Behind the Autumn Winter Collection 2021
Behind the Autumn Winter Collection 2021Back to News
Our Autumn/Winter collection is now available and we are so excited! So much hard work has gone into this collection and we think it’s our best launch so far! To mark the occasion, we’ve asked one of our production team, Darina, and our founder, Gabriella, some questions surrounding the design and overall process of creating an Autumn/Winter collection at Onesta:
How long did it take to create the Autumn Winter collection?
We started to form the Autumn/Winter collection around July 2021, when Darina first started with us at Onesta. It’s taken around three months to get it to the point of being in the photoshoot and begin the production stage ready for the October drop.
Once the design is approved, we have to source all the necessary pieces that are needed including; the fabric, the thread, care labels, sizing labels etc. The next decision to be made was what products we wanted to make in house to order and what products should be made by a production partner like MakingforChange or FashionRevolution. When working with production partners, one extra decision to make is the quantity we think we need, and then further deciding how many of each size we want to stock to place the orders. This is different to the items we make in house as they are typically made to order. At around mid-August, we had reached the point of getting ready for launch.
The process is a lot of important decision-making and at every stage we check that the quality we expect is in each and every garment.
Was there anything that you knew that you wanted to include I.e., garments, fabrics, colours?
The first thing we knew we wanted to include were the classic Autumnal colours, so the browns and beiges as they always work really well at this time of year as well as being on trend. There wasn’t any definitive shade or tone of the colours exactly, but those were the base colours we knew we wanted from the beginning.
The team had already done research before Darina had joined, this included taking inspiration from catwalks. This took them toward the idea of a shirt, a jumpsuit and a skirt as pieces that had been settled on from a design point of view.
The first dead set fabric we knew we wanted to use was the Winnie Jumper fabric. We had a sample of this fabric already in our studio (or the ‘fabric file’ as we like to call it) as we had obtained it previously from the supplier. The original idea was to have the jumper in our amazing loungewear fabric, but as soon as we felt the sample we had of this, Darina and Hazel fell in love. We knew it had to be in the collection somehow, and it wasn’t too difficult to convince everyone else either! It is ideal for the Autumn Winter collection as it has such a warm hand feel to it, it is extremely cosy and it feels like a proper piece of knitwear, all whilst being made from sustainable organic cotton.
What are the steps that go into designing a garment?
The initial stage is all about bringing together the inspiration images and ideas, covering the length, shape and sizing of the garments to colour, fabric and detailing. We can go through many rounds of design before settling on an item everyone loves.
Once happy, it’s time to create patterns. As a small, new business we don’t have many patterns to refer back to as of yet, so we have to make them from scratch. Tracing and cutting the pattern out of calico (plain unbleached fabric) essentially gives us an idea of the garment as a full piece. From there we could see the proportions, the fit, whether we like the style and shape of it, and basically, if we think it would sell. For our current collection, this started with the Winnie Jumper, and the Georgia Skirt. The jumper only needed a few minor tweaks after this process, whereas the skirt had some more elements that needed amending such as the length and creating the perfect A-line shape that we wanted.
Once all the pieces passed this checkpoint, we tried them out with the base size on sample fabrics. The base size is just the starting garment size that we have decided is best for each piece of the collection; the Winnie Jumper was in a size small for example. From there we do some grading, either up or down in increments that best fit the next sizes that we want to offer. This is different for each piece, so it might have to sometimes only be the length, width or all elements of the garment that is changed, which is a lot of work!
When patterns and samples are ready it’s time for orders! A ‘made to order’ service is available where specific measurements can be given to us when buying a piece of clothing and we can create the perfect garment for you.
Is there anything about designing a collection that you think people will find surprising?
Designing a collection of course takes some inspiration from other fashion brands, catwalks etc; but at Onesta we also take our inspiration from the general world around us, like the beach or the countryside that we live in. We think about every single element with the initial designs, considering different body shapes, different ages and who we are directly appealing to. As a small and sustainable business, we also take into account the cost of manufacturing the pieces, and the amount of fabric we use so there is as little wastage as possible.
You could almost say that we design back to front, not the usual way that other clothing companies do it. We start by looking at the fabrics available to us, as ours are only sustainably produced so we don’t have as much on offer in comparison. We think that may surprise people as we do have to think about every detail, and we do take great care in the garments, their quality, and how they appear as a whole.
How many pieces are in this collection? What are they?
There are six pieces in the collection. This includes a really warm and cosy jumper that is named the Winnie Jumper, after the lovable character Winnie the Pooh! It’s made from organic cotton and is really the softest fabric you have ever felt. It comes in an oat and rust colour, perfect for Autumn.
This is Darina’s favourite piece, mainly because of the hand feel and the versatility of the jumper!
The skirt is called the Georgia skirt, named after an intern that we had employed over summer. She was a big part of this collection and the team before she had to leave, so we knew we had to name a piece after her! The skirt is an asymmetrical style with a curved waistband that is super comfortable, it’s available in a navy and rust colour.
The trouser was chosen to be called the Grace Trouser after our head of marketing. She loved the trousers as soon as she saw them and fought for them to be included in the collection, she has her order ready for the launch! With a high waist, the body-hugging style compliments every size and the organic cotton twill is super soft on your skin. They’re available in a black and rust colour!
We also have an ivory blouse, this pieced is called the Iris Blouse, named after one of our team member’s grandmothers who passed away in 2019. It was a shirt that she would have loved herself so it was the perfect name to choose! This blouse has a brushed silk feeling with delicate frills added to the neckline, a unique and feminine touch that we all loved.
In the same oat colour as the jumper, our Petra Polo is a roll neck top with ribbed detailing. It has a close and comfortable fit so is great as an undershirt! Named after one of our teams Auntie’s, the name is unique and suited the top really well. Who doesn’t love a good alliteration!
The jumpsuit is a favourite of one of our design and production team members, Hazel. So, we decided to name it after her! She works so hard to make sure everything gets done to the best quality, and is always helpful to everyone around the studio. The Hazel Jumpsuit is an oversized fit garment with a ¾ length leg to give you the most to move around in, and the adjustable straps give you freedom in the style you want!
Finally, we have the Anna Dress, again named after one of our production team. Anna is a vital part of the Onesta team and produced the first one of these dresses so it felt right to name it after her. In a wrap style, the dress creates a flowing movement with an added tie to create the desired silhouette. In two prints named Chestnut and Sienna, it is ideal for this season's occasions.
This is Gaby’s favourite garment in the collection, saying how flattering it is in that it covers the areas that you might not want to show if you desire.
Were there any challenges when creating the collection?
Our biggest challenge was the fabric and the fabric suppliers, some of the fabrics that we really wanted were not in stock so we had to find a replacement quickly. And then sorting out the quantities and importing them in within the right amount of time.
Also, the design process was of course challenging, making sure that each design did appeal to every body shape and that they would fit and flatter amazingly for each piece. So, we added the adjustable straps to the jumpsuit for example as we appreciate that everyone is different and would wear the garment differently.
And a challenge that will always be present in a small, start-up business is money. We have to fund production, purchase the fabrics and pay our team; and this is all with no real guarantee that our items will all sell at the end of it, we are constantly taking risks!