Saturday, August 13, 2011


I have recently been giving a lot of thought to designing "collections."  By this I mean designing a series of items that aren't spontaneous one-offs, but rather a cohesive group with a unifying look, theme, and inspiration that is at least partially planned out ahead of time and that can be summarized and explained by the designer.

I'm not sure that I have many coherent thoughts on the matter so far, except that designing collections is hard.  Over the summer, I received a suggestion to organize my shop by collections, but the fact is that my pieces were too eclectic and I was unable to shoehorn them into categories.  So, while those existing pieces will remain in the shop (which is currently organized by medium... for example, "metal collage," "beaded," "knitted," etc.), designing a cohesive fall collection has been high on my list.

The problem is that it can be hard to design a collection without feeling restricted by the theme and look upon which you've decided.  What if you have an idea that doesn't fit in?  What if you start working and the concept changes and evolves?  What are the benefits and drawbacks to designing in this way?  Are you limiting your creativity?  Are you limiting your customer base?

For my readers (I think I'm up to 26 now... yay!), I'm curious... have you ever designed a "collection" before?  If not, would you try it, or would you find it to be too restrictive?  If you do design in collections, what are the benefits?  What is your process like, how do you choose a theme, and how do you handle changes during the creative process?

Images from Sarah Burton's first collection for Alexander McQueen, Spring 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I'm gonna talk about my 'Elegant Punk' collection as an example that I actually can totally focus on.. Or, cause I know of.


    When I make something that has gun metal as the backing color, falls into that line. The reason is because it makes the 'steampunk' look more elegant in nature.

    Gold, Copper and Bronze pieces are Vintage Fusion, as they tend to imply more of a vintage feel.

    A collection can be as specific, only feathers, or as loose, must have a primary color in it, as you desire.