Dear Agrodolce Tribe,
The first article will have for main purpose to give you a glimpse of the process by which I created The Léopard, the first outer piece for Agrodolce and show you the first way (aside from the ones I’ve been sharing with you on Instagram ) to style it.
The path from concept to product is long, sinuous and paved with insane obstacles you didn't know could even arise. Through these articles, I hope to give you a look at both the bitter and sweet moments that accompany every creative journey.
When it comes to The Léopard, if I was to break down the process in easy steps it would be the following :
1. The brainstorming:
The fantasy part. As every other piece, I rarely create it as a single floating idea but as a 'cloud' of designs that could work with one another. At the time, The Mesh Wrap Top was being sold on the website and it had sparked in my mind the idea of layering. I had known I wanted a collar with a pop of color and a solid body for my first design. Your imagination can roam but the challenge is finding the way to make it come to life. My philosophy is to never let a technical detail discourage me: If it exists in my head it equally can outside of my head, the in between is all up to me. I came up with a quick sketch and decided to dive into the fun part of the the process. The Léopard is on its way to transforming from idea to reality.
2. The reality facing:
Deciding which colors, pattern, fabrics I will be using is by far my favorite part but also the hardest. Have you taken a look at my logo? I am not undecisive, I am decisive about the fact that I do not want Agrodolce to be stuck with one color for the rest her life!
Below are some of the colors and patterns I was considering when deciding how the collar would look before the final pick. Also, some color options for the leopard pattern my manufacture presented once I decided on the final look. Would you have picked something different? Tell me in the comment section!
I was adamant about all my materials being vegan and animal friendly. The collar is made of a super short and soft fuzz that creates the animal print.
3. The birth of your child
The moment of truth when the work comes to life. The creation is here, either you get a pinch in the heart because its not quite what you excepted, or you fall utterly in love with it and can't believe it came out of your mind. When you're manufacturer is brilliant, you fall in the latter category and can move on to the next step. What was only sketches and floating color combinations in your head weeks, months, maybe years ago is now a 'real palpable thing' that is about to make its way out into the world.
4. The concepts
A hard book cover of a lady having a picnic inspired me and Booily for our shoot which was initially going to take place outdoors in Central Park. We wanted to change the colors on the background but pink and yellow were the only non neutral backgrounds available at the studio so we decided to construct a floor of the same color. We loved the picnic idea, we love surrealism which lead us to manipulating the colors and our strange choice of props! Crab legs have cool shapes, broccoli has an interesting texture, and who doesn't like bananas, so we decided to play!
The Léopard is an amazing layering pieces. By wearing it over a black turtleneck you can accentuate the purple vegan leathered strings and create unique lines and superspostions of fabrics and shades. I layered black socks under simple black lace up boots and folded the socks to decide on the lenght I wanted my 'boot' to be'. The Léopard is an invitation to play with different color turtlenecks and footwear. The key to anything is to try, have fun and never by shy ;)
5. The execution
The only thing that really matters. It's time to shoot I've probably had 4 breakdowns on my way to set. Until the last minute, ideas will not stop changing, a prop that was not planned could be picked up on the way to set, something can break last minute or just not 'work' and be taken out. We could be working for hours just for one picture. We will however, never fall into the opposite sccenario as what you think would take an hour usually stretches out for five. For most people, the actual production process is what will put your love of the game (what game? click here) to the test. In my case, execution is what usually tests my resilience. This is where everything and everyone has to make sense and the window to execute is limited. You can add wrapping up a successful shoot to the list of extremely satisfying things in life along with taking off you make up or your bra after a long day.
Below is a speeded up video of the set building and shooting process.
6. The fruits of your labor
Most people outside of the game (what's being outside of the game you ask?) think it's consisted of wins wins wins, then a loss, then a bunch of wins again, but that ratio is completely off. You basically sign up for constant discomfort and a bunch of failures from the second you embark on the journey to creation. One of the firsts and few moments of total enjoyment however, come at the very end when you get the pictures between your hands and get to share your work with the world. The feedback positive or negative, the response, the motivation to do it all over again.
I hope you have enjoyed this breakdown and am excited about sharing more about different topics in the future. I'm interested in which areas you'd like me to cover in more depth? Which of the six steps would be/is most exciting to you? What would you want to hear more about?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!
Until next time,
Photo credit Brooily Vargas