Building a Collection, Part 3: Realizing
Just because you have a concept doesn’t mean you know where to go with it. Making patterns is second nature to me, but those skills are useless without a road map to a finished design. Yeah, I’ve sketched it all out, but as we learned in the previous post, those sketches are just suggestions. In fact, halfway through this project, I woke up one morning and hated everything, so I started over.
Sketch the Collection First
I re-sketched the collection, but instead of languishing over every detail, I just sketched. Instead of doing individual sheets, I quickly sketched the entire lineup as I saw it in my head. These are just the women’s looks. I have two menswear looks planned. I said planned. I promise nothing. And once again, this is just a projected path. Like an Agatha Christie plot, no one design is safe from being axed.
There is a forgotten movie called Finding Forrester. It stars Sean Connery as an Ernest Hemmingway-type character, the eponymous Forrester. I don’t think it’s that good of a movie, but there is one scene where he explains his process to his protégé. Forrester tells the kid, “Write first. Edit later.” I love that mentality as it relates to fashion design. Often, the sketch evolves on the body as seams get moved, details blossom, and entire elements get scratched. As I was re-sketching, I didn’t edit; I just “wrote,” and ultimately I ended up happier with the results.
Refine Looks Later
Not everything got scrapped. There were some pieces I loved, some that were already patterned, and some that just needed tweaking. The rest was all new, including the piece I’m discussing here.
Initially a dress, I was working on the mannequin and the fabric…