By far one of the most talked about projects of 2017 in the 4Couture studio – for a number of reasons...
If you didn’t already know, along with our in house embroidery and print facilities, we also have a dedicated team of seamstresses, who typically spend their days tailoring lengths of garments and adding customisation to ‘off the peg’ styles – so the team love it when they can get their teeth into something a bit more detailed.
This request came at the end of 2017 from one of my clients Modality Systems/Consortium who were planning to exhibit at the #FutureDecoded event and wanted something stand out rather than the average promotional polo shirt.
My client’s brief was not your norm - they had the idea that they would love to have some pantone matched uniform created incorporating the ‘Stripe’ elements of the Consortium logo. We’ve produced pantone matched garments for previous projects but these are usually in the form of a single solid colour and nothing that’s ever been as bright or bold as this was going to be!
The project had a tight deadline of about 3 weeks turnaround so this ruled out bespoke, as this usually takes approx 10 - 12 weeks so we knew we’d be working on a made to order garment instead. To ensure we could delight the team in time for the event, we worked from a standard ‘pattern’ waistcoat – meaning the wearers chose from a women's UK10 or Men’s 38” chest for example, to keep sizing easy. Whereas a fully bespoke waistcoat would have involved taking individual measurements from each team member and is a much lengthier process.
Whilst the Modality team were getting their sizes together, we used their logo to produce pantone flooded fabric which was going to form the front part of the waistcoat and takes on average about 10 working days to produce. We chose a heavyweight linen fabric to help give structure to the front panels but we can pantone flood hundreds of different types of fabric depending on your brief. To finish the garments, the client requested that the waistcoats have a silver faux silk backing which we have in standard colour ways and would hand sew to the front fabric to create the final products.
Once the garments were finished we only had one final step to undertake – the embroidery of their logo onto the front breast area for the finishing touch.
During the initial process, we explained that no two waistcoats would turn out the same, due to the fact the client’s ‘stripe’ pattern runs continuously on the fabric and if our seamstress team cut out enough cloth to make a Men’s 42” chest for example and then the next waistcoat to be created is a Women’s UK8 – the ‘Stripe’ may have finished on the blue colour and the Women’s waistcoat will then begin from the Red stripe onwards and so on – this provides an entirely exclusive design per wearer, something that also looks great when the team pose for group shots!
Throughout production, anyone and everyone that came into contact with the fabric in our studio commented on the ‘wow’ factor and how ‘awesome they will look’ – we were dying to see the finished results on the wearers (and they did not disappoint with providing content!)
Within the final delivery we also snuck in a Stripe Bow Tie made from some of the off cuts of which one of the Modality/Consortium members styled out for the entire duration of the show – and looked super funky!
Since producing these mega eye catching waistcoats, we’ve had numerous clients comment on how ‘visually stunning’ they are and we’ve even spoken to people who attended the #FutureDecoded show and remember the ‘Stripe Waistcoat’ stand and had apparently commented at the time how impactful they were.
We recently shot a sample of the waistcoats on our lovely model Josh & during the photo shoot, the models on the day were fighting over who got to wear that look. This positive feedback received has been before any one has been informed that these are individual, pantone matched garments which makes them even more special and impressive for not only us as portfolio but also hopefully for the Modality/Consortium teams as uniform that’s remembered and commented on still to this day!
On a personal level, I was super touched to receive such lovely feedback from my fab client and of course so happy that they loved them!
If you want to see more fab team shots from the show - check out Consortium's Twitter @ConsortiumCloud
So thanks again to Louise & team from Modality/Consortium for giving us the chance to have a little fun whilst working on your exhibition wardrobe!