Next up in our Process series is Carolyn Massey. Launching her own label in 2006, she’s since gone on to create an ongoing diffusion line with Topman and became the first menswear designer to receive the BFC sponsorship. Read about her process after the leap
From the initial design stage, I will select fabrics and trims that I think will suit the garment, and then we will cut. In the past I’ve done all my own pattern cutting but now, with timescales, I sometimes work on certain garments with a cutter.
From this we will toile and fit, as many times necessary in order to get the shape and volume that is correct to what I want from the garment. Sometimes this is instant, and other times it can take several times before your ideas are realised in a way that does justice to the design. And sometimes your ideas change along with the toiling.
The pattern is then corrected, and a production sheet made before 1st sampling. For the initial sales samples, these may be remade several times before I am happy with the way all the components come together. And it’s also very important that the garment is visually saying the right thing.
[I use] mostly English and Italian fabrics. I tend to steer clear of man made fibres, but then again SS10 has a healthy dose of nylon for the outerwear. I’ve always been very conscious of the wearability of fabric – does this feel good? The touch of the fabric on the skin is an important matter – today I’m wearing a t-shirt that I have had for about 5 years. It’s looking rather motheaten now, but I think this just adds to it – and it’s so comfortable.