Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wiksten's "Tova" And A New Path In Fashion

One of the most interesting things in fashion that the Great Recession seems to have spawned are designers with new visions of what their company should be.  With a combination of social media and good taste, they've created businesses that are a hybrid of a traditional small-scale designer and a dressmaker.  My favorite one of these is Wiksten by Jenny Gordy.  She's managed to turn a blog and her social media accounts into a viable way to sell her designs and vision.  Mind you, unlike traditional fashion designers, she doesn't just sell you her dress.  She will also sell you the pattern so you can make it yourself and fabric to use to make it!  Let's face it, that's a great idea.  In the world of blogs and pinterest, there are legions of women who want to try their hands at making it themselves and capturing that market can help reduce start-up costs.  This seems to work in Gordy's favor--it lessens the strain of trying to have enough stock on hand and manage the sales since a certain percentage will just download a pattern, but she also can give classes on how to make her designs!  This is such an interesting turn in the fashion world--a designer has a chance to sell her ideas in an accessible way and to capture a higher percentage of the customer's spend.

This model allows for designers to get a start and put their ideas out directly to consumers with far lower start up costs and lower barriers of entry.  In social media, if you do some level of self-promotion and your ideas catch on, they spread themselves.  You would not need to worry about the risk of a large factory production order of your line.  The most interesting part is seeing how far this catches on and to what extent this method of start up leads to "hitting it big" and turning into a household name.  Only time will tell, but given the popularity of Wiksten, it may in fact be possible.  

In the spirit of this new design company model, I bought the "Tova" pattern and decided to give a whirl.  I am in no way an expert, just an average home hobbyist. Fabric is from nani iro by Naomi Ito

I like to render the pattern in Swedish tracing paper since I can create a pattern with the modifications I want without ruining the origional--this time I shortened the length to 17.5 inches to the hem from the armhole.

This seems to be the photo missing from the directions of how to assemble the front.  Pin liberally.

Iron the folds of the seams on the placket, collar and cuffs ahead of time instead of as you pin.  Much less frustrating!

Finished product!  Took me about 4 hours and fits nicely.  I put interfacing in the collar and placket.  

I used vintage ceramic buttons with iridescent glaze, looks great with the fabric.  Yes, they are vintage repurposed ones!

Simple pattern that is easy to follow and actually makes a great product that doesn't look like a craft project.  If supplying consumers great home-use patterns is part of the future of fashion, I can't wait!

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