Forecasting the Doodles Print

I get so excited about the first day of the design process for a new collection at Mata Traders. The design crew sits at a table and combs through the trend forecast. We identify what we like individually and then think about what would work well with our manufacturing capabilities and overall esthetic. Sometimes (if we're are lucky) we see really strong trends and decide to merge them. That was the case with this Doodles print.

Doodles Print. Textile design by Shifra Whiteman. Dresses by Mata Traders. Spring '13 collection.

Doodles Print. Textile design by Shifra Whiteman. Dresses by Mata Traders. Spring '13 collection.

There were some great images in our trend forecast back in 2012. One page was full of   hand drawn doodles, which is one of my favorite styles to create. After perusing the pages a bit more, we noticed the slight shift from the southwestern/aztec trend that were all the rage in Spring 2012, to more Moroccan and Moorish geometric trends popping up all over the Spring 2013 forecast. Combining both the hand drawn style with Moroccan and Moorish shapes seemed like the perfect match.

Dresses by Mata Traders.

Dresses by Mata Traders.

This Doodles print was designed as a traditional block print which gave a softer, yet still edgy feel to the fabric. It was produced in 2 color ways, on 2 different garments and gives off 2 totally different vibes: The strong and structured Shanghai Shift Dress on the left and the flowy and playful Twist and Twirl Dress on the right. 

I personally enjoyed the challenge of merging different trends. Just reminiscing and writing about this process has gotten me excited about the start of designing a whole new collection. In just a few weeks we will start designing for Mata Traders' Spring 2015  line and I am sure we will have many amazing stories of processes and inspiration to share with you.


The Business of Fast Fashion

I was made aware of a wonderful illustrative video from the MinuteMBA series. This one in particular hits home because over the last few years working for an small ethical/fair-trade fashion company, I am able to really see what fast fashion has done. It's difficult, of course, with a limited budget wanting something cheap and on trend once in a while, but long term these clothes don't last and are out of style within months. It is not sustainable. I have become more conscious of my purchasing choices and will now opt for a well made dress or sweater rather than grab 5 cheap things from a fast fashion store.

Since I started designing at Mata Traders and seeing the process of fashion from start to finish, it has reinforced my desire to design but with fairness, social justice and sustainability in mind. Maybe if society as a whole starts to think about purchasing choices and less of quantity and trend, we would be able to find a healthy balance that fits all types of budgets & styles, while heading in a more ethical and sustainable direction. 

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Walking Pieces of Art

For years, my roommates and I have had conversations about personal fashion style. It is clear to me and everyone that Yonit has her own flair. She is a costume designer and while she may dress others in monochromatic clothing for a show, she will almost never wear black. Yonit is a magnet for vintage dresses, mostly from the 1970’s, and will always flaunt pattern like a second layer of skin. On the other end of the spectrum, Rebecca sticks to the world of solid teals, cerulean blues, emeralds and black, black, black. After living with me and Yonit, she finally broke down and purchased 2 patterned shirts and one patterned dress (Which I designed the textiles for! Check it out!). She has also gotten herself into the habit of trying on at least one patterned garment when going shopping, though she rarely buys it. I am in the middle. Prints and patterns always on my mind, I either wear solids from head to toe with a bold, bright colored obviously, patterned scarf, or I flaunt a printed dress adding funky jewelry and a super saturated pair of sun glasses.

As a textile designer, I have noticed a trend in patterns these last few months and the boom in repeats has got me giddy. I am often mistaken for checking girls out, when in reality I am analyzing the back of their skirts, racing against the clock to find the repeat before they walk too far away. Some males have finally learned how awkward it is to have a conversation with someone’s eyes on their chest, when I come over and investigate the repeat on their ties. I am never shy to praise a stranger on their bold print choice and I am even better at commenting to friend about how a pattern would tie their whole outfit together.

I really do believe patterns enhance one’s personal fashion style. Stripes can narrow or widen someone’s frame, polka dots can add sophisticated or playful pops of color, a floral print can give a nod to tradition, while geometric shapes bring out someone’s edge. Abstract brushstrokes on a blouse can make a formal statement, while little sailboats across a skirt can relax and ease your outfit. In a way, when incorporating pattern into your wardrobe, big or small, you transform into a walking piece of art.

Our holiday card for 2012. Clearly, Rebecca, Yonit and I are sporting our finest patterns! 

Our holiday card for 2012. Clearly, Rebecca, Yonit and I are sporting our finest patterns!