While it may be snowing outside, icy cold drafts sneak around every door and window and hot comfort foods like soup and toast are on the menu; at Peruvian Connection we are thinking of balmy spring and summer days and beginning the design process for the following year’s spring and summer collections. Here is a little insight into our process. Each new season begins by building mood boards, these are boards that gradually get covered with tear sheets of pictures from magazines and books, photos, items collected while travelling, beautiful paper, print inspirations, tufts of yarn for color mood and scraps of fabric and knitted and crocheted swatches to build a mood for the season. I like to come up with a theme that twists inspirations to create new ways of looking at traditional patterns and techniques. At Peruvian Connection we love ethnographic sources, so each mood board may be inspired indirectly by one or more cultures. I called this one Indian Luxe, loosely inspired by Indian embellishments, but substituting white on white textures and patterns for the ubiquitous hot pinks and turquoise colors.
I like to link things back to one or two simple ideas, so from this mood board I played with bands of lace patterns to layer or inset to create shaping into silhouettes. Here whitewashed fretted screens inspire translucent fabrics to create easy flowing sheer layers and interpreting traditional Indian motifs into lace. For example, the Paradiso Dress with its lightweight fabric constructed from four different lace diamonds based on shapes from a vintage screen. The sheerness and lightness of the lace here is backed with an even lighter weight fabric to create a lining.
Below shows part of the process from initial idea to the technical sketch that goes to the factory and the pattern inspiration for the lace details. It started with the photograph of the beautiful Mehndi henna and then I imagined these motifs blown up and placed on a fine gauge loose summer kaftan in pima cotton in white, just what you would want to wear as the heat of a summer day turned cooler. The pattern was then translated into a lace motif and engineered to fit into large machine knitted panels with an engineered lace border. The original sample ended up being rather heavy, so this style was eventually shortened into a poncho. Nothing from the mood is used directly but is a starting reference that goes into a bit of a “mash-up” of initial ideas, color and yarn, knitting techniques and a collaboration with technicians about what will work in production. Making mood boards is really an ever-changing process of gathering ideas and inspiration that is the foundation for all the design work of each collection.