We've just launched our brand new collection (eeeeek) and it's probably our most exciting yet!!! I wanted to put this blog post together to give you guys an insight into just how this extra special collection came together...
The XO Collection is a suuuper sassy collection, comprised of 3 exclusive prints (WILD CHILD, HOT BABE & 80'S BABY) designed by my incredibly talented friend Bea Morley. The idea for this collection came to us when discussing both of our work during a catch up back in Winter. Bea creates some incredible print work and I make clothes, and we thought.. put two and two together and we could have something amazing! Once the idea came to mind, we were off and instantly began to bring things to life! We worked for hours, brainstorming, designing, creating, shooting this WHOLE collection completely in house - so this is something we're pretty proud of!!!
Here's a little interview we did with Bea over one of our many coffee sessions to give you an insight into her work/ the design process...
Tell us a little bit about yourself…. What do you do? What are you studying?
I am currently studying Textiles at the Arts University in Bournemouth. I have
always loved textiles so it was an obvious choice to go on and study it at uni. I have
nearly finished my first year in which I explored a variety of aspects of textiles but
grew a love for screen printing and surface design. I love to work with bright and
vibrant colours, creating shapes and compositions to explore my own design
When did you discover your love for print designing?
My design aesthetic has always been bold and I find inspiration from
shapes and often architecture around me. I discovered my love for print
design at university when I started putting these idea onto fabric and into
making my own screen prints and digital designs. From then, I have
continued to explore my love for printing and designing from inspiration
which I find around me.
What was your inspiration when designing these prints?
When designing these prints, both Em and I wanted to create something
different; something which would stand out from the usual fabrics that
people go for. Em’s brand has always had a strong emphasis on using new
and vibrant fabrics, and I wanted to portray this in my designs. The
inspiration for these designs came from art movements such as the
Memphis movement and 80’s art; the designs have a retro theme to them
while also being something bold which people will want to wear to stand
out. They are prints for sassy gals which aren’t afraid to express
themselves through what they wear.
Can you give us a brief overview of the design process?
The design process was done over a few months. I first started out with
multiple ideas and outline drawings of motifs and prints which could then
be used as a repeat print. I drew out a variety of ideas including shapes,
animal prints and lettering which we could use within the designs. I shared
these designs with Em then we finalised our ideas and chose to do 3 prints;
a fiery heart (HOT BABE), an animal print (WHILD CHILD), and a shape
based print (80’s BABY). From this I drew out a few different compositions
before digitalising the designs and testing out different colours,
compositions and repeat prints. Em and I worked closely together to
perfect our ideas and final prints, getting various samples of prints and
fabrics to see which would best suit and which we thought would look the
best as clothing. Once we had chosen the final 3 prints, it was a case of
focusing thoroughly on these designs and making sure they were done to
the best quality.
Did you come to any challenges/ if so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, of course. One challenge which was more difficult than I had initially
thought was transferring the initial outline designs into Photoshop to then
be worked on digitally. This was a longer process than I thought it would
take and I had to think of new ideas and learn new skills in order to create
the final designs. Also, after receiving our first samples, we knew they
definitely needed tweaking in order to be perfect, ready for final print. It
was a case of testing out completely new designs and motif’s and tweaking
older designs to see what outcomes we came out with. For example, our
initial 80’s BABY design was too crowded and busy and was not suitable for
print, so we chose to re-do the design in order for it to be perfect.
Where do you get the designs printed onto fabric?
It was really important for us to keep this collection completely UK based and as ethically produced as possible. All the designs are printed in the UK onto high quality Lycra and Mesh. This makes it suuuuper costly (I was so shocked that it costs around 5x the amount to print your own fabric than to buy shop ready fabric!) but it's definitely worth it as we have an amazing product that we know is made ethically in our home country.
What was your inspiration for the shoot?
The whole theme of the XO collection is a retro, ‘school girl’ vibe. We took
inspiration from old diary’s and college notebooks, scrapbooks etc we found on Pinterest. For the shoot, we wanted to try and portray this theme by using polaroid’s and props which could be linked back to that of a
scrapbook/diary. We used baby pink fur and accessories to add to the sassy y2k vibes! We then created photo collages and look books to hopefully help people get a better idea on how they can personally style them.
Everything to do with this collection was done in house. How do you feel about brands running more sustainably and ethically, overseeing the complete process in their home country like this? Is this something that you feel all brands should be working towards in the fashion industry?
I think sustainability is one of the main talking points in 2019. We are
constantly being reminded of the damaging effects that we and industries
have on the environment and the fashion industry is one of the main
pollutants. I think brands which do run as sustainably and ethically are
getting more attention these days, and rightly so, as people are more commonly starting to move away from fast fashion brands and want clothes which they know
don’t have a damaging effect on the environment. Realistically, it would be
hard for larger brands especially to become 100% sustainable right now;
however, I think any efforts to be more sustainable should be noted as it's a really great thing. It is so important for smaller brands to try and be as ethical and sustainable as possible, definitely; for example, with
your brand, I love how you use your scrap fabric to create even more
products, saving waste fabric going to landfill.
You can find more of Bea's work here!
And finally... here's a picture diary I've put together of the making process from receiving the initial printed fabric, to the final products...
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions about this collection, please feel free to send us an email!