Get to Know a Tailor: Jean Kormos

Looking back at pictures from the events you’ve either attended or been a part of, attire is one of the first things you notice. It tells a story of the type of event it was, either casual or formal, or traditional verses edgy. That’s why someone like Jean Kormos from Ghost Tailor is such an important part of the event planning process, especially when it comes to creating one of a kind, unique pieces, or tailoring an existing piece to make it more your own. We’re excited for you to get to know Jean and see some photos of her creative designs!

How did Ghost Tailor begin? 

Jean: My challenge when I opened Ghost Tailor was to see if I could make what people asked for. I opened in a little storefront in the East Village and answered requests that literally walked in the door. Very early on I met a stylist who worked with Annie Liebovitz. She asked if I’d make outfits for photo shoots. I remember making harem pants for a prominent financier, a Marilyn Monroe halter dress for an actress with a very exaggerated figure and a head to toe body suit for a star basketball player. We didn’t even have body measurements! I became good at using whatever information I could figure out. I compared photographs of people and added and subtracted to dimensions by guess. I find details of fit very interesting. 

How far in advance should a client come to you for tailoring or custom made apparel? 

Jean: It’s nice to have time to let a design ‘cook’ and develop but I do rush commissions when my calendar allows. I’m most often asked to make gowns and I like to have at least 1 or 2 months. Alterations or re-design need less lead time.

Which do you prefer more, tailoring or creating unique pieces? 

Jean: I really like both modifying existing garments and constructing new ones. I learn so much from handling pieces and seeing how others make things. I often work for a couture design house and am thrilled to see and touch pieces right off the Paris runway and to make them work for specific people and specific events. I love the details of craftsmanship. 

Do most clients come to you with their own designs or do they give you creative license to come up with a design? 

Jean: Most women have an idea of what they want but need encouragement to express themselves. I encourage them to show me as many images as they like, to point out all the details they like and convey a mood. I ask lots of questions about the event, date and location and learn about the client’s personality. I sketch ideas and suggest silhouettes and offer suggestions.

What is your favorite part about working with a client? 

Jean: My favorite part about working with a client is seeing her see what we can do. There’s almost always a moment in the process where I see my client see herself in the mirror looking beautiful. It’s often during a toile fitting which is funny because the toile will be the wrong fabric with raw edges, 100 pins and pen marks. She sees past that to the finished look.

Would you mind sharing a photo of some of your favorite work and tell us why they’re your favorite? 

Jean: I’d like to share 2 different gowns.

The first was a fun challenge. The lovely bride is 4’11” tall and people kept telling her what she couldn’t do. She has a strong personal image and it was a total pleasure making her happy. Her gown is iridescent silk taffeta and silk organza.

dress-1-back.jpeg

I also loved making this gown. It was simple and elegant but the contrast between the gold leather and the creamy silk was young and interesting:

What is the best way for potential clients to get in touch with you? 

Jean: Call or email to set up an appointment; (212) 253-9727 or ghosttailor@earthlink.net.

Ghost Tailor has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and Huffington Post.