As this week we have been focusing on our design process and development, today we had a visit from Sarah Mole; head pattern cutter for womenswear at COS. She spoke to us about the newest 10 piece collection that COS have created for their 10 year anniversary, as well as how they created the collection and why they felt the idea behind it is important.
So, COS have created this 10 piece collection which consists of women's, men's and children's garments, which have all been made using a unique ethos of pattern cutting. With rising trends of sustainability and being environmentally friendly within the fashion industry, COS and the pattern cutting team thought it would be great to research into 'zero-waste' pattern cutting methods and see how they could implement this into their work/collection.
images taken from COS website
Sarah explained that by COS using the Lectra system, they felt they had an advantage due to the technology and being able to start pattern cutting and altering patterns at a quicker pace (compared to manual pattern cutters.) She also discussed methods, ideas and ways that she found that helped her to overcome fabric usage/efficiency to create garments that were as minimal waste as possible. For example, on the men's jacket, and the kids shirt - they have curved hemlines, and this was so that on the lay plan the sleeve head slotted into the curvature of the hemline. This then eliminated odd shaped space which they initially found a struggle to create solutions for. Listening to Sarah talk, I found it very interesting in the ways they used the pattern pieces logically to fit next to one another so that none of the area within the outline of the entire lay plan was wasted. This is definitely something that I would like to replicate in my work, as I too believe that in order to keep up with the demand of societies desires, it is very important to make people/consumers change the way they buy and shop. I think that creating an entire 8 outfit menswear collection that is entirely minimal waste it would be very unique to the market, especially being an on-trend collection to be styled in many ways.
After Sarah's presentation, we were lucky enough to talk to her within our group and gain some feedback from what she felt about our designs, and how we should next approach our development. We spoke about it can be harder to be more creative in menswear fashion, as we believe that it can't be too 'out-there' as men typically will not wear the garment. Therefore, we explained how we are interested in looking at moved seams, panel features, and concealed fastenings and pockets - and making a feature of these key details throughout the collection. We agreed that the best place to start actual toile development is to focus on the fit on trousers and fitted areas of garments such as collars and cuffs. This was because the majority of men find it crucial to have a comfortably fitted garment that sits well on their body- and as Sarah explained to us, she and her team found it difficult when creating the fit of the shorts for the 10 piece COS collection, due to creating the right shape but also to fit it into the restraint of minimal waste.
From this, we agreed that in our next group session we would focus on these key areas so that we can find and workout suitable patterns to work from, but also to play around with 'zero-waste' and see how we can achieve the minimal waste without compromising the fit and style we desire to have.