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Ewa Michalak Workshop Tour


When I stepped off the bus in Lodz to meet with Ewa Michalak, her son Dominik kindly met me and accompanied me to the studio. Lodz, Dominik quickly volunteered, is not the most beautiful city in Poland. By this point in the trip, I had briefly visited three major cities: Warsaw, the modern and wealthy capital; Krackow, a historic center of education and culture; and Poznan, what a native described as "just a regular city where people live and work". In comparison, Lodz enjoyed it's golden age during the Industrial Revolution and like the manufacturing cities in Northern England, it focused it's attentions on commerce and production, rather than arts or politics. Today, it's a center for Polish full bust lingerie, with Comexim, Kris Line, Corin and Ewa Michalak all situated in the city or surrounding area. Down a narrow alleyway, Dominik drove us to a rather nondescript office building. Ewa Michalak's atelier is situated on one of the upper floors, hiding away the lingerie magic happening inside.

While we waited for a meeting to conclude, Dominik gave me a tour of the workshop. There are four central spaces, beginning with the office area, that lead into one another. After the wide office corridor -- with a break room and Ms. Michalak's private office adjacent -- there's a large area for drafting, cutting and designing immediately to the left.




Continuing down the corridor, the space opens up to a large, bright room where the lingerie is assembled, finalized and checked before delivery.




Through the brown doors in the picture above, there's a long room that holds all of the in stock merchandise and design materials. This was probably the hardest thing I saw -- all those gorgeous bras an arm's length away! I seriously contemplated grabbing the "65FF" box and running down the hallway. On the other side of the partition, there were rolls of ribbon and bright fabrics. It was just as difficult to keep still there; I wanted to look at everything at once.




After happily trailing Dominik through these rooms, I considered how immature and ignorant I had been about this side of the process. I critique, praise, and analyze bras on Miss Underpinnings all the time, but I've never once stopped and thought of the people who make these garments. I can't imagine it's an easy job, to sit for hours and assemble such delicate and precise products. It's not a glamourous one either, as designers and models get all the real attention. I know that the industry operates in a symbiotic  cycle and it's my part to shine a light on the mistakes or triumphs of a given company. But sometimes, I believe it's essential to speak simply and express gratitude to the people who are never properly thanked. So, to all the men and women who make the lingerie I love: thank you or, as I learned in Poland, dziękuję.

6 Comments

  1. Wow, this is so neat! I'm a HUGE Ewa Michalak fan, and have around 8 or so of her bras so far. It's really fun and interesting to see where all of the pretty bra magic happens! Thanks so much for the look inside of the shop. Those ladies who make each bra and knicker by hand are to be commended, their work has become some of my favorite! Always of the best quality!

    Amber
    scarlets-letter.net

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  2. I would love to order bras from Ewa but unfortunately I wear a custom-size and I am reluctant to go ahead as they don't accept returns. I don't want to get stuck with a bra that doesn't fit. I've seen Ewa bras on e-bay and it is always a hit and miss whether they sell or not :-(

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    Replies
    1. Bratabase can be really good to list your Ewa bras on,it's more likely to get sold there,especially in a custom size.You can also search and see if you can find a member who is similar to you in sizing and shape,and maybe if the bra doesn't work for you they may like it,or they can give you tips on Ewa bras.
      I'm getting an Ewa bra from someone on there,to see how the sizing runs and if a certain style suits me.
      Not sure what size you are,but maybe you'll find your size in the listings...if you subscribe it will email you when someone lists a new one,too.

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    2. Wow,how lovely to see behind the scenes.I've done some sewing and plan on trying to make some of my own bras eventually. :)

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  3. Look at all those braaaaaaaas! *faints*

    I want to know how Dominik looks like though. :D

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  4. I would have wanted to take a box, too!!! I haven't found a better fitting bra for me than EM. What I focused on in the pictures is the ladies working there... I don't think my grandma's boobs looked that supported - EVER! I guess when you work with good bras, you're given ample opportunity to get one that fits correctly. If I could only get the older women in my life to give up those awful cross your heart and 18-hour monstrosities!

    I'm amazed at how small the place is. What a great post. Thanks for sharing!

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