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Design BTS: Behind By S-kin SS23

Design BTS: Behind By S-kin SS23

Welcome to our second instalment of the By S-kin Diaries - this time I'm taking you through our design inspiration for our first Spring & Summer collection, Kaleidoscope of Flowers. We can't wait to bring this to you in our brand new drop-based format on 20/3/23 at 10AM AEDT!

The beginning

It was January 2022 and summer was in full swing! I was pregnant with Felix and By S-kin was born from a passion for things beyond jewellery (read more about how By S-kin first ideated here). It was also this summer that I got to do a bit of road-tripping with my husband through the Grampians, and was inspired by returning to nature, Aussie summer holidays, and loose, comfortable clothes that still look cute with my (25 week) bump.

Enter - our iconic jewellery designs.

I wanted the first ever instalment of By S-kin's own collection to have a memoir of all our best and past designs borrowed from S-kin Studio Jewelry. From zodiac to tarot to Italy, there are some iconic pieces of jewellery that have my (and a lot of our customers') hearts. Coming back from my trip, I put pen to paper (or in this case, paint to paper) to paint a few patterns that came to mind. This was where I settled on the six-petaled flower, an emblem that has been repeated time and time again in our collections (our Bloom collection for instance). In each flower, I placed a symbol from an iconic jewellery piece, with some now no longer available, as a memory of each being carried forward. 

The By S-kin logo

When I sat down to paint the logo, I went with the flow and wanted to create something organic, yet memorable and reminiscent of long days spent frolicking with family and friends. A true Aussie summer, full of sand, waves, sun, and plenty of laughter and memories next to our dearest. There's only one place that reminded me of this so much - the beach.

The By S-kin logo then formed organically as I emulated the crashing waves, with the words by s-kin in lowercase in a handwritten, fluid manner that is a bit like the summer heat, a bit like the cool sea water on your skin. 

The silhouettes

When I first envisioned the brand, it was a resort-style collection that first came to mind for our initial launch. I really loved wearing matching sets and loved small feminine details like a square neck or puffy sleeves (Anne of Green Gables have my heart). But I also wanted the articles of clothing to be a source of comfort, I for one constantly reach for outfits that give me that sense of style without compromising maximum comfort, especially for a young mum. So I settled with four styles to start for the collection - a set with short sleeve shirt and long pants, a dress, and a shirt. This is where it then began.

 

The colours

The next steps I knew I wanted to do was to match our patterns with the silhouettes I've chosen. I wasn't sure what colours to go with, so I took it to you guys to choose for me! We mocked up a few options of flower size, sleeve colour, flower colours, and fabric colour, and landed with the final options which were our bowler style solid colour sleeves and the two yellow and green/brown colourways. 

We then had the most fun matching these colours with its respective pantone colours which we could then use to match fabrics!

The fabrics

Now I'm not going to lie - this was the most challenging part of the designing process. Nailing the fabric was something I knew we had to achieve. With all By S-kin pieces, I wanted to ensure we use as much natural fabrics as possible to ensure they are degradable at end of life. I really look up to some of my favourite brands in the apparel space and hope that one day, By S-kin will be able to innovate and strive to use not only natural fabrics, but also regenerative, organic, and recyclable that utilises deadstock or recycled elements. But first, with a small budget, I went and looked for the best fabrics we could buy, that would still ensure the brand's price point was accessible for our customers.

I learned a lot here in terms of fabric, lining, composition, and accessories. I learned that 100% linen can be extremely expensive, and a linen/cotton blend generally is the go-to for fashion brands who want the same properties linen offer but can save on materials cost. I also learned a lot about where linen comes from and what makes it such an amazing material to sleep, wear, and have in the home. We finally settled with a crisp 100% Japanese linen, which while is not organic, has been produced in a Sedex certified mill and has an extremely soft yet durable hand feel. 

For our tees, I wanted the design to be showcased on a linen style t shirt, as I always felt the every day tee could be elevated beyond cotton. But while we trialled a few iterations of linen on the t-shirt, the breathable cotton was something we couldn't replicate. Luckily, I found cotton that mimics the look of linen, but feels soft and breathable just like your favourite tee. Mission accomplished. 

The trims

Now for this particular collection, I fell in love with the wave trim that is on our garments now - it's just so fitting as along the whole process, the movement of the waves and the summer memories that come with its image was the main inspiration for By S-kin. I knew I had to include the trims in, but where? We trialled a few placements of the trim on each piece, but knew that it would only stand out on a plain background that gave it all its attention. Enter our third colourway, the natural linen. On a background of beautiful natural linen that wasn't too crisp white, the trim was perfect. It's your favourite go-to linen set, but elevated--perfect to pair together, or alone with all your favourite tops and jeans.

The final look

Now that we've got it all together - of course there is always something that I want to add last minute! Did you know most fashion collections take months if not up to a year to make? While I was fully prepared for the prospect of the process taking a few months, By S-kin was not able to be completed to the standard I wanted to present until 14 months later from its initial conceptualisation. I'm truly proud of the first collection we've put together, and can't wait to finally be able to show these off (and not have to rotate all my samples to death, haha). It's definitely a labour of love, and I can't wait for you to cherish and wear these beautiful pieces like a memento of your beautiful life.

Don't forget, By S-kin launches on March 20th 2023 at 10AM AEDT- we're so excited to bring a brand new format to you to encourage a slow and considered shopping experience. Our considered designs will only be available for a week on the website, a conscious decision by our part to have our designs truly be cherished for what they are - a labour of love. Once the shop is closed, you'll be able to shop again only on the next month's opening in late April. There is also a limited number of garments produced in our small batches, but I wanted to ensure there's a size for everyone - so we've made it so that you can order any size you want, and we'll make it to order for you. There are exceptions of course, of a few styles and sizes that will be available immediately for shipping so you can wear and love your By S-kin pieces straight away.

I can't wait for you to experience the world of By S-kin - this is only the beginning and I hope you love the designs and loved reading the process of it all! See you on the 20th of March xx

Lots of love

Chi xx

 

Read more:

Welcome to By S-kin From Creator Chi Mai

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