Thought it might be time to share a few thoughts and updates with my readers. Some of you may have noticed I am not posting three times a week at the moment – and it is because I have been really busy with The Sleep Shirt. Things are getting exciting and we are launching at Net A Porter soon and I’ve not had much time to dedicate to the blog. But don’t worry, I’m not gone for good, I’m just posting a little less often for now. If you want more frequent updates than I’m quite active on The Sleep Shirt’s Instagram, and there you can find images of our nightwear and Wanda, the best dog ever.
I’ve been asked this many times and I feel like it is time to stop avoiding the question. So here it is – my guide on doing research for a fashion collection.
Firstly, I need to stress that research is an ESSENTIAL part of the fashion design process. Whether you are a designing for a major luxury brand or you’re putting together a portfolio to apply to design school, research is not optional. No designer ever picked up a pen and designed a collection from an idea in their head. In fact, when students told me they had ideas in their head and that they knew what they were going to design, it was a sign of trouble. The idea in your head might be the start of something good, but you need to do RESEARCH to make it better. Think of a collection as an essay. Would you sit down and write a 5,000 word essay without having done any research? No. And you wouldn’t design a fashion collection that way, either.
What should be included in fashion research?
Fashion research needs to be stuff that INSPIRES you. Most of it is visual but it does not have to be. A song, a smell, a poem, or even a taste could inspire you to design. Normally a research folder (or mood board or sketchbook – however you want to store it) will contain inspiring visuals of things like art, photography, textiles, historical fashion, architecture, nature, or industrial design.
I’ve got a personal loathing for Vivienne Westwood because of an absolutely terrible customer service incident many years ago – and it doesn’t help that I think that everything she makes, aside from her jewelry, is kind of ugly. But I’m not writing about that today, instead I’d like to talk a little bit about her recent stance on the fashion world and buying clothes.
For a few years now, Vivienne Westwood has been telling people to buy less clothes (I believe her intent was to say buy less cheap crap and only buy a few good things – something I can get on board with.) In a recent interview with the The Guardian, Westwood explained that “Clothes should cost a lot more than they do…” MORE OF VIVIENNE WESTFOOD’S FOOT IN HER MOUTH
If you’re a reader who has no interest in childrenswear, I’m asking that you give this article a chance. This isn’t only about childrenswear, it is about the makings of a great clothing brand.
Polarn O Pyret is a traditional Swedish childrenswear brand who is probably best know for their unisex red/white or navy/white stripes. A friend of mine told me that when she was a child they all used to wear unisex clothing – mostly Polarn. I’m in love with their simple, stylish childrenswear and love the idea of children running around in nautical stripes. I’m also a very big fan of unisex clothing as everything my son wears gets handed down to my daughter – and I don’t want her walking around with boy character clothing or silly boy stuff like that.
I’ve yet to read a negative comment about Peter Copping’s new position as creative director at Oscar de la Renta, and I think that’s because it is really good news. Here’s why.
1. He is a good designer. Peter Copping doesn’t stand out as one of the design greats, the rebels, or the game changers (although he still has a lot to prove.) But his collections for Nina Ricci have been consistently good. And when we consider the amount of crap that gets sent down the runways these days, I think this is a great achievement.