It was all about the colour!
With one season over and the finishing touches only to be added and checked, the work was not over by any means as the Mid Summer ’14 collection had just begun!
The colour charts had been decided, checked, named by all the team and were being worked into the new designs and prints for the new collection, it was then my job to reference them to pantones and scotdicks. I also had to create the colour charts for the new kids wear collection to begin running again! And this was a mammoth job, referencing colours from not only previous season, but years and even menswear range too!
I never knew how much the manager of the company was or could be involved in their company until I came to French Connection. He likes to approve everything, and will not seal anything without his say so, and he even offers suggestions for new garments and such like. showing that not all managers merely just have their hands in their pockets but are truly passionate too.
The meetings with him create new products however do not allow time for error, and are normally attached with urgent production tags to receive the orders in time for store.
I had to update and new designs onto the DPM system where our team members around the world can access the data quickly, add labelling tags, grading sheets and patterns where necessary.
This week, I also had a ‘FASTPACK Add In’ named after me! Which should be in stores in Christmas ’13!
Its all about the artworks and patterns!
My tasks involved the new prep and alteration for garments that made the cut during the showing, the buyers wanted to change certain parts or the styling to create what they think will be a more dynamic and strong collection. Or on the other hand the merchandisers could change anything due to costing, for example the embroidery is too expensive so you have to reduce the pattern, this is something I did come across too!
The same process was repeated for the fast pack process which is inspired by the catwalk trends and is quickly produced to fill that fast fashion frenzy!
After all the showings, comments and changes were to be rapidly sent out to the suppliers, this including filling out colour palettes, and my god were there a lot of them! Although after a couple of hectic weeks, it was nice to do something easy and it was strangely quite therapeutic, but I wont be in a rush to partake in this job again!
The collection then had to shown to Steven, who owns the company French Connection, who will make his own personal judgement and assessments on the designers work before the buyers even see the collection.
Then it is the buyers who view showing, selecting garments for either the Retail or Wholesale stores, where the clothing range will be sold in French Connections name or in a department with a stall sector.
This same collection will have a few more showings to go, other countries investing in UK French Connection designs, like Australia and the U.S as their market range will differ to the U.K stores.
And preparation had the many showing was stressful but so fun!
These are a few of my favourite looks!
Again the work begins!
All the SS14 garments have arrived and then all need to be unpackaged, hung, pressed, ordered in packs and referenced to check all garments have arrived for showing, and all of these jobs were mine to complete in just a few days!
These are a few of my favourite garments!
I also had to adjust the garments, like added more wear to the washed jeans with sandpaper and hemming up skirts, sleeves and changing buttons etc.
All the designs for SS14 are in process and while awaiting the arrival of these garments, this weeks work was pretty slow, but it was good to easy me into working life again, research began the week off, with Mid Summer Denim as the topic!
Karen the head designer returned from a work trip, so I attended to her needs, helping her catch up with the work load from her time off.
I then was taken into three fit meetings, taking notes, making adjustments and taking photographs to be sent back to the supplier for future changes.
To design with a Flat Drawing technique is one to be practised and one skill often ignored, with the current designs I updated the spec sheet with new drawings, graded the measurements to industry standard and created a fabrication sheet along side.
One of flat drawing designs was named after me!
The first week began with the usual things like tours and introductions, and everyone was so welcoming and lovely, setting my placement off to a great start!
I fulfilled basic jobs such as organising fabric boxes, admin jobs including; mini boards, filing and swatch folders, showing enthusiasm in every job will allow progress and responsibility to grow! I was also introduced to the programme PDM where all designs are stored with patterns, flats, fit comments and all information for each garment.
Working in two other departments; MENSWEAR SHOOT ASSISTANT! yey.
PATTERN ROOM ASSISTANT
The most exciting part of my week was design mood boards for our best sellers to advertise the garments on French Connections blog!!
One word – Lucky.
Based in Camden, the Centro building holds the French Connection Head Office along with Nicole Fahri and luckily my interview was successful to secure me a 11 week placement!
Keep your Great British cheer in action, by bringing the Union Jack into your every day life. Even though the Olympics is over, don’t fret too much, the Paralympics will be filling our televisions and streets every soon, and with all this GB excitement, you need to get involved even if you do just paint your nails or bake a cake like me!
And I’ll review the closing ceremony my next post, with the special dedication to the Great British fashion industry and super models!!