I don't know about you, but Christmas could not come quick enough this year! Although plans have changed dramatically (as I am sure they have for us all), I think this is the most excited I have been about the festive period for years!
I was so eager to perfect the collection patterns, in order to offer a 'festive exclusive' which is how I was able to bring a custom Manon maxi dress to customers in time for Christmas. With that being said it is already the 10th December and I will be able to make just a few more, if ordered by the weekend and sadly only available to London dwellers! I will personally deliver your gals (dresses), so they are with you for Christmas day.
I wanted to share the process a little, in case you haven't been able to keep up in Instagram.
It all starts with a sketch! The Manon maxi dress is adapted from the Manon mini, which will be released as part of the Provence SS21 collection next year. I am always inspired by locations, cultures and historical dress and so I referred back to some of my favourite artists who have referenced France and portraits of women throughout history. In this instance, Paul Gauguin's 'Portrait of a Girl' inspired the design. You can see the sleeve ruffle and the yoke shape have been incorporated into my design.
From the sketch, I then move onto developing patterns. All the patterns for the Voyager garments are hand drawn from scratch, no block patterns or basic pattern templates are used. This is time consuming, but allows me to build samples, make changes and keep an archive of all patterns and toiles and refer back to them to ensure 'perfection' in all the pieces. 'Perfection' is in single quotes, as the pieces are all unique and not mass-produced, so they are more personal to the wearer and each have their own charm.
Three toiles (samples) later and another amend to the ruffle and we have the final pattern! All that was left was to adjust the length of the skirt and ruffle tier at hem to create a maxi length version.
When the dress was complete, London was shrouded in hazey fog for about a week, so the light was terrible for photographing. Finally, last Tuesday, the sun broke through and my wonderful partner, Ian, was able to snap some amazing shots in the afternoon sunlight. I can't express enough just how exciting it was to finally see one of my pieces come to life in the images. It was a great end to the month-long lockdown and a clear benchmark for how much I'd achieved in these 4 weeks. I can't wait to share them with you all.