Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall/Winter 2012/13 Preview!

At Fresh Collective designers are given the opportunity to sign up and do a feature window each season.  As the time draws closer for me to install my window I'm always racking my brain for a theme as well as ways to make my window unique and eye catching.

About a year ago I was having a conversation with a former boss about sell through and new styles.  I was feeling frustrated because it's so hard to predict what will sell well before you make a whole production run.  He suggested I pick one retailer to work with and preview new styles to see how well they sell and then produce them the next year.  So I decided to try this idea out for my feature window.

For my window I included current 2011/12 styles as well as the two new pieces I designed to test.  Clockwise from top left:  Assymetric Preview Cardigan, Chloe Vest & Preview Maxi Skirt, Abigail Dress, Brett Hat, Morgan Hoodie and Sarah Armwarmers.

I wanted the two preview pieces to be dramatic to draw more attention to the window.  The trend for maxi skirts and dresses this summer was pretty obvious.  You couldn't go a block without sighting a woman in a loud, beachy printed dress.  To be honest I wasn't that much a fan but then I bought a beautiful grey and black plaid maxi skirt for fall and fell in love with the trend.  So I decided to reinterpret the plaid skirt using men's dress shirts in dark, rich plaids, stripes and solids.  The skirt combines 5 shirts for a dramatic, tonal, multi patterned masterpiece.

The second piece, the Assymetric Preview Cardigan is something I've been contemplating for a while.  Personally I just love long cardigans and with the current maxi trend I though it was the perfect timing.  I was intimidated because I knew it would be complicated requiring a lot of pattern pieces and a lot of sweaters.  I believe it took about 4-5 sweaters to make the cardigan but I was quite happy with how it turned out.  I wanted a large dramatic colour and I decided to incorporate multiple prints which is something I usually stay away from.  The large voluminous collar and ornate closures finish off the piece in style.

As for the theme of the window, I enlisted the help of my assistant Sivan.  She had the idea to create streamers from scrap fabric to hang from the ceiling.  We always have little scraps of fabric leftover from our cuts so I like to try to make use of it.  I liked the idea but thought we should take it a step further . . .

I've been holding onto this United Colors of Benetton ad for quite a while.  I just love all the texture they've created with the fabric and I thought we could do something different by braiding and knotting the fabric in different ways.  So with the scraps left over from the skirts I got Sivan to make a bunch of long braids and flowers to adorn the mannequins and suspend from the ceiling.

The display is up at Fresh Collective Queen (692 Queen St West, Toronto).  So come take a look if you're in the area!  It will be up until October 15.

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