Meet The Designers

Welcome to As They Sew In France.

John Richardson
Our company,  presented here by this website,  has a long history of finely designed and crafted theatrical wardrobe production. The Costume Architects costume house, from which this firm is descended produced superb historical reproductions for theatre and opera worldwide. My position, both as one of four partners, and as a creative member of the staff allowed me many opportunities to build vintage garments for stage plays, musical theatre and operas. The production team included five individuals with masters degrees in costume design and construction, so although I did not have schooling to the same level as other members my education was intense and of high quality.

As They Sew In France came about as the result of receiving a request to design and build two historical costumes for a good friend who was working as a docent in a museum house. Wearing period clothing would enhance the response to her lectures and guided tours. Both of those garments are represented here in our colection as they are superb representations of the two eras she requested.

The response from the public, and the client led me to produce a number of additional garments specifically from the Edwardian era, and to exhibit at Victorian festivals. The interest in the presentation, plus the wide and varied interest on the part of visitors to my displays covered the entire Victorian time period. Consequently we now offer the entire range of style and fashion variations that evolved between 1837 and 1901, the reign of Queen Victoria. We also include Regency fashions, and Edwardian fashions in our catalog of work.

We hope you enjoy examining, and reading about the sample suits and dresses displayed on the site. We primarily produce just custom built costuming, which garentees the best fit and comfort, as well as a design created specifically for the client and his or her tastes. We have a splendid source for patterns that are historically correct. My intent is to produce for you, the client, an exceptional and superior costume that will wear easily and well, and offer wonderful experiences for you the wearer, and those around you at whatever event you attend. The people seeing, meeting and participating with you should enjoy what you are wearing as much as you.

Thank you for visiting this site, and we hope to hear from you with your special request for a wonderful new historical reproduction costume.


Chris Piehler
Although Chris and John have been friends for over 25 years, he joined As They Sew In France in 2010.

He has developed and implemented a plan to take the company from strictly Victorian Festivals to Steampunk, Lolita, Costuming and alternative clothing festivals and conventions and renegade fashion shows in NYC during fashion week.

Chris started an accessories line to compliment John’s clothing that includes: drawstring purses, shawls, jewelry and a ready-to-wear line.

As a designer and International Sales and Marketing Director, he sees an amazing growth for the company and is excited for the future!