Ever looked at a fashion designers' collection and wonder how did they create that? What inspired them? and does it look exactly as they imagined?
Well, even as a women's fashion designer myself, I still wonder that when I look at other New Zealand clothing ranges.
"But you're a designer.... so shouldn't you know the process?"
Good question! I know my process and how I do things but for firstly, that changes as I grow and develop as a designer.
Secondly, which is really important, everyone does things differently. There is kind of a basic process but there is still a lot which can differ.
I regularly get asked about what inspires me and how the design process works and I can always explain it but because it only happens twice a year, no one else really gets to SEE it.
So this season, you're going to get to see it.
I am going to share it with you, as it all happens.
It is the last week of May and in the past couple of weeks I have met with several different fabric wholesalers which signals the start of designing time for me. ( I have heaps of fabric swatches but I can't decide on the final fabrics until I receive all of the swatches)
Occasionally I am really on to it and by the time I view fabrics I already have a few ideas in mind and know what I am looking. That can be great or it can be a waste of time.
Sometimes what I want isn't on offer or I see the fabrics and love ones which don't fit in with what I have already planned. So this season I went into the viewings with a totally open mind.
It varies from season to season based on what I am looking for but for the sake of transparency (very important part of the Fashion Revolution) the wholesalers I have met with and will potentially be purchasing fabrics from are:
At this point in time I have not decided on a collection theme, sometimes that comes later once I get a feel for the garments I want to include in this collection. Some designers will start with a theme but it doesn't always work that way for me.
Here are a few of the sketches that I have been working on. As you will see, I am a Fashion Designer but definitely not an artist!
I see sketches some Designers do and I am in awe. For me sketches is just to get the idea on to paper, it doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to get the idea across.
Chances are none of these designs will make it to the final cut or if they do they probably won't even look like this but these are a starting point. I find that when I am designing I can see it in my mind first and then I need to find a way to get it down on paper just so I don't forget it. It never looks as good on paper as in my mind but seeing the sketch reminds me of what I imagined.
I am yet to decide on a colour palette for this season but am leaning towards using an olive green. It has been a long time since using an olive green but when I last did it was really popular. I made a beautiful coats from this olive green wool cashmere fabric. It has also been on my radar that I need to think about colours for different skin tones, thanks to Trudi Bennett from Wardrobe Flair who (after hanging out with her at NZFW) reminded me of the importance on offering warm colours.
Sparkles is something which hasn't featured in our collections much before (gold vegan leather was used in a Summer range) but it has become something I really want to do. I never used to like the sparkly things that could go oh so wrong and look very night life, but these days sparkles are totally suitable for casual day wear and so my view of them has changed a lot. I am now ready to embrace them.
This week I ended up having to take my 4 yr old daughter with me to a fabric viewing with Charles Parsons and she loved it! They had lots of sparkles, pinks and shiny fabrics. She went through the whole rack before me and just picked out all the ones she loved and then tried to convince me to get them all. I think some of her love of sparkles has rubbed off on me and my love of fabrics and clothing has rubbed off on her. She might just end up following in my footsteps and becoming a designer. Or she will just continue to love clothes and that her Mum can make them for her in whatever sparkly fabric she likes ;-)
So what do you think so far? Part of sharing is because I would love to see what you think throughout the process rather than just at the end.
Make sure you are signed up to our email newsletter and Facebook page so you don't miss out on the rest of this journey.
Watch the How to Video for the most versatile dress we have on offer