Handmade one-of-a-kind card, modern cuts, new interpretations of old cuts – Anne-Marie Morscheck’s fashion collections are diverse. The fashion designer, who is based in Düsseldorf with her two labels Atelier DSIGNS and Fräulein Valentine by Altelier DSIGNS, has a penchant for the fashion of times gone by. She creates fashion inspired by the 50’s and also tailors custom wedding dresses. We talked to Anne-Marie about happiness, fashion and her path to becoming a designer.
Anne-Marie Morscheck – “I am a merciless optimist”.
FIV: For now we would like to talk about you as a personality. How would you describe yourself? What is your best and worst quality?
I am, I think, a person who can be very dedicated to a cause. When I believe in something, I stick to it – even if it seems hopeless. Apparently, I’m a relentless optimist… I think that’s one of my best qualities. What’s not so nice: I am at war with the clock i.e. I don’t have a good sense of time. For me one hour is an eternity in which I can do hundreds of things. Of course that doesn’t work out and that’s why I often get bogged down or plan things that never come to fruition because the time just isn’t there.
FIV: What makes you happy or what can make you happy?
Being in nature, lying on a lush green meadow and just looking at the sky or sitting in the dunes and looking at the sea makes me happy. I also like to cook and eat. The smell of a cheesecake in the oven- yes that makes me happy too.
FIV: What could you never do without in your everyday life?
To my husband and my dog. And lattes in the morning…
Simple styling: Anne-Marie likes it uncomplicated
FIV: Now we come to the topic of “styling”. What are your “fashion favorites” that you never want to miss in your wardrobe?
Time and time again, as a fashion designer, I am confronted with how I dress myself. I have to be honest, I don’t follow any particular style or look. I think I’m just over-informed as a designer who deals with fashion day in and day out, and that’s why I don’t follow every fashion. I love uncomplicated fashion with a special “aha” effect. I like to wear short dresses, because I am quite tall. I have a few pieces of the brand COS in my closet, which I like to wear again and again. But my jogging pants are also indispensable, in which I make myself comfortable in my spare time.
FIV: Who or what inspires you in your look?
I love patterns – preferably small tie dots, polka dots, floral prints e.g. from Marimekko. I get inspired by all kinds of things, movies, the street, magazines but also the internet. I love Pinterest for example and can spend hours on it. I dress depending on my mood, sometimes it should be a little more casual with jeans and T-shirt, other times then just a little fancier.
FIV: Was fashion already an issue in your childhood? In what way?
I was born in 1970 and I got to know bell-bottoms and fur vests at a very early age. I don’t remember so fondly the scratchy tights and knee socks that always slipped down.
Already as a child I drew a lot, made handicrafts and handicrafts. I sewed clothes for my dolls and Barbie dolls out of fabric and wool scraps. My grandma and great aunt were both dressmakers. I often sat in my aunt’s studio and looked at fabric books and fashion figures.
FIV: Which fashion era is your favorite and why?
I love the style of the 50s. I like the colours, the pastel shades – vanilla yellow, pistachio, raspberry… I think the furniture from that time is beautiful. It was all very delicate but still very clean and unfussy. I also find the graphics and patterns interesting. The fashion was very feminine and with the X-silhouette it emphasized the figure of the woman perfectly. It was a very positive time – of course still strongly influenced by social conventions, especially for women – but the war was over, prosperity grew and people were happy to have survived.
Classic entry: Anne-Marie about her fashion design career
FIV: Now we come to your work as a designer:
Has the fashion industry changed in your eyes in the last few years? In what way?
Yes, of course I recognize changes – although I do not produce industrially.
I see two different currents. One is the fast fashion H&M, Primark, Zara etc.. The industry throws unlimited goods on the market. It is no longer about fashion but only about mass. I am very critical of this development, because it wastes enormous resources and harms the environment in the long term, in addition to slave-like working conditions.
Fortunately, we are more enlightened today than we were 20 years ago. The many negative headlines are making consumers rethink, and for me that is a second current. People no longer want fast and cheap but crave values and consistency. So there is a huge second hand and recycling/upcycling trend. Eco fashion is also a response to this and finally the nostalgia waves, whose fashion I represent.
FIV: You already have experience in the business: What advice would you give to aspiring designers for their career start?
Perseverance, capital, family and friends who are behind you, the willingness to work very very hard, being able to withstand the uncertainty of never knowing what your bank balance will be at the end of the month, a willingness to take risks and organisational skills.
FIV: When and how did you start your career as a designer? Did you have a classical education or how did you get into the fashion business?
I learned everything “from scratch”. After graduating from high school, I went into apprenticeship and completed my apprenticeship in a very good craft business. I studied in Düsseldorf at the AMD and then set up my own business.
FIV: What do you like most about your job as a designer?
Oh my, where do I begin? The feeling of putting something you have in your head on paper and at the end it’s in front of you and you can touch it, even wear it. This process of creating is very satisfying and everything that goes with it, the fabrics, the colors, the techniques. I have been in this profession for so long now and I am always learning and seeing new things. It’s so exciting to go through life and take in everything around you, to be inspired. I have to do with beautiful things and can even make other people happy with it – what more can you expect from a profession?
FIV: How would you describe the fashion of your different labels “Atelier DSigns” and “Fräulein Valentine by Atelier DSigns”?
Under the label Atelier DSigns I design and create contemporary and feminine fashion inspired by special materials and textures and unusual cuts. Among other things, unique pieces are also created, e.g. wedding dresses.
Fräulein Valentine by Atelier DSigns stands for my love of the 50s. Here you can find petticoat dresses in many different variations, blouses, skirts, pants, coats and figure-hugging costumes, which I tailor to the customer’s body. Often these two styles mix with each other and the result is an individual, nostalgic look with contemporary elements.
FIV: Your label “Fräulein Valentine” is very interesting and special. How did you come to design 50s and 60s fashion under the label “Fräulein Valentine”? What inspired you to do so?
As mentioned above, I am fascinated and touched by the zeitgeist of the 50s. I was looking for a product that can be offered on the internet without the customer having to come to my studio and then I developed a cut that is feasible only by the measurements that the customers send me. The petticoat dresses are really a dream for every woman and almost for every figure. Even women who normally would never wear a dress love my dresses.
FIV: You also design wedding dresses. How can we imagine that? So what is the process like when a bride-to-be comes into your studio and wants to order a dress from you? How long does it take to design a wedding dress?
Most brides-to-be already have a specific idea of their dream dress. They have already had an odyssey through the various bridal fashion shops and found nothing there. Then they come to me and together we work out their own individual dress. I draw the design and we look for the appropriate fabrics and laces. No matter what we do, the consultation and the bride’s individual needs are immensely important to me and provide valuable information as to how the design will then look. Maybe the client wants to get married outdoors, does she have children or maybe she is still breastfeeding, does she have a certain colour theme for her wedding or a special love for a country, maybe she doesn’t like to show her arms but still dreams of a corsage dress, etc.
After detailed consultation, measurements are taken and I create the pattern, then the dress is cut and sewn in a cheap cotton fabric. This dress is just to visualize the design and check the fit. The dress is tried on and pinned. Any alterations are then transferred back to the pattern and only then is the original fabric cut. Even for the next fitting, the dress is not yet finished, but changes can still be made. Step by step, the dream dress for the unique day in the life of a bride is created.
Maybe you can imagine how much work goes into it, depending on the design it takes several weeks to finish the dress.
FIV: Where do you present your fashion and where can one buy your collections?
I show my fashion in my own shop in Düsseldorf. In addition, I also have an online shop, which you can reach via my homepage.
FIV: What has been the best experience in your job so far?
I have been self-employed for so many years now and have had so many wonderful experiences that I can’t even say that there is “the” most beautiful experience. From my time at fashion school, the many fashion shows that make your endorphins soar, to the opening of my studio and the many, many customers whose beaming faces I can look at again and again, I still look forward to the beautiful moments that may come.
FIV: What are your plans for your professional future? Is there anything special coming up soon?
I would like to be able to continue doing what I do, as long as I stay healthy. I plan to expand the bridal sector even more and be more present at trade shows and 50’s events. Soon I may be on TV and on a fine platform like Fashion Interview….
Thank you for the interview dear Anne-Marie!
Further information about fashion designer Anne-Marie Morschek from Düsseldorf
Anne-Marie Morscheck Fashion Designer
DSigns& Miss Valentine