On the design process
It’s a whole ball of wax designing, creating and photographing a collection to eventually putting them on the pages of this site, but somehow it always works. That’s not to say I don’t have many mini freak-outs along the way, but in the end when the photos go up on the site I’m usually pleased.
Generally speaking, people want to know where the inspiration comes from. For me, inspiration is everywhere, but never when you’re looking for it! I often find lots of inspiration when I travel. Seeing other colors, landscapes, architecture and cultures brings so many ideas.
From inspiration to collection on the site, there is a lot that happens…
First I sketch the fabric design for every piece that we create, and determine how we will weave each piece, in which yarn number and fabric quality. I have to hand off my design work to our product manager who has to work out all of the weaving specifics and put all of the technical specifications into our computer system. After ordering the yarns and making the warps, we can weave a first sample yardage.
It is only at this point that I actually see the fabric and know if the design was right. Most of the time it is, sometimes it’s completely wrong, and if there’s time to re-weave, we make the needed changes and weave again, if not, we sadly have to drop the product from the collection.
When I have all the sample yardage, our stitching department can start making samples, which is like Christmas for me, I love seeing the final product come to fruition.
Somewhere between sketches and sample yardage I have to sit with our stylist to discuss the photography for the collection. I have big black chalkboard walls in my studio and I hang all of the inspiration and sketches there for everyone to have a feel for what’s coming. It’s from these walls that we work on photo shoot ideas. Then she has to go searching for a location and accessories for the shoot- which she always does absolutely perfectly.
After completing the samples and determining the location, we book the photographer and models and we eventually get to the shoot itself, which is loads of work, but so fulfilling! It’s truly only at that moment that I’m sure it’s all going to be good.
Having the photos is my favorite moment of the process, because I finally see it all come together. Some seasons there are so many incredible photos, that I cannot choose which ones I want to use- I cannot decide which my favorites are for the cover of our inspiration book, or the site- these are great seasons!
Once I have selected the photos that I want to use, the selection goes to our graphic designer, and she starts the work to get them up on the site, and sadly the process is over. But in the meantime, while this was all in work, I have already moved on to the next season, or two, so I’m getting excited for the next round!