In fashion design, it's always "go, go, GO!" There is always something that has to be done. There is always a collection to work on. It's also not unheard of to work on multiple collections at one time. For example: while we present our newest collection, we're also fulfilling orders from previous collections, and sketching for the upcoming collection. Each collection is a cycle that once it starts, it doesn't stop.
The Collection Lifecycle
The lifecycle of a collection starts with an inspiration. With an inspiration chosen, we create an inspiration board. The board has images and swatches for things like silhouettes, trims, and fabrics. Our previous collections, red carpet moments, and current bridal trends are also sources of inspiration
We spend the following 5-8 weeks sketching to our hearts content. At the end of sketching, we can have 50+ sketches that we must whittle down to a cohesive collection. The decision making usually happens via a video call. We both spread the sketches out on the floor or table, and then we go through each one. After many yesses, maybes, and lots of hmm-ing, we end up with the designs that move on to the next phase. Time for muslins!
We spend about 8 weeks producing the muslins of the finalized designs. This involves draping, patterning, cutting, and sewing. The muslin fitting marks the end of the muslin phase. (You can read more about muslin fittings here.)
During the fitting, we pin, unstitch, repin, and mark the muslins. After the fitting, we will correct any patterns that need it based on the pins and markings of the muslins. From there we lay out the patterns to determine the yield, aka how much of each fabric we need to order.
Once the fabrics arrive, itâs time to cut and sew the samples!!! This is where things get exciting because our initial ideas are becoming a reality! 16-20 weeks from the first fitting, samples are complete. Itâs not like we have little elves coming in at night and making these dresses for us. Unless that is, you consider us the âelvesâ if we work through the night. (Truth be told, though, weâre not in college and can no longer pull âall-nightersâ and be functional the next day.)
What comes after finished samples? PHOTOSHOOT!!! The fun stuff! And what comes after that, prepping for marketâ¦ not as fun, but we have to do it. Of course, 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.
Fashion designers choose whether they present their collections 6 months to a year before designs are in stores. In our case, we present the upcoming year's collection the previous fall. This means that when we go to market in early fall of this year, we will be debuting our 2016 Collection!
The Never-Ending Cycle
Oh yeah, and shortly after market is over, a whole new cycle starts for the next collection. That's on top of fulfilling orders, to which there is never an end. There are new orders from market and past orders from trunk shows/boutiques. Ahhhhh!
Know of where can we find us some elves?!? Haha, but no seriously, we will leave our studio windows unlocked for those elves.