Designing is an interesting process that is one part inspiration and several parts knowledge and hard work.
All year long I am dreaming of new ideas, and making sketches in a big black journal. Six months before the products are stocked and ready to buy, I begin researching top fashion trends from the streets to the runway. I follow my own inspiration and aesthetic, but trend watching is an integral part of designing.
Once I get my juices flowing, I escape to a peaceful place, usually outdoors, and I start to think about themes and feelings. I tear out pages in magazines that inspire me. At this point I am thinking very abstractly, just about colors, shapes and textures.
After, I have developed the vision for the next line, I do another set of sketches of preliminary ideas.
After sketching, comes the technical part, pattern making. There are two types of ways to make a pattern: by draping the fabric on a dress form and by creating paper patterns. I do a combination of both. As I make my pattern, I make a sample garment in muslin (a 100% un-bleached cotton fabric). As I sew and drape the fabrics, my designs may change slightly. I am not committed to my design, but I am committed to creating flattering garments.
As I am working on my designs, I am also thinking about my fabrics: colors and patterns. After working with my suppliers in India, I place my fabric order, send my patterns and samples to India and I am done.
Just kidding, there is no done! Once production begins, I am in constant contact via Skype and email. I have to be available at odd hours (Indian time) to answer questions and make sure everything is going smoothly. It is a long process, but once the final products arrive, it is very rewarding!
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