So you think fashion is glamorous?
I’d like to set the scene for you of the side of apparel that I know so you have a context for my content:
To those who aspire to be designers or are enthralled with the glamour, the glitz, the sophistication- let me tell you this: Fashion is not always fabulous.
Here is the first part in series of how the clothing gets to you ….
The vision: Designers develop their concepts based on current trends and successful styles and form them into a cohesive story based on silhouettes, fabrications and colors which are presented to buyers as samples.
1st Sample: The execution: original ideas are passed on to the patternmakers either from sketches, original sample inspiration or photos. The patternmaker will either drape or draft the concept, sometimes building a new style based on a successful pattern with a proven fit. If there is draping involved the designer will check in to approve the initial otherwise the pattern and fabric that are chosen are passed on to the cutter. The cutter does exactly that, cutting efficiently and with minimum waste. Cut pieces and trims are passed onto the samplemaker of choice: whoever needs something to do or specializes in a certain item. The samplemakers will start putting together the pieces. It is the responsibility of the patternmaker to ensure the integrity of the vision work with the samplemaker to check the process and make any necessary alterations along the way.
The first sample is trial and error. Sometimes an entire new piece will need to be re-cut if it is not exactly what it should be. As an example, a blouse can be finished and the collar does not look right so the collar needs to come off, the pattern fixed, new collar cut, new collar applied. It can be frustrating, but this is part of the process and one becomes very adept at working with changes on the fly.
The people involved in making the prototype sample can vary, especially since a lot of development work now happens overseas. It really depends on the company set-up, but this is the basic way clothing is sampled domestically.
Coming soon…Industry insider pt 2. Sealing the deal (the order placement and beginning of production)