Custom making ballroom dresses in China?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by tuxedosam, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. DanceAllure

    DanceAllure New Member

    Tips for fnding Affordable Dancewear- The right way or the China way

    This could be helpful for dancers who don't have much money to spend on a competition dress and cannot afford any of the hand-crafted designer dresses.
    Many dancers prefer to go online and just purchase their costume form an e-bay seller (from China for example)attracted by low price. But soon they realize what's the difference between cheap and cheap looking
    . Why most of the dresses made in China and Vietnam and Korea, flooding the e-net are so cheap?

    - In most cases, fabrics are of extremely low quality ( often with some defects on them)
    - Cheap crystals. (Korean stones are plastic based , scratch easily and don't have the same sparkle like Swarovski or Preciosa)
    - Automated manufacturing : For the most part, costumes are made by machines instead of being hand crafted by professionals.
    - Low and often non-excising quality control. Which in this case means that even if there is some obvious defect on the dress, nobody would even notice it .
    - No guarantees at all- in most cases you gonna have a big problem getting your money back if there's something wrong with the dress you ordered.

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    But even then, there's always alternative ways for having a good quality costume made for less.


    It requires more involvement in the creative process but the end result is worth the time and effort.
    If you are on a limited budget and your competition date is getting closer , instead of panicking and shooting desperately in the dark, think of what you have and what you need in order to end up with a nice dress which you actually could afford.
    Ok, here's the things you will need: some time, some money ( invest the money you would otherwise spend on on of those cheap looking dresses) and a good design idea.
    1st- Try to make a sketch of your own future dress, the way you imagine it. You can base it on your own idea or on a picture you saw on the e-net.
    2nd. Decide what fabric and colors you would like to use. The fabric must be stretchy ( preferably 4-way stretch)
    3rd. Order the fabrics
    4th. Borrow a quality gown from someone you know just to see it's structure. The high quality gowns usually have built in bodysuit & bra cups.
    5th. Try to find a local seamstress on the e-net. and ask them if they are used to working with stretchy fabrics.
    6th. Go there and show them your sketch, fabrics and explain to them what the structure should be. Usually an experienced seamstress won't have any problem working on design sketch especially if you explain to them what exactly is that you want. And you want bodysuit with built in bra on the inside.
    7th. After you get the dress put together , you need to purchase stones where you can choose from Korean ( not recommended) , Preciosa & Swarovski.
    Preciosa are as good as Swarovski, there's no difference in quality. Preciosa are still around 20% less expensive.
    Then you can put put on the crystals yourself, the way you like it and as many as you want.
    Or you can ask somebody to do that for you.

    I believe that if you decided to go that way , for the money you would spend on one of those dresses you can end up having a far better quality dress that you would actually wanna use more than once and that will look much better in the stage spotlight. You just need to put in some more time and use your own creativity. If you do that once, the second time will be even easier and more enjoyable. ;)

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  2. zcream

    zcream New Member

    Any websites ?

    Hi musique. Just following up on your post about ballroom and latin outfits in china.
    Me and my partner need 2 outfits - 1 male and 1 female. And it may well be cheaper for us to fly to China and get it made there..
    We live in Sydney Australia.
    Do you mind passing us updated info on the people you know of ?
    I only know of rainbowshiu on ebay.

  3. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF zcream!
  4. zcream

    zcream New Member

    Thx latingal..
  5. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    welcome zcream.

    Personally, Rainbow shiu is main one I know too. Have my own costumer locally here, and one pro I know who used to use and suggest Rainbow is now getting costumes from same costumer as me, so can't help. I'm sure someone else will come along though, plus I believe there are references to a few others here.
  6. zcream

    zcream New Member

    Tails for 250/-

    Hi Ryan. Just sent you a message via your website..
    Essentially I was searching for a white tail suite for a short film (since its white, its probably going to be custom made - don't see any men wearing white suits). Have to do a waltz there.
    Since its only going to be used for a days shoot, I didn't want to spend much. The 250/- you got a tails for in HK seems just perfect - please let us know where you got the tails for.

    BTW I got a quote for 450/- for a tails from Rainbow Shiu and 850/- from Dreams4Dress.

  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Parse Cantski a little more carefully. He didn't buy Chinese tails, his friend did.
  8. zcream

    zcream New Member

    For folks in Sydney. I went to Margaret Burns in Baulkham Hills. She stocks used ballroom outfits and I found a tailsuit set for 250 AUD. Diamante Dance also stocks used outfits.
  9. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    Very well-said, that's exactly reflected my bad experience with cheap Chinese dress:( especially the "low and non-existing quality control" is so true...
  10. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Ok, I was really curious to see how I would feel about ordering from a company overseas. So, I wanted you all to know that I just received my first Rainbowshiu Ballroom dress. The packaging was probably the worst, and my instructor wasn't to pleased with the packaging. The dress overall is actually very beautiful. A couple of the students were asking me where I got it, and thought it cost more than what I actually paid for it.

    The thing is that I have done a lot of research about material etc., what looks good, what doesn't look good. And thankfully to DF, I knew the kind of materials that I wanted to look for in a dress. This forum really helped me find something that was suited to what I wanted to do for right now.

    As far as fitting and dancing around, everything worked out very well. The length was even perfect for me. The only adjustment that I might have to make is the back is cut really low, and I don't have any curves. So, I'm going to have my sister take in the back a bit. But otherwise, love the material, love the way it flowed, and loved the looks from the other dancers as they were very amazed at how well done it actually was!!! It even has a built in body suit, so I don't have to worry about anything that way. And it was actually very comfortable as I was worried that it would be this way or that way. But this one worked out for me!

    Anyways, I just wanted to throw my two cents in. You do have to be careful and do the research. And some of the dresses out there that they offer and that some of the others offer out of all honesty do look cheap, and I would never buy them. But if you like one, you will never know if it works for you until you try it on. I hope this helps!
  11. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Oh I did cut off the floats, because we kept getting tangled up lol. The dress looks great without them though, so I'm not sad either way. I'll probably find some bracelets instead.
  12. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear you had a good Rainbowshui experience. :)

    I received my second Rainbowshui dress a couple of weeks ago. It's beautiful! I'm completely satisfied with the quality (for the price), and have gotten MANY compliments on it. I will be ordering from her again.

    Oh....and her customer service cannot be beat.
  13. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Thank you. I really like my dress. How was the packaging on your dress? Mine came in a bag that was torn. I was worried that the dress would be ruined, but the dress was packaged with tight plastic. So, nothing was damaged. It was just the outside bag that was torn.
  14. dancerman

    dancerman Active Member

    I know of several people who have purchased from China and a vendor in Vietnam. I have to say that their experiences as passed on to me were positive. Some offer different material qualities as an option that is reflected in the price.
    If you are looking for an alternative to Rainbow go onto E-bay and do a search for costumes and gowns. There are others selling there and they have links directly to their web sites. You can contact them from there. Finally, if you have the time, patience, and ability you can always order some outfits unstoned and do the stoning yourself. Then you aren't stuck with poor quality stones on the dress. You may even find a sense of satisfaction in creating your own look.
  15. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member


    The packaging was fine on mine. I didn't notice the bag having been torn at all. In fact, I think it was double bagged. The dress arrived in perfect condition.
  16. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    I always order my dresses without stones, and then stone them myself. I really dislike the cheap stones used on most of the 'made in China' dresses. They don't sparkle, and are glued on very poorly.....or so I've seen. I've never seen a dress stoned by Rainbowshui, tho.
  17. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Agreed dancelvr. People I knew who used to order from RainbowShiu always stoned the dresses themselves, due to similar experiences with dresses made in other countries.
  18. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    The dress that I bought is actually heavily stoned. I have a really expensive Latin dress compared to this cheaper dress, and both were heavily stoned with the same stones, and in fact some of the colors even match lol. (I was kinda going for a theme which is why I picked the dresses the way that I did lol.) But again, I did the reseach first, and I could tell that this was one of their better dresses. If anything, I am worried about beads coming off on both dresses, and I'm not sure how to prevent this on either dress. My instructor says it happens all of the time though. I just wish I knew of a way to prevent it from happening if it does happen since I'm the type that worries you know in advance lol. I've been told to stop worrying. I'm trying to but its hard lol.
  19. I had RainbowShiu stone my dresses cos I'm lazy and uncreative. The stones stayed on just fine for me. I think she uses the Korean stones as default since they are cheaper, but I know for sure she will use swarovskis upon request if you are willing to pay for the pricier stones.
  20. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Like I said, I've never seen a dress stoned by Rainbowshui. However, if the stoning is of similar workmanship to the dresses themselves, I don't doubt it's good quality for the price. :) Personally, I prefer to have more creative control. Also, I don't care to pay for the labor and cost of Austrian stones. I prefer Precosia. -- And, most times, I prefer plain colored stones to AB. Call me a rebel. ;-)

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