Monday, November 23, 2009

Heres an update on the Peacoat Id been working on. Its another variation of my coat design. To back track a bit, I originally had made the patterns here, using this book, and the coat patterns I posted way back when I first started this blog. I tried making it once but had to make a minor adjustment to the pattern with the help of Ralph Lauren. Long story short, I finally got it done. Here is the muslin sample.

Fit wise it looks fine now. The Only thing I might change is the length. Peacoats are usually shorter by two or three inches. I also added a hood to it. Im not sure if Ill leave it like that but I wanted to do something different with it. I put welt pockets on the sides, but with zippers in them. I saw this done on a similar jacket and really liked it. I never do it before so was hard to do the first time. You gotta be carful because if you don't sew it in right it will make your fabric poke out at the edges. I got the hang of it though.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Illustration is part two of the process. Since I already made a rather lengthy post on illustration not to long ago, I'll keep this one short and sweet. Ill reuse my hoodie sketches again for sake of having an example.

As far as sketches go, I usually draw off memory. Normally I think about a design a while before actually drawing it, however, if need be, I use photos from my mood board as a reference to remind me of an idea or theme I had.

The key is to illustrate what the clothing would look like from different views or perspectives almost like a flat pattern but with more styling. Sometimes I focus on specific details or a special part of a garment that should be featured.
For me, illustrations are the quickest and easiest way of going from my sources of inspiration, to and idea and putting it on paper so that I don't need the mood board anymore. The image then should serve as a guide preparing anyone for the next step: patternmaking.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Conception to creation is a phrase I use to refer to the design process. No matter what everything starts with an single idea which progresses until some type of product is made. As the saying goes "no ideas original" and most great ideas began from some type of inspiration. Inspiration can be anything and can come from anywhere. It can be something as simple as a word, phrase, or even your favorite song. In fashion design most are images.

Mood Boards are created from these pieces of inspiration. They are like like a scrapbook or collage of these pieces so that a designer can remember them and have some type of direction when they design. When looking at the Mood board of a potential collection or design you should be able to figure out the story, theme or "mood" the company wants to evoke for his or her upcoming collection. Normally mood boards look something like the pictures you see here.

However, mine are all done digitally on my laptop so there's no need to cut out magazines or make scrap books. Since I spend soo much time online nowadays, I can easily gather photos or other pieces of inspiration. Moreover, I do most of my drawing on my laptop, so wouldnt make sense to have my mood board anywhere else. This way I can take it anywhere with me and design.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MariMekko design number one is almost done. I got most the pieces cut out. Still working on the back pattern. We will see how it turns out soon enough.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take a look, this is probably the the best designer you don't know. If you've heard of him, good. If not then heres a brief history: Spainish born, Miguel Adrover moved to New York in 1991. Four years later with Native American tailor, Douglas Hobbs he lanuched his first clothing line, Dungg and later their own East Village store called Horn.

His first solo womens wear collection was in 1999 and his second collection a year later brought the attention of the fashion elite like Ana Wintor, editor of Vogue magazine. This was his breakthrough collection and his first introduction to the fashion high world. His reconstruction of a Burberry coat was a testament to his ingenuity and creativity and the strength of the collection would eventually propel him win the CDFA award for best new designer of the year. From this point he was on the radar of every fashion journalist labeled as fashions next big thing.

By chance, the time period Adrover rose to fame were the years I first discovered High Fashion. His shows were some of the first fashion shows I had seen on TV. To be completely honest, no other designer has inspired me more to design clothing. You ever see a product that made you think to yourself, "that looks like something I would make" ? Well it was a collection by him that made me realize my own ideas were even feasible and good ones at that. I understood where he was coming from and what he was trying to do. I dont remember the actual season or year but I do recall what was so special about it. It was his mixture of different ideas, cultures and sub cultures was something I had not seen done before with such style and class. The collection also had and underlying meaning or message behind it. This is one thing I thought fashion often lacked, substance.

Fashion for the most part is mainly entertainment, most shows are exactly what the name implies by definition: a show to entertain and often nothing more. I've been to alot of fashion shows and many are just a big party where "cool" people come to socialize and network. The show is just what brings them all together in one room. Adrovers fashion shows made me think. Yea the clothing looked stylish, and was well tailored but it also had substance. I could tell there was more behind the collection than meets the eye. They each had an important theme relative to the times or the designer.

For example, his September 2003 collection "the Surreal World" was dedicated to the unbalance of NY social classes. I remember specifically him using Black and Latino models or often regular people in the show. This was unique in fashion shows. He challenged the format in a sense. Last post I talked about fighting traditions and boundaries, well Adrover challenged the role of a fashion show or the use of clothing. He often used it to spread culture or get out a message.

This is where I can relate to Adrover most; is his vision and philosophy. I dont think he cared about what people want to wear, or what was in style, rather he stuck to his vision. Perhaps this is why he released a collection middleast inspired collection entitled "Meeteast" in February 2001 which eventually lost him his financial backing with the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11.

Since then Adrover went on to design several more collections under his name. His follow up collection was probably his biggest and best. I actually had the luck to be in the row (I was a volunteer for Fashion Week that year) next to rapper Q-Tip from the Tribe Called Quest. There was a buzz about him and many celebs came out. His next 2 collections also received critical acclaim but as a struggling Artist without proper funding for his work they would be his last for the Miguel Adrover line. Eventually, he ran out of steam and eventually moved out NYC to Majorca begin restructuring his studio 2004.

In 2008 Adrover made his return to design with a partnership with German organic textile company Hess-natur. The new collection was not a run way show but more of an art installation entitled "Hidden in Nature". You can find more about this project as well as videos and photos of his previous collections at his official website

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This post is dedicated to my illustrations. Although all Ive shown so far in this blog are a couple sketches, I have tons of Illustration lost on my computer from over the years. As a designer it is an important part of my creative process. However, even before I ever thought about making clothing Ive always loved to draw. As far as I could remeber, it just came naturally to me. Luckily for me this skill could translate into Fashion and it wasnt long before a couple of quick sketches marked my first venture into the world of fashion design. I believe it was the strength of my drawings that got me into design school.

As I learned how to make clothing, I can say the importance of drawing took a back seat requiring nothing more than for a quick sketch or rendering for different projects. I can honestly say, since Ive always been good at drawing or was better than my classmates I never practiced. Right now, Im a little rusty seeing I dont get enough time to practice as I use to but every now and then I draw for the pure fun of it like I did when I was a kid.

In particular I sometimes do full renderings of different pieces of clothing Ive made; just out of tradition but more so for portfolio purposes than fun. Some take me a long time but I definitely want to take my Illustrations to the next level cause I still have a lot to learn. Anyways, you can be the judge of that. Heres some older illustrations Ive done:

Monday, August 17, 2009

So ive been working on this hoodie, for a wile and when I say a while I mean years. Its actually the first degin I made on my own but Ill get into that in another post. Needless to say, Its one of my favorite designs that Ive even worn from time to time over the years all the while keeping it safe because I dont have the patterns for it (never throw away patterns when your done). Anyways, recently Ive attemped to revamp it with specific attention to my new found focus on fit.

The picture above to the left is a good representation of the hoodie, now its just less baggy and more tailored. Also many problems, which a photo can easily hide were addressed. After this I can remake the patterns. Then, like the black hoodie, when completed will serve as the blueprint from which will come many variations to be seen in my upcomming collection.