verbal croquis

sparkle part cinq

Posted in events,general,my work,side projects by verbalcroquis on April 2, 2006

Ah, the post I’ve been dreading to write. What I think I did right and what I think I did horribly horribly wrong. Keep in mind that this is written by an overachieving workaholic with a touch of OCD. I try to keep in mind that we are our own harshest critics, but that doesn’t stop me from picking at everything.

Things I did right:
Overall, I like how the boards turned out. Not quite evident in the photographs, but technically, the illustrations, flats, fabrics, storyboard were all executed well.

There’s plenty of sparkle, which is not easy for me.

I love the fabrics I picked, the treatments, the combination of textures and colors.

The collection is well merchandised. No two looks look alike at all, but work under the umbrella theme.

One of my aims for this project was to present a lot of ideas that if I were to elaborate this group into a full sized collection, the designs had room to grow into different bodies, the embellishment ideas would not just work for that piece but be able to evolve onto another. I just wanted to cram as many ideas as I could in one collection without it looking too loaded and schizophrenic and I think I’ve accomplished that.

Things that are off:
The fabric board needs tweaking. The background color doesn’t work as well as I thought it would. I think I should have used the same blue as the illustrations. It needs a border.

The storyboard printed out a little too green.

The blurb isn’t as well written as I’d like.

Things that are still preying at my brainmeats:
I don’t know how modern or forward this collection looks. This is the doozy. After I had the designs mostly finalized, I took a break to view the fall 06 shows online. Eep. There were lots of bows and lots of chains. I won’t lie to you–I panicked. I couldn’t look at my project for about 3 days and I considered chucking it all and starting all over. My girl M came over and put a stuffed toy pig on my head. (That’s what she does–don’t question her wisdom.) I thought up new themes, new fabric stories. I sketched, I chainsmoked, I panicked some more. I didn’t want to design something that was happening now–I wanted to design something that would be next.

Then I gave myself a good hard slap and told myself: Zoe, this is what you do. You take something that people overlook as ordinary and make it weird and different and special. Lots of people do really pretty blouses with a bow and you take that blouse with a bow and turn it on its ear. That’s your job. You push boundaries on what something is without making it so esoteric no one wants to wear it. Right? Right?

So I pushed onward. I changed some things. Obviously I think I changed them for the better, but who knows? I’m still more on-trend than I’d like to be. I don’t know if I produced ideas that were new enough. We shall see.

I end this with a big thanks to the boy for putting up with my madness during this project. My workspace became a disaster area, I contemplated having people wearing a hazmat suit upon entering our house, I didn’t pay enough attention to him, and barely did my share of the chores and then proceeded to get sick as a dog right afterwards. So, um, thanks for not dumping me. 🙂


10 Responses to 'sparkle part cinq'

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  1. lolb said,

    I get confused about all this on trend, off trend stuff.

    I understand that we have to be commercially viable when we design , but I’ve often found that I can get into information overload and confused when I study trends and forecasts. It’s hard not to be influenced by current trends and future trends also If you read the forecasting services.

    I guess how I feel is that I want to just follow my heart in terms of my design and only do what turns me on regardless of whether it’s on trend or way off trend. Am I going to be a disaster with this philosophy?, perhaps I’ll be too obscure?? I think my starting point is to consider who’s my muse or target customer and get into the head space of what she may desire or be inspired by, but perhaps I’m too much my own muse. See I told you I was confused!! I just hate the idea of trend and trend forecasting even though that’s how the high street operates.

    Reality bites! Will I ever make it with my organic, bacteria printed,fabric manipulated clothing?? Reality check needed for me I think. You make me reconsider the reality , thanks Zoe.

    Ok I’ll be off now, to consider where the hell I’m heading,,,,,,

  2. henri-v said,

    So, Zoe, is the sticky pickle for you the sellability vs. the challenge you want to present to your consumer?

    (I know you don’t want to bash anybody over the head with high-concept, unwearable stuff, I can tell you don’t want to be running with the trend herd.)

  3. I wish there was a Kinsey scale for this kind of thing. Then I could say I’m a predominantly wearable designer, but more than incidentally avant-garde. And I’m predominantly a classicist but more than incidentally trendy. Or some such. The sticy pickle is trying to be an amazing designer, period, whether I’ve elected to do a very wearable group or a high-concept ode to comme des garcons.

  4. There’s this weird fine line you have to wiggle around these days. Fashion is not art, it’s design. Art is more personal, expressive of the artist. Design is more business, serving the public/customer. Or that’s where the lines were drawn before. And then some idiot proposed all sorts of stupid stupid stupid questions like “Does design have to be so clinical? Can’t designer also be self-expressive while still commercially viable?” Gah!

  5. lolb said,

    Hey VC, it’s great point you make about Design being more about business and art being more personal and expressive.That’s so true.

    I’m not into art as clothing at all, I must make that clear, I do admire the conceptual designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe but wouldn’t wear their clothes, I don’t want to make that much of a statement with my clothes. I’d say looking at your designs that you are definitely wearable yet avant garde at the same time.

    I guess my pitch will be ‘High casual’, I like glamorous clothing but I’m into comfort and wearability.My pitch is to ‘produce a collection of softly tailored garments using unexpected fabrics’ ie cotton jersey in a blazer, 40’S style fitted dresses with beautiful darts and gathers yet in comfy soft wool jersey. Structured styles yet de-constructed by changing the fabrics
    I like luxury fabrics and unexpected details. I’m a very feminine girl ( i revealed recently that I DON’T OWN A SINGLE PAIR OF JEANS!!, FREAK ALERT) I guess that will come through in my designs. I’d describe my style as cute rather than sexy, classic rather than trendy but still quirky..Where my problem lies is in the fabrics I’m proposing , I want to use organic fabrics as Its something I’m passionate about but my design aesthetic may not fit the demograph/organic clothing customer profile. It may be too stylised for your average organic consumer. I wonder though will my clothes sell because of the design and the fact they are organic will be an added bonus? I know that funky greenies exist, there’s me for one !, and Jill at 503XR and of course the lovely Henri V, but are we the minority? Maybe I’m aiming for a niche market that’s too small !

    Do you have any suggestion as to how I might research the viability of my designs? I’m hoping feedback on my blog will help and also the reaction to my mini collection for Hokonui fashion contest.I’ve considered running my ideas past retailers and buyers before I go into production .I have had some interest form a couple of shops I discussed my ideas with. I can pattern cut and construct all my samples myself so it’s pretty low risk venture. I’m in no rush either, I’m lucky in that I have time to develop my ideas slowly and carefully I won’t invest huge sums of money, I’m looking for steady, gradual, organic growth of my business.

    It’s really helpful swinging by your space to talk about these matters even if I’m not coming across very coherently!

  6. lolb said,

    Hey, the penny’s just dropped, was I the idiot you were referring to??

  7. Lol: I’ll answer your longer comment later, but I wanted to let you know that nononononono I was not calling you an idiot. Not by any means. I love your comments and all the questions you ask. I was just having a snarky sarcastic moment in regards to fashion in general.

  8. lolb said,

    He he, I think I need to regain my sense of irony , I think I must have lost it somewhere!!

  9. Re: your longer post.

    Depends on your ultimate goal. Is it to tell more and more people about how amazing organic/eco-friendly fibers can be? Or is it to make really nice clothes that happen to be made eco-friendly because your ethics dictate that for yourself? (Basically, is being EF a focus or a bonus?) I think when you answer that you can start asking the other questions (to yourself, me, others).

  10. lolb said,

    Thanks, for listening to my rambles VC. I’ m feeling a lot clearer about the angle I’m coming from.

    I think that basically I’m more interested in designing really nice clothes. The fact they are organic is an added bonus. I’m not the type to buy all my clothes in the green store irrespective of the fact I may be wearing a Hessian sack, just because the clothing is organic. In fact I don’t own any organic items as they are not available locally in Australia and I’m not a ‘buy online’ sort of a girl. I like to feel fabrics and try stuff on.

    Fact is, I always use and wear natural fibres, the organic samples I have are amazing , they fit with the styles I’m planning to make, so being organic really is the bonus. It’s not the thing I want to really push in peoples faces, but what I’m hoping is it will capture peoples interest in the organic industry and people will realise that they can be stylish and ethical, I guess I’m trying to capture a new audience who may not have been aware of organic fibres. I’m going to state that I use organic fibres but I’m not going to jump on some hobby horse as I don’t stand up to scrutiny that well!

    People feel they can attack you if you make any green statements, they think that you have no right to speak unless you are 100% green on everything you say and do, you can get the greenie backlash like Jill at 503XR did.

    Believe me I’m far from perfect, I do my best but I do have some dirty little secrets……I won’t mention the ‘Nike high tops’ in lumo pink I recently purchased!! I’m still suffering from major guilt and shame from that one!

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