"Twelve" Senior Fashion Show, "Eleven designers and One show."
A year has gone by since planning began and all the tears and careful preparation payed off! My line was ready to go, I had checked off everything on my list and packed everything in my studio for that “just in case” moment. I had already gone to every store to perfectly accessorize my line and was excited to see everything come together.
The first of two shows that night was emotional, I am grateful to have shared this with my family and friends. By the second show, I was excited and having more fun - my jitters were gone. I had proven to myself that I could do this and was proud to show it to the world.
Bespoke Hair Artisans did a beautiful job in hair and makeup (a special thanks to Haley and Melissa). Guppy Studios took these great photos and was able to capture the strength, youth, and confidence of each look and model.
Without any more delay here is my Senior Line …
This princess seam tank dress features hand dyed linen and small pleats radiating around the neckline.
Model: Katie Mackereth
The top is made of soft light weight satin and translucent cotton voile. This perfectly fit pencil skirt with two front pockets is a cotton sateen blend with MY DESIGN PRINTED on it.
Model: Melissa Benedict
Fabric printed by: spoonflower.com
This low draped chiffon cowl back tank is completely transparent in the back and has a light weight satin underlay in the front. The lace bandeau bra is an added surprise under the top. These gorgeous pants are made of a light weight wool with a heathered pink surface.
Model: Carrie Rahm
Belt: J Crew
This top has two contrasting crepe satin fabrics at the shoulders with pleats radiating around the neck line. The maxi skirt is a cotton silk blend with MY DESIGN PRINTED on it!
I was lucky enough to have two beautiful models for this look, so I thought I would share both of their pictures!
Model: (Top) Shannon Hoelzel (Bottom) Elizabeth Davelaar
This year we, as a class, are very active in getting our models ready for the runway. We have a Runway Coach, Dustin, that is training the girls. I am very grateful he is donating so much time for us, especially since I decided to use untrained girls to walk in my clothes. He is firm but not mean. He shares his insight and explains with videos what professional models are doing. I am learning a lot as well.
This past week we reserved space in a dance studio so the girls could see their walks. This was really beneficial and I saw improvement in one night! Each practice they are getting more confident.
There are two more regular rehearsals and then one last rehearsal the night before the show in the real space. I think I will see nervousness coming out that night. I am not sure who will be more anxious me or them?
Since my last post, I have been able to spend a lot of time with my family over the break, started a new - LAST - semester of college, worked, re-worked, and re-re-worked my line. I am not quite done with all of the finishing touches but I can see the end…. which is coming up quickly.
I am pretty sure that every time I go back and look at my posts I have changed this detail or that one. With every change my line gets a little stronger. I have a few kinks to work out and a fast approaching deadline.
By the end of last semester, we had already had 2 faculty/ mentor review meetings with some great input. They noticed details that I had not noticed… changing a straight style line to a curved one on the second look to unite that piece, taking in the legs of the pants for a more fitted look, adding width at the bottom of the maxi skirt so the model can make large steps… For the most part, they love the direction this line has taken and reaffirmed it’s cohesiveness (to me). During the last review all the garments were in their final fabrics and needed one last fitting for the models, hems, and accessories.
Due to some fitting issues, I have one final review in about 5 days to show the review board that I have fixed the fitting problems and the line is ready for runway.
All of my expectations for this look were met. I expected the top to be very wide and too short at the front hem. I took in the side seams and center back, lowered the arm holes, and will lengthen the front hem by 2 inches. The darts at the neckline need to be smoothed out a bit but lay surprisingly flat.
The skirt length was perfect for tall heals, which was the plan. Also, the hem is not wide enough but I new I need to adjust that as well. The fitting was quick but will now be able to move on to the next steps of re-drafting the patterns and sewing another test for the next and final fitting.
*Someone forgot her camera and will have pictures taken at the next fitting.
I am pretty sure I have not described each of my looks. There are four looks, and I actually haven’t named them yet.
Look 1 will be the first ensemble down the runway. It is a classic princess seam knee length tank dress with pleats radiating around the neckline. I am envisioning a golden rod-esgue color. Over the shoulder and trailing slightly to the center back hem will be a screen printed colorful floral pattern. Sitting on the shoulder is a half necklace made of 3-D fabric flowers that have been treated to be stiff and glossy. Each of these flowers will be bright and bold.
Look 2 is a custom printed pencil skirt just above the knee. I am currently designing a floral pattern that I will have manufactured and printed on fabric to use throughout my line. I am using flower pictures I took of my mother’s garden and editing them in Photoshop. I am working on making the print less child-like but keeping them bright and colorful. The top is more than just a scoop neck tank top. The top third of the tank uses transparent fabric and just at the cleavage line is an opaque fabric. The top will be solid blue to balance the pattern in the skirt.
Look 3 is my personal favorite and might have been the death of me so far. The pants are slim cut and pink! Originally I was going to have my model wear a bandeau bra with my floral print on it but have since changed to a cami style undershirt with the print (the bra look was too racy for this line, but could be worn as a personal styling choice if this ever went into production). The over shirt is a tank with a cowl neck in the back instead of the front. It will be made of a transparent pink organza which is also meant to be tucked into the pants. This look will also incorporate a 3-D floral necklace. The necklace will be exaggerated in the front and just a chain in the back.
Look 4, my final look on the runway. A green scoop neck tack with similar radiating pleats at the neck that has a longer back hem than the front. For the styling on the show the viewers will not be able to see the hem detail. The flowing maxi skirt will have two layers. The lining will be a solid green and the over-layer made of chiffon will also have the custom printed floral pattern but it will gradate from the bottom rich and full of flowers to less at the natural waistline. The piece will be pulled together with a belt at the waist… maybe more 3-D flowers.
Had a great meeting with my career counselor this past week. She was able to give me some insight on where to go for my future internship. Then we broke down my resume and it has some potential that focuses on my design strengths as a student.
Also met with my mentor over the weekend. She had some helpful ideas about how to construct one of my skirts and its potential as a dress by itself. I am able to visualize my designs as pieces and mix and match amongst each other. We sat and talked about my line, careers, the fashion show, upcoming dates… for two hours, it was refreshing.
I put in a full day of patterning Sunday. Decided that I need a break from the back cowl tank that I am designing. I need to step back and try to figure out how to get these side seams to match and get the right fullness at the waist.
Had a meeting this morning to discuss progress, think I have been able to work out the cowl issues. I think I have a better place to continue on to. Did my last measurement fitting with one of my models today. All four girls done. Goal: week and a half first fittings of muslins.
I have my pants draft done of one look. My original plan was to draft all my patterns then sew the muslins. But I think I am going to draft, sew, draft, sew… The cowl back tank might have to be draped, we’ll see how it goes first. Ready to start seeing my creations coming alive.
Perfecting my illustrations this weekend. Draw and redraw, perfectionism is a character flaw at this point. Definitely ready to start patterning and getting to the hands on creating. I am excited to see where my line evolves to next or how close it stays to these illustrations.
Had another model call on Saturday. It was kinda slow but had a couple great girls and guys show up. I think with a little direction they will have some strong walks and poses.
What a busy week! After class feedback and hitting the drawing board again, somehow my line became this crazy ballgown collection. That was in the complete opposite direction I needed to go. I sat down again with a classmate, Jennifer, and we walked through each piece. She definitely got me to focus on my themes and main goal. My classic silhouettes are back with my own added flair.
I have 4 models down for sure and need one more. We have one more model call this weekend so hopefully I can decide on my last girl. This searching for the “right model” is a little outside my comfort zone. All of these women have something great, I just feel judgey staring at their pictures and deciding who will fit and who won’t. I know that I need to have my models have a similar look. This just isn’t my favorite part. An important element for my models is that I want them to smile. I want them to look like they are having a good time and love what they are wearing. I want my mood more upbeat.
On to buckling down and getting my listS checked off.
Looking at the new Spring RTW (Ready to Wear) collections for 2012… I found one of my designs, down to the color! Bitter-sweet. I have to redo one more of my looks and make it better and make it my own. But seeing my design on the runway has a little bit of satisfaction, at least I am going in the right direction. And I am glad I saw this now DURING design process and not during construction or worse during photo shoot time! I have time.
Needed a break from the sketch-craze today. So played around with my 3-D ModPodged flowers. They aren’t quite dry yet so they are pretty malleable still. The gloss makes the fabric shine and I think it will look rather great on the runway. Just got to play with the shapes and I think these will work!!
For the last week, anytime I have a pen or pencil in my hand I have been drawing patterns and designs. I am really trying to push myself harder each time I draw. I really want to be able to see my inspiration through my designs. I want to put on a great runway show but keep it from being to costumey.
Last night I gathered all my scraps of paper and multiple sketch books. I then weeded through the designs that really fit my concept. My favorites so far are the capelet jacket and the tank with 3-D ModgePodge flowers. (Yeah, I’m not quite sure how I am gonna make the flowers… To Do List: SAMPLES) From there I sketched a few more designs to tie the faves together. I am really proud of my designs, they seemed to flow a lot easier than other projects. And the colors really represent my inspiration board - BRIGHT!
Today, I brought the top 7 designs with me to class critique (plus the capelet). The feedback was really helpful. I am going to exaggerate some of the sketches to match my vision on the runway. I received some good direction also to make the back designs more exciting, piece out a couple dresses into separates, and add a trench coat. Now back to the drawing board and make my top 5 WOW!
A day of revisions! I finally got my Mood Board to convey my story. The classic (garden) goes wild with pops of bright colors, something to brighten up any dull day. The color pallet might change a bit, it all depends what fabrics I find, and how my dye process goes. Back to sketching! A part of the process is done for now and I feel like I can sleep :)
Since I am in the fresh mindset, I have decided to update my Visual Research. Today I went out and touched the fabrics in the stores. Banana Republic did an amazing job updating the sequined trend this season by adding a sheer overlay over the sequins. The look is softer and more subtle but still has the pop of fabulous. And this jacket by White House Black Market is AMAZING! It stopped me in my tracks. The fit was to die for with the princess seams and it had great pleated details in the collar and lapel. The jacket didn’t scream “over the top.” It could have stood alone as a focus piece and also was a tasteful casual add to any ensemble. I still saw a lot of racer bank tanks and bright colors. As exhausted as I am, I can’t stop thinking about all of this new revitalizing Visual Research.
I have 6 hours to kill in-between class and work. This is definitely the time that I am going to make some decisions. Do I keep the line from last year and all that I have worked on over the summer? Or scratch the whole thing and get a new market and new line??!! I am hating my sketches and second guessing myself. My original idea was/ is to put a fresh spin on mature women’s clothing, I need to decide what I want… out of this line and degree. What do I want to showcase for this show? What do I want to say about myself as a designer through this line? I feel like I have too many interests and need to narrow my field. I have so many things I want to do but not enough time. Big and tall men… kids… moms… mature women… How do I make all this new and inventive? How do I put my own twist on things?? Hasn’t everything already been done? How am I new and fresh?
A few hours later… I laid everything out on the table. I looked at my inspiration, clippings, and visual research. Then I looked at my sketches. That is what doesn’t fit. It’s my sketches. They are blah and out-dated. Going forward, I am going to sketch my little heart out and push myself harder. I still want to design for mature women; my excitement hasn’t left!! I can do this!!