Natalie Capell and her unique hand-embroidered dresses

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

... About "Atelier Natalie Capell" and her unique creations that captured my heart at first sight ...

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. Hidden places full of mystery 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 for not doing so is that they hide a private place, where a simple visit can become an unforgettable experience and where all the attention is given to the individual needs. A place to escape from the rush and the buzz of the chaotic city, where we can regain our lost sense uniqueness and feel so special again. An unexpected place that is able to surprise us not just for its originality and beauty but for the way in which somebody gives us a warm welcome and make our person the centre of his attention. In other words, an experience one can take forever in the the heart!

Located in the depths of the in the bohemian district of El Born in Barcelona there was this mysterious boutique-atelier of the designer Natalie Capell, that I found through word-of-mouth recommendations. An amazing place that captured my heart at first glance!

This happened to me about 7 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 mystery.

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 had to ring the doorbell to enter and that made 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 sure.

... 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 into a timeless magic. I had the impression of being in one of those sumptuous and sophisticate Parisian boudoirs of the early twentieth century. Some 1920s 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 evoked the gloomy of the 1920’s charm, an intimate space where a woman could re-discover here femininity again.

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

Natalie Capelli making some sketches in the atelier

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 harmonic 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. All sewed, embroidered and dyed by hand in the atelier behind the shop, with fine materials she personally selects from specialised fares and markets. The aim of this unique collection and delicate silhouettes are to enhance the delicate beauty of the modern woman, making her feel comfortable in them.

Amazing embroidery. From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

A close-up of the embroidery

From the Barcelona fashion week defilé

Transparencies ... pure incarnation of femininity

Details in contrast

Delicate embroidery on silk tulle

One of the delicate dresses exposed on a vintage mannequin

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

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

Delicate and romantic silhouette

A close-up of the finely handmade embroidery

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

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!

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 style 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

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 fine quality material composing the dress has been found on markets, fairs and antique dealers, where she buys the little accessories she occasionally incorporates on her embroidery.

My own experience at Natalie Capell's boutique has been unforgettable. I was literally mesmerised 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!

Natallie 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."

It's been 7 years since I set foot in Natalie's Atelier and a crisp breeze warms my heart in being able to proudly say that Natalie's original creations can now be found in my online boutique. It’s a sweet dream that comes true….

Constantly in search of unique brands, the Atelier Natalie Capell collection is added to the virtual shop window like a delicate breath of wind to bring the same magical experience as if you were physically in the boutique.

This is a great example of how the traditional purchasing experience can be adapted to nowadays needs.

“I am Falling in love again with autumn,

The smell of warm cider,

The orange color leaves,

Pumpkins everywhere

and the crisp breeze,

People walking or riding their bikes,

Folks jogging or going on hikes,

I love autumn for many reasons and

I'm pleased to admit- this is my favorite season”

Charmaine J Forde


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