Samantha Lee

31 Mar Samantha Lee

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT

“I studied tailoring and womenswear under Chris’s guidance last spring, after I had just started making clothes for family and myself. I was striving to refine my own craft by tapping into Chris’s specialty: couture bridal wear.

Pick a technique anywhere from pages and pages of textbooks, on any given day, and Chris will automatically respond with perfect execution of it. This is only a small indication of how consistently well prepared he is. Besides having years of experience, I think it is because he loves fine workmanship and is eager to teach.

My favorite thing about Chris as a designer, is his keen eye for luxury, high-end finishes. Through him, I have elevated my own standards in garment construction. It’s a sensible strategy in the fashion industry to be capable of producing clothes that belong in a higher price point, because it’s easier to tone down than climb up. And as a teacher: I appreciate these criticisms.

Chris let me work alongside him, which has shaped how I trust myself. The day I realized I’m a better designer and sewer than I thought I was, was when he let me take free reign. At first, I was annoyed that I’d be there six hours a day, and he wouldn’t say much at all, but now I’ve realized that it was a lesson in confidence.

What I learned from Chris beyond the traditional content – pattern making, draping, sewing is what I cherish most. When the occasion arises, he redefines my expectations of what it means to be a gifted designer, mentor, and friend. Chris offers advice that I didn’t ask for, but didn’t know I needed; he speaks with reason when I’m stumped, and he believes in my potential when I hesitate to.

In a small twist of fate, I had the opportunity to live and work in Paris. It’s a long road ahead to discover my niche and pursue my art, but I wouldn’t have had a better foundation than with Chris.”