Having spent a lot of time planning and designing the collection I am moving into the next stage of development . I’ve begun the process of pattern cutting and toiling the first designs.
Very often designers don’t do this stage themselves. The design is often passed on to a factory or an in-house studio to be made up, and the designer then fits and reviews the first sample. This is how I have always worked in my employed positions. I would make up a technical specification with the design drawings and a very detailed explanation of the measurements, fit, fabrication and finishing details. I would then wait for the design to be translated into a sample to review, with varying rates of success and amendments required.
It is a liberating change for me to be able to take this process back and do it myself, because it really can be an important part of the design process. It means I can see the design taking shape in 3D, on a woman’s form instead of just on the page, and the design can evolve as it is made. I can review it from all angles which allows me the opportunity to work continuously around the body and develop a more fluid outcome. I become less restricted in my approach and have more opportunity to see new possibilities.
As well as the aesthetic benefits I am also finding it incredibly enjoyable. It’s a wonderful feeling to actually be crafting something. To see an idea come to life and be responsible for all the little decisions and adjustments along the way. When I sit down and work on a garment it starts to feel like a piece of art or a sculpture. I find myself becoming completely absorbed by the task and it’s a real pleasure.
I have always been interested in creative cutting and appreciate clothes that create shape using unexpected construction and detailing. Whether it’s elegant vintage Balenciaga or avant-garde designers like Yohji Yamamoto, clever pattern cutting elevates a design and makes it stand out. It gives an intelligence to a garment, when fashion is so often seen as frivolous. It differentiates luxury from the mass market, giving it a sense of sophistication and having been crafted.
It is important to me to incorporate this feeling into the collection. It might be in subtle ways, but I want to express an attention to detail and a refinement. I want the clothes to express the thought, passion and craft that have created them and for the woman wearing them to feel she is wearing a piece that is not only gorgeous, but also created with artful workmanship.