After years of perusing the Ivey Abitz website I am, at long last, an extremely happy new customer. I don’t know why it took me so long to place an order. Clothes are very important to me.
One of my cherished, early memories is of my grandmother making my kindergarten clothes. We went together to look at patterns and choose fabric. Then she created a one of a kind wardrobe that instantly made me the best dressed five year old in town.
Now, at age 59, I’m able to replicate that experience with Ivey Abitz. These are clothes for those of us not interested in participating in fast fashion, who pay no attention to trends, but instead build a consistent wardrobe and look over several seasons. These creations are precious and will last many years. The designs are timeless, the fabrics gorgeous, and the sewing exquisite.
Every time I wear one of my new garments, I notice yet another exceptional detail. And they are so comfortable I can forget I have them on, until one of my friends exclaims over a new jacket or dress and wants to know where on earth I found such a treasure. And then I direct them to the Ivey Abitz site.
Another in a series of notes to designer Cynthia Ivey Abitz after receiving an Ivey Abitz order.
Good evening Cynthia,
I apologize for not writing sooner to thank you for all the exquisite work that went into my most recent orders. I have been inundated by work for my job and finishing up a degree, and as a result, have had to put some things on hold for a bit. When I received my boxes from Ivey Abitz today I knew that I had to get away from all the work and write a note.
The sample velvet Solomon Skirt and the velvet Baedeker Scarf are so very beautiful – the silk velvet is the softest I have ever felt. I am trying to find an excuse to wear them now 🙂
My wonderful made-to-order outfit and made-to-order Celia Skirt arrived together in separate boxes. I had taken the day off from work to finish a paper for school – of course, I knew that my clothing was on the way and I would be home when they arrived. I procrastinate a lot when it involves writing papers so I set the boxes aside and decided to use this opportunity to reward myself if I got some work done. My reward was to open both boxes and spend time admiring my new clothes – it worked. It took me approximately two hours to open both boxes, admire the clothing, and hang them all up.
The Sophia Frock is perfect – and the length is perfect. My Willow Frock and Sash – I love the Striped Silk Cotton Voile fabric and I am so glad that I ordered these before the fabric sold out. I have not yet worn my Lydia Layering Shirt yet but it is so so pretty. The weather is supposed to be warmer today so this might be a good day to wear my outfit.
My new Celia Skirt – what can I say? It is stunning, fits perfectly, and goes with so many things that I own. The details on the Celia Skirt are amazing – and I love the brooches. Thank you for helping me decide on the fabrics for them. Your grandmother Celia would be so delighted to know that you named this skirt for her.
yesterday i wore my celia shirt. i haven’t worn it in awhile and because i love it so much, i wondered why. certain pieces are so beautiful to me that i tend to treat them like treasure. this is one of those pieces. the first time i wore the celia shirt, i pulled off that beautiful tie with the three brooches attached and tied it up and wore it as a necklace with the shirt. in fact i have used the necklace with other shirts, too. yesterday i used the tie for the shirt the way it was meant to be worn. sometimes i wear a belt with it, but again it had been awhile. by mid-day i said to myself, “oh, i really do have to have another celia shirt.”
one of the reasons that a piece of clothing will go into the treasure chest (figuratively speaking) is what i call the perfection of imperfection. in my opinion, the human hand is the true quality of a piece of art. what i mean by that is that when you see the frayed edges — or the parts of the piece of art to wear and what makes it look handmade — they are the parts that you know were not made by a machine but have the permanent embellishment or stamp of the human touch. it may not be obvious because those seams are perfect so it is a little hard to describe. but it is there. they are, for instance, the pleats and folds in the sleeves of the bartholdi shirt. the frayed edges of the duomo jacket and the celia shirt. the sleeves and neckline of the cozette jacket. and the fact that many of the pieces are washed and dyed by hand to give a more vintage quality. all of these very special touches are to me what makes ivey abitz designs art. it is the essence of all art. the human hand, the human touch.
The ivey abitz collection debuted right about when we moved from Alberta to a small mountain town in British Columbia, and the timing was perfect. I’d been purchasing pieces from the other designers’ collections that IA used to carry, and already loved the quirky, unusual, “boutique” items that I didn’t see on every other person on the street. But I was blown away by the exceptional quality, attention to detail and point of view of the ivey abitz pieces. They were so far above and beyond even the other lines represented at the gallery, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. I even look forward to receiving the swatch books, and have kept each one and engage in some tactile time now and then, enjoying their textures.
Our beautiful little town in B.C. has been a culture shock, too. I keep describing it to friends as Green Acres revisited, and it’s no exaggeration. I’m playing the Eva Gabor role, wearing my beautiful clothes in a sea of casually clad retirees and far more polyester than is strictly necessary. I’m even Hungarian, just like Eva. We started an organic farm and now have cows, goats, chickens and ducks and are facing the usual challenges in taking care of them while still maintaining our sense of humour. My husband and I wanted out of the industrial food supply, and to become more self-sufficient in both the big and small things in our everyday lives. It’s not for the faint of heart, but I wouldn’t live in a big city again for any temptation.