Today’s guest blog post is written by Jennifer Nina Evans, a 2012 O’More graduate who debuted her spring/summer “Addiction” collection during the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City Sept. 8 at the Empire Hotel Rooftop.
The Middle Tennessee native exhibited 12 looks alongside five other emerging designers during #NYFW. Evans also participated in the 2012 and 2013 Nashville Fashion Week.
In this two-part series, Jennifer will give readers insight into her collection and her first Fashion Week experiences.
SS 14 Addiction
by Jennifer Nina Evans
The SS 14 Collection “Addiction” takes the journey of the socialite having a well put-together life on the outside, with little details hinting into their troubled rebellious youth.
This collection took about four months from researching/sketching to the final product. Something I want to achieve as a designer is to take a dark subject matter, and turn it into something beautiful.
I took a beautiful Mount Fuji sunset photo, delicate silks, and pops of lace, and juxtaposed them with the use of varsity and moto style jackets with contrasting sleeves, skulls and razor blades. By doing this, a mix of youthful couture is born.
I picked Mount Fuji for the topic of addiction because of its forest Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees. It’s a beautiful dense forest with an extremely high suicide rate, making Mount Fuji the focus for this collection. I used the sunset image of the mountain for color palette, silhouette, and print inspiration. The collection contains ready-to-wear basics, staple garments, and luxurious evening wear completing the spectrum of looks this outstanding woman needs to turn heads in a crowd.
My process for any collection always starts with research. Research, research, research everything! I watch all the trends for color palette, silhouette, shapes, fabrics, patterns, cultural movements and repeats of decades. It’s good to see what’s happening now and cross reference from the past to predict the next season’s trends.
After getting an idea of where the trends are heading, I see which trends match up with my inspirational ideas. It’s really more organic than it sounds. It just happens. I live and breathe the inspirations, let the words and thoughts take over to develop a concept story for the clothing to follow. The sketches start to flow and the planning begins. I like my collections to tell a story, they have a certain order to them that flow from start to finish. The research and design process takes the longest of the whole process, each collection becomes my baby and I become obsessed.
Next is the patterning, draping, grading, and fabric buying. I start my patterns fresh each collection. I correct mistakes from the last collection this way, and continue to improve my variety of silhouettes each collection. Quality of fabric is so important to me. I use the highest-quality fabrics that I can get my hands on. They fit the body best and are not a struggle to work with. I shop everywhere for fabric, even get fabric custom printed, like the mountain scene used in this collection. You never know where you will find the perfect fabric at the perfect price with the perfect amount. I always buy in bulk, it’s really a problem. When I fall in love with a fabric I must have it. I always find a use for it somehow.
The construction part of the collection is the most tedious. I have to control everything. Everything has to be perfect or it gets redone until it is perfect. Time management is key. I never procrastinate, and still end up working beyond 24/7. [note: My number one goal is to be able to quit my day job so I can focus all my attention on my brand].
Once things start to come together I fit everything on my fit model. I compare this to the fit of the model form where the patterns were draped from. After fittings, styling and editing take place on each look.
I like for each look to stand on its own, and for the collection as a whole to read as one. No matter which sets of pieces you look at, you know it all came from the same collection.
This is the first of a two-part series on Jennifer Nina Evans’ 2014 spring/summer collection that the designer debuted during New York Fashion Week on Sept. 8, 2013.