We’re preparing for an exciting week at Pattern Observer. We’re going to be taking a trip to Portland, Oregon. During this time we’ll be meeting with clients who we’ve worked with in the past and also potential clients who we are really excited about having the opportunity to work with. We’ll be showing them our spring and fall pattern collections.
To do all of this, it takes some prep work for the presentations, and this is what I’d like to share with you. I hope that it’s helpful as you begin to prepare for your own pattern presentations.
What’s Your Story?
The first thing I do when I begin preparing for a presentation is to think about how I would talk through my patterns. From doing this I realized something important; that I like to think about the customer’s journey and the type of patterns that they may want to wear throughout the season. To demonstrate this, I divided our portfolio of over 300 patterns into 5 stories. You can see this here in Adobe Bridge.
After that, I scroll through our Dropbox of patterns. This is where I will click and drag each pattern into its appropriate story. This is part of what’s so wonderful about Bridge, as the location of the files in the Dropbox doesn’t change when you do this. It simply created the collections within Adobe Bridge.
But how about creating a new collection? This is simple! You will:
Click on the “new collection” button in the bottom right hand corner of your collection window.
Name the collection whatever you like.
Click the back button to return to your original screen.
After this, you will begin clicking and dragging patterns into your new collection story folder. Make sure you choose the patterns that best fit the story that you’d like to tell. For me, I will choose to tell my story through seasons and through the customer journey. This may work for you, or you may prefer to use more traditional pattern collections or trends to divide your overall portfolio.
Organize your Adobe Bridge collection
Once your collections are done click on a collection to open it. This is where you’ll review your collection as a whole. Ask yourself these questions:
What colors stand out?
Do I need a larger variety of patterns?
Based on your thoughts about your answers you can then adjust the order of the patterns to best fit the color palettes that you’re using or the story that you’re telling.
In this example I may want to consider: 1) using these brightly colored patterns at the end of my story; and 2) beginning to tell the story of starting the collection with these icy winter blues and slowly warming up into spring, oranges and yellows, and then ending with the bright reds of summer.
As you look at your patterns, click through each one and imagine the story that you might tell. Think about what you might tell your clients about the pattern or the collection as a whole. This is how you can effectively arrange your printouts and fabrics in the same order. You’ll feel more confident during your client presentation from these efforts.
This has been my method for preparing for our upcoming sales trip. How about you? Do you have any presentation techniques or tips that work great for you? The entire community – and me too – would love to read them in the comments below.
Chelsea’s Challenge is a monthly post series in the Textile Design Lab, in which we share trends and inspiration to help our students build pattern collections for their portfolios. During the month of June our Chelsea’s Challenge focused on the “Bloom” trend that takes its cues from the amazing floral patterns we are seeing coming up in the Spring ’19 season. Lab members spent four weeks working through the pattern development process, which resulted in some truly stunning floral collections. Today we are sharing a small sampling of these collections that were created around the Bloom trend. Enjoy!
“This is my BLOOM collection. This topic was very inspirational for me because it represents a huge trend in home decor and I want to develop BOLD BLOOM collections for my portfolio.
I have tried to make a joyful and colorful pattern collection. I have used my own color range because I believe in great coloration for AW18. I have used my iPad Pro for the bloom and watercolor stains and I have used some Photoshop effects also.
The big leaves and the digital flowers were created on Illustrator.
I love the mix of styles. I think it is trendy and it can be very useful for the home decor buyer. Today, the customers want to develop a product range with very different coordinates and this collection’s success is due to the link between the topic and the color harmony.”
“The Bloom collection is for SS19 fashion market and is targeting a confident woman. It is loosely inspired by etched glass, lace appliqués, and experiments with bold outlines, negative shapes, and the recent color clashing trend. The designs were created using hand drawn ink and pencil elements that were digitally manipulated, colored, layered, and sometimes drawn over a second time.”
“The target market for this collection was high-end activewear customers such as Lululemon, Seafolly, or the Upside. My inspiration was water plants such as lotuses, and water ripples. I combined a range of techniques to create a free-flowing collection. These techniques included hand drawn linework, and digital manipulation of photos of lotuses and other flowers. I included a deep blue feel to the main print to achieve a watery aquatic feel.
Marielle is currently in the process of starting her website – ‘Patternluxe’, to showcase and sell her textile designs. In the meantime you can view her graphic design portfolio here.
“My collection is called “Infinite Digital Bloom”.
My Inspiration and concept idea – I walk around NY a lot and love going upstate also. So I take a lot of pictures of flowers since this is the perfect season. I never get tired of photographing flowers and then start thinking about how to incorporate them into new patterns. In this case I used photographs and played with many blending modes and juxtapositions. I also researched how to create nebula and cosmos effects in Photoshop and incorporated these effects into the patterns. I am targeting young trendy women and would see these patterns work very well in fashion, for high end beachwear and activewear but also expandable to many other fashion items.”
Today we have the honor of featuring the work of Flaminia Saccucci, an Italian fashion and textile designer based in Rome, Italy. Flaminia graduated from Central Saint Martins in London, with an emphasis on fashion design with print. She won the prestigious L’Oréal award for best collection of the year in 2011 and went on to work as a print and textile design consultant for brands including Givenchy, Dior, Versace, Mugler and Isetan-Mitsukoshi
I was immediately struck by the depth, dimension, and emotion that comes through in Flaminia’s work. Her patterns are striking, layered, and draw me in. I cannot help but explore the motifs, layers, and colors. This was one of the many reasons I was excited to hear more about Flaminia’s consultancy business and how she got her start in this very competitive part of the textile design industry.
What does your work as a consultant entail?
Working as a consultant I have the freedom to work for different brands and more importantly, to manage the creative development of my projects. This allows me to do approach work the best way for each client.
I do both the creative work (research, drawing and painting, experiment on fabrics) as well as the technical work (print placements, repeats, choosing fabric bases, textile development). I play the role of intermediary by interacting with both my clients and their print factory. This has proven to be valuable, although what I do mostly is the creative part. Most often during the creative process I will develop the print design together with my clients. This is exciting because I can see a collection developing from their first mood board.
Through all of this it is important to remember that each fashion house has its own story and heritage. This means that every time I begin on a new project it is important to remember this and be respectful of it. It’s important to always be alert to creative ways and out-of-the-box thinking, while not forgetting the handwriting of the brands you are working for—their signature features.
Can you tell us how you landed your first job?
My first full time job was at Givenchy in Paris. I had been contacted directly from the Givenchy CEO at the time after they saw my degree collection from Central Saint Martins, for which I won the L’Oréal Award as best collection of the year. It was a wonderful reminder of why your portfolio is so important, as it can speak to your skills through someone else’s simple observation.
You have the privilege of working with some of the top brands in the fashion industry. Do you see any trends emerging within the high-end apparel industry with regards to print and pattern? What trends are you following for Fall 2018 or Spring Season 2019?
In textile there will be increasingly more concern over sustainability, taking greater care to show eco-friendly products and finishes, as well as eliminating waste. Regarding the design aspect, the thread is vitality and vibrancy. Floral will still be strong; also nature’s organic shapes will become soft geometrical prints. The shapes are bold and get abstract. There will be a lot of layering of colors, texture. and shades. The colors are vivacious and sometimes sparkling. The trends that I would look for will be an inspiration for many collections are the interpretations of different traditions, ancient tribes, and ethnic symbolism .
Rainy days might seem dreary, but to look at them through the lense of pattern design is one way I’ve come to appreciate less than ideal weather. From droplets on a car window to the tiny ripples in a puddle, rain creates an abundance of natural textures that can serve as inspiration for a pattern. The next time it rains, grab your camera or your sketchbook and see what interesting shapes and patterns can be found in the drizzle!
We are thrilled to announce that designers Lise Gulassa and MaryJane Mitchell have joined our Textile Design Lab team of industry experts! Each of these remarkable ladies checks our private TDL forum twice a week and responds to industry questions, giving feedback on artwork and supporting our members as they continue to grow and master the textile design industry.
Lise Gulassa is one half of the creative duo behind Sisters Gulassa, an international design house that produces art, patterns, products, and trend forecasting. Throughout her career she has been head designer for a number of clothing designers, including Levi Strauss & Co., and instructor for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.
Lise has been the guest expert for our Women’s Activewear workshops and has worked with countless activewear brands including Athleta, The North Face, Timberland UK and Title Nine.
MaryJane Mitchell has been designing textiles for the babies and children’s markets for over 25 years. She has a wealth of experience designing for home decor products for kids, apparel, the quilt market and sleepwear.
MaryJane was the guest expert in June 2016 in the Textile Design Lab, where she provided an in-depth training on designing nursery and children’s textile collections for the quilting industry. This training is available exclusively to Lab members and can be accessed by joining the Lab here.