Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clothing Details: Pockets, Buttons and all the Lovely Embellishments

We at Petey the Troll apparel have been making clothes for a few years now and have noticed a few things about the types of clothing that sell and the types of clothing that remain ion our closet of beautiful, but rejected clothing items. I've been very focussed onconcept of coats and jackets recently and have been looking at various styles represented by in lots of different designers' collections. Most consumers never really think about the reasons why they are buying something, they just like it. I like to look at why people like little details and embellishments on their clothing and what the utilities and design features mean to the consumer. This is the kind of detailed stuff I love about fashion and the reason why I think that even if I get old before I get famous, I could at least be the best damn seamstress there is in the haute couture industry. *Dreams*

Something very specific I've noticed about the way people shop, is they like their clothes to be stylish, but they also require utility in order for it to be considered a sound purchase. Example: My failure to recognize the crucial importance of pockets to jackets and coats has cost me a lot of sales I would have otherwise had. People need pockets in their jackets and coats with few exceptions to this rule. Even if they are barely functional, people need them there to know that if they need to carry something small, they can.
PS. I'm totally in the process of adding pockets to every coat and jacket remaining in the Petey Collection.... We'll re-post everything when the new web sites arrives in a few weeks. :D

The next most important design feature in a well designed, well tailered jacket or coat is the buttons. Okay, I have a weird thing about coats with buttons versus coats with zippers. I would almost like to say that I would exclusively stick to buttons when designing a coat with some exceptions being Vietnam era military style coats (my fav. coat this winter in a chocolate brown felted wool with epaulettes and four front pockets,) and sports coats...which are really designed for a specific purpose and don't count so much. I love buttons though, I'll be the first to spend 8 hours hand sewing button holes on the back of a wedding gown just because the look of a million buttons is akin to the look of pearls - styled perfection.

Embellishments on clothing have had a habit in fashion of coming and going in and out of the height of style. For example, in 19th Century Paris, the more adornments a woman was dressed in, the more money she was thought to have. Women would go great lengths to cover themselves in feathers, ribbons, jewels and whatever else was in style that season. In the early 1920s Coco Chanel decided she wanted to return to minimalsim. She introduced the corset-less dress and the women's suit jacket and changed the way women wore clothes forever and ever. She was no doubt, being influenced by some of the changes that were occurring in the world or art and architecture in Europe. I think of this as the time when the basic box sky scraper building becomes popular world wide and the most avant garde artists were creating high art out of simplified shapes.
Right now in fashion I can definitely say that people are on the simplified end of the fashion spectrum. I get on the subway and 90% of the coats are black black black. Did I mention about 75% of those black coats are Canada Goose? Ridiculous.
I plan to change all that.
Think about embellishments the next time you're on the street and see all of the boring coats. Imagine giant green buttons or purple trim.
Change it up and put the colour and style back in winter! :D