After much back and forth, both on the phone and in email, my agent finally gave me some solid ideas for a direction that might be suitable for his corporate, education-based client. Again, he told me he wanted something edgey and agreed that his client should be looking to take a tiny bit of a risk and put something a little bit unexpected out there if they want the kids to wear it proudly.
Here's what I came up with:
Text Designs: Results in Context: My Agent's Ideas Realized
My own take on the subject or "what happens when you tell me to step up - but not too high"
Anyway: After somewhat of a critical review, it turns out that they really can't push the envelope this far. Here's what they liked:
I LOVE the first one that reads, "EVOLVE" and the last one that reads, "ACHIEVE". Sadly, those are a bit "to controversial. Oh. Well.
The good news is that the deal is sealed and these designs are going to expo in the middle of September. I should have the check in my hand by the end of the week. Yaaaay!
Once the expo closes out there will be another round of discussion and negotiation. We'll see how it goes. I'll fill you in on who/what/ and where once the designs are released to the general public.
This growing list consists of my personal recommendations on reference books for anyone wanting to enter the field of fashion design. These handy guides exist on my shelves and I refer to them over and over again. I certainly hope you will find them useful as I have.
Sometime, a month or so ago, I was approached by my agent about designing new associate uniforms for a national retail chain. He had, in fact, included some of my sketches in the initial proposal that he sent to their corporate office. They liked the designs that I had created and began negotiating with my agent, trying to pull the design work into a packaged deal. Long story made short: They were unable to come to terms and that deal has gone belly up. This happens sometimes and I wasn't seriously counting on the gig - especially since it is way outside of my norm - that there really is no harm and no foul.
One lesson that I should have learned by now is to ask my agent who the client is BEFORE I say that I will consider the gig. My work is edgey and often outside of anything anyone would consider to be along "corporate lines" so it's Double-Dutch funny when I am presented with a proposal for a project that needs to hold to strict corporate guidelines. Be that as it may, I agreed to take on some new design work for a corporate client whose business is based in education and tutoring. Word is that they want to have some new designs that their students will want to wear, thus extending their marketing reach. They want to be seen as cool - like it's cool to be one of their students.
Some of the issues that I've encountered in comping the intial designs are market related. Their students are mostly tweens. I design mostly for the juniors and misses markets. They have not yet provided me a breakdown on the percentage of boys vs girls that attend their classes and have been hedging off on sending samples of their current designs.
Through some rather light research my agent was able to find out who was doing their current design & production projects and he sent me a link to the company's website. Most of their designs are very generic and not that snappy. In fact they're rather bland and boring and look very much like they were created with clipart. So here I am, preparing some light comps and a few design ideas that run totally against their current grain.
My agent is looking for designs that are a little bit fun, a tiny bit edgey, and not so much the run of the mill. Still, they will need to fit with the company's current image that will remain unchanged. [Insert a big healthy, but exasperated *sigh*] and then wonder why I did not ask all of the pertinent questions out front.
Live and learn -- yes. I obviously need to do more of the latter. What do you guys think? Am I somewhere close to the mark or should I go back to the drawing board by way of the circular file?
Again: These designs are for the tween market and must be acceptable to the parents as much as they must be seen as somewhat cool by the students.
I am currently developing a design for a tie-back strapless dress. The garment will be poly-morphic with the inherent ability to be worn as a skirt or top. It is a relatively simple design that will move effortlessly through the summer. Layer it up if you like and take it into transitional fall.
As with all of my designs of this nature, it will be sustainable, created from recycled tee shirts. Art and embellishements will be hand-painted allowing the wearer to have pride that she is wearing a one-of-a-kind edition. No metal fasteners or zippers will be used. The drawstring closure will also give this dress a very floaty and fun sort of feel and the voluminous design will allow it to fit a range of sizes.
Before I begin to cut and sew I like to start with flat sketches. Flat sketching like this forces me to consider seam placement as much as it does the intended fit. It also gives me a handy way to add specs for the final work.
Development of this project will be easier [and it will probably make a lot more sense] if I treat the design as if it were being created for a hypothical client. Going forward I will refer to this hypothical client as HC.
At this point HC and I have discussed the style she is interested in. I have her measurements and we have discussed her issues with her body. HC has indicated that she feels most comfortable in a dress that strikes her at mid thigh. She also likes longer skirts that fall to mid calf. This design accomplishes that.
HC has also indicated that she would like to disguise a slight tummy bulge and minimize the look of ample hips. She has no issue with her bustline and doesn't mind drawing a little more attention to that area of her body. Again, this design, as presented, will accomplish her goals and maximize her assets. We have talked about it at length and she is very happy with the design sketches and is ready to choose her art and select her color palette.
At this point I will present the flat sketches, colored and filled with a digital redition of the artwork. This gives the client more of a feel for the uniqueness of the design and helps her to feel the mood of the piece.
I do not take scissors to cloth until the entire design has been approved. HC is given the line sheets and/or tech packs that include the filled flat sketches and a mock-up of the artwork that she has selected.
Occassionally HC will request a croqui and ask about different looks or outfits for the same garment. Since this design works well for juniors, misses, and curv-a-licious body types I am showing the same garment as a dress and a skirt on two different croquis. The looks that you can derive from this particular garment are almost endless but I have confined myself to two different versions in order to save time for the sake of this exercise.
Play with your clothes...
The process of proto-typing
One of the aspects that I find most rewarding and enjoyable when designing a garment from start to finish is sitting down to create the prototype design.
When you're working with recycled or vintage garments you can never really be sure what you'll find in terms of color or features of the product that you're going to be starting with. In this case I found that my tee shirt had a pocket and I really liked the idea of utilizing it for this particular design.
I also thought about the idea of tying the dress [or skirt] in the back. This is sometimes easier said than done if you're alone when you're getting dressed. Sure you can always tie it in the front and then wiggle it around -- but why? You tie it to the perfect fit, arrange the gathers beautifully to fit your figure, and then force it around your body. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me but it's nice to have options.
With this in mind, I sewed the pocket and slit of the top to face front. It's a great look, granted, but not so much if you're well endowed on top. Even if you're not busty the slit may create issues of modesty if the garment is being worn alone as a strapless dress.
I also found that having the slit in the front created a very awkward look when the garment was worn as a skirt. To solve this issue, I turned the slit to the side. It was better but not great. The side seam ended up going down the front of the skirt and it just isn't pretty.
Yes. It's okay if you're improvising but the need to turn the slit to the side will also cause issues with the placement of the artwork. That being the case, the idea of a split top is now abandoned.
On a positive note I did try this garment on as a dress and a skirt and I have to tell you that it is way cute. I do not look a bit pregnant in it, which is a common issue with styles of this nature, and it is very breezy and comfortable.
Play with your clothes
With the slit being gone I was able to give this dress additional morphability.
Hey people! The group is for people who want to be designers, well im one of them. Actually just starting out, but i have the motivation, drive, and courage to know i CAN do this! So the one who started this group, ill help get some people involved, is that cool?? We need more than 3 people to be signed up in order for advice, trading ideas, etc. to happen. Lets get that ENERGY going and start inviting people, designing things, posting designs (any kind of design anyone pleases). LETS DO THIS GIRLS!!!