COLLECTION IV : 20 PHOTOS FOR 20 DAYS
Something Curated launched the first day of our Collection IV lookbook, you can read the article here.
“We were looking at how people behave and interact with art work and how this translates to fashion and clothing. A traditional fashion show flies by in a matter of minutes – it’s all about the hype. I want to take away the speed and challenge people to be thoughtful. I plan to release the lookbook as a photo a day over a 20 day period to raise discussion of how we look at clothes. Clothing has been designed and made by human hands. It should be viewed with that in mind.” ~ Elliss
Browse the collection and full 20 days of discussion below!
Day 1 ~ Why do we buy clothes?
For the first day of our release we would like to talk about why we buy clothes. We have posed the question to friends and family to kick off the discussion. See our story. We would love you to DM us with your answers to continue the conversation. Why do we buy clothes? What influences your decisions?
Day 2 ~ What quality means for us?
Some people shop for necessity but those of us who enjoy shopping often use it as a form of self expression and to show our identity to the wold.
Thanks so much to so many wonderful women sharing their thoughts yesterday! The main influencing factors that came up were price, design & quality followed by our need & whether the garment was ethically made.
The way we shop has changed massively over the last 30 years. In the 60s we were developing new methods of making clothes cheaply to make fashion more accessible and people really were beginning to express themselves through new ways of dressing. By the 90s fast fashion was really born with the rise of the retail giant. What is interesting is whether the definition of quality has changed in our eyes. We all want quality but what does that mean for us?
Day 3 ~ Behind the idea
For the shoot we were looking at how people behave and interact with art work and how this translates to fashion and clothing. When you look at a piece of art you take the time to consider its meaning. As a designer, seeing all the stages of production you realise how much goes into a single garment and how much story there is to tell. I wanted to propose looking at items of clothing with this in mind. Instead of just seeing a desirable item, seeing the work that has gone in to create it.
Day 4 ~ Process 1/4
Everyone’s design process is unique to them. Usually my influences come pretty organically from the last collection. When I was developing the shoot for Collection III I bought all of these vintage nudist magazines to use as props and that turned into the starting point for collection IV. I wanted the collection to feel self confident and free.
Day 5 ~ Process 2/4
We sample everything in our Hackney studio and with our manufacturers (with whom we share a building). Before the fabric can be assembled into a garment, we have to create a paper ‘pattern’. A pattern is a flat, drawn to scale image of the garment split into panels. This pattern is then traced onto the fabric before it is cut around and assembled. The pattern has to be perfect for the garment to hang well and fit you perfectly. This is a careful and thoughtful process.
Day 6 ~ Process 3/4
We choose our fabrics very carefully, working with only organic and recycled materials.
Every conventional cotton T-shirt uses 1 pound of toxic chemicals and 27 thousand litres of water in production. Organic cotton uses no chemicals and less than a quarter of the amount of water. The chemicals used in conventional farming are extremely harmful to the farmers growing the crops with up to 77 million cotton workers suffer poisoning from pesticides each year.
Day 7 ~ Process 4/4
We share a building with our manufacturers, everything is designed and sewn in the same place reducing our carbon footprint.
Day 8 ~ But why the price tag?
A commonly asked question for brands trying to make things locally and as sustainably as possible is: Why the price tag? I want to shop consciously but I can’t afford it!
There are many benefits to manufacturing locally.
1. Lower carbon footprint
2. Can oversee working conditions
3. Can oversee production and quality
Manufacturing locally in the UK does come with a slightly higher price tag but also ethical practices and high quality. Cheap clothes often means cheap labour which = bad working conditions and exploitation.
Day 9 ~ Two Day Sabbatical
I come to you with day 9 on day 12 as the realities of running a brand and my blogging career collide. I will be back with more questions and facts to continue this journey!
Day 10 ~ Collection IV
The collection is a layering wardrobe comprised of staple pieces that can be worn together or as separates. The underwear is to be worn fluidly: under, through and over the main garments for a sophisticated yet playful effect.
Day 11 ~ Collection IV
Skiwear undergarments, vintage nudist magazines and the signature plush elastic used on ELLISS underwear influenced the collection. The elastic was crafted to both delicately hang the garments and interact with the wearer.
Day 12 ~ Collection IV
The pieces are presented in a gallery setting to observe the garments not as a passing moment but as a thoughtful process, take a moment to explore the ‘ligne de décolleté’.
Day 13 ~ Collection IV
The Jaybird Print range references vintage nudist magazines; collaging women as they play Ping-Pong in the nude. Wear it like you have a secret.
Day 14 ~ Returning to quality
Previous posts have discussed the design process and the thoughts behind the collection. I’m now keen to return to the question. What does quality mean for us? Does the thought and production process behind a garment come into it or is it just about the final product? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Day 15 ~ Variations of Quality
Do you notice the stitching and whether the garment has been neatly sewn? Is it the fabric that you look at? How long do you want your your garment to last? Does the quality of life of the person making the item of clothing factor into the actual quality of the garment? Do you get what you pay for? How do we think and does this need to change?
Day 16 ~ The True Cost
“99% of cotton is grown with chemicals and uses 25% of the words insecticides.” @truecostmovie If anyone is looking for a documentary to watch, this is extremely informative and cleverly done! Simple decisions can make a huge difference. Chose to wear clothes made from fibres that have been grown organically or have been recycled. Buy less and buy better.
Day 17 ~ Ilana wears ‘The Bridget Briefs’
Fact: Wearing clothes 50 times instead of 5 (the fast fashion average) reduces carbon emissions by 400% per item per year.
Day 18 ~ Illana wears ‘The Ghost vest’ and ‘Earl Grey T’
Ilana worked with me creating the ghost pieces – each of which was hand sewn in the studio. Ilana is a talented artist, curator and milliner and you can find her every Wednesday at spitalfields market selling hats and ‘other stuff’.
Day 19 ~ Designing Sustainably
Designing with ethics in mind takes research but it is the only way that makes sense to me. Sustainable design shouldn’t be daunting as there are so many ways to incorporate sustainable practices, such as:
Using low-impact materials
Thinking about energy efficiency in manufacturing and fabrication
Creating clothes that last
Designing for reuse and recycling
All of these things can positively impact your design and give it a whole new world of meaning. Small steps are positive steps!
Day 20 ~ The Importance of Design
The constraints within sustainable design can lead to something focused and beautiful. It is clear that design and ethical production can go hand in hand. Ethical design and production is ultimately satisfying and so important in the world we live in. Thanks so much to everyone that has followed my 20 day release, challenging the speed of fast fashion and how we look at clothes!