In a time where everything is programed, mechanized and automated, we have to consider, are we losing the art of craftsmanship in this digital age?
When you delve into the world of fashion this becomes crystal clear. Walking down Mariahilferstaße you are surrounded by names like H&M, Zara and Mango, clothing lines that are produced for the masses.
There is nothing wrong with this, but it does make me sad that we may be losing the fine art of design and tailoring in order for companies to mass produce clothing and gain market share. It also begs the questions – Are we all dressing the same? Are we losing our individuality?
Once upon a time a craftsman would produce a single piece of work by hand. He would then scrutinize it and go back and improve upon it. Every single item. However when this item was finished, it was made exactly as the designer had intended and was perfectly unique. No other piece would be exactly the same.
These days, when clothing is made by machine in factories in countries other than where the designer is based, how can we be sure we are receiving the same quality? With such large quantities of garments being produced, surely they cannot be individually examined for quality control.
This is not the case with the bespoke designers of Vienna, who hand craft each individual order they receive. By designing and creating this way the designer is sure to be able to capture the essence of the customer and as well as ensure that the garment fits perfectly. The process itself can involve several fittings or consultations until the item is exactly what the customer desires.
These craftsmen take care to provide a wide variety of high quality fabrics and the best customer service possible. They also take pride in demonstrating their high level of expertise in their chosen field. Quite often these are family businesses with the expertise of previous generations passed down to the young and upcoming family members.
In addition to a quality, handcrafted, customised item, many bespoke tailors include repairs and maintenance for the life of the product. Clothing that lasts a lifetime. The same cannot be said for many of the fashion pieces on the market today.
Surely this is not a skill to be lost to the digital age.
Header image credits royalty free