Technical Lead (Pattern Draft Corrections, Technical Illustration)
The biggest challenge when working on the group project was compromising on the design vision. We were five students working together with different sources of inspiration and styles we wanted to create.
We called our persona Flynn Mason, who was a British immigrant to Canada in his mid 30s and working at a strategic design firm as a consultant. He was a purchaser of necessities but enjoyed a little flourish beyond business casual. From there our styles emerged.
With a focus on classic, heritage feel, we consolidated our looks, built a colour story around our sketches, and identified where we wanted to distinguish our product. We decided to go with magnetic closures and flexible filament appliqués.
We created prototypes of our garments out of muslin (unbleached cotton) and jersey knits, received critique, then moved to create our styles out of final fabrics, along with technical packages, pricing information, and production standards.
Our collection debuted at the Ryerson Men's Collective fashion show, Winter 2017. Many industry professionals inquired about our company and collection in a convention-style event following the runway show.
I was blessed to have such an amazing group. We all got along, communicated well, and pulled our own weight while lending support where needed and without being asked. Here are some areas I could have improved the development of this collection on my part:
• Omit almost all the 3D printing: It certainly helped our collection to stand out, but from a production perspective would have been more sensible to have smaller motifs occupying less of the garment. Time spent babysitting prints could have instead been used helping the team assemble garments. Plus, since there was a high rate of failure, it didn't make sense to have so many prints integrated into the designs.
• Choose a better photoshoot location: We opted to shoot at Davisville Station, Toronto in March; it had lots of natural light and interesting interiors. However, the weather ended up being colder than anticipated and our amateur models were cold and grumpy by the end of the day, which affected the quality of our shoot. Perhaps we should have additionally hired professional models rather than friends and family, but being tight on money, time, and wakefulness, we adapted as best as we could given the circumstances. I feel that we could have instead done it at a classy indoor location, such as a cafe, library, or even my apartment's tastefully decorated lounge. Everyone had a positive attitude despite the chill.
• Simplify, simplify, simplify: In addition to 3D printing, we also had magnetic closures, blocks of contrast in our lining, fabrics that were a bit too delicate (like silk and quilting cotton), and handstitched details. We would have lost less sleep had we foreseen the time added to production with every added feature. (Yes, a lot of sleep was lost, not just during this project, but this entire program!)
Overall, we were proud to have created a collection that was truly unified. We were one of few, if not the only, group that intermixed our outfits for the runway show. Our models wore outfits consisting of garments from 2 or 3 different designers. This group project was a truly wonderful and formative experience.