From Sourcing to Sewing
Each and every piece we create is a true labor of love, the product of months of research and careful attention from our incredible design, tech, and production teams. Keep reading to learn more about the process behind bringing one of our most special Spring pieces - Anastasia dress - to life!
Research and Concept
Based on our love of detailed vintage embroideries, our team began to elaborate on an embroidered bow motif that served as inspiration for the holistic design process of this group. Our designers sketched several silhouettes with the prominent placement of the bow embroidery as a key element of each style, and as a team, began to narrow it down to a selection of strong shapes that highlighted the embroidery motif.
Simultaneously, our team did diligent research on different ribbon types, playing with size, width, color, and thread variations. With a sun-faded, delicate palette as our guide, we developed the design concept by exploring how different embroidery materials interact with different material fabrics -- from matte silk ribbons on cotton to shinier, thicker gauge threads on ramie, and all other permutations of the design elements. We ended up choosing three different kinds of materials for the final embroidery, including the pink, blue, and yellow silk habotai ribbons and fine green thread.
For the Anastasia Dress, we wanted to find a fabric that felt crisply cool and comfortable for daytime wearing. Ramie is one of our favorite fabrics for a variety of reasons: A nettle-based fabric, ramie is similar to linen and is one of the most durable natural fibers. It dries quickly, is naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew, and like linen, becomes smoother and more lustrous with washing. It requires much less water and pesticides to grow than traditional cotton, and has a crispy, crunchier hand feel that we love. We always prioritize the use of natural fibers in our collections, and intentionally choose organic, low impact, and certified fabrics whenever possible -- we have exciting goals for the year and beyond to continue expanding upon this work, detailed in our annual Resolutions Report!
In addition to its low impact qualities, ramie was chosen for its structure, which increases its ability to maintain and uphold the embroidery. Embroidery tends to limit the fabric options and requires a material that is strong enough to withstand the embroidery weight and design. Eventually, all of our styles are also wash tested to ensure that the quality of the garment and any detailing, such as embroidery, smocking, and other embellishments, meet our wash and color standards.
Fitting and Final Design
While we work with Photoshop to envision the embroidery motif at different scales, placements, and colors throughout the design process, we also use a tried and true technique: Printing a photograph of the motif at different sizes and pinning it on samples on a dress form to get an accurate sense of proportion, placement, and spacing. This approach also helps us reduce our impact, requiring fewer samples and less transport, while also giving our team a true visual sense of the full design. Once we’ve made a determination with these low-tech tools, we then request fabric samples -- which, once approved, are then prototypes for the sewing of our production.
In the end, our Anastasia Dress is an heirloom piece, with carefully considered details and a classic silhouette that will last a lifetime.