In the design department at JoJo we work about 1 year in advance and over the past couple of months I have been busy designing the core ranges for next summer such as all our Breton & twill basics and with that finished I am now ready to start on the really fun ranges – fashion!
To kick start the design process myself, Geri (Head of Buying) & Mel (Design Director) travel to Paris for a sneak peek at the colours, prints & fabrics forecast to be on trend for the next season. This time we were looking for inspiration for our Spring Summer 2013 range and visited a big fabric & colour trade show called Premiere Vision (or P.V for those in the know!), a print fair called Indigo & a supplier & sourcing fair called Texworld, we also found time on our 2nd day to hit the streets of Paris and explore the beautiful boutiques to see what the chic children of Paris are wearing!
After an early start we arrived in Paris by Eurostar & headed straight to P.V (despite Geris best efforts at losing her P.V ticket!) where we were greeted by an exhibition displaying predicted colours for SS13 – Various shades of green, pastels & fluorescent highlights! A bit unsure of how that would translate to our stores we then explored another nearby stand displaying new fabric & print developments & techniques such as devore, cutwork applique & a lot of sketchy watercolour effect florals in bright colours.
One of my favourite aspects of my job is developing beautiful new prints & patterns for the ranges but sometimes we also have to buy prints from print suppliers as unfortunately I just do not have the time to do them all myself – it is a great opportunity to give aspects of the range a slightly different handwriting and they can often achieve specialist techniques that I do not have the facilities for such as hand painted florals. To source these prints we meet with the suppliers in the UK as well as visiting Indigo at P.V where about 150 suppliers have stands displaying their ranges, we spent the afternoon looking through hundreds (or possibly thousands!) of beautiful prints and ended up purchasing some very exciting artwork which you can see a sneak preview of below.
After a long day at P.V we headed back in to the centre of Paris to enjoy a well-deserved meal of Steak au Poivre & Tarte Tatin in a cosy little bistro with a very friendly little cat before retiring to our hotel near the Gare du Nord for an early night before another early start the next day.
On our 2nd day we got up bright & early to head to another trade show called Texworld, a supplier & sourcing fair on the outskirts of Paris. Grabbing a Pain au Chocolat & Jus d’orange en route we arrived just as the doors to the fair opened & had a meeting to discuss exciting new outerwear development with one of our Chinese suppliers for SS13, we then wandered around the fair to meet other potential new suppliers & see what styles & fabrics they are currently developing.
All trade shows now visited we headed straight back in to the centre of Paris to visit the shops. It is an important part of my role as a designer to be very aware of what stores around the world are selling, to pick up on emerging trends and identify any new fabric & trim developments so I relish the opportunity to visit the shops whenever I get the chance, and where better a place to hit the shops than Paris!
The area around Jardins du Luxembourg is a lovely place to wander with a great mix of boutiques, concept & high street stores. The flagship Bonpoint store (frequented by the likes of Victoria Beckham) on Rue de Tournon is a must see set within a beautiful historic French townhouse surrounding a pretty courtyard garden. Another great store is Bon Ton Bazaar on Rue de Grenelle which sells quirky gifts, nursery items and a fantastic selection of books from around the world. We purchased some great books by a fab Japanese publisher called ‘Edition Paumes’ which are basically a collection of lovely photographs taken within family homes in Finland, a goldmine of inspiration for our new nursery set ranges!
Feeling incredibly inspired, laden with gorgeous prints, lots of ideas and rather sore feet we headed back to London that evening ready to go in to the office the next day and start designing the new SS13 range!