Toiling Poncho

For my outerwear garment, I decided to design a Spring/Summer rain poncho. I started draping off the stand with paper to develop a basic shape. As I mentioned on my previous post, I was inspired by the tropical rainforest and its environment. After creating a basic shape, I further developed the shape and created a leaf type silhouette. The best way for me to do that was to take the paper poncho off the stand and flattened it.  Flattening it made it easier for me to even out the shape and correct the proportions. After I fitted the paper poncho onto an actual person, I noticed that the model wasn’t able to move her arms so freely through the arm holes. I then altered the arm hole and extended it to 30cm. Expanding the arm hole and fitting it onto a second model provided her greater movement. I then decided to create front/back flat patterns and used calico to create my first toile. On the front, I decided to add a design feature, by adding  a double layer where the wearer is able to open up secret pockets. Considering I am designing for a consumer with an urban city  lifestyle, having secret pockets would be a good way to hide valuables and increase the chances of being a pit pocket victim.

Below are images of developing patterns and sewing up the toile:

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Research and Sketchbook Pages

For my current outerwear project, I’ve been doing research on the theme, color story, print designs,market research, consumers, retail, competitors, silhouette, fabrication and finishings. The given idea we have received from the design brief was to explore the collision of constructed lifestyles with inherited culture for modern living.

I started off by doing some market research, researching consumer behavior as well as existing competitors within the current outerwear/sportswear market. The target customer is a 30-60 year old successful individual with a disposable income and willing to pay more for high quality luxury products. As an active individual, he/she likes to pursue hobbies such as biking, yoga, climbing and surfing. To keep up with the active lifestyle, he/she is health conscious and would prefer to eat organic/fresh foods. Despite living in a metropolitan city, he/she is a nature lover at heart and would be willing to pay more for eco friendly products with a low carbon footprint. He/she is interested in products that are functional yet aesthetically pleasing. Despite wanting to look presentable, he/she wants to stand out from the crowd yet not associate themselves as a high class fashionista.

I want to design a Spring/Summer collection and created a color story using bright and light pastel colors. Theme wise, I looked into this concept of “Urban City Jungle”, drawing inspiration from tropical rainforests and their environment. Researching climates in various regions gave me the idea to design a rain proof garment. In terms of fabrication, I need to consider that the fabric needs to be water/windproof.  Ive looked into coated nylon, PVC,and the possibility of bonding fabrics together. Creating my own print onto the fabric is something I would like to include. Below are images of pages from my sketchbook, were I have recorded my ideas and created some moodboards.

Theme, color and print research:

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Market research (Consumers/Competitors):

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Designer Q&A

So yesterday we were supposed to receive a visit from the designer we are working for as freelance designers. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to see us in person and had to resort contacting him via Skype. We had a brief Q&A session where we asked questions about the design brief he had given us and what his expectations are for us to successfully complete the requirements. The session gave us great insight of what this project is all about and how we can progress further within our design research and development. He rescheduled his visit to the 24th of April and by then our toiles need to be completed. I am currently developing my designs and doing further research in terms of theme, fabrication, construction, and silhouettes. I will post my progress and scan sketchbook pages this weekend. In the meantime, here are some of the exciting questions and answers from the Skype session:

Q: How much of our own style and inspiration would you like us to incorporate into the design?

A: Something different. While designing for the brand, consider balancing the given brief and bringing in own style and interpretation.

Q: In terms of our given price point (400-1000 GBP) what fabrics would you suggest for us to use to emulate that standard?

A: (500-185-80-40) Say something is worth 500 pounds. The cost is of the product is determined not only by the quality of the material, but the hours put into manufacturing. Say you were to pay someone 80 pounds to cover the manufacturing costs. But the actual fabric costs 40 pounds. So in other words, keep your budget tight in the manufacturing side and you don’t need to spend as much on fabric as you think.

Q: What do you think is more important: functionality or aesthetic? Or do you think they are equally important?

A: Aesthetic is more important. Something could be functional but look ugly and nobody would wear something ugly.

Its All About Detail

The finishing of a garment is just as important as the actual design. Say for example the shirt you designed has a really cool silhouette/style/color ideas etc. However if the finishing is terrible, the shirt will be terrible. Sleeves and collars are the most complex features in outerwear.

One of the things we did on our first day back last Thursday was to design a collar. Rather than creating a basic stand and fall pattern, we were given a revere collar template. First we had to cut and sew the given pattern and adding 1cm seam allowance. Then we got to manipulate the pattern and develop our own collar pattern.

Below are images of how I made the two different collar drafts:

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New Term, New Project, New Opportunities

So yesterday was my first official day back at university after spring break. We were given a brief and schedule for our new project and had to talk about some of our research we have done to prepare. This term, I will be doing a live project working like a freelance designer for an established design studio. I signed up to work for an a high end outerwear/sportswear brand, where I will be designing a 6 piece capsule collection and physically make one outerwear garment. I am really exited to be involved in this project, as my past projects have had me mixing contemporary Fashion with Sportswear. However this is going to probably be my busiest term ever (foresee sleep deprivation). We were already given the task to research and prepare a color/ fabric story, finishing samples, market research, developing designs, exploring various shapes and silhouettes etc. Its basically a never ending list of things that need to be done by next Thursday, as this will be the day the head designer of the company we are working for will have a look at our ideas. On the bright side, I really will take full advantage of further exploring and learning about the Outerwear/Sportswear market, as this is an area I wish to specialize in in the future.

My TWO THE BRAND Experience

Job description:

Jewellery Designer/Maker- Demonstrating Adobe illustrator skills and use of laser cutting machine. Manufacturing the pieces using a pewter melting/casting technique. 

Research Analyst- Researching the brands initial concept. Analysing facts, statistics revolving couples and a other duos. Gathering research images and documenting the company’s development in all sectors. Brand philosophy. 

Journalist- Conducting and editing the interviews in our publication. 

Print Designer- Demonstrating Adobe Photoshop skills to create a variation of print designs. 

So these past 7 days have definitely been the most busiest we have ever been throughout this entire project. My sleep deprived week included group meetings to finalise our pitch as well as me documenting everything into our group sketchbook. The other half of the TWO THE BRAND crew were working their magic on editing our photoshoot pictures and fashion film.

These past few months have been quite the journey and its all gone by so fast! It only seems like yesterday when our adventurous London trip took place. My responsibilities varied throughout this group project. For our publication, I was the brands investigative journalist who organised the interviews. Products development wise I designed/made the jewellery range, but would have the occasional assistant help out with the finishing off the pieces. I also did print designs for our Jersey fabric. Sadly however due to unseen circumstances, the Jersey couldn’t be used to manufacture a sufficient product that would suit our range. Otherwise in regards to other areas such as the photoshoot, I just added my input when needed.

What I really enjoyed from this experience was being able to demonstrate various skill sets as well as working in a group that had an overall good working dynamic.  Slightly Quoting our design philosophy: “Sharing the experience of documenting this journey is something I hope to treasure.”