We have just launched womenswear - it has been a long time coming, but this is slow fashion!
The process started several months ago, and although its been a labour of love it has been quite long-winded, in the summer we spent several days drawing rough ideas, followed up by several more days sewing calico samples and looking at possible fabrics, but we weren't happy so discarded it all, we wanted to make sure that the final pieces combined comfort with clever but simple detailing, clothes that are truly wearable every day but feel special.
So we designed again, and this time to a point where we could do a fitting, Lily, the daughter of a very good friend kindly agreed to come and do a fitting for us, at this point it was clear some pieces worked and others didn't so we moved forward, again evolving the designs, and then slowly introducing fabrication.
The fabric was kept very simple, quality deadbolt mixed with fabric from British mills, sympathetic to those used in menswear but with softer, lighter weights.
Each garment from this first collection has significance: the apron dress is a very simple version (and I think nicer) of a piece in my M.A collection, a dress that I have wanted to make for myself for a long time.
The overtop is a piece I made for myself when I needed something quick to wear when I was being interviewed for a fashion documentary film last year, originally I just made it for me but I love wearing it so much that I decided to include it in the collection, we have already sold several of these to people pre-launch.
The culottes - a staple of contemporary fashion was more challenging in terms of shape but what was important to me was that they had versatility, for many years I have been carrying around a picture of some detachable pockets from the 17th century, I always thought they were a lovely idea so have used them here, when they are attached the garment looks very modern and interesting but without them the culottes seem simple and wearable anywhere.
The land girl trousers were a sneaky copy of a pair seen in a black and white picture of a land girl that has graced the studio wall since we started Pajotten, originally we had the image on the wall because we thought her attitude was great, it wasn't until recently I noticed her brilliant pockets - I am guessing that the flaps fold up with a button - the image is unclear, but thats what ours do!
The long sleeved shirt is a version of our menswear shirt, its the same pattern we use in mens but with the pockets removed, we liked the way it linked the two ranges together.
The pleated skirt is another long term design notion that I have wondered about for a while, I wanted to do a pleated skirt but make it more interesting than those already around, I love it.
Finally the cream shirt - shown here but not up on the site yet, was one of the first pieces designed for the original collection, and the only piece we kept, when I started to design the range I decided on a secret muse, so that there could be a focus to the design process, I chose a very good friend who I used to work with, she has been amazingly supportive of Pajotten from day one, and her advice has been incredibly useful. I wanted to design something that I thought she would wear.
part 2 will come soon and detail the making process and the shoot