All Posts in Work

May 31, 2010 - 3 comments

Let the fun begin

Egg_race_20s

On your mark get set ...go!!!

 

Last week I was involved in a mentoring session organised by the girls of Re Dress as part of their annual Fashion Evolution event. I met so many wonderful aspiring creative talents.

Since then I have received quite a few emails asking for further advice, so I thought I'd put a post together focusing on questions of those who are attempting to set up their own label.

I'm pretty sure I'm not  the best person to give advise, I don't always practice what I preach.. but that doesn't mean I don't want too...sometimes I need to say it to myself..and the universe.. to be convinced!

So, if  you are working on your first collection these are a few tips...

1. Get experience,  and I know this might sound like a step back, it will be worth it. It's the only way to learn the knots and blots of the industry. Learn from their success and their mistakes. If you haven't worked for another designer for a few seasons, at least, I would say don't even think of setting up your own label.

2. Once you've gained some experience, research as much as you can in terms of the concept of your creations and who you think your customer will be. I really believe you only have one chance to give a first impression so make sure your designs are up to scratch. I would rather wait for a year or two before putting something out there that I know is not as perfect as can be.

3. Keep your first collection small and concise. A 6 to 10 piece  strong collection can be enough to seduce your customers. Don't try to do everything. You can build up the collection in the future, but it will be easier to grab your customer's attention if you have a specific and clear concept.

4. Pricing. Once you've chosen a design concept and the market you think it will be for, be very conscious about costs and pricing. If you are designing for a younger market price point must be adequate to their spending capacity ( this comment is very specific to Ireland..in other countries where there is a bigger population you will find a more diverse customer base with a broad  range of budgets)

5. Don't under price your collection. The temptation is to undercut yourself at the beginning trying to get into good shops. It will be hard to charge what you should be charging later on.

6. Capacity. Be very clear what your limitations are, financially and production wise. Say no when you are unable to commit. It's better to say no than to say yes and then letting people down.

6. Stay small for as long as possible. It's the only way to learn without making huge mistakes or taking huge risks.

7. Build up a private customer base as well as nourishing a few shops. Don't step on their toes by selling at discount, this may come back to haunt you.

8. Press are always looking for new stories and great images. Invest in a good shoot, it doesn't have to be overproduced or costly..having great images is priceless. Write a press release. The story is so important now. Everyone from customers to journalists want to know the story behind the label so make sure there is soul in what you're doing.

 

If there are any other questions I haven't covered or you'd like something more specific let me know!

May 5, 2010 - 6 comments

I con, because I can

3701484881_3b8b600205_o Lisa Fonssagrives

 

Yesterday a tweet by an esteemed blogger, read

'Can we please find an alternative to "icon"/"iconic" when discussing anything fashion-related? Not everyone has "iconic" style!'

Provoked, as I  usually am by her intelligent reflexions, I had to respond to this, with a post ...

It was as if she had read my mind...I have already ranted about the misuse of the word Couture...but I'm afraid it is not alone in the long list of abused words that seem to attribute things that are further away from what these should be defining in the first place....

According to Merriam-Webster

ICON

Variant(s): also ikon \ˈī-ˌkän\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek eikōn, from eikenai to resemble
Date: 1572

1 : a usually pictorial representation : image
2 [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] : a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol
4 : emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture — Paul Goldberger>
5 a : a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning b : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that usually suggests the type of object represented or the purpose of an available function.

 

And as I write this post I just heard someone describe a highstreet mass produced dress with rhinestones as....VINTAGE!!..

 

April 22, 2010 - 7 comments

Infamous 2 stone dress

Embroidery
 
Design development, from idea to finish... 18 months
 
30 meters of silk
 
Embroidery...six weeks
 
To stitch garment...one week
 
 
and the wonderful Chloe Arnold modelling it!
 
 
The dress is returning from a very exciting trip to the southern hemisphere!
 

April 11, 2010 - 5 comments

Black and white

_MG_6724 

EB-MAR2010

_MG_6765 modifiedsmall copy


_MG_6775 small

_MG_6846 small 

 

I would love to send a huge thank you to Annmarie O'Connor from Iblogfashion who wrote a piece for today's The Sunday Times Style Magazine 

Photographs by Eduardo Macias, Make up by Ivey Sullivan,

 Hannah Corcoran  and Julie Flyn from Morgan.


   
 
 

March 12, 2010 - 9 comments

‘DO RE MI’……fashion weeks

A week ago a very good friend ,who is making her way into  ' the industry', asked me what trends did I think were going to be strong next season.

As a  keen observer and participant of what has been going on......I decided to do a round up of what I think has defined the past few weeks in fashion.

Paulette Goddard

  
 1. Social media is here to stay  

 Twitter, blogs and live online presentations have globalised the 'show' experience and brought the designer closer to the public.  I was an initial sceptic, but my opinion instantly changed when I saw the first live streamed show on the LFW website. 

Taviforpop
Tavi for Pop Magazine via Very very beautiful 

2. Bloggers claim front row territory. 

 Tavi, Susie Bubble  and other bloggers have managed to  breakthrough a hierarchical, inflexible and slightly archaic 'media' industry, claiming their undisputed influence and place  in the fashion world.

Lots of filtering still required but they are here to stay too!

 

Celine-aw10-11

Celine AW10 via Fashionista
 

3. Trend 'numero uno': Fabric over adornment

For the first time in many seasons we see the return of beautiful, unpretentious and incredibly well cut garments. The attention goes from adornment to the essence of the pieces. Those who mastered this: Prada, Dries and the most talked about and probably influential collection of the season Phoebe Philo's range for Celine.

I would like to see high street attempt copying this trend.  

It 'ain't' possible my friend

Cashmere/wool is cashmere/wool and to buy exquisite Italian mill quality you are talking around €100 to €300 a mtr ...or more....try doing a fabulous coat in a wool polyester mix with 1% cashmere...don't be fooled it WILL look cheap...and adornments to make it look expensive...are NOT WELCOME!! 

 4. Trend 'numero dos'...Fur

PETA's terribly managed campaigns have seen very little compassion in the hands of designers this season. Fur has been present in far too many shows. As an animal lover I hope this trend doesn't permeate commercially and just stays on the catwalk where it shouldn't have appeared in the first place.

5. Colours.....Earthy earthy earthy. WHITE, black and grey

6. And this season's crown goes to....ALEXANDER MCQUEEN... if there is anything that has been of any significance this season it has been the absence of Alexander McQueen. I still get teary writing about it...it is such a loss! But as many very talented creators he left us at his peak and with the most extraordinary collection which was shown in an intimate 'modest' presentation (for McQueen standard) but which clearly showed how his mastery was unquestionable, no matter where or how it was presented. 

The debate continues if he may or may not  have been a genius...

Am101
Am103
Am106
Am105

Photographs via Style Zeitgeist

 

in my books he certainly is.
   

 

February 27, 2010 - 12 comments

Inspiration

Debora T 2

Next month my 10th collection will be presented. The initial research and inspiration started during Paris Fashion Week, October 2008 on a regular visit to 120 year old Parisian shop Fried Freres.

Their back room is filled from floor to ceiling in old dark wood shelves overflowing with sequins and beads in every colour and shape imaginable. I left an hour later with empty pockets and bags filled with sequins. I immediately started to feed the subconsious with new ideas

A year and half later the concept has turned into reality, and a 10 piece collection to celebrate 10 seasons is in the making.

As with every collection I'm quite nervous and very excited.

Image Deborah Turbeville
 

February 18, 2010 - 5 comments

The red carpet calls

Boer

Today I received an email asking for a few 'gunnas'* for the next red carpet event. As if I didn't have any lovely pieces I could easily send today. I have decided to embark myself in a 38 hour frenzy ,making a few pieces I think would be much nicer for the wonderful candidate.

There is nothing better than an impossible deadline to get one's life back in track...specially after a week or so living in limbo....

In anticipation of a couple of sleepless nights and overdosing in chocolate and coffee...I wish you all a wonderful weekend  !

 

*gunnas snatched from the POB dictionary