Finishing up EVERYTHING

With only less than 1.5 weeks until we have to submit our project for the term, this week was a pretty hectic week in terms of planning and production. One half of the TWO THE BRAND crew were busy organizing our upcoming photoshoot sourcing clothes, models and finding appropriate locations. Meanwhile on my half on the production side, we were busy finishing up as many products as we could in time for the shoot. I mentioned in previous posts that I was responsible for the jewellery while others were working on the hats and socks. Our jewellery range now consists of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches. Overall, I am very pleased as to how the jewellery turned out and look forward seeing them on the models!

Here are images of the finished products:Image

 Finished necklace

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Back of necklace

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Back of necklace

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Earrings

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Bracelet 

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Brooch

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The range

We also had another tutorial with Anne this week about our branding concept and the materials we were going to use to make our accessories. Her conclusion was that we really need to work on our marketing approach as according to her “ it isn’t special enough to stand out..”. In terms of production, she said that she liked the jewellery pieces but suggested to use other materials for the chains. We ended up deciding on black suede for the chains, as they gave a really nice contrast in terms of texture and color. Sadly she really wasn’t to keen on the hats even though based on my personal opinion they turned out quite well. Overall she did made valid points and we took her advice and got to work..

Tomorrow is going to be a very long but exciting day as it is PHOTOSHOOT DAY! Really looking forward to work with the models cause they look amazing! Hope all goes according to plan and that the weather will cooperate (doubt it though cause this is England..).

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Models for shoot

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Models for shoot

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Models for shoot

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Defining and Producing

So last week was all about getting feedback of our TWO THE BRAND concept in terms of branding and products. The week began with guest speaker Justin Barrow from Barrow & Flux giving us some advice on how to successfully brand a product and engage with consumers.  Barrow & Flux are a company based in Dorset that locally produces wooden sunglasses. After our group tutorial with Justin, he advised us to redefine our concept and come up with some type of narrative for our USP. “Don’t just tell your story, do your story” according to him. We also had to consider how we would brand accessories within the accessories market. Also, check out what Justin does on : http://barrowandflux.com/

The next day we had yet another group tutorial but this time with Anne. We decided to re-introduce our concept to her by saying that TWO THE BRAND is an accessory company that makes things that come in pairs or that compliment each other. We then discussed further ideas in terms of USP’s such as having each product match a couple/duo on our online page, with a story of  the pair attached. So it’s more about stories rather than the product. Her advice to us in terms of product that we should define which item is for men and which for women. She strongly hinted that she really isn’t a fan of the whole unisex market. Which was fine because that’s not what we were trying to aim for in the first place. Seeing that our color palettes have been more black and white, she said to go forth with that but then maybe add another color to define the gender.

We respectively came to the conclusion that our style identity is more on the graphic and linear side. This was an aesthetic that we heavily incorporated in to our digital print designs.  The print designs were digitally printed onto 2 metres of stretch jersey bamboo fabric and are planning to make socks and scarves. Below are images of the actual printing process and the designs we printed off:

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ImageFinal Print Design #1

ImageFinal Print Design #2

Design and production wise, another product development process that I been heavily involved with so far from start to finish is the jewellery. After creating the set of designs in Adobe Illustrator, I had to laser cutter to engrave the designs onto the wood and later on melt the pewter into the shapes.  Rather than the Fashion studio, I’ve been spending more time up at the workshop making the pewter jewellery. On an unrelated side note, even though I personally want to specialize in garments after I graduate, using this particular technique is something I would like to include for future projects.

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Laser Cut shapes for necklaces, rings, earrings

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Close up of ring sizes

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End Result

Even though our project hand in isn’t until the 10th of march, we still want to have our pieces made by the 28th, so they would be ready for our Photoshoot scheduled on the 3rd of March.  We started booking models and a photographer and everything seems to be according to plan. Let’s hope it will remain that way…

Developing Accessory Range

Last week was a pretty busy week! After we decided that we wanted to do an accessory range, we began to develop design ideas and booked necessary workshops to make samples/prototypes.

The following accessories we decided to include within our product range are:

  • Rings
  • Necklaces
  • Gloves
  • Beanie hats
  • Socks
  • Scarves

For the rings and necklaces, we decided to make them out of pewter. A few of us attended a session on Tuesday the 11th, where we were able to create some samples.

We had to start off by engraving the shapes we wanted onto a cuttle bone. Apparently you can find those things on the beach but you just have to make sure to dry them. Then once we carved our shapes, we had to create a funnel on the side to pour the pewter into a hole and attach a board onto the surface. We got to use a really cool blow torch to melt the pewter with which was fun! It’s made out of metal and alloy and is melted at 150 degrees. Sadly, the shapes didn’t turn out to be as clean cut as we wanted them to be. However, we still wanted to continue with this particular technique but rather than hand carving it, we decided to make samples by using the laser cutter. Creating the sample shapes on wood using the laser cutter turned out much better and from then on we decided to go forth with this method.

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First Pewter samples with bone

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 Laser cutting shapes for pewter

 The toiles of the gloves have been coming along nicely thanks to Penny’s amazing sewing skills! We as a group are still deciding on the fabric for the gloves but are thinking either leather or suede.

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Glove toile

 For the hats, we thought knitted beanie hats would suit our accessory range. I really am bad at traditional hand knitting, but I was willing to try and learn how to use the giant knit machine we have in our studio. It looks like a really complex machine, but once we were briefly taught the basics, it seemed pretty straight forward and even got to make some samples. Knit wise, we tried out a 2+2 rib with a 2/1 set up, meaning that the hat would have a nice thick detailed woven design.

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Knit sample

 

For the scarves and socks, we ordered a coated bamboo jersey fabric so we can use the digital printer to create print designs. I posted some of the print design ideas in my previous post if you want to check those out.

I’m actually exited that our brand is tapping into the accessory market rather than the apparel market. However, the pieces just need to be done within the next 2 week! The TWO THE BRAND crew is going have a busy time ahead of them!!

Summer Projects and a Bamboo Shoe

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Some say Christmas is their favorite time of year. Others might say that its summer break. Chilling by the beach, tanning, traveling, who doesn’t love those things!?

However as the days go by and approaching the end of summer, eventually people have to get back into their daily routine of work/school. This realization sunk in for me a few days ago; when I received the brief for my summer project (future posts about project to be expected). It’s crazy to believe that I’m going back to college as a 2nd year student! (2 more years to go!!)

Seeing as I haven’t started on this year’s project and have nothing to talk about yet, I decided to post last years summer project. We were assigned to make a shoe either from scratch or customize one. I decided to make mine from scratch, seeking inspiration from tribal ethnic images. The main design statement of this piece is the bamboo platform. I cut the bamboo into 10cm sticks and hand glued them together. Then, I used a tribal printed fabric as the body of the shoe. Above is an image of the final product and a few inspiration images.

Toile of Duffle Bag

 

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For my accessory piece, I decided to create a duffel bag to go along with my sportswear inspired outfit.  First, I had to cut out the base into a square shape, followed by sewing the sides onto the base. Then I also added a drawstring cord by attacting one end of the cord to a safety pin. Pull the strings together to close the bag. The fabric I used to make my toile was in calico.