by JENNIFER LAPKA | photos by BRAD AUSTIN
As the leader of a fashion-focused organization, I often receive calls from the general public looking for a dressmaker. The person on the other end of the line has an idea of a dress she wants but needs someone to hone in and carry out her vision. Dressmakers were common in the last century but are now difficult to find. Luckily, we have Ukrainian-born Nataliya ‘Lucia’ Meyer in our community, who is a fashion designer and a dressmaker. What is the distinction between the two? A fashion designer creates garments from her own vision; a dressmaker creates garments from her client’s vision.
As a fashion designer, I can best describe Nataliya’s aesthetic as exotic, feminine, meticulously constructed, and perfectly fitted. Her collections always elevate and dramatize Kansas City’s runway circuit. Launching three to four collections each year, her latest was a mix of opulent velvet, lace, crystals, and bows, all impregnated with saturated hues of pink, varying from deep fuchsia to cotton-candy pink. “I was very excited to finally produce a fabulous pink collection, after thinking about it for years,” said Nataliya. “It was a spectacular Barbie-doll-inspired runway, consisting of 25 looks, spread between two runway shows, taking place three months apart.”
Nataliya hails from Dnepropetrovsk in east central Ukraine. Her mother taught her to sew at a very young age, and by eight years old, Nataliya was making doll blankets, doll clothes, and simple items. By the time she was in middle school, she was sewing some of her own clothes. Throughout her academy years, she studied fashion design, pattern making, garment construction, sewing, alterations, graphic design, art, and calligraphy.
Clients will find her tidy shop called Lucia’s Sarto Custom Sewing tucked in the West Plaza area at the corner of 48th and Belleview Avenue. Depending upon the dictionary souce, the Italian word “sarto” can be translated to dressmaker for women and tailor for men, which is perfect, because Nataliya and her team specialize in custom sewing for not just women but also for men and children, for any event, such as weddings, business, club, day-to-day, and costume. Nataliya shares, “I focus on building garments to fit my client’s unique personality and body style. I’m obsessed with ensuring I help show off what my clients want to emphasize and to de-emphasize what they’re not happy with.” Her shop is a perfect showcase for all three dimensions of her business: custom garment- making services, her own fashion line, and full alterations services . . . a triple sartorial threat!
You can find her on Instagram at @lucias_ sarto and Facebook at @luciassarto. Visit the shop Monday through Saturday and view more of Nataliya’s runway works at Etsy.com/ Shop/OblivionClothing. Her next collection, representing “a high fashion rockstar wedding at midnight” will debut at Kansas City Fashion Week on Saturday, September 21, at Union Station.
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