We are Mrs. Pomeranz. Our team is Dasha Pomerantseva (me), Masha Kopieva (my sister), Tatiana Tokareva, and Marina Vasilieva. We live in Moscow, Russia, and make made-to-measure dresses based on a classic silhouettes.
For several years I had a vintage shop in Moscow called Good-bye London. Most of my wardrobe at the time was either vintage or dresses I had made myself. In 2009, I decided to mix the two and open an atelier. I wanted to create dresses in my favorite cut: ’50s inspired, with fitted bodices and full skirts. Masha and I made the first sketches and asked our friends Tatiana and Marina to help us with the sewing – they are professional dressmakers who were working in theater costume design at the time. We showed our first collection of 20 dresses at a festival in Moscow. When we sold 10 of the dresses we decided to continue.
The idea of making dresses without a fitting sounded ridiculous to Tatiana and Marina originally, but then we made our first dress for a customer in the US and she liked it. The most important thing is for clients to get their measurements right. We ask for photos so we can check the measurements, and we also write to clients to tell them how the fabric will behave when you wear it. We usually use Liberty fabrics because they have the best cottons.
The sound of the sewing machine was one of the most common and beautiful sounds of our childhoods. Our grandmothers were very talented amateur seamstresses, and their wardrobes were full of stylish dresses from the ’50s and ’60s. As children, we drew sketches endlessly and sewed dresses for our dolls, dreaming of being fashion designers in the future. The USSR collapsed when I was 6, and many people lost their jobs. Most parents sent their kids to study economics. We loved making dresses, but we couldn’t tell our parents – they wanted us to become economists, too. We did our best to do what they wanted, but we were lousy at it. The problem is that you can only ever be good at what you love. Eventually, we ended up making dresses after all.
When we launched our Etsy shop in the summer of 2011, everything changed. We received a lot of orders from the US and Australia, so we started keeping track of all the countries we were sending dresses to. So far there are more than 20 countries, including Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore and South Africa. Etsy not only helped us find more customers, but it also changed the way we approach our business. Our enterprise now is similar to Hayao Miyazaki’s flying castle traveling around the globe: inside there are sewing machines and inspiration.
I think about making dresses as combination of chemistry and poetry. It starts as a dream. For me, the dream is always a mix of childhood memories, inspiration, and current thoughts. You draw the print for the fabric and make a pattern. Sometimes you create a mock-up and it’s not a dress yet, but it already has potential. When the dress finally appears, someone wears it and wonderful things happen. They could have gone for jeans and a t-shirt, but instead they chose a dress. I believe special things happen in dresses: people fall in love, new people are born, and the world grows.
Studio shots by Elena Sivolap, all product shots by Alina Nikitina.