I spent a few hours at the Fashion Incubator with my friend, the talented designer, Autumn Kietponglert of Heartless Revival. I hadn’t seen her work in several months but she was gearing up for a bunch of events for Fashion Week (let’s just call it Fashion Month) and needed a little help so I said I would do what I could for her. She has so many amazing ideas and I’m so heartened to see her streamlining her designs and saving herself some time and money. She’s making these gorgeous scarves with great texture and an ingenious way of putting it together. How to make them better/easier/quicker? She told me it takes something crazy, like 400 hours to do them.
This is how they’re cut out:
I tend to be on the side of making things as quickly as possible (which has it’s own drawbacks) but my first instinct was to double or even quadruple the fabric when it gets cut. In production, so much time is spent just preparing the fabric to do what you want to do with it. One of those steps is spreading the fabric which, in this case, is a jersey knit and probably one of the more tedious fabrics to spread. It likes to flop around and stick together and you can find yourself walking around the table quite a bit to get it spread nicely. Also, if bigger, longer pieces were used, there would be less time spent spreading. But then you need more space to do it and I’m sure your cutting blades go dull faster so it may be wash at that point. I have a headache now.
I adjusted a bodice pattern I made for her four years ago to create a new knit dress. I was happy to learn that she’s used it constantly since then to create more patterns so that’s money well spent. I also whipped together a knit jacket with some textural beading and exaggerated shoulders. Autumn is venturing more and more into knits so it’s requiring a retooling of patterns and expertise with machines and handling. However, fittings are a breeze and the garments are much more wearable.
We took a look at some of her fantastical garments and I had the thought that she needed a simple slip sloper developed so she can use it as a base on which to design her amazing, dreamy dresses. So I’ll be draping and getting that to her in a few days and hopefully it will come in just as useful as the first pattern I made for her.
Autumn is very skilled at letting her dreams guide her. Her designs are directly inspired from an inner life, another ethereal world that has been an endless reservoir from which to draw. It’s quite a challenge to synthesize them into the contraints of pattern making, time, money etc. But that’s what design is about.