    W: www.burkhaltercouture.com // View it on google maps.

    Catch up with BURKHALTER couture on Facebook or Twitter

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Burkhalter Couture in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’s Fall 2012/13 Couture Show


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    Demi-Couture

    Januar 6th, 2012

    Demi-couture is a French word and means literally translated ‘half-couture’. Since it relates to the fashion term ‘haute couture‘, custom-made high sewing, the more detailed version of its meaning would be “half-custom-made women’s clothing.” Due to the ‘demi’ (= half) in front of the ‘couture’ the term demi-couture is more classified under ready-to-wear in the fashion business.
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    High Fashion

    Juni 16th, 2011

    High fashion aka high sewing or high dressmaking is translated from the French word ‘haute couture‘ and refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is usually made out of high-end and therefore expensive fabrics. The designs are always sewn with attention to detail and finish which is often a very time-consuming process.


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    Februar 1st, 2011

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: www.elkewalter.com // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‘BURKHALTER couture’

    Oktober 26th, 2010

    speakfashion: Stéphanie, what encouraged you to enter the glitzy and glamorous world of fashion?

    BURKHALTER couture: Well, I’ve already developed a special interest for classic drawing and oil painting in my earliest childhood. Being a very reserved and solitary child, I spent entire days in my room for drawing, contained in my world of fantasy. At the age of 16 I began an international Model career which made me travel in every corner of the world. With this experience I decided to unite fashion with drawing and I attended the prestigious fashion school ‘Marangoni’ in Milan. I obtained my diploma in 2005 and worked with many Italian fashion companies ever since. During this time I started to draw my own collection. In 2008 BURKHALTER couture was born.

    speakfashion: How would you describe your label and what’s the basic style of ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: BURKHALTER couture proposes a sensual timeless line, handmade in Italy. We understand ourselves as no season Haute Couture label with juvenile tendencies maintaining nevertheless some classical and luxurious style. Within this understanding I mainly design cocktail and red carpet dresses using typical high quality fabrics like satin, silk, taffeta stretch, and cadi revers. Our intense Haute Couture style addresses especially women who are sensual and sure of themselves. Although my collections are not limited I mostly create dresses since I love the fact that woman only look perfectly feminine in a dress.

    speakfashion: For you personally, what’s the biggest challenge in designing couture?

    BURKHALTER couture: The biggest challenge is always the transformation of my ideas. It is sometimes slightly tricky to get these crazy and nonspecific thoughts into an actual dress. After I have an idea in mind I usually start to work with materials, touch them, feel them and try to get them to work on the mannequin. Then I have to draw some sketches that are similar to the original but a little less crazy but more wearable.

    speakfashion: Is Haute Couture truly wearable for average people with an average lifestyle or is it still kind of an artsy hobby for wealthy women?

    BURKHALTER couture: I would say that basically everybody could wear Haute Couture. However, the haut couture approach is very expensive and requires a very wealthy target group for this reason. That means that the actual Haute Couture target groups are jet set women between 25 and 65 who are living literally in the high societies around the world. And that’s the good news though: Haute Couture won’t die because there always will be very wealthy people around.

    speakfashion: Ok, let’s talk about the budget then. What’s the price range of your actual collection?

    BURKHALTER couture: My collection starts with pieces for 1.500 Euros and can go up to 4.200 Euros depending on the actual piece, fabric and sewing. My best seller is actually this beautiful dress in gray cadi revers which I gave the name ‘Purity’ because of its clear line. My customers love the clarity of the line that gives them the opportunity to wear this dress for different occasions.

    speakfashion: Compared with ready to wear fashion what would you say: Is Haute Couture the true trendsetter that dictates the rules for upcoming Ready to Wear styles?

    BURKHALTER couture: Haute Couture is high end of sewing, high research and therefore the high end of a Ready to Wear. Haute Couture is the one and only trendsetter particularly because it comes out earlier than ready to wear and works as sort of the genesis for new collections. Both of them are working with the same base but the craziness and the ideas are truly pushed by Haute Couture designs. Although Ready to Wear is certainly the trendsetter for Fast Fashion.

    speakfashion: Well, that sounds obvious. Thanks for sharing with us. Would you let us finally know what’s next for ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: I’m thinking of moving into another country right now. I’ll probably go to the U.S. sometime soon since there are still a lot of opportunities to promote and evolve my label. We’ll see.

    speakfashion: Well, good luck then if you really going to hop over the pond and thank you for this interesting chat.

    Speaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter Couture
    Wanna touch base with ‘Stéphanie Burkhalter’?
    BURKHALTER couture – Geneva Headquater

    BURKHALTER couture // 129, Rue de Lausanne // 1202 Geneva
    P: + 41 (0) 22 732 47 85 // Email to Stéphanie Burkhalter

    W: www.burkhaltercouture.com // View it on google maps.

    Catch up with BURKHALTER couture on Facebook or Twitter

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Burkhalter Couture in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’s Fall 2012/13 Couture Show


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    High Dressmaking

    April 5th, 2010

    High dressmaking aka high sewing or high fashion is translated from the French word ‘haute couture‘ and refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is usually made out of high-end and therefore expensive fabrics. The designs are always sewn with attention to detail and finish which is often a very time-consuming process.


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    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    High Sewing

    April 5th, 2010

    High sewing aka high dressmaking or high fashion is translated from the French word ‘haute couture‘ and refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is usually made out of high-end and therefore expensive fabrics. The designs are always sewn with attention to detail and finish which is often a very time-consuming process.


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    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Haute Couture

    April 5th, 2010

    Haute Couture is a French word and means high sewing or high dressmaking. It refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is usually made out of high-end and therefore expensive fabrics. The designs are always sewn with attention to detail and finish which is often a very time-consuming process.


    tell-a-friend

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    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,