Zayzelle. Dress Simply. One dress. One size fits most. Many fabrics, textures. Affordable fashion.
Three years ago I cut a pattern and started sewing a simple dress that would take me through the day and into the evening here in Oaxaca, in North Carolina and wherever else I traveled. I chose linen and cotton. Pure cloth with fabric slubs and wrinkles that are part of the design. No ironing needed. Easy to wash by hand. Will line dry quickly.
I took them with me to remote areas in Mexico, to Spain and then to India.
I layer the dress with local color: accessories, jewelry, shawls, scarves, capelets, aprons, ponchos, vest or topcoat. You get the idea. Simple dressing that can take on a unique flavor of place. Layering for warmth and comfort. Lightweight and versatile to beat the heat.
Wherever I go, women ask me, Where did you get that dress? I want one.
I love to wear this dress. I love to sew this dress. I made several. Then several more. I bought linen in San Francisco, hand-spun and natural dyed cotton yardage in Oaxaca, and ikat cotton in India. I found a small boutique fabric shop in downtown Oaxaca with Made in Mexico cotton. I sewed it in mid-calf and tunic versions. Pretty soon, I had too many dresses. Duh!
When the dresses started to show wear, I transitioned them to wear-around-the-house and nightgowns.
Back to Where did you get that dress? and employment for women friends who live in my village.
Some women here sew and have machines. They want and need extra income. I thought, perhaps I could create more of these hand-made dresses, employ women to make them, pay them more than a fair and just wage, and offer the dress for sale to the universe via an online store.
How to Shop. We have a small inventory. Go to the website. Make your selection and buy online. We will either ship from Oaxaca, Mexico, via MexPost (2-3 weeks) or from North Carolina USA, depending on where we are at the moment.
Modify the Dress to a Tunic. If you prefer the tunic style, let me know which dress you want and I will make it shorter!
This is slow-fashion and slow production. Dresses are one-of-a-kind based on fabric I personally choose. We can make about two or three dresses a week. All the garments made here in Oaxaca by me or by women I work with. I inspect each one for quality. Enclosed and finished French seams guarantee there are no raw edges that will ravel or fray.
I invite you to meet Zayzelle and let me know what you think!
Zayzelle. Dress Simply. The brand is inspired by a friend’s North Carolina family name. I like this name. It is unique. Uncommon. It evokes taste and elegance. Has zing and pizzaz. Sings of sizzle. Evokes memory and imagination. Harkens to a time when there was time to sit and visit, sip fresh-squeezed lemonade in the afternoon and add a little zest to the mix as the sun sets.
Of course, this does not imply that I have forsaken my Oaxaca and Mexico traje (indigenous, hand-made clothing). I just like to mix it up and mix-and-match! I will often wear this Zayzelle dress with a Oaxaca over-the-shoulder textile that is woven on the back strap loom and dyed with natural colors. For a more Asian look, wear the dress over loose and comfy linen pants.