Tucked away in amongst the back streets and allies of Spitalfields lays Nicolerenee; a couture dressmaking store specialising in tailored made dresses.
The store itself has been around for about ten years, yet in that time it has lovingly changed hands from mother to daughter, undergone a structural renovation and slightly altered its design aesthetic. ‘I’ve tweaked things, removed excess frills and bows…I’ve kept my mother’s designs but simplified it to my style.” Says Renee Christopher; a Central Saint Martins Graduate. Originally Nicolerenee focused on couture bridal wear, yet it has expanded under owner and designer Renee to include evening wear and more recently a couture knitwear range which has graced the pages of Grazia.
A black fringed flapper-style dress stands in the window surrounded by an archaic looking sewing machine and aged wooden rulers giving the store an air of tradition and expertise which is often not found on the high street these days. Mannequins, fabric swatches and a pin cushions are scattered around the store which is seemingly not tactful merchandising but mere necessity. The Georgian showroom also doubles as a workroom for Renee, who spends hours below the store sewing, designing and experimenting with fabrics.
Encompassing all the attributes of traditional dressmaking Nicolerenee is ‘by appointment only’ which gives Renee time to focus on each customer exclusively. All garments are then hand crafted to perfection to fit all the idiosyncratic body shapes and desires of every customer. Even Renee’s amazing new couture knitwear collection can be made in any size, shape and colour. Similarly nothing is sold off the rack, despite the whole right side of the store brimming with dresses which idly hang as samples and ideas for potential clients.
Nicolerenee not only acknowledges the past with their meticulous design etiquette and bespoke services, but also display a flair for an innovative new style. If you are looking for a one of a kind couture dress with a balanced juxtaposition between old and new, Nicolerenee is a must stop.
Sarah Murray, Fashion Writer