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Contact Us

Our Process

Give us a basic idea of what you're looking for, along with the best time to set up an initial consultation.

Phone Consultation

Discuss your project in broad strokes and ask questions. Set a time for the Design Consultation.

Design Consultation

Visit our Atelier for an initial in-person consultation or set-up a virtual meeting where we will take measurements (or guide you through the process virtually),  discuss your vision in detail, compare fabrics, and begin preliminary sketches. If you visit in person, you will have an opportunity to examine several finished pieces from past and current collections, view projects in various stages of design and construction, and be inspired by the studio setting and the exquisite collection of couture fabrics..


Drawing upon experience, inspiration and expertise, we will look at a curated collection of related designs. Together we will create a framework of goals for the ultimate design.

The Atelier

The Ellen Wise Couture Atelier is where Ellen’s passion for innovative couture design meets her commitment to environmental sustainability. Set amongst redwood covered peaks, floor to ceiling windows and walls covered with exquisite couture fabrics nourish Ellen’s passion for innovative, eco-sustainable couture design. Here, her designs are inspired, perfected, and hand crafted with the finest available natural fiber create true couture Slow Fashion.

Design Proposal and Agreement

Following our initial consultation, Ellen will create a custom Design Proposal with sketches, detailed notes, proposed fitting schedule and an itemized price estimate for your review. We will discuss any design changes to assure a basic consensus. The custom couture process is at once collaborative, organic and exacting. We will continue to refine the design as we proceed.


When the elements of the Design Proposal are finalized,  contracts will be signed and a deposit of 50% deposit of the price estimate is made.The remaining 50% is paid upon delivery of the completed project.

Design Process and Fittings

Based on the measurements taken at the Initial Consultation, Ellen will create a custom dress form that accurately reflects your unique shape and size. Using the moulage method, the design will be patterned by draping muslin on the customized dress form. The draped pattern is stitched together to create a toile (a first draft of the design).


At the first fitting, you will try on the toile. We will assess the fit and design of the toile in detail from every perspective. If the toile can be refined to achieve the desired fit and design, it will be edited, and become the pattern for the final garment. If the necessary edits are extensive, a new toile will be created and evaluated at the next fitting.


The number of fittings will depending on the complexity of the project design. Three to six fittings are usually required. We will continue to fine-tune the design throughout the fitting process, but all significant design decisions are made before the final fabric is cut. The Design Proposal price estimate includes the design refinements that must be made to achieve the agreed upon design.  However, if major design changes are requested by the client, the final price will be adjusted to reflect the cost of such changes.

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