Over the years I’ve had numerous clients who have asked me to fix a “designer" dress they have bought off-the-rack, all for the sake of the name on the label! Often the dress is unwearable, with broken straps or hems (usually bought at a heavy discount and perceived as a “bargain”) or simply unflattering to the wearer. It happens far more often than you would think.

My very first question to these customers is “Why did you buy it if it’s not wearable?” and they look at me with awkward guilt. That’s not the point of fashion – it’s supposed to make you feel good, feel luxurious and amazing in any piece of clothing that you own – not guilty or ashamed!

So I ask them to put the dress on so I can have a proper look at the way it sits on the body. Unfortunately, most of the time the dress sits terribly - not only is the fabric of poor quality, the price on tag does not match the way that the customer feels or the quality that they have purchased!

The reality is it doesn’t matter if you bought the Versace dress at a sale price and or that Armani dress from DFO. Regardless of the brand or where it is made, if the dress doesn’t fit and doesn’t look good - don’t buy it!

What makes me even more shocked is that these designer gowns are still often heavily over-priced, even when purchased at a sale or discounted rate! If the price tag has too many digits at full price, then work on purchasing clothing that is within your price range or at least suits you!

Often the only reason people purchase these dresses is because of the “designer label” and that doesn’t guarantee quality, style or a reasonable price – regardless of the discount or sale tag. My name is not yet global and no, I’m not a super-star fashion house BUT I absolutely do have an eye for good taste and quality.

I’ve repaired or completely reworked gowns made by local and international celebrated fashion designers in my time, before the Lena Kasparian brand was even launched. Not only does it make me proud that customers have trusted me with the job of renovating these gowns, but it gives me more insight of the way they make the gowns as I get to unpick and dissect the dresses. In the past couple of months, I have done everything from lined and padded wedding dresses, to cut and re-shaped dresses and completely altered the look like the example image above.

All of this means that a dress that previously didn’t look good and wouldn’t be worn more than once (if you got out the door in the first place) has now been transformed from drab to FAB – and so has the wearer. And there really is no better feeling in the world than that.