Know why your great aunt Samiha looked so fabulous in the 60s? Because someone designed her clothes. She didn't just buy them.
Our grandmothers and mothers were big fans of designing their own clothes. This was the best way to ensure that skirts and dresses would actually suit them rather than choosing a generic design to buy from a store that would crunch up at all the wrong places or with a few colours that don’t quite suit their complexion. Today, most of us get too lazy to even think of doing the same thing. We’d rather go to a store and buy the things we want and just wing it. When we heard that Hadeer El Tenashy designs was focused on the beautiful results that customisation and personalised fashion offers, we were curious.
El Tenashy has been keeping her online business alive for the last three years, making dresses and clothes professionally and full time after having completed her business studies. "It started off with me making a dress for myself for a friend’s wedding, then for friends, and then I started displaying my work at Bow Gallery in Zamalek,’’ explains El Tenashy.
Her passion for fashion started off at a young age. Having inherited the technical skills from her mother, she likes to consider that her fashion skills are largely self-taught from YouTube videos because she doesn’t trust courses in Egypt.
"When I was six years old, I used to already cut my own clothes; as I grew up, I customised what I was wearing if I didn’t like it. Like a t-shirt, for example – I would add or remove according to what I liked. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer,’’ she explains.The way El Tenashy’s business works is simple: clients contact her, they meet at her home in Mohandessein, she sees what the client had in mind in terms of wanting a dress or casual clothes, she makes sure the design fully meets the client’s liking, and then proceeds to make the pieces herself. They can buy their own material or she can take care of that. El Tenashy focuses most on handmade dresses, namely soirée ones, and would like to make wedding dresses in the future.She’s had requests come flooding in locally from Alexandria and Mansoura as well as from Dubai and Saudi Arabia. This year, El Tenashy, who’s a big fan of Kojak and Vivian Moawad, is planning on opening her own atelier in Zamalek. "I can’t work until I have all the materials in front of me. I go down and get a lot of materials and put it on the mannequin. I like to work with the material,’’ she reveals, also letting us know that some of her favourite materials include tulle, satin, dentelle, and chiffon satin.
The young designer, who is still on a quest to find that perfect style that will set her apart, is a big fan of simplicity; acknowledging that sometimes complicated designs can look nice, she still prefers the clean and simple look that can make fashion pieces stand out.
You can find contact her on Instagram.
All images were provided by Hadeer El Tenashy.