Custom making ballroom dresses in China?


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what has been intersting me lately has been pearllydress .. they seem to use real stones and chrisanne fabrics... only the cupcake designs but for under 1k they look good.. curious if anyone actually got tempted and can comment on quality


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My experience with Chinese dressmaker are extremely negative - I had my friends went there with my measurements and spent $500 for each gown in Beijin, the gowns came back with poor quality fabric and poor design, the quality is just not right for any compeitions, I can't even wear them for any small comps. I sold one for less than $250, and still have difficulty to get rid of the other one.

Before I made those 2 gowns, Katusha Demidova suggested me NOT to make any gowns in China because she saw someone dancing with gowns made in China and not good quality. But I was just lured because of the cheap price....I should have listened to her so I wouldn't waste money.

maybe I didn't go to the correct place, but my friend from China said that place is the place making gowns for Chinese competitors, and they have nice fancy brochures and the gowns looked impressive on pictures. well huge disappointment!!!!


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I am sure there are many makers, some good some bad, finding one that has high quality is not easy. but from what I hear, the ones that have quality things, are not looking to expand internationally as they have business there already and dont have such low prices


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I really don't need another gown right now, but I keep eyeing this one. Unbelievably it is only $299. It is too big for me is the only reason I guess I haven't snapped it up, regardless of my not needing it...

love the shaded pink fabric, but not the top, not sure if it's purple stone or purple laces, better if it's stones, if it's lace, will be cheap looking, sorry that's what I think...


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well many top level dresses are based on lace, its stonning that would distinguish it.. if fit is good, fabric moves well and you add like 3 - 4 packs of stones it could look good


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Hi everyone, I am a dressmaker in England although I do have a number of customers in the USA so have found this topic really interesting. I agree that there is a need for reasonably priced dresses as not all dancers want nor can afford the dresses produced by the worlds best couture companies, such as Chrisanne etc. It may well be that many people have purchased dresses from manufacturers in China and been happy with them but those that I have seen have in my opinion been made from very poor quality fabrics/trimmings, are in the main factory mass produced and a very poor fit. I have on a number of occassions had to attempt to alter dresses sourced from the Far East, to make them wearable!! I also have quite a few customers who have purchased dresses from E-bay and other sources and have just binned them as being totally useless, as well as one or two customers who have been reasonably happy with what they have got for their money, however these have been in the minority!! In the instances where I have altered these dresses the result has been that by the time the customers paid for the dress and then the costs of the alterations to make the dress fit to wear, they could have come to me and had a dress made by me for a similar price in the first place, which would have guaranteed a good fit and a well made dress using quality fabrics.

I cannot comment directly about Rainbow Shui as I have never had any dealings at all with them but one thing that does concern me greatly is the number of companies which have set up "internet businesses" in England offering cheap ballroom and latin dance dresses for sale. That part is not a problem but unfortunately what a number of them do is to mislead the customer into believing that they are actually making their dresses for them. They use terms such as "have your dress custom made by us" and nowhere on their websites does it actually say that in fact your dress isn't really being custom made by them at all but is being made in a factory in China. When you read the very small print, it does give information such as the fact that you have to pay for your dress in full in advance and if it dosn't fit, then this is undoubtedly because you have not taken your measurements properly!!!! Oh and of course refunds are not given. What makes it even worse is that some of them even have the audacity to steal photographs from genuine couture companies websites and use these same photos offering to make copies of these dresses for a fraction of the RRP prices!! Imagine the disappointment when the dress turns up and you are actually expecting it to looking something like that shown in the photograph only to find that of course it doesn't event remotely resemble it.

Another scam that I have come across is where they show a photograph of a beautifully made couture dress, smothered in Swarovski rhinestones and offer to make you that very same dress for a couple of hundred pounds. As I am in the trade, I am not stupid and know that it would be impossible to even buy that quantity of Swarovski rhinestones for the price they are offering the dress at let alone make the dress and apply the stones. So where is the catch, check the small print and it tells you that your dress will be "stoned in a variation of that shown in the photograph"!!!!!!! In other words your dress will have a couple of hundred stones on it rather than the 10,000 on the dress in the photograph!!! They claim that this is because they wish each dress to be individual and not an exact copy of another!!
These companies are probably making huge profits at the expense of amatuer dancers. I can buy a ballroom dress direct from China for about £60, these companies sell them at anywhere between about £175 and £500, a huge percentage profit mark up for doing nothing other than taking the order, ordering from China and then delivering to the customer. Incidentally these companies have no effect on my business whatsoever as I am always busy, with a full order book and normally have around a three month waiting list for dresses, so this is not a case of "sour grapes" - lol.

Sadly like a lot of things in life, dance dresses come under the "you get what you pay for" scenario but my advice would be to "shop around" to see where you can get the best value for money from a reputable company or dressmaker. I can and do produce beautiful top quality dresses that grace the floor at major competitions around the world, such as Blackpool but even without the overheads of the major couture companies I just cannot produce top quality dresses smothered in thousands of Swarovski rhinestones for peanuts, simply because the costs just of purchasing the fabrics and stones are many many times more than I could purchase a dress from China for. However of course there is going to be a huge difference between how the dresses would look! What I can do though is to produce made to measure "budget range" dresses for dancers that don't require a hugely expensive dress. I do this by using simple designs, good quality fabrics and imported or acryllic rhinestones and beads and basically design the dresses to fit within the customers budget as well as the purpose for which the dress will be used but what I do not compromise on is fit and quality of workmanship. The most commonly asked question that I receive is "how much will you charge to make me a dress". This is like asking how long is a piece of string because I can make a dress for a few hundred pounds or a few thousand:D My mission in life is to make nice, good quality dance dresses that my customers will be happy with. I doubt that I am unique and I am sure that there are others like me around the globe. I could jump on the bandwagon and import shoddy dresses from China, sell them via my website and earn a nice fat profit but I wouldn't have the pleasure and satisfaction that I get from seeing my customers looking fabulous dancing in competitions in dresses that I have made;)
I understand what you are saying...I've received pretty printed brochures (maybe pictures of these gowns are beautiful couture gowns). But does not match what I received at all:(

I think those Chinese dresses are okay for syllabus dancers or beginners are just trying out ballroom dancing and not sure if they want to continue dancing, however, if you are dancing for gold level or higher, you need a better quality gowns cost least the cost of dresses have to cover quality fabrics and stones


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I'd say you need to spend min 700 to get something decent quality with stones and decent fabrics.. and i dont mean amasing. the other ones do stick out on the floor, you can tell they are ebay dresses just by glancing at them once


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yes agree with kat & samina, stoning is doable...but purchasing high quality stones from SW adds more cost, so I understand what Ellie is saying, if someone or some sites offer to sell cheap dresses for few hundred bucks, which means they are NOT using high quality stones or buying cheap fabrics to cut cost...nobody will make dresses for losing money. Just think about it.

I've bought cheap dresses and absolutely terrible experience, I thought I've saved money for purchasing cheap, but the CHEAP ones look bad on the floor, make me and my dancing look bad, that I can't even use them for comps so it's not saving money at all...

I've bought high quality ones for premium price, making me look great and I feel great and those high quality dresses compliment my dancing. You know what, I've sold 3 high quality gowns without even marketing them, people came to me after I danced comp or show, asking to try / purchase my high quality dresses. So I did get my investment back.


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There is a new seller on e-bay who appears to be making BEAUTIFUL GOWNS. Check out user swanstudioau. The dresses for the most part are very VERY nice. I'm waiting for the perfect dress to pounce on...

Rainbowshiu is alright. The only problem with her dresses is you can ALWAYS identify a smooth gown made by her. You glance around the comp floor and immediately spot them. They're all cut the same, they all hang lifelessly, and most of them have ill placed adornments. So, if you buy from rainbowshiu, just know that people will take one look at you and know, you bought that dress off e-bay.
I'm just wondering- how are the Rainbowshiu skirts cut that they "hang lifelessly"? Not enough material, not full circles, the kind of fabric? I looked at her website and I see every type of skirt that you see on the major designer's sites. You feel the swanstudio dresses will move on the floor? How are they different?


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I'm just wondering- how are the Rainbowshiu skirts cut that they "hang lifelessly"? Not enough material, not full circles, the kind of fabric? I looked at her website and I see every type of skirt that you see on the major designer's sites. You feel the swanstudio dresses will move on the floor? How are they different?
Hmm. Well, at the time I wrote that, many of rainbow's smooth gowns looked a lot like this:

Many used the same sort of generic designs across the board, heavy lycra tops, flimsy georgette bottoms... I just looked rainbowshiu up on eBay and it appears that the designs have more variety now and the fabrics and materials appear much nicer. So, who knows! Maybe those dresses are better now. Maybe somebody here who has purchased rainbowshiu recently can tell us?

I guess with swanstudio, my only real complaint would be the floats were not as nice as the gown. The floats on both gowns were a bit sparce and made of georgette, but I knew this when I bought the gowns, and at only $150 per gown, there was no room for complaints, especially after I held the dress in my hands and could see the quality of work that went into it. I can always have floats made later and dyed to match. I do not know what the skirts were made of - A sort of silk-like synthetic. But they were cut nicely, have nice shine, and pick up when I turn.
I own three or four of Rainbow's dresses, with another on the way. My most recent smooth gown is of a heavier shiny satin, and I have been pleased with the movement I see in pictures (I don't have one handy I can post, but even in pictures where I know we are not executing the dance at our best, the dress still looks decent to me). We are currently dancing bronze, so it seems worthwhile, given a fixed dance budget, to spend less on the dress at this level and more on the coachings and lessons. I'm sure that the cost-benefit analysis will one day shift, or else I will land a major book advance and the dance budget will expand accordingly.
I just saw a dress from Rainbow Shui delivered last week to a local was "okay" but looked more like a cocktail dress. Also, it had no bodysuit in it at all.
My best recommendation would be to make a list of everything you must have such as:
-a bodysuit
-lining in the panty
-double layer of material for bodysuit
-extra material sent with the dress in case you need to make any corrections
-extra "flesh colored" straps sent with dress in case you need to add another strap if something doesn't fit right
and ask a lot of questions to clarify what you want in a dress.
Can anyone elaborate on the need for a double layer of material for the bodysuit? Wouldn't there be a layer for the body suit, underdress and overdress? That alone seems like a lot of layers. Do y'all add another layer to the bodysuit on top of all that? What about latin dresses that don't have an underdress?
there is a seller off ebay which i have used about 4 times ...she is great she is down as viva dancewear she aslo has a site too, i have had great dresses from her and all reasonably priced
Does anyone have experience with dream4less dot com? It is based in Ohio, and their price is one of the lowest I have seen. The photos in their website look fabulous, but photos always look nice. The price was so good that I ordered a pair of latin pants at $130 plus $10 for shipping. I don't know if the products are made in China.

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