If you didn’t know already, fashion designers present their collections 6 months or a year before the products actually hit the stores. In our case, bridal is designed to be presented 1 YEAR in advance. This means that when we go to market in early fall of this year, we will be showing our newest collection: Fall/Winter 2016! (Yes, we skipped a season. Yes, we can do that. haha)
So, until we go to market, what will we do? I’m glad you asked! Well, let’s see… we have a lot to do!!!
I mean, it’s not like we have little elves coming in at night and making these dresses for us… unless that is, you consider us the “elves” if we work through the night. (Truth be told though, we’re not in college and can no longer pull “all-nighters” and be functional the next day.)
Before I get to what is coming up for us, let me go back in time a little bit and get you up to speed as to what we have done so far. 16 weeks or so ago we created an inspiration board. The board has images that inspired us for silhouette, potential embellishments, color, etc. And since we cannot afford to pay for a trend forecasting service yet, we looked at several things to come up with the direction we should take for F/W ‘16: previous bridal collections (including how our F/W ‘15 collection was received), what was going on in real time with fashion, and what other designers were showing in ready-to-wear.
The following 8 weeks were spent sketching our little hearts away to come up with enough dresses to eventually whittle down to a cohesive collection - which we did. On top of this, we met with our fabric rep in Chicago, and continued fabric sourcing online as well. At the beginning of May we did a Skype conference call to decide the final sketches. We went through the 50+ sketches. After some yesses, maybes, and hmm-ing, we had our collection. Time for muslins!
At the end of this month, we will have spent the previous 8 weeks draping, patterning, cutting, and sewing our muslins. By then, Gretchen will have come down to Charleston so that together we can have the first fitting with the model. Hopefully, there will be more pinning than unstitching happening… our college professors can attest to the fact that we drape too tight. Oops. But, we did make the conscious effort to not drape too tight this time around. Anyways, I’m sidetracking. After the fitting, we will each correct any patterns that need it based on the fitting. From there we will lay out our pattern pieces to determine the yield, aka how much of each fabric do we need, and order the fabrics. Once the fabrics arrive, it’s time to cut and sew the samples!!! This is where things get really exciting because our initial ideas are becoming a reality! 10 weeks from the first fitting, samples will be done!!!
What comes after finished samples? PHOTOSHOOT!!! The fun stuff! And what comes after that, prepping for market… not as fun (haha) but we gotta do it. Of course, along with everything I just mentioned, there are little things to get done as well. And with big and little things said and done, we will be ready to hit the road for market.
Look out Chicago and NYC, we’re coming your way!!!
Oh yeah, and shortly after market is over, the whole cycle starts again for the next collection. Ahhhhh. (Know of where can we find us some elves, or an angel investor so that we can pay people to do some of this for us?!?) Haha, but no seriously, I will leave my studio window unlocked for those elves.