Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ready, Set, Custom Design!

Wow-what has kept me busy for 2 weeks! Besides my Master Degree studies in which the term ends this month-I've been blessed with a wonderful response of design work requests from the community and even residents from the nearest big city.

The launch of the cotton abaya line was very really well received! I am so excited to be working on custom-made abayas. It has been great to meet with clients one-on-one! Many were impressed with the selection of fabrics, fancy ribbons, embroidered borders, etc., in my design studio inventory, that was available for them to pick and choose from for their own abayas. Customers chose which style they wanted for their abaya; the majority choose styles from my website however others had a design of their own in mind. Lastly, clients decided if they wanted the abaya to open up completely in the front with a zipper or snaps, or if they wanted a pullover style (most went with the single snap closure). For measurements, I found it helped the women visualize fit if I had them either try on samples in my studio or bring one of their own abayas. I noticed several ladies commented on how surprisingly lightweight the cotton abayas were [whom tried on samples in the studio]. I can't wait to get them finished, delivered and upload pictures on my portfolio website!

In addition, to abayas, several orders were placed for other garments. Ranging from beautiful dresses made from exotic Asian fabrics to casual embroidered cotton tunic tops. I really enjoy the opportunity to be creative and more involved with these types of design projects. For me, I have always enjoyed the fusion of art and science in fashion design. I am so happy to see a satisfied customer who can wear an outfit that previously was just a picture in their mind. I am equally excited to upload pictures of the gowns and tops!

About every month or so, I get requests to do alterations on existing garments. I must admit that there is virtually zero creativity and therefore a low motivation to accept this type of work. (Besides nearly all your local dry cleaners will do alterations on your clothes). I enjoy the process of seeing a garment come to life; from it's birth of an idea, to choosing fabrics & notions, to drafting pattern pieces and lastly constructing the final result-it is the journey that I thoroughly enjoy and am very passionate about participating in! Hence why I decided to be a designer instead of a tailor or seamstress.

Actually, in the industry, a designer almost never sews or makes patterns. Typically a designer researches trends, prepares a concept board for the season and category for their target market, then makes tech packs that basically communicate all the information about a style to a factory. The designer's description and sketches have to be absolutely precise though in order for a factory to make the garments accurately! Even your haute couture designers, think fashion shows of Paris, New York and Milan, generally have their junior staff make patterns & sew the hand-made garments for their elite clientele. Nowadays, the only time you see professional designers actually making patterns and sewing samples/garments is at small or home-based businesses. Having said that, every designer will tell you that at design school you absolutely must sew and draft patterns of your own work; because it is crucial for a designer to have a thorough understanding and knowledge of clothing construction. As I mentioned, fashion is a combination of art and science. In short, the labor (e.g. pattern-making & sewing/construction) is the science & skill whereas innovation & creativity (e.g. styling, silhouettes, trends, colors, prints, etc.) is the art and talent! As I mentioned, I love being involved in the entire process of bring a garment to life!

No comments: