Natalie Capell and her unique artisanal handmade clothes

Natalie Capell and her unique artisanal handmade clothes

Every city in the world has its hidden places not reported on the tourist guides, which appear particularly attractive to those who search for unique spots. In one of my posts I talked about those private sides of a city: hidden places full of mistery which tourists are unaware of and that are not so easy to find. 
Those places are careful from not being reported on tour guides and the reason is that they hide a private place, where a simple visit can become an unforgettable experience and where to the individual needs all the attention is given. A place to escape from the rush and the buzz of the city, where we can regain our lost uniqueness and feel so special again. An unexpected place that is able to surprise us not just for its originality and beauty but instead for the way somebody gives us a warm welcome and make our person the centre of his attention. In other words, an experience we will take forever in the memory of our heart!

Located in the depths of the in the bohemian district of El Born in Barcelona there is this mysterious boutique-atelier of the designer Natalie Capell, that can be found through word-of-mouth recommendations. An amazing place that catches your attention at first glance!

This happened to me about 3 years ago. I was roaming around the streets of the Barrio Gotico district of Barcelona and, under one of my dear local friend’s recommendation, I decided to visit this place. As soon as I got in front of the Natalie Capell shop window I thought this place was magical and covered under an aura of mistery. 

 

This out of the ordinary map you can find on Natalie Capell website

This out of the ordinary map you can find on Natalie Capell website

I marked down on a piece of paper what the opening hours were. I will never forget how thrilled I was when I stood in front of the entrance and at the beginning, I have to confess you, I was a bit hesitant to ring the doorbell. Yes, you have to ring the doorbell to enter and that makes this place appearing so much exclusive! Perhaps my hesitation was justified by the fact that the shop window was so dark and the lights inside were so soft, making this place appear more mysterious than ever! But then I thought to myself that I could not keep on my journey in Barcelona without visiting this unique shop! I would have regret it for long time ...

My curiosity rushed to my rescue and ... I finally decided to ring that doorbell!

A delicate and nice woman opened the door and just told me “Thank you very much for your visit. Please, come in!” She was dressed with a long black dress upon which was placed a layer of delicate black silk tulle finely embroidered, in combination with a black tulle jacket. A dark green silk belt completed the outfit.

As soon as I walked in, I was transported to a timeless magic. I had the impression of being in one of those sumptuous and sophisticate Parisian ateliers of the early twentieth century. Some jazz music was playing in the background and a scent of natural dried lavender, mixed with the smell of the old wooden floor, pervaded the air.

The interior décor of this boutique-atelier combined almost omnipresent black to red reflections of lights and romantic furniture. A crystal chandelier, hanging from the exposed beams ceiling, gently illuminated both the centre of the room and the velvet curtain separé behind which was the fitting room. This fascinating interior really evokes the gloomy of the 1920’s charm, an intimate space where a woman can re-discover here femininity again. 

The designer Natalie Capell trying on one of her own creations in her atelier

The designer Natalie Capell trying on one of her own creations in her atelier

Natalie Capelli making some sketches in the atelier

Natalie Capelli making some sketches in the atelier

At work ... where her dreams take shape

At work ... where her dreams take shape

After having observed the amazing interior, I was eager to have a look at the beautiful tops and dresses exposed there. I could not stop myself admiring these one-off pieces. These romantic creations, made out of antique vintage silk tulle, are so delicate and feminine and give to women armonic shape of the body respecting the female form.

The designer explained to me that the garments are unique pieces artisanal embroidered by hand in the atelier behind the shop. Each piece is cataloged with a certificate of uniqueness (single piece code), a tangible testament to the fact that they are truly unique and authentic!

When talking about her signature embroidery Natalie Capell said: “It is a technique that took many years of research and training” and that she tries to improve it every day.  Each piece in fact is embroidered with the designer passion, which gives the dresses much more exclusivity.

Amongst her beautiful creations there are: silhouette evening dresses, tops, bolero jackets, silk belts and wedding dresses (the highlights of the collection!). All worked and dyed by hand in the atelier behind the shop, with materials she personally selects from specialized fares and markets. The aim of this unique collection is to enhance the delicate beauty of the modern woman, making her feel comfortable in them. So, delicacy but also strength at the same time!

Amazing embroidery. From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

Amazing embroidery. From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

A detail of the embroidery 

A detail of the embroidery 

From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

Transparencies ... The femininity at its best.

Transparencies ... The femininity at its best.

Details in contrast

Details in contrast

Delicate embroidery on silk tulle

Delicate embroidery on silk tulle

One of the delicate dresses  exposed on a vinage mannequin

One of the delicate dresses  exposed on a vinage mannequin

These models look like dolls from the early 20th century!

These models look like dolls from the early 20th century!

Natalie helping out a future bride who is trying on her dreamy dress.

Natalie helping out a future bride who is trying on her dreamy dress.

Delicate and romantic embroidery for a special occasion.

Delicate and romantic embroidery for a special occasion.

A close-up of the finely handmade embroidery 

A close-up of the finely handmade embroidery 

This garment seems to have travelled a lot ... strictly from the early 20th century.

This garment seems to have travelled a lot ... strictly from the early 20th century.

Captured on the catwalk.

Captured on the catwalk.

The detailed hand embroidery is not just in the front of the dress/top. The work made on the back is even more amazing!

The detailed hand embroidery is not just in the front of the dress/top. The work made on the back is even more amazing!

When Natalie was 14 years old she had the idea to hand sew a tulle curtain around her  body with needle and thread. What she created was her first dress as a designer. Natalie Capell graduated from the Shenkar College of Design in Tel Aviv and then moved to Barcelona where in 2002 she opened her parisian atelier-boutique in El Born district. The passion for her activity and the devotion to her atelier year by year paid her back with a National Award for Craft Work won in 2013. 

In an interview she said "I think any step forward must be based on a deep respect for tradition, there is a wonderful essence in our past that can be used today, honoring what we were to see the evolution. Everything is a way. " I totally agree with what she says as I think we should appreciate more what the past has bequeathed to us and use the past heritage to create new ideas, both in the present as well as in the future. 

The designer Natalie Capell wearing one of her creations

The designer Natalie Capell wearing one of her creations

But one of the things I love the most about this talented designer is that, according to her, every piece of her collection have a fascinating story to tell. Every garment is different from another and every material composing the dress has been found on markets, fairs and antique dealers, where she buys the little accessories she ocasionally incorporates on her embroidery.

My own experience at Natalie Capell's boutique has been unforgettable. I was literally mesmerized by both interior and atmosphere in the boutique and while watching every piece of the collection I found a silk tulle top I soon fell in love with. I remember I was so excited to have the chance to try it on and I felt so pampered when she helped me doing it (like a real dressmaker of bygone days!). It was so comfortable and I felt so unique and special in it! 

My top. The  light blue embroidery make a contrast with the delicate tulle.

My top. The  light blue embroidery make a contrast with the delicate tulle.

The back of the top.

The back of the top.

The Certificate of authenticity of the garment states this is a unique piece.

The Certificate of authenticity of the garment states this is a unique piece.

This Certificate reports the unique piece code and the year of the collection. 

This Certificate reports the unique piece code and the year of the collection. 

Due to the delicacy of the silk tulle, of which the garment is made of, the top is put in this silk envelope to protect it. Inside the envelope I found this scented sachet plenty of dried lavender flowers. The perfume of the lavender is the same I smell in the boutique!

Due to the delicacy of the silk tulle, of which the garment is made of, the top is put in this silk envelope to protect it. Inside the envelope I found this scented sachet plenty of dried lavender flowers. The perfume of the lavender is the same I smell in the boutique!

Natalie Capell also makes tailored garments. Here are some of the pieces she made for me almost two years ago:

My delicate black silk tulle top. Look at the suptuous embroidery: it is so classy and feminine! The belt fabric is silk and dyed by hand.

My delicate black silk tulle top. Look at the suptuous embroidery: it is so classy and feminine! The belt fabric is silk and dyed by hand.

A close up of  the back of my top embroidered by hand.

A close up of  the back of my top embroidered by hand.

The soft pink colour of the silk belt is the same as the cuffs of the delicate bolero jacket that she also made for me. All hand dyed.

The soft pink colour of the silk belt is the same as the cuffs of the delicate bolero jacket that she also made for me. All hand dyed.

I did not need to go back to Barcelona this time. The designer asked me my size and my body measures and she made those amazing creations especially for me. And it all happened by a distance! I was really happy with the final result and the service too, as she was so available and kind during our mailing correspondence. This is a great example of how the traditional purchasing experience can be adapted to nowadays needs, when the reseller offers the same kind of service as if you were physically in the boutique.

Capell’s designs are an original alternative and reviving change to traditional garments, ideal for everyone looking for authentic hand-made and unique fashion pieces. 
In an interview she was asked how much of herself there is in her dresses and when she makes the sketches in her atelier, she answered that "on each dress are my dreams and my beliefs."

The web site of "Natalie Capell Atelier de Moda" www.nataliecapell.com

The facebook page of "Natalie Capell Atelier de Moda"

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