Live Project – COS

Friday 24/03/2017

After having Sarah come in from COS today it has really put our group into a different direction. Once our designs were looked over by the tutors and Sarah the advice given was about making our collection look more similar and maybe splitting the group into separate little groups to each focus on different points. As we are doing menswear we really need to carefully consider our finishes, fastenings and things like cuffs and collars as these are majorly important. Myself and Faye are looking into the finishings and fastenings as this was an area i already began looking at, Bronwyn and Leona are looking into shapes of trousers so we can develop these together with different seams etc.

Above are our initial designs take from our own 6 line up, we have slightly refined them from the other day including more similar seams. However they are still very much looking like they came from different collections more than just one group collection which is where we need to be at.

On Monday we want to come back together to discuss our customer further and begin creating shapes on calico, for example earlier in the day Sarah showed us a way which she used for her experiments of using a basic block and laying it onto the fabric and then seeing what fabric is left behind to then inform our next design step this could then be linked into (for example) the hood on another coat. From seeing this way of working i feel that this will be a more beneficial direction for our group to go in. A problem which came up in our group was about what if we used this way, but then the fabrics we wanted to use weren’t the same as the patterns we cut from the zero waste square? But i thought that at this early stage of toiling i don’t think that we should particularly worry about the colours of the fabrics to inform our designs YET because this can be figured out a little later.

The powerpoint and presentation this morning of the 10 year anniversary collection was really lovely to see and i didn’t realise the thought process behind all of the ‘simple’ looking shapes. The way that the inside of the garments were finished off were to such a high standard and is something that our group wants to take on board as it gives a very high quality standard to the garments. The presentation also shows us the thought process behind the ‘zero waste/minimal waste’ pattern cutting and how it can be used to create innovative designs, it isn’t very ‘production friendly’ especially with the size grading.

Over the weekend I will be working with Faye to really narrow down our fastenings and finishes so that we can include these within the initial design process, and so that they have been considered and sampled throughout the project and not just at the end.

Tuesday 21/03/2017

Today is the group selection and colour palette selection. From explaining my ideas and listening to everyone else’s I think this worked really well because it was as if we were pitching to each other so that we would want to work with each other. By the end of the day I was really pleased with the group, we have a group of 8 which is slightly bigger than the others but this just means we will have an 8 piece collection, but this could also work to our advantage because if one look isn’t working we have the freedom to drop or add pieces. In our group is Bronwyn, Faye, Leona, Charlie, Rachel, Sophie and Sarah, 6 mens wear, 1 unisex (me) and Sarah’s 13/14-year-old boys wear. We’ve began by choosing a favourite design from each others work to piece together, tomorrow we will be developing on these and researching customer and details to add to our collection. The colour palettes that have been chosen are the pink and the greys, I really love this also as we have the freedom to move within the two palettes which i feel will work really well.

Monday 

From a couple of my favourite designs I decided to then begin trying out these shapes on the mannequin from sewing the slash and cut openings to a circle shape it gave me this ‘cowl’ draped shape which i thought would be really lovely for trousers, or maybe for coat detailing.

Designs for the selection tomorrow

Friday

Using the photos that I enlarged and pieced together yesterday i was able to create shapes in calico and also with the paper to give a more rigid look. So far I think this is the most successful session that I have had, as far as my development work goes. From these images over the weekend I’m going to begin designing for our group selection on Tuesday.

Independent Study

I began by watching a few documentaries on brutalist architecture in London, the main two buildings that they spoke about were the Trellick Tower and the Alexander Fleming building and how a lot of people thought of these as eyesores whilst others wanted the buildings protected and maintained correctly. These buildings were also like fortresses they gave the residents who lived here (Trellick tower) natural light from the big open windows and being so high in the air, Laundrettes and elevators away from the main part of the building, these buildings were carefully designed and this is something that I need to carry through into my designs for COS. Thinking briefly about my ideas for prints I thought I could incorporate the idea of how the buildings are no longer maintained properly so the rust from the exposed pipes, the water marks and the moss growing at the sides of the buildings could be used as my inspiration (subject to how the group selection works out and whether we would like to incorporate print). I have also printed off a lot of pictures and enlarged them to piece together to make shapes ready for the session on Friday so on the weekend and Monday and I can really get into designing my 6 outfits for the group selection on Tuesday.

 

Session 4

After presenting my idea board i wasn’t 100% sure on my idea and where I wanted to go with this, however after talking to the tutors this really is going to helped me into the right direction. I needed to improve on refining my idea, i had some images on the board that really didn’t make sense together, such as the internet images of buildings and the ones i took, they contradicted each other. After looking on the suggested websites from Veronica (Design Boom) I have decided to look into the more bold shapes from Brutalist Architecture which came about from the 1950’s to the mid 70’s. From this I want to create patterns from these bold shapes but from using different fabrics such as ridged and more flowing fabrics this could change the look of the pattern overall. By using these contrasting fabrics this could work really nicely with my idea of a genderless collection. Within the next couple of days i need to create new patterns from the architecture shapes to begin developing my collection for next Tuesday when we begin selecting groups.

First development board

Developing on from yesterdays work with Leona we began by trying to cut up the pattern to begin to digitise this in so that we could begin to go our separate ways.

(Images below of trying to draw seams and create armholes and opening ready for digitising)

By marrying pieces together i have been able to make sure the pattern lines up and make a few changes so that I can try this out on 3D, i have also scaled them up so that i can try them on a male and female 3D model.

changing patterndigitisedSitching

3D fit Male and Female models to see how to pattern fits on both genders. Admittedly it does look very feminine on the man, but i feel like with the right details like collars, pockets, the right fabrics and sleeves this could possibly be a Jacket for both men and women. I would like to push myself on 3D fit throughout this project as i know that COS use the lectra system, from the pervious projects i think that being a lectra pattern cutter is where i would like to go after university.

Today we were also introduced to the 3 fabric stories, I really love all of them! So i’m happy with whatever I get in the group selection, if I had to choose it would probably be the pinks and the lighter colours just because I think this could work really lovely in a genderless collection but any palette is good for me.

Session 3 

Myself and Leona worked on the stand together, using geometrical shapes which Leona had from her research which fit in with my ideas of using buildings and their boxy shapes. We managed to get a much better outcome than last week as we were using more draping fabric to create soft shapes. From this i think it would really help my development work, i want to try out with more buildings, however I need to get help tomorrow when we present our boards as I’m finding it difficult to go from here.

 

London

COS store, Kensington. I found this shop to have more stock out then the Regent street store, this store also had furniture and stationary. There was also a lot more of the mens clothing which worked in my favour because i’m choosing to initially look into menswear to develop my genderless clothing collection. Looking at the small details within the clothes has given me ideas for how i can use the shapes that I will/have photographed to create the collection.

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s really made me realise why we did the packaging workshop, this artist is choosing to make 3D sculptures and then make them flat we were doing the opposite and making 3D objects from flat packaging. The attention to detail in it work was incredible especially in the walk through installation looking from the floor to the ceiling of the passages there was detail.

LOVE//FEAR exhibition at the Design Museum 

Love: I really loved the installation of the different fabrics which are normally discarded and used to stuffing in things like pillow, duvets etc because they cannot be piled into different material types or colours. The textile designer, Christien Meindertsma, wanted to explore the potential of recycling textiles, this exhibition piece was made up of 1,00 discarded woollen jumpers. I just generally loved the idea of doing something different the way that she was able to explore an area that maybe hadn’t been before and then was successful within this, it is also really pleasing to see the different colours piled into the centre of the room.

Fear: My only fear within the exhibition i suppose was the Robot called Minus, by Madeline  Gannon. I wasn’t so much as scared of it, it just made me a little on edge, to begin with i didn’t quite understand what it was doing but once i realised it followed you and actually took a type of ‘interest’ in you it made me feel a bit uneasy. This may be because robots are coming more and more sophisticated as time goes on, that i think they may even take over many of our jobs maybe this is were the type of anxiety about them comes from for many off us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r6ZU8Af4bE (video link for Minus)

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(From the design museum website ^^)

Independent Study

From our idea generation yesterday I wanted to have a more solid idea so that I would make the most out of London on Friday. Competitor board, customer profile board and general idea and moodboards on how I want to progress my ideas and work. From looking at street trends, the 10th anniversary COS collection and other designers who use Zero waste I would like to focus on genderless clothing and an interchangeable outfit, so far I’m unsure of how to do this. On Friday i want to focus on the street, buildings etc to find different ways that they fit together or interlock to inform my designs. 

Tuesday 2nd Workshop – Meeting Veronica 

It really helped to know the background of Veronica knowing the projects she had been involved in such as the Olympics with Speedo, as these are companies that are sometimes not taken seriously but from Veronica explaining how ahead of their time they need to be with new technologies it really makes you think about companies differently. On the Powerpoint we touched about ‘Can Eco Be Cool?’, which is something i also always question. Normally when i think of Eco, its more about hemp pants and hippies I haven’t ever really thought out Eco either within my designs so it’ll be something different for me to test myself with. It was also really cool knowing that she had worked within street wear and skate brand such as Stussy because this is something that I’m really interested in.

We began by going away and generating images so that we could all come together again to generate ideas off of each other to get our initial concept. My first ideas were very vague i always find this stage quite difficult so once everyone else ideas has been read out and the tutors gave their feedback to me i felt like i had a more concrete idea. I want to look into the zero waste/80%+ efficiency and consider these into my designs, i also looked at The Post Couture Collective which i actually did an essay for in 1st year. They have quite a simple shape but where the pattern pieces are interlocked together this gives the detail to the garment. Another idea which was given to me was about doing genderless clothing as i always go between womans and menswear, this could be the perfect project as COS looks at their Menswear then develops on top of this to create their womenswear.

Monday 1st Workshop 

A few images from our first workshop. Using a simple box I cut it diagonally in different ways to create a more interesting shape than the usual box. The negative space from the cupcake holders were also used to create shapes for the mini mannequin. I would like to revisit making shapes on the mannequin this week so I would be able to consider my shapes more in order to begin designing.

Competitor and Customer Profile Board

Aged between 30+ the reason I would say ‘+’ is because i feel that COS can appeal to mostly any age group its more of the lifestyle that they are buying into and the pieces are timeless. The customer works in the city has a busy lifestyle and uses the tube to get around. They enjoy simple jewellery, expensive perfume and quality over quantity. They like small pops of colour paired with simple colours, they use iPhones and shop at stores like Reiss, Whistles and Massimo Dutti. This customer buys more into a lifestyle than fast fashion, buying key pieces throughout the year. With the minimalist pieces like these i feel that the customer can give their own style and edge to what they were as they will be able to pair pieces with accessories and dress them up and down depending on the season or occasion.

Reasearch

When making this Competitors scale board I also included the other brands from the H&M group to see where COS sits in with these as I feel like the younger customer would shop at these stores as they would trust in the H&M group for quality. COS main competitors are Reiss, Whistles and Massimo Dutti. I have included Acne Studios as I feel like they have the same brand image however Acne have a much higher price point and are more of an exclusive/luxury market.

store-scale

London 1/3/2017

From the research I completed the other day I thought it would be best to go to London and see COS and the other stores within the H&M group.

COS

From outside the shop window is very simplistic, some furniture at the front of the shop window as a sitting area (not for sale), lots of light wooden boxes as stands for the shoes, white backing for the clothes so it looks really clean and simple. As you walk in there are lots of metal frames around the shop creating a type of structure around the whole shop so its like stepping through different colour ranges as you go through the different sections. The first was lots of yellows, khaki, white navy and blues, next is greens, navy and creams, then reds, orange, khaki and creams. Underneath the clothes there are a small selection of shoes some in black and red. There seems to just be small pops of colour, there’s quite a small selection of clothes and mostly only XS, S and M clothes shown but theres notes above the clothes saying if you need another size just ask. The clothes aren’t packed onto the rails which i found much easier to look through everything, i felt like i had more time to look instead of being rushed because there wasn’t loads of packed into one space.

The clothes were all on the same grey wooden hangers, when looking around at who was shopping i seemed to be the youngest person i there. It seemed that the ladies who were shopping were between 30-50 and well dressed. Even though it seems like the customer was older i would still buy a lot of the clothes from here, but then again the age group may be older because they would have more disposable income than someone of my age would. I noticed one of the shop assistants with a steamer going around taking clothes out and steaming them so that they looked perfect at all times. When i was looking around at the clothes there seemed to be quite ‘simple’ clothes but they had interesting features like seams, textured fabrics, or when you looked closer at the garments they were interestingly pattern cut.

I chose 4 garments to try on to see how they felt and fit. I decided to pick up the clothes in a size 8/S because this would be my ‘true size’, however when i go shopping for myself i usually buy size 10 because i find that stores like new look, Primark, etc don’t fit my correctly if i do buy an 8. Going into the changing room it was spacious and light, the same wooden shelves and boxes were in the changing room as they were though out the store.

Blue dress: It was such a lovely dress, this was a size 8 and it fit perfectly it didn’t pull or sit weirdly it was just a really lovely dress. It was also really lovely and comfortable the fabric felt lovely on my skin, it was made in Turkey, £79, 69% cotton 27% polyamide and 4% elastin. When i first picked up the dress on the rail i didn’t realise that it had pleats at the front or pockets or that it would hang in this really lovely way. The part i liked the most was were the bust dart went down into the pocket so it looked sort of hidden in the dress.

White Shirt: There were a lot of white shirts in the store like all different variations which gives a lot of choice. The fabric again was really lovely a soft light and comfortable, again it fit really lovely this was a size 8. I noticed that in the shirt and the dress there is a minimal amount of top stitching on the garments. I really loved the slightly dropped armhole it just gave extra movement, and there was seams going along the back of the shirt which I found quite interesting. £69 100% Lyocell.

Black Trousers: They did sit slightly strange on me and i can’t work out why, they were a size S, i mean they weren’t tight or anything i guess they just didn’t suit my body. But i really loved the detail or the pleats at the bottom of the trouser instead of elastic or something similar to close the bottom off. The fabric was quite thick and heavy (but not in an uncomfortable way) £69 100% Polyester

Popper top: Really soft and thick fabric, however i didn’t feel as comfortable in this as the others because it was quite ‘boxy’ feeling. There were poppers all along from arm to arm. The poppers at the top near the neck came undone but the others were just for show, i thought this was a really nice feature. £59 90% Cotton 10% Polyamid.

Going upstairs there was more womenswear, menswear and a small selection of children swear (downstairs was all womans). They had a large light wooden stair case again the front of the shop windows letting in all the light. The same layout upstairs was downstairs it kinda felt like you were in a house and you were walking though the different rooms. They had a small amount of underwear and sleepwear out, to be honest i really didn’t realise it was sleepwear/lounge wear because it looked too luxurious to wear to bed! All accessories were shown in little wooden boxes, it was a really lovely shop to go into.

Even though COS is more expensive to shop at I don’t think it’s outrageous i mean from trying on the clothes i think you’re really buying into the quality of the clothing, so it will last longer and you won’t need to shop as often.

H&M

H&M was just across the road from COS so I thought id see the contrast in the H&M group from the higher end to the high street end. Walking into H&M there was loud music brightly colours illustrations everywhere, clothes everywhere, big red price tags everywhere SALE SALE SALE. This shop is defiantly for younger age group with glitter, slogan t-shirts. I always find going into shops like H&M and primark really daunting only because i feel like i can’t see everything because there’s too much to look at in such a small space. You can see the difference in the layout with just rail after rail of clothes, going from grey wooden hangers to the plastic H&M logo hangers. But then again this mirrors in the price, where you can pick up a pair of trousers for between £17.99-£25 compared to COS being at around £70. So i tried on a pair of trousers £25 and a black pleated top £17.99 I picked up a size 10 in both, when i got to the changing room they didn’t fit properly the trousers were too tight and the top seemed to strangle me. So again i probably would have to buy a size 12. I don’t really understand this because i would’ve thought as a group they would go off of the same pattern sizes, but then again with a more luxurious brand i guess they would consider this more than H&M?

& Other Stories

When walking into this store i got much more of a younger vibe feeling loud music, bright colours, embroidery patches being sold, make-up, fragrance, Nike air max on sale upstairs. Their clothes are still more expensive than what i would usually buy, they have all matching wooden hangers, white metal rails with more clothes put out than in COS but still a smaller selection than the usual high street store.

Black Check shirt: £65 100% Viscose. A really lovely fitting shirt size S, but then again i couldn’t justify spending £65 on it, it wasn’t really soft or really looked like anything special.

Black and Green stripe top: I personally really loved this it fit really nicely (Size S) and I really wanted to buy it i thought it was reasonable for £25 compared to the £65 shirt. 60% cotton 40% Elastaine.

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Stripe Jumper: It was soft and fit nicely but I again couldn’t justify spending £55 pound on this. Size S again, so going back to how all the clothes fit it seems to be the more you spend they better they fit on you which makes sense I guess. 100% Wool.

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Monki 

Monki is by far my favourite shop, when I have money I always shop here. I think that the clothes fit really lovely, are affordable and are of good quality. I always love going into the shop it’s always so fun and quirky, reminds me of a fun fair a little bit. So i tried on 4 times and out of 4 of them I brought 3.

Black Culotte Trousers: Really thick lovely fabric they’re in european sizes so I got a size 36 which is a 6/8 (looking at conversion charts online) they just fit really nicely, hang where i want them to. £30

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Striped Culotte Jeans: I tried these on in a size 38 which would be a 10 because find with jeans i generally like to be more comfortable especially when they’re high-waisted. They again fitted really nicely. £35

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Long t-shirt: I tried this on in a small, it’s really comfortable fits nicely and I think it’s an interesting shape. £35

 

Reiss

When walking into Reiss everything was set out in colours, blacks, creams, whites and then pops of colours such as red and navy. They didn’t have loads of stock out but again this was expected for higher priced shop, everything was easier to look at. At the time that I was in the store there wasn’t anyone shopping however i could tell that it would be more for the older man/woman, there were a lot of suit jackets, skirts, trousers and shirts it seemed more like formal wear than casual. I didn’t try anything on because i felt really uncomfortable in the store i felt like the shop assistants didn’t really know what i was doing in there which made me just want to leave. So when i got home i looked at the prices of similar products that i tried on in COS, The white shirt that i tried on in COS was £69 so when i looked online a similar looking white shirt was between £75-£110 which is slightly more expensive but I’m sure in COS they did more expensive shirts than the one i tried on.  The trousers i tried on were £69 in COS and in Reiss i found similar for about £75 but again these are more like work trousers than more causal trousers from COS. I think that Reiss could be a competitor for COS.

Whistles

Again i didn’t go into this store but from looking online i can compare products and prices. Looking at a white shirt they are priced at around £80 and the one that i tried in COS was £69, similar trousers in whistles are between £90-£130 (but they do climb all the way unto  £350 for something more luxurious) and the ones in COS were £75. Again i think that Whistles could be a competitor as i think they would appeal to the same customer base, an older working man/woman with more disposable income.

Massimo Dutti

I think that Massimo Dutti could be the main competitor for COS, their prices are very similar and I think that the customer could also be very similar. Shirts being sold for around £50+ at Massimo Dutti which is the same as COS. Again the trousers at Massimo Dutti go from £50+ which again is similar, i think that this brand is slightly more expensive than what the normal high street shopper could afford on a regular basis but for an older working man/woman with disposable income i feel like brands like Massimo Dutti and COS would very much appeal to them.

Jigsaw

I think that Jigsaw could also be a competitor as they do have a slightly higher price point, but again i think that they would appeal to the same customer base. A shirt being around £80+. They seem to use more colours and prints than what i saw in COS.

 

Initial Research 

COS is part of the H&M group, this group consists of 6 different brands including: Monki, H&M, & Other Stories, COS, Cheap Monday and Weekday.

I initially began looking on https://about.hm.com/en/brands.html to read more into the H&M group has a whole. All this information was taken from the H&M group website.

H&M

FASHION AND QUALITY AT THE BEST PRICE IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY

The brand H&M offers fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way for women, men, teenagers, children and the home. The range includes everything from sparkling gala outfits and exclusive designer collaborations to everyday basics and high-performance yoga wear to help fashion fans across the world dress their personal style.

  • 3,962 Stores
  • 64 Store Markets
  • 35 Online Markets
  • 1947 Founded in Sweden

& Other Stories

INSPIRING FASHION STORIES

The latest addition to the H&M group designs collections built around inspiring fashion stories, created from ateliers in Paris and Stockholm. The & Other Stories brand has great attention to detail and quality and offers everything that a women can wear – such as shoes, bags, accessories, beauty, and ready-to-wear – enabling them to create their personal style, or story.

  • 45 Stores
  • 11 Store Markets
  • 14 Online Markets
  • 2013 Founded

Cheap Monday

BOLD, MODERN JEANSWEAR

Skinny jeans have been Cheap Monday’s trademark since the brand started 2004 when its first ‘Tight’, style hit the market. Today, Cheap Monday offers a full range of denim, fashion collections and accessories for men and women. The brand is closely connected to music and popular culture and is worn by a loyal fan base of creative people. Cheap Monday is mainly sold through selected retailers worldwide and it also has its own stand-alone stores including a flagship-store on London’s Carnaby Street.

  • 2,000 Resellers and 4 Cheap Monday Stores
  • 3 Markets Via resellers and Stores
  • 18 Online Markets
  • 2004 Year founded, Part of the H&M group since 2008

 

Monki

A DIFFERENT WORLD OF FASHION

Monki takes shopping for great fashion to a whole new level with its colourful stores and active social media community. With a design DNA mixing Scandi cool with the energy of Asian street style, Monki creates on-trend lifestyle collections for young women.

  • 118 Stores
  • 13 Store Markets
  • 19 Online Markets
  • Founded in 2006, Part of the H&M Group since 2008

Weekday

MINDFUL FASHION AND DENIM, INFLUENCED BY SCANDINVIAN STYLE

Weekday is a modern and mindful fashion and denim brand, with a distinct style that balances between femininity and masculinity and appeals to urban, conscious and style aware young adults. Weekday offers a dynamic shopping experience with Storemade printing stations and DJ booths – with a genuine focus on the future of fashion and society.

  • 28 Stores
  • 7 Store Markets
  • 18 Online Markets
  • Founded in 2002, Part of the H&M Group since 2008

COS

MODERN, FUNCTIONAL, CONSIDERED DESIGN

COS offers reinvented classics and wardrobe essentials for women, men and children. Made to be worn beyond the season, the collections merge lasting quality with timeless design; clean silhouettes, innovative techniques and functional details inspired by art, technology and architecture. Committed to supporting the world of art and design through collaboration, COS partners with established and emerging artists, studios and galleries all over the world, creating unique brand projects alongside the seasonal fashion collections.

  • 194 Stores
  • 33 Store Markets
  • 19 Online Markets
  • Founded in 2007

From initially looking quickly on the internet as articles and different blogs I mostly found these competitors pop up when they were talking about COS.

Competitors

  • Whistles
  • Jigsaw
  • Reiss
  • Topshop
  • Acne
  • Self-portrait
  • French Connection
  • Massimo Dutti

However i want to do some more research to find whether these could be competitors.

These quotes were taken from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/bof-exclusive/bof-exclusive-quiet-high-street-rebel-cos-accelerates-global-expansion

“Contrary to H&M’s ‘fast-fashion’ model of quickly designing catwalk-inspired product and delivering new styles to stores each week, Cos — which stands for Collection of Style — creates two collections per year, each designed 18 months before it goes on sale.” – BOF

“H&M have a very well rounded portfolio at the moment,” said Kissane. “H&M is towards millennials, & Other Stories, although it is more expensive, is focussed more towards a younger consumer than Cos. Whereas Cos would be 35 plus, working, high disposable income.” –BOF

These quotes were taken from http://www.cosstores.com/gb/ website

“COS is a fashion brand for women and men who want modern, functional, considered design.

Offering reinvented classics and wardrobe essentials, we create pieces that are made to last beyond the season. Traditional methods and new techniques merge to form timeless, understated collections.

Since launching in 2007, we have opened stores worldwide in carefully considered locations, applying an architectural design concept that preserves buildings’ original features whilst creating a modern, welcoming space.” – COS website

The COS website is very clean and simple, this mirrors their brand very sophisticated clean-cut clothing.

Giving a tab for ‘Essentials’ really gives the key wardrobe look to create many looks whilst having a narrowed down wardrobe. I really think that COS is selling a lifestyle, a conscious one. The buyers would really be buying into this lifestyle and maybe wouldn’t shop as often as the products are of good quality and can be easily switched up to get different looks with few garments. From just looking at the products on the page they seem to use simplistic colours but with clever pattern cutting techniques which I think makes these clothes timeless. When i visit the COS store in London Regent Street i want to look at how to clothes fit and how they feel, i will also be looking at the layout of the shop and the competitors along to Street.