The Whitechapel Workhouse is an atelier based in East London. It is fully equipped and capable of constructing anything from woven’s to stretch and leather to lace.
Our team’s primary focus is on constructing costume and couture fashion pieces for industry. Whether for stage, screen or catwalk, we have the capacity to create a diverse range of pieces, be they accessories or fully-fledged fashion creations.
We also offer a unique environment in which we mentor and nurture technical excellence to assist in the creation & construction process.
Our mission is to ‘educate through experience’, with a very hands on approach to learning.
From our Workhouse in the heart of the East End, we are able to offer support and training, from design development, through fabric selection, to final construction. We aim to ensure the designer is confident in 3D production and the viability of their design concepts.
In addition to the production service, the workhouse will also be offering workshops & classes encompassing specialist skills from professionals at Industry standards. The direction of these workshops will be focused on placing craftsmanship centre stand and making it the lynch pin of the design process.
Fashion artisan Ian Frazer Wallace graduated from university in 1991, where he studied alongside his current business partner Joel Moore. Ian initially designed for a broad range of fashion companies in the commercial sector, designing everything from sportswear for high street brands such as the Arcadia Group plc through to eveningwear for wholesale brand Ariella. However his passion for creation succeeded his love for design, and in the early nineties he launched his own successful label Hustle & Coke designing and producing extreme clubwear. Whilst showcasing his brand globally, he met the celebrated Spanish metal couturier and corsetiere Manuel Albarran, who mentored Ian in the traditional artistry of corset making. Ian worked with Manuel on various costume projects from showcasing work at The Royal Albert Hall to assisting him on the costumes for the worldwide Lavazza advertising campaign.
In 1995 Ian commenced employment at the world’s leading department store, Selfridges, heading up a large team of master tailors and couture seamstresses. During his eighteen-year career at the helm of Selfridges fashion workroom, he mentored his team and developed the bespoke service to stay ahead of trend with the ever-changing face of fashion. He perfected his skills for fit, form, fabric and construction, dissecting and re-constructing some of the world’s top luxury brands to the highest quality.
Ian also took on many creative projects outside of the retail sector. His passion for preserving traditional English craftsmanship is his driving force, and is evident in all of his creative work. Everything from tailoring to embroidery and corsetry to macramé, Ian’s desire to make craftsmanship relevant and to inspire future generations of designers to ensure these skills remain alive, is clearly evident in all his work. He has created corsetry and luxury commissions for many of London’s innovative designers, from Bora Aksu through to Ziad Ghanem and more recently headed up the Couture team for the inspirational brand Sorapol. He has taught Clothing Construction on the MA course at Kingston University. He was also one of the founding members of the wearable tech company Studio XO, following a collaborative project working with celebrated wearable tech experts Nancy Tilbury and Benjamin Males, creating and constructing costumes for The Black Eyed Peas world tour. He has also worked as costume maker on the Disney remake of Malificent, and more recently Cinderella. In addition to this, he is chief costume maker for international burlesque star, Miss Immodesty Blaize, creating transformative couture gowns for her innovative stage performances.
In his capacity as partner at The Whitechapel Workhouse, Ian now wants to focus solely on creating costume and couture for the industry, and creating a positive environment in which to mentor clients in clothing construction and the importance of craftsmanship in fashion.
Brand expert Joel Moore studied Fashion Design at university alongside his business partner Ian Frazer Wallace.
His design career began in textiles for a small, high-end company supplying own label fabrics to Liberty’s as well as bespoke commissions for fashion labels such as Versace, Armani, Hussein Chalayan, Amanda Wakeley and several tailors of Saville Row. It was here that Joel learnt to understand the importance of a label’s unique handwriting and to appreciate the bigger picture of the dynamics of the industry.
Joel went on to work for UK based Denim brand Easy Jeans where he gained knowledge of washing, finishing and construction techniques on a mass production level through the companies’ own factories in the Far East.
It was at this time the birth of lifestyle brands began. This new direction in the industry suited Joel, whose interest in design was much wider than being limited to a single product or gender. Having been fast tracked from Junior Designer to Head of Men's at Easy Jeans, Joel was instrumental in the creation and development of ‘E-Brand’ in response to this new emerging sector.
Joel spent several years working in branded fashion abroad, including a position in China where he headed up the launch of a clothing line for American shoe brand Hush Puppies ($100 million annual turnover).
He then returned to the UK where he set up a design agency with then partner, Phil Baker specializing in this field – and BakerMooreDesign was born. Instant success was achieved through reputation with a client list that included Disney, Nike, Topshop, Ocean Pacific, Ripcurl, J C Bamford and Virgin Atlantic.
With a desire to return to a role that would involve designing ranges with long-term input, Joel took the role of Head of Design with Dickens & Browne to develop their Lambretta clothing line.
After several years successfully developing the Menswear and Accessory lines, a new opportunity arose to create and develop a new brand. The niche brand Ifuku was launched into the streetwear market with significant impact. With a pop-up store just off Carnaby Street, Ifuku enjoyed credibility through a non-conformist approach with guerilla marketing and association with top DJ’s, Graffiti writers & Street Racers.
Joel has enjoyed a unique and wide-spanning career, covering all areas of fashion from high street to high end across men’s, women’s, children’s and accessories. His experience in the industry has also incorporated product design, graphics and packaging, extensive knowledge of global manufacturing and extensive knowledge of the marketing process, Joel also teaches Brand Communications at London Metropolitan University.