The storm be­fore the show

New Straits Times - - Flair -

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.

MY IN­SPI­RA­TION

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.

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