I have been excited for this shoot for weeks, I purposely booked with Deimante weeks in advance as I was worried that she would be fully booked and I would not get the professional standard that I wanted for my photoshoot with anyone else but her. I booked the shoot when I had only one garment made, so I had two weeks to get the other two done. I had already sent the lengths off to be digitally printed and made my garment patterns so I was ready to start constructing the garment as soon as my fabrics arrived.
I asked three friends to be my models for me, one for each garment because I wanted all three garments together in some pictures as I made a pinterest board and there was an image on there with three models in one image and it was stunning. At first I was going to have a grey backdrop but I then decided that black was better suited as it emphasised and complimented my garments more. I was really pleased with the professional lighting as it really brought out the prints and highlighted the girls’ skin tones which just produced the most beautiful images.
There were a few problems with the shoot, only minor though. The first was that because I chose small models (size 6) to fit a garment which was a size ten, the garments were a bit big and needed to be pinned to my models, however this was not visible in the photoshoot and we just moved the pins when we shot different angles of the garment (e.g. if the front was being shot, the back would be pinned etc.) which was a bit annoying and fiddly. The second problem was that my harness bra didn’t fit Megan, which again meant that it needed to be pinned but because the black dress is so enclosed we had to keep undoing the zip and pinning it back together where it had come undone. The third problem, which was the biggest was that at the start of the shoot, Charlotte was asked to do a difficult pose which made her feel embarrassed and awkward so I was asked to leave. This was annoying for me as I’d paid a lot of money for this shoot and wasn’t even allowed to watch it happen, I was also annoyed that I couldn’t see the poses that Deimante was asking the girls to do (not that I didn’t trust her) and I would have liked to have the input for my own shoot.
When I received the photographs back I was really pleased with them, however I was a bit annoyed with a few as the girls were asked to put their hands over themselves, which evidently covered up my garment. I don’t know what is more important; the garment or a beautiful picture?
^ Hands covering the garment ^
^ Hands Covering the Garment ^
Business cards are essential for our graduate shows, so as a group we decided that one person was in charge of sorting them out. Obviously as students, we find managing funds very hard, especially on such an expensive course therefore we all decided to go for the cheapest print option. We paid £14.89 each for 200 cards out of our group fund for the business cards from family friend of one of the girls in the class who works for a printing company.
When the cards came back the quality of them was just shocking, especially for some students in the class who used samples as their pictures. Admittedly mine wasn’t too bad, definitely not the worst but I still was not happy with it and would rather pay more for better quality to show the best of my ability to potential employers.
Front & Back of first set of cards:
As a group we all decided who was happy with the cards and who wasn’t and the people who were not happy gave the cards back and got a refund which could be put towards a new set which had to be sorted by themselves. I asked a few people if they wanted to do a group order on VistaPrint – as I have ordered from them before, I know that they are good quality.
It worked out at about £37 each for 500 cards including postage and packaging and VAT. I was pleased with this as I know I will use all of the business cards as I can send them out with my orders from my own sales. For my own cards I chose an image from my shoot with Deimante as I preferred the images, I was also happier with the back of the card as I personalised it to my own taste.
I am pleased that I chose to speak up and get myself new cards as I feel as though the other cards would not have promoted my work well.
My own set of business cards from VistaPrint.
Back of bodice
Front of bodice
This garment has been really tricky because when i made the top of the bodice it stretched at the arm holes so they misshaped, Louise helped me find a way around this but it still wasn’t perfect but it didn’t matter too much as it didn’t really show when the garment was on. I really enjoyed making this garment as i’ve never made culottes before so it was a challenge for me. The top I found really difficult as it kept stretching but I wasn’t giving up on the shape of it because I really liked it, and it was unusual.
The whole garment is definitely something that I would wear, both shape and print and I think it is clear that my taste has shown throughout my collection, it is definitely aimed for women between 20-30 years of age because it is youthful and elegant but also shows areas of the flesh that may make some people feel uncomfortable.
The only thing that I would change about this garment is the scale of the print, I think it’s quite hard to tell how big the print is on a computer screen therefore it came back from the Silk Bureau a lot larger than I expected, however sometimes this is a good thing as it shows more detail in the print. Another problem I had with this print was that there must have been a blue ink mark on my drawing but it has come out in random areas of the print on the bodice, it’s only tiny but because I know it is there I notice it more. Overall, I’m really happy with this garment and my whole collection, I never thought that I actually had the ability to make such beautiful creations!
Garment on the stand
View of culottes
The toile was interesting to make as I had no idea where to begin! Louise helped me start the toile and pattern and we discussed fastenings and decided on a crossed back strap which I think will look really pretty once it’s done as it will be backless and have a low front so a lot of skin will be on show! Im hoping that it will go to plan unlike my first dress!
Garment pinned to the stand:
I’m in love with the prints and fabric choices for this dress, especially the skirt of the dress which I chose Satin Chiffon for, it really compliments the prints which is like marble/petrol so all of the colours and swirls in the pattern shimmer in the light. The fabric is slightly transparent but not much which is slightly annoying because I wanted it sheer. My initial fabric choice for the skirt was Georgette but I knew that a shiny surface would be better suited for the pattern. On the stand the dress looks maxi however, i’m making it shorter which i’m not sure if i’ll regret as it seems like such a waste of such a beautiful fabric.
When I received the fabrics back from the Silk Bureau I was unsure if they would go together or if they would clash. Obviously I had trialled them on Photoshop but it’s difficult to tell from images to the real thing. However, after putting them together on the stand they clash slightly pattern wise but in a nice way. I am happy to say I chose the perfect suited patterns!
Crossed back, deep V neckline, circular skirt, baby overlocked hem.
The second garment is finally finished and I am so happy with it! This is probably my favourite garment, as it is very suited to my taste and I am already planning to wear it to my graduation. This garment would have been really easy to make if it wasn’t very fiddly therefore I think if it was a different fabric it would be a lot easier and quicker to make. However, because the skirt is so light I had to let it drop over night before cutting it level, otherwise it would just carry on dropping and become uneven. I am so pleased that I chose to baby overlock the edge of the hem because it would have been difficult to hem the dress like I did with my previous one as the fabric is so light and delicate, it also gave the dress some structure as it stiffened the edge of the hem.
So initially I created the Harness Bra for my final collection to accessorise my first garment as it was a low cut V-neck dress. When I put a picture of my garment with the Harness Bra underneath it received a lot of attention with people telling me that I should sell the bras and that they were interested in purchasing one. This set me back a little as I never thought people would want to buy my stuff but it was actually a massive confidence boost. At first I was really reluctant to sell them as I thought that it would interfere with my work and time scale at uni so I left it. However, people kept asking if I was going to start making them so eventually I gave in and mate a few for my friends, they then started to get more and more popular and I was receiving emails and private messages on Facebook and Twitter from friends of friends asking me to make them one. I then set up an instagram and depot account and starting selling them properly. It became so successful that I was able to quit my current job at Patisserie Valerie because I was able to live off the income. I am pleased with this outcome because I have learned so much about making intimates such as these, however these will not be popular forever so I will have to move on from this and create more products that people will get excited about.
Advertising my own products through Instagram & Facebook:
A couple of small outlets have seen my products on instagram and have asked me if they could sell my products. I am delighted to have been noticed as these companies (especially the one above) have such a large client base and their own websites. I have agreed to do a trial with Fashion Prescription and am due to start sending them my products within the next few weeks which is exciting. They have also agreed to let me still sell my products on the side. The only worry I had with that company is that my cheapest products are sold between £12-15 and they then add £15 on top for their own profit which I think will make the products unsellable. I am really excited about this and am looking forward to seeing my products on some one else’s website and Instagram, at least this will give me a sturdy income until I finish uni and can find a job.
On my depop I received some messages from two people who live in America – my designs have gone international! It’s amazing what social media can do! I have sent a parcel to Malta and one to America already, I’m really pleased with the progress that I have made over the past two months from something which started as an accessory for my final collection to my own little business!
Make Up : MUA
Hair : Holly-Louise Carr
Model : Megan Caney
I decided that I wanted Megan’s hair up for the shoot as it draws more attention to the dress, as the garment has so much going on I really wanted even the small details to be visible – plus Megan is so pretty it would be a shame to cover her face with a load of hair!
The make up was inspired by pictures of instagram and typing random words in to the search bar. Initially I wanted smokey eyes and animal print lips but when I saw the gold brows and ombre lips, my decision completely changed. The make up artists were amazing and so helpful on making my decision and I was so pleased with the outcome. It looked amazing and fitted in well with the colours of my dress, I think if i’d chosen my first idea for make up – like hair – it would have drawn attention away from the dress.
Final image on David Lam’s camera screen:
I was already really excited about my image when I saw this on his screen and I knew that he would make it look amazing once it was edited! I love the way that the shadow widens as it gets further away from the model and how the light comes through the fabric and shows her legs through it. However, if I could change anything about the shoot it would definitely be the bra. The initial bra that I designed I had sold and didn’t have time to make another so I think for my shoot on the 30th April with Deimante I will make sure I have a caged harness bra and some nipple tape!
Me & Megan after the shoot!
My final image is amazing, I knew that it would be beautiful but I didn’t know it would be this amazing! The only thing that annoys me about the image is the line on the wall behind Megan, however I think if this wasn’t there the image would look to crisp and almost fake so it brings a sense of realism to the image. The way that David has edited the image is beautiful, very subtle and not too air brushed but air brushed enough to give the image a soft glow. I am so pleased with the image as at first I was worried because the students from the previous year did not like their David Lam image but I actually don’t think any of my classmates are unhappy with theirs – I’m certainly not!
So after writing my dissertation on Social Media and Advertising I decided to promote some of my own work on social media, firstly just showing off my designs for pre collection which seemed to get a lot of interest… especially my ‘harness bra’ which i actually took inspiration from caged lingerie and put it underneath a low cut top. Initially it was meant to be a bandeau top which was taken from inspiration from Balmain spring/summer 2015.
I had many likes and requests for me to make people bras over Instagram and Facebook and people are starting to recognise what i can do. I am thinking of making harness bras, lingerie and swimwear on the side as they aren’t too difficult or time consuming which means i can still focus largely on my degree but still give myself some things to do on the side.
I understand pattern cutting a lot more now since making patterns for my garments at uni therefore i have been able to make bikini patterns myself at home which didn’t take long at all – i’ve even treated myself to a lingerie and swimwear pattern making book! I’m so excited to toile them and get them on to my social media sites! It’s exciting to get all of these requests but also nerve wracking that no one will actually buy them or it will just become a dead end… I’m mainly doing this for me though, to get more of an insight into pattern cutting and making garments for the future, as i’d quite like to make my own business rather than commute to London every day to work for someone and get no recognition.
I have already ordered lots of different types of elastics, jump rings, D rings, charms, packaging boxes, and ribbon to start making and selling my garments! I even sent off for some clothing labels and business cards too with my own personalised logo on them! I’m really excited, although all of this initial stuff has cost a lot of money, hopefully it’ll be worth it in the long run.
– feeling nervous, hopeful and excited!