fashion

Unicorn Shawl: first warp of the year

Haven’t posted much these past months, I’ve been incredibly busy doing stuff and now I can finally relax and think about some new project for 2018.

I spent December making a top secret collab project with a local mill; the samples are done, packed and ready to be shipped…can’t wait to share with you all the result of this collaboration!

Few days ago I bought some new lovely wool yarns from Campolmi filati (yarn shop in Florence, check it out!) and I just had to try them out immediately! So, I set up my floor loom with this fine, extra warm wool in 3 different colors: a mixture of pink and lilac.

It reminded me of a fairy tale princess’s castle or fancy unicorn hair. I decided to make a shawl for myself as I never weave anything for myself really! The pattern is a combination of twill and tabby weave and I used with mohair as weft in combination with the wool I used for the warp.

After finishing this looong scarf (1,70 m without fringes) I decided to play with the rest of the warp and so I made another short scarf, this time adding some sparkly yarn to the weft combo, and some pink pouches.

This small collection of fabrics is all inspired by fairy tales and little girl’s’ dreams….all the different shades of pink you could possibly imagine were used in combination with super fancy-sparkling yarns. It was heaven weaving all this fabrics.

Here are some pics, what do you think? Let me know!

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Advent Calendar part 1

My own calendar; a pic each day to celebrate the best time of the year 😊

Day 1 to 4 https://mariannanello.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/img_8021.movhttps://mariannanello.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/img_8101.mov

Back in Town; studio is up and running again.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post on this blog.
I have been busy with a new job and I had to move to another city for a few months, from April to September, but now I’m back again!
Finally back to my studio and, obviously, back to my loom.
I’ve been missing weving and designing fabrics so much! Now that I have some spare time I can focus on my winter collection. I haven’t posted pics on Instagram either and I bet my followers were wondering what I was doing… Well, I can assure you that working for Gucci was a great experience indeed but very tiring as well!
I am looking forward to create an interesting collection of scarves this fall, trying to combine traditional tartan and innovative designs. So many things to do and so little time…
Truth is that I’m still looking for a job, something that gives me time to weave at least on weekends (any advice is welcome). I’m planning to keep running my business on Etsy but I’ll have to work a lot on my brand image and style in order to sell.
Enough with the talk, I want to show you my latest work:

 check my Instagram for updates

and my ETSY shop too

Premiere Vision Trend Report- Paris 7-9Feb. 2017

For the first time ever, this February I had the chance to attend one of the biggest textile fair of the world: Première Vision.
This event is held twice a year, in September and February, in Paris and it last 3 days. During those 3 days, thousands of designers, buyers, creatives, manufacturers and fabric-lovers find themselves surrounded by the latest trends in terms of colors, yarns, patterns, textures, surfaces etc.
The event is held just outside Paris, in a huge exhibition center: Parc d’Exposition (Paris Nord Villepinte). The space is divided in 4 different halls; each hall focuses on a different type of product: leather, accessories, designs, fabrics, yarns and manufacturing.
There are also other subsections inside the halls, those are knitwear-solutions, upper jeanswear and maison d’exception(which is a highly innovative/experimental section exclusively reserved for luxury brands and fashion designers and it is by invitation only).
The first section that we find, at the entrance of the fair is dedicated to the designs. A large number of stands present selection of innovative designs printed on paper or on fabric swatches. Obviously, the majority of the prints presented floral patterns as it is a timeless trend. Stripes and geometrical patterns appeared too but in much restricted numbers. Apparently, geometric is not going to be one of the main trend for S|S 2018. I was surprised to find a huge number of prints depicting cartoon-animals. A conspicuous number of stands offered cute illustration in pastel colors for kids and toddlers. Pink appeared everywhere in adorable illustration of rabbits, pandas and tiny birds.
As I am not into prints, I went through this section just looking around and taking notes of the main color trends.
The second, main, section was the one dedicated to fabrics in general. I spent there few hours here, looking at each stand and taking notes about the weaving patterns/drafts.
I was surprised to notice that the stands presented different kind of designs, in terms of color ways, surfaces and texture effects. I can’t say that I clearly saw a connection between the collections of the different companies as it seems like everyone followed their own different trends. On the other end, one thing I noticed was the evident use of some yarns (paper yarns, fancy yarns-pigtail yarns, and absolutely no boucle yarns). I never use fancy yarns in my collections but I thought I’d give it a try because I found some of the results really inspiring.

A large number of stands where dedicated to high end embroidery, laces and knitted fabrics which although were pleasant to see are not particularly relevant from my point of view.

Interesting were also the leather and accessories sections, especially the stands that were selling trims and fur.

Of course it is impossible to sum up everything in one blog post and unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures because of the copyright; but it was an amazing experience and I think that it will conspicuously affect my future weaving and woven designs.

 

Handwoven Scarf n°3 #part2 (review)

In one of the latest post I published an update about my newest product: a unique scarf 100% made with wool. You can now find it on my Etsy shop

The color palette I chose was inspired by a picture of a building’s facade painted in light orange with a lovely cotton candy blue door. For the pattern, as I said before, I’ve used a simple combination of 4:4 twills, changing the color order each 40 cm.

While I was weaving it, I wasn’t entirely sure about the final effect but once I took it off the loom I was absolutely pleased with the result!

The design is classic but also fresh and very bright as you can see from the pics. The colors are perfectly balanced and the pattern is complex but simple at the same time.

Now it’s time to start looking for a new source of inspiration!

Vintage selection #29 – Florence Fair 2017

Spent a great day today in Florence at the Vintage Selection #29!

In the morning I went for shopping in one of my favorite shops in town, Campolmi Filati, an absolutely amazing place for yarns lovers (and of course, best supplier ever!). I bought 3 cones of wool in pale pink, dark brown and a stunning yellow, can’t wait to use them for my next project.

The afternoon was entirely devoted to the discovery of the vintage fair at the old ‘Stazione Leopolda’, situated near Santa Maria Novella Station.

It was nice to see so many vintage shops reunited in one place. The exhibition was cool, the space was well organized and divided in sections. Sparkling disco globes all around the place for a 70’s party atmosphere!

I was only able to take 2 pics because I was trying to find some hidden gems!

Were you there? Do you wear vintage clothes?

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Making a scarf #3

Week 4, The making of a new scarf:

As today was a relatively warm and sunny day, I was inspired by more soft and pale colors for my new creation.
The warp was already set up; a lovely cotton candy shade of light blue.
As always, I started researching a mood on Pinterest and this pic came up:

The pic on the right is a color palette found on Pinterest, on which I based the choice of my yarn selection.

I began to weave the scarf using a dark blue in combination with a light orange and a pale beige. As for the pattern, I have been using a 4:4 twill changing the color sequence every 4 pick.

I wanted to create a scarf that reminds of spring so I gradually changed the color, shifting from a dark blue to the bright orange and finish with the soft brown shades.

Today I was only able to weave 65 cm and tomorrow I won’t be at the studio so I’ll probably finish this project next week.

Can’t wait to see the final result! You will find it soon on my Etsy shop —> HERE

Now enjoy a sneak peek of my work and tell me what you think.

The creation of a woven scarf: from the inspiration to the final product.

In the last post I introduced my newest creation, a 4 colors-striped scarf.

A lot of people seem to have liked the color combination which was inspired by few sunset pics I found on Pinterest; here are the pics and the color palette which I used to combine the colors:

 

After I decided the color range for this scarf I started planning the color order and combination. I knew I wanted to create a striped scarf so I tested different possibilities using the demo version of weavemaker, a very useful software for weavers.

After trying few combinations, changing the order of the colors and the thickness of each strip, I decided the final sequence and I started to make the warp.

As I always do, I mentally plan the threading and the pattern and I test it with weavemaker. Anyway, I end up changing the pattern so often once I start weaving! I do like to experiment and I get bored easily so it’s very hard for me to keep repeating the same pattern throughout the entire length of the scarf. I particularly like “free weaving” technique, weaving without following a fixed draft and mixing up twills, ribs, plain weave etc.

Here are some pics of the whole process:

 

 

You can find the scarf on my Etsy shop

 

Predicting color trends: (How I choose my color palette)

When designing my handwoven textile collection I am always particularly careful about the latest trends. Of course I don’t just rely on trends publications and releases but I conduct my own research well ahead in order to pick the shades that are most likely to be popular.

Being able to pick the newest trends is not easy but is you work in the fashion industry you will start to predict the trending colors sooner or later. But I strongly believe that predicting trends is partially a talent.

One thing I love doing is go window shopping and make notes (and sometimes take pics!) of the new color ranges. After I collect a good range of pics I print them out, collect them in my visual research folder and pick the one I like the most.

The second step is to conduct online research; Pinterest, Instagram and Lookbook are some of my favorite, here I start looking at people outfits and style ideas. Of course I also reply on more reliable sources and websites but as I am still a student I cannot afford to pay the trend reports.

After conducting broad  research, you are ready to pick your colors! (I usually choose no more than 6). After I have my 6 colors, I go to www.Pantone.com   and match my shades to the Pantone colors. Using the pantone color system makes it easier to find the exact color you used before and help you building up your palette in a professional and consistent way.

Now you can start designing! And after a few months, when your collection should be almost ready to be launched, you can find out what are the trending color for the season. I usually check the Pantone website again and see if my prediction were correct and hopefully they are!

The color I used for my A|W 2016/17 collection were:

 

 

 

How to launch your own brand (?)

Recently I have conduct research on startups, fledging brands and business in general.

During the MA I realized that having my own handwoven textile brand is probably the most advisable choice. I would like to sell my own designs and work for third parties meanwhile selling some products as well.

The question comes up inevitably:

“Where to start?”

Launching a new brand on the market having no experience can be demanding and a lot of different aspects must be taken into consideration; the first thing that one should decide is the amount of money that can be invested in the project. Of course, it is clear that the amount of money necessarily depends on the type of business we want to establish. A good start could be to research available fundings. In my case, being a young woman is an advantage because there are a few fundings for new artisans that are willing to work in Tuscany.

Another thing to consider is the space in which we will be working. Rent a suitable studio is very important and, again, different aspects will be taken into consideration depending on the kind of business we want.

In order to launch our own collection of product, we must be able to address our competitors: Thorough research is essential in this case. Internet and all social media are in general very helpful for the purpose and I mainly use linkedin, instagram, pinterest and Eatsy (I’m not particularly familiar with twitter but I’m aware that I’ll need to start using it as well).

Other things to consider are Brand Identity and Brand Image:

In order to define a brand, the creation of a logo is crucial. The first step when designing a logo is to chose whether to use your own name or a business one. It is not easy to make a choice, especially if the brand identity is not fully defined, therefore broader research on the matter was conducted from which emerged:

  • Recognizability: a customer should be able to recognize the brand by looking at the logo_[1].
  • Choice of colors and font is essential.
  • Simplicity: a logo should never be complex.

As I already own a brand that has a business name[2]_ I have decided to use my own name to address my  collection.

As written on menagementstudyguide.com[1]_, the brand image is how the market perceives the brand: it is passive, superficial and it looks back. The brand image is the consumer’s idea of the brand[2]_, it is developed over time and it is based on a consistent theme. In my case, the recurrent theme will be the craftsmanship and the outstanding quality of the product. The image I want to project is linked to the idea of Italian craftsmanship that continues over times, loaded with specific connotation. I hope that over time as my products become known I can increase the brand equity. As I want to target the luxury market, the brand image should reflect a classic style. Black, white and possibly blue will characterize each collection so that the consumer could easily associate the style with the brand. Website and social media will be used to define my brand identity while swing tickets will be developed in order to explain the brand ethos.

 

Addressing your customer and your market is also important when defining the brand image. The style of the brand, it’s colors and website should reflect the target market.

Those are the things I took into consideration while building my brand identity; I still need to define a lot of things but I think that whit time I will be able to launch my collection and start my small business.

 

 

 

 

 

[3] MSG Menagement Study Guide [Online] [Accessed: 24 March 2016] [Available from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/identity-vs-image.htm].

[4] Business Dictionary [Online] [Accessed 23 March 2016] Available from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/brand-image.html

 

[1] Healey, M. (2008), What Is Branding?, Mies : RotoVision.

[2] ChameleonSurf: @Chameleonsurf (Instagram,Twitter, Facebook) chameleonsurf.oneminutesite.it. The brand was launched in August 2015 and reflects the style of my hometown. It is aimed at young generation, surfers and sports-lovers. The production is relatively small and the product range varies from printed t-shirts to hats.