COPYCAT DESIGNS & DRESSES #8: Deep Red Silk Rubia Suit

This is an older outfit I got made from several years ago (which doesn't fit me anymore either! It's off to be donated to charity as we speak) which I absolutely fell in love with because of the rich, deep colours. It's a fairly simple outfit, with work on the neckline and on the trousers, and it looks very fitted in the original design.

I have no idea who the original designer for this outfit is, it's a fairly old design that has been floating around on the Internet for years, and when I got it copied (with adjustments!) it was something that was in fashion at the time. I loved the fact that it looked so chic at the time, it was simple, colourful and very eye-catching, so I decided to get something similar made via a friend who uses tailors in India.

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This is the outfit I ended up with, I added a few adjustments to make it more wearable and modest for myself, which was basically adding on long sleeves and changing the trousers to normal straight trousers, rather than having deep slits in them.

I wanted the outfit to be made of raw silk like the original picture, but the tailors ended up making it in a soft silk instead, which changed the look slightly and made the colours less vibrant. It did make the outfit more 'flexible' and easy to wear though, and it still had that luxurious look to it. The actually shade of red was lighter too, which was unintentional (on my part), although it's a slightly deeper shade that these pictures!

This is the work on the neckline, it was mainly made from threadwork, beads and stones, as it was not intended to be a heavy outfit. The neckline shape was also simplified a little, as it was too low in the original picture for, and the tailor found it easier to make the neckline in this shape.

And this is the straight trousers, also made in the same silk fabric, and in a mink brown colour. My favourite bit was the motif on the trousers, which looked really pretty. I like the fact that the outfit was kept quite simple looks quite balanced out, and that the cut of the trousers was made quite well.

THE GOOD: The best part of this design is the embroidery on the motifs and the neckline, it's very neatly done and the colours are matched exactly (rather than some suits I've seen in the past which don't always do the embroidery in the same thread colour as the fabric of the suit). I also like the fact that this was a fairly simple suit which looked effective because of the rich colour. Another aspect I liked was the actual tailoring of the suit, it's very, very well stitched, and the stitches are well-hidden away - right down to the fitted bell sleeves.

THE BAD: I would have liked to have made this suit out of raw silk, to give it a richer, more vibrant look. This is one of my earlier 'copycat' designs, and I didn't have much interaction with the tailor while they were making it, as I wasn't aware of what input I could have at the time. Also, because the price of the outfit was fairly low and it was made quite quickly, I didn't have a lot of time to decide what I wanted to get made.

THE UGLY: Trying to squeeze into the outfit recently to "see if it still fits". Not a pretty sight.

OVERALL: I liked the quality of the embroidery and the motif designs, the original design translated quite well overall, and the colours did look pretty together. Although the design is not in fashion according to current trends, I've kept this outfit for a few years and have always gotten compliments when I've worn it. It's a very wearable design, and is easy to dress up or down. I have had a few other outfits made from the same tailor, and although not all of the designs have been copied brilliantly, the actual quality of stitching and work is quite good. I think this is definitely one of those outfits which would go into the 'trial and error' part of designing or copying clothes, and I'm glad it didn't cost a lot of money - plus it did look nice on at the time!

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