Battle of the Textiles

One of the reasons I love my job is because I get to experiment. Designing for me is all about shape , fabric and colour. The way you combine the three will determine whether your garment will be  a success or a failure. The beauty of sampling is that we can look at a piece, either sigh with disappointment or grin with pride, and then continue onto the full production process with any necessary modifications.

Sampling is also a great way to determine if a fabric works or not…and being the textile-maniacs that we are, this is one very important aspect of number 35. Just last week we sampled 3 new dresses for a less expensive range and a jacket out of calf hair that I’ve been dying to make. When the 3 dresses came back, I tilted my head to the side, looked at them with a rather quizzical expression and thought: ‘What in God’s name are THOSE?’

They were awful, from the minute I saw them, I knew my experiment had ended in failure. The design was flattering, the manufacturing was spot on, but … did I really select that fabric?? Interestingly enough what didn’t work was the texture.. that may sound very strange, but when I source fabrics the most important element is the feel and the weave. I love seeing fabrics that are woven perfectly and that hang like silk, even though they may be wool. This was none of the above and being really frank, looked like a pile of rubbish. My lesson was learnt and I realised compromising on the quality of our fabrics is not an option..

On the other hand.. my beautiful calf hair jacket was going towards the other extreme. Using great leathers comes at a price and a very high one. The jacket was a sophisticated, timeless, elegant, beautiful piece. Kristina and I fell in love instantly. Trouble is – the skins are so expensive that it would need to be sold for over £1000 … and no matter how stunning the jacket is, we are always aware of what number 35 represents…

So, there you have it- dilemma of the week! But those issues were quickly forgotten when Kristina and I decided to demolish the giant box of  midget gems I got for someone. We DO work around here… really!!