The storm before the show
AS I’m writing this, I’m on my 35th day of confinement. The first two weeks were tough — adjusting to motherhood and the sleepless nights — but my husband and I enjoyed every bit of it. Getting to know and bond with my beautiful babies were amazing. After all, this is what we really wanted for the past 10 years.
, now I am slowly adapting to my new routine attending to my boys and inbetween, developing our Spring/ Summer 18 collection and other matters at work.
THE PROCESS During normal circumstances, we work on a collection at least six months ahead.
However, creating this collection was quite tough for the team and me, what with the timeline and everything else going on at the same time.
We have about three weeks to finish 24 looks for the runway. I know I should be working on the SS18 collection way before Eid but the team and I just couldn’t focus our energy and resources especially with custom orders coming in during that period.
My process of designing involves research (and more research) at the beginning when I am trying to convey a design idea, studying trends, colours and moods, and then letting my mind wander and hope it gets the right inspiration.
After we come up with a theme, we develop mood boards: a collection of textures, images, prints, colour swatches and texts related to the inspiration that we can refer to and further develop the collection on and create a story for the collection.
Just as a painter portrays his or her mood on a canvas, a designer pours out his or her creativity on a mood board that sets the stage for product development.
SKETCHING THE DESIGNS
Next, we develop rough sketches for the prints and designs. At times, when the idea pour in, everything just flows nicely. Sometimes, you can be stuck for hours deciding on a simple detailing such as what type of cuff sleeves will be most suitable.
The same goes with prints. We pride ourselves on designing exclusive prints. Therefore, the textile designers and I have to come up with a range of prints and chose the most suitable ones.
To be honest, I only got into the rhythm a couple of weeks ago. Focusing on designing, I slowly gained confidence to finish this collection.
The most exciting and nerve-wracking stage has to be the sampling stage. This is when your sketch turns to a real garment.
At this point, we will experiment with different techniques, source for different fabrics, colours and prints, and look into detailing and other elements to execute thedesigns.
Alongtheway,wewilltrythe samples ourselves to see if they need to be fixed.
Most importantly, do we like it? Call me old-school but my sisters and I, together with our staff, will still vote whether the designs make the cut.
Yes, it’s a mini fashion show at the office before full execution on an actual runway!
Yes, that runway, where all your sweat and tears are being presented within 10 minutes, hoping the audience, who comprises some respectable names in the industry, including fashion editors and customers, will like the collection.
It’s tough preparing the collection and the runway show is only 20 per cent of it. The rest is production, quality control and marketing.
After the show, we will proceed with production, where we will tweak some of the designs, fabrics and colours based on feedback received during the show.
Not all pieces showcased on the runway will eventually be available on the floor. The runway is a presentation of your artwork. What you finally produce is based on commercial viability.
All sorts of things inspire me — modern art, architecture, ceramics, nature and texture.
As for our SS18 collection, I couldn’t help but be inspired by two of my babies and all those quirky, vibrant and cute baby gifts.
Ruffles and ruching details for Mimpikita’s Spring/Summer 18 collection.
So I have decided to combine the two elements — my twins and pop art — expressing the different contrasting personalities of my boys with the colours and abstract motives and designs.
This stream of consciousness — colours, playfulness and whimsical things — are mixed up together. I love that there’s a bright pop colour which is a part of the look of the show.
I want it to be less about a model army and more about a group of cool individuals hanging out together.
It is the ultimate Mimpikita-inspired mix of bright colours that is the theme of this collection.
We like creating things from memory. We love the idea that women out there will wear our styles again and again. And being a woman designing for other women, it is
important to communicate with them and to understand what they’re feeling. It is important to create something beautiful that they will wear.
I believe the key to any business success is to understand where the product will sell and who will buy them.
I think it is important for a collection to show the brand’s signature, aesthetic and personality. Originality is a huge selling point. I believe that to be a great businessperson, to be great in any industry, you need to be 10 steps ahead.
As Confucius said, “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”
The Mimipikita SS18 collection will be showcased at the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week RTW 2017 on Aug 17 with 24 pop art pieces.