The Secret Garden
When I first started the journey of Mestrae (interchangeable heels — fashion technology), exploring the fashion industry was new and a little nerve-wrecking given I spent years prior to it sharpening technical skills. My admiration towards Leonardo Da Vincci’s exploration of the technical and creative mind was perhaps the ultimate booster needed in making the shift.
I quickly learned that various elements were needed to turn around fashion productions fast and effective. The fashion cycle is generalised into 4 seasons (there are no set rules and it depends entirely on the business, inventory, early adoption, market penetration, country needs, slow, fast, ethical, sustainability and circular interest). The design part of fashion, happens half a year before the launch of the season, alongside the samples, the photo-shoots and the marketing. The retailers, distributors and agents would place bulk orders 3 months before the season, to cater for the production and logistics timeline.
When it came to fashion design, 2 things needed to be separated early on. First is the practicality of the situation, whereby design depends on budget allocations, availability of fabrics and raw materials, shoemaking skills, your target market as well as technology limitations. This is something that tends to be most often overlooked but crucial especially for small businesses.
These factors set precedence for the next portion, on getting completely immersed into the theme of the season. For this particular season, we went with floral, in specific the Secret Garden, and hence sourced out fabrics that we liked within the budget, picked out pictures of gardens, colour themes, and anything that spelt spring and joy. This goes up on mood boards to get you into the zone and completely drown yourself in it before the design takes place with illustrators and designers.
To put my geekdom at ease, I picked out an old book ‘The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It never fails to surprise how perspective changes when you read something at a young age, and re-read it as an adult. While this is not a book review, there were a few things about this book that strikes me the most.
- There is something about determination that is more powerful than age, size, gender, knowledge and experience.
- Sometimes, it’s best to keep things to yourself — especially your secrets and deepest thoughts.
- Something about the smell of freshness, moor, blazing sun against the cold wind, the freshness of the air of the forest that lights one soul up.
- There isn’t a need to feel sorry for yourself. Even if you have gone through hell, there isn’t a need to feel sorry for yourself.
- It’s nice to be liked, even nicer to be working with someone you like, who likes you back.
- There is magic in the air. There is good magic and bad magic; Good thoughts and bad thoughts. Both bring good returns and bad returns accordingly.
- Believing in something, as in completely believing in something, might just be the same as half the battle won
- Sometimes it’s nice to tell people about things after it has materialised than to keep talking about the journey. Good surprises they say
- Good healthy laughin’s better than pills any day o’ th’ year. (Yorkshire style slang)
- The past tense of breakfast is breakfasted. Just saying :-)