This is the second part of a serie relating the story behind my going back to school and creating a fashion collection in just a few months.

A big part of the project was designing and actually creating the clothes for the collection. When that was done, it was a great relief but certainly not the end of the project.

If you’ve missed the first part of the serie about the design process, you can read it here.

The photoshoot

In good aspiring fashion designer style, we had to showcase the whole collection in a photoshoot. These pictures had to reflect the mood of the collection and speak to our ideal customer.
Having chosen the north as an inspiration, I wanted a location reflecting the calm and sereine feel these countries evoked for me. Plus I also wanted the result to remind the customer of a woman being at ease in both a natural and urban environnement.

So, we found a great place not far from our home with a lovely river and a beautiful stone bridge crossing it. The location was really surreal and felt very out of this world. I think this translates in the pictures and it gives them a timeless quality that supports the collection’s message.

Interestingly, one of the biggest challenge for the shoot was to find the shoes that would coordinate well with the designs. I don’t know about you, but choosing shoes ahead of time without trying them on with the clothes first was a real problem. Once a few pairs were chosen and the garments were ready to be tried on, it became easier to know what I was looking for exactly.

Add to the organisation the fact that I also needed to find models and a photographer that would be free a whole day to wear my creations and you get the huge mess I was in a few days before taking the pictures. But in the end, everything turned out to be okay. The models were free, the photographer excited to do the shoot and the location was found! What a relief!

The styling

A big part of a photoshoot’s success is in the styling. Because you can draw the greatest looks on paper, it isn’t a garantie that they will actually look good once worn by a real human being. So once the clothes were designed and assembled, came the crucial moment of tying everything together and making sure all the designs were actually well balanced as an ensemble.

This quickly became a game of « what will look best with what ». It was kind of nerve wracking, but fortunately, one of my teacher helped me a lot with this crucial step. Having been working for so long on this project, it was sometimes hard to see the big picture and clearly identified what worked and what didn’t.

Having help and an objective opinion at this point was a real relief.

In addition to everything else, there was also the hair and make-up to account for. Knowing that I wanted the looks to have a natural and easy feel to them made the decision easier. I didn’t keep me from looking into rainbow or snowflakes eyes make up though! But thankfully, the idea was rapidly discarded for a more easy to do and less disco friendly make-up. 😉

So in the end, we went with a natural make-up with braids in the hair. The hairstyle idea came directly from the moodboard, where there’s a picture I love of a woman wearing a traditional lopi style knitted jumper with a simple braid in her hair. She looks just the right blend of traditional and modern that I thought this style suited the mood I was after.

Even though it was stressful to have only a day to get everything right, we had a fun time doing these pictures. The weather was perfect and thankfully not too hot so the girls didn’t suffer from heatstroke while wearing these very warm winter clothes during a whole summer day. I can’t thank all the girls enough! They gave their time and patience for my project and I’m forever grateful for their kindness and generosity.

With the photoshoot done, it started to look like the end of the project. Well, after that, things got a little less fashion related and it was time to work on the computer to finish the reports.

The technical report

The purpose of the technical report is that in the event the garments were to be industrially made, one would have to know for example the exact amount of fabric needed or the length of the zipper or piping used for each clothing piece. Notice also that each design had its own flat drawing to help identify the proportions and details.

If anyone one wants to work in the fashion field, I can’t recommend enough keeping track of everything you buy and do. Having done that from the start made writing the reports a lot easier and faster.
And I had a huge help with the graphic design from my husband. We were a great team and I know I wouldn’t have made it without his support and help. This was also a great lesson: always make sure you have the support you need when you attempt this kind of crazy project!

That’s it for today! In the next post, I’ll talk more about the whole marketing aspect of my project. This may seem off topic for a fashion degree but I must say that it was one of the huge benefice of this particular school. Having to present a cohesive and well thought marketing report for the collection made the project very real. And personally, this was one of the biggest reason I chose to return to school. But more on it with the next post.
See you soon for the last part of the story.

Credits: Photos by Loris Grillet – Photograph: Jade Righini, Models: Chloe and Laure