Meet the fashion specialists looking to put the sparkle back into your style.
When you have an expensive custom-made gown, sending it to a regular dry cleaner can be a risky move. The specially crafted garments (or couture) need to be handled very carefully and the often don’t come with care labels. Alessia Couture is the first couture-specific cleaner in Abu Dhabi and the first to use GreenEarth products, which use silicon rather than more harmful chemicals. This ensures the garments are not damaged, as silicon is less harsh and is not as damaging to the environment.
General Manager, Alicia Al Mutawa, says the company originated out of a niche want that was clearly not being satisfied. ‘We had only come across regular dry cleaners, who can give unsatisfactory results when it comes to the handling and cleaning of couture garments, so we opened in August to provide a high-end cleaning service to fill the gap.’
It’s no wonder such a business has opened in the capital, particularly with high-end fashion destinations such as The Galleria opening its doors to the couture-clad public. ‘The United Arab Emirates is renowned for its diverse array of luxury malls, which collectively host some of the biggest names in designer fashion, from Armani and Gucci to Prada and YSL. As the country’s appetite for high-end retail grows, more and more sophisticated shopping outlets are set to grace UAE soil, and this is how Alessia Couture saw the opportunity,’ says Alicia.
The company sourced couture consultants from around the world to train their specialists in analysing garments and then treating them. ‘We teach every member of our team how to appreciate the value of each garment,’ she explains. ‘Because we are a couture cleaner, our niche is not based on volume, we are a custom cleaner. It was important to form a well-trained team that has the local knowledge with international expertise. Most of the team have more than 12 years experience in dry cleaning, but when you are in a couture or custom cleaners business it is completely different, from processing the garments to packing them.’
The service is also environmentally friendly, with Alessia Couture using the newest technology chemicals.
‘We are the first cleaners in the UAE using the GreenEarth system instead of petrochemicals, and the method is also different. So it was important that training was provided to the team, and nobody was better placed to do that than the GreenEarth team themselves. The team spent more than two months with the consultants, learning couture cleaning and how to clean with GreenEarth system. The courses were theory and practice.’
The service includes pick-up and drop off because, as Alicia explains, it’s a VIP experience. The service offers cleaning and alterations, as well as wedding gown preservation. Each item of clothing goes through a delicate process where the specialists analyse the garment for up to 24 hours to ensure the well-being of the piece. ‘Every garment that comes to our facility is cleaned in a very unique way since every piece is completely different and can’t have the same cleaning method. We have a cleaning and preservation process that adheres to a strict seven-step regimen to bring about the best result possible: garment detailing and inspection, minor repairs, stain removal, cleaning, hand finishing, quality control and couture packaging.’Ladies of Abu Dhabi, there’s no need to closet your couture, it will be in safe hands here.
Prices on consultation, www.alessiacouture.com/
About the product
Alicia tells us a little more about GreenEarth as a cleaning product: GreenEarth technology uses silicone, a non-toxic, non-hazardous, odor-less and extremely gentle alternative to petrochemicals typically used by dry-cleaning companies.
GreenEarth is better for both fabrics and the environment because it doesn’t contain any sort of chemicals. The colours of the garment will not fade and the garment will not smell after the cleaning.
By using GreenEarth silicone we are not only preserving and protecting the garments but we are ensuring the cleaning process will not give our precious children any allergies since GreenEarth is anti-skin allergy.
By Caitlyn Davey