Fashion is About Engineering Fabric for the Body
I take my realised designs and first prototype to my factory in New York’s Garment District where I meet with my team of pattern makers and production managers. We have what we call “styling sessions” where we discuss the design, how it’ll be constructed and optimized for production. We discuss how the fabrics will interact with and/or change the design, where to adjust seams and details and how to make the design more functional.
My team will go away for two weeks and bring me back a revised edition of my original prototype with the corrections we discussed in what we call the first “muslin”. Corrections are made to the muslin, the fit is adjusted on a dress form and we proceed onto our first real prototype. The prototype is fitted on an industry specific fit model. Our models are chosen for their exact proportions and their personal knowledge of clothing, fit and tailoring. They each have a deep understanding of how clothes should feel and sit on a body, where adjustments should be made based on how they feel (what pulls, what’s too tight or too loose, how it moves etc.).
We make corrections based on their notes and our personal thoughts on the fit. We might adjust seams or lines and move, add or remove features. This takes up the bulk of our development process. Typically it involves at least three prototypes and different variations before I give the OK for it to move into production.
I believe the fit and tailoring of any garment is essential to the design. There is nothing worse than buying a garment where the fit is unflattering, and parts of the design is tailored and others aren’t. This is why I spend months on the fit of a garment alone and base it off not only the proportions of the industry standard but also on the thoughts of a real woman who understands how clothes should feel.
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