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Omen look book

Old Quadrangle

Imagery from our Omen look book, Monikers first collection.

Article one:
skills learned.

From the start, what I wanted to gain from Briggins was mainly, sewing skills. I am not a strong maker and wanted to improve on this with the help of their in-house tailor. I definitely did improve. Any day that I was there I would be sewing for a few hours, practicing the basics first, sewing small seam allowances, getting my stitches consistent and straight, etc. I was able to learn the alteration process, which involved talking with a client to figure out wants and needs and pinning adjustments onto them. The task that I learned the most from was altering for a smaller waist, this had more steps involved than I initially expected. This included taking apart waistbands, belt-loops, opening back seams, cutting excess off, and more. What made this difficult was how complicated the suit pants were, they had many internal stitches and components I wasn’t aware of which made this process difficult.

I was able to learn further skills apart from sewing during my time with Briggins. Such as furthering my knowledge in fabrics, Briggins had an impressive array of fabrics, which were organised by the ‘super stat’ simply put the fabrics were graded under the super stat such as super 100, super 150, etc. The number refers to how much 1 gram of wool or any fabric will extend, the smaller the number, the heavier the fabric is. In store this is used as a quality selling point, the higher the number the higher the price.

Homie had a completely different set of learning compared to Briggins, which was perfect and was able to learn and experience new things. On my first day with Marcus, I was invited to a shoot for their newest collection. For this shoot I was modeling, which allowed me to see the back end of how a shoot typically works. Got to know the stylist of the shoot, how far in advance they plan their shoots, and what equipment they use.

On another day I was tasked with trend research, I investigated a sports/bloke core trend, which featured jerseys. I decided to design a few Homie soccer jerseys which Marcus liked. Following this he got me to research soccer clubs in Melbourne with hopes of landing a collaboration. I looked into several clubs, basing my research on how popular the club is, and how many products they sell currently. What are the values of the club? Do they line up with Homies, and what is the scale of the club, are they too big or small?

What I enjoyed the most of my time with Homie, was working on their Reborn sector was also the area I learnt the most. I worked alongside Sarah, the designer for Reborn. A lot of freedom is given to us, we get to play around with upcycling techniques and bring our ideas to fruition. I have learned how to play around with the design and test out ideas that I haven’t before. I was able to experiment with bleach, fabric paint, and sewing items together, as well as use their machines, embroidery, and screen printing.

Through my placements, I was able to improve my technical skills, practicing sewing techniques and learning how to alter. This was a great experience, but I also value the teaching of experimentation, due to the sheer amount of stock Homie has to play with, it opened up the door for testing, and it felt good experimenting with ideas and getting back into tune with my creativity.

Article two:

Work place performance 

After going through the course content, I can confidently say I lack confidence. In hindsight I can see I performed great; at Homie I created over 30 products. I made some good-looking items, and some that need a revisit, I was able to keep up with the other maker and learned a lot from her. I helped in the planning of a potential collaboration between Homie. I get very self-conscious with my creations, is this good? Is this what they want? Will they like it? I have found I need to look through my own eyes more. Refer to what I think, do I think it looks good? Am I happy with it? if so great! I can only ever be myself and design the way I can, no point in adding additional lenses to your work. If anyone doesn’t like what I create, that’s fine. It's not for everyone. Not being stubborn with my work but being confident and accepting of what I create. There's always room to alter to fit in with the needs of someone, but I can’t change the core of how my mind works.

Apart from mental hurdles, I need to continue to work on my making skills. Upcycling was a generally new area for me, I wasn’t sure how to piece together the items and how to pin them correctly. This all comes with practice, which I will get a lot of. At Homie I could perform at the level they required without much headache; it was at Briggins where my experience in sewing truly lacked. I could not keep up with the tailor. She has had decades of experience, which I do not, is something I need to remember, I can’t beat myself up for not being able to do as she does. It wasn’t the easiest to learn from her due to the language barrier despite how completely lovely she is.

The skills I need to further develop are confidence in myself, staying true, and speaking my mind if I am working with or for someone, they want my mind and my skills, and I need to remember that. Making ability, practicing more sewing, making as many items as I can, and not being afraid of making a mistake. At the end of the day, everyone is continuously learning, and were at my stage at some point.

Article three:

Industry networks developed.

One of my focuses in my placement was meeting and connecting with new people who may prove helpful in the future! plus I just like meeting people. I made a conscious effort to talk and get to know everyone I came across, this led to becoming friends with everyone in the Homie warehouse and at Briggins. Because of this, I was able to secure connections with a variety of people which will help me in the future.

At briggins, I became close with the tailor, Yuna. She was so talented, a true master in her field and others. She gave me insight into suppliers in China, where I should look, and explained the benefits of visiting there. She gave me tips on my tech drawing and sketching in general, Yuna was also a brilliant artist, she could genuinely do it all. She worked through patterns with me explaining her very beneficial thought process. Yuna is someone who in the future I would love to work with, she is incredibly busy but I’m hoping she can be the maker of some of my creations in Moniker.

Through my time at Briggins, I worked with my host, Fiona often. This allowed us to build a strong bond! She and everyone at Briggins was very easy to get along with. Fiona has in-depth knowledge of the business world. Something I very much lack. She works across three very different companies. This knowledge is valuable, I very much lack this sort of knowledge. I have been thinking about later down the line of Moniker I would bring a partner on board to oversee the numbers and business side, leaving me to the creative side. My strengths lie in being creative, not in the numbers. I still plan on doing this, but until then it would be great to use Fiona’s insight and gain help!

As stated earlier, Homie was a hot spot for meeting new creatives, Homie rented out part of their warehouses to other brands who shared similar values, one being Noskin. This brand creates shoes and apparel with vegan leather. I had the chance to meet one of the workers, Lee. Lee is a film student and specializes in lighting. I spoke to him for a while about his “post-uni blues” where he felt a bit lost after finishing his degree. He was working on many different projects at the time which caught my attention. I'm planning on shooting more video content for Moniker, short films, and aesthetic videos, He would be perfect!

Another connection I built was with Sarah, the Reborn designer and maker. Currently, she was the sole worker at Reborn, after the last Reborn worker left. She was always very busy, cutting up countless items and stitching them back together. She taught me her work process in doing so, using Procreate as a main tool, and showing me tools, I didn’t know existed. Sarah is currently studying fashion and has a while until she finishes her course. She is very creative and has great energy, would love to get her help with creating for Moniker in the future.

As I am finishing uni soon, I can see how important networking is, I need to do more of it. I have joined a few groups that connect entrepreneurs and creatives and have building connections on the front of my mind.

Article Four:

Outcomes.

While at Briggins I believe I was able to contribute to Fiona the host and the company. I worked with clients by myself, taking them through different fabrics and suit options, and taking their wants and needs before giving suggestions. Clients took my opinions highly, which was very flattering. A few times Fiona who was working with a client would come up to me just to ask my opinion on shoe choice or colour. The biggest sale contribution I was able to get was a sale of two suits for $2000, I can’t say it wasn’t without the help of my co-workers, but I am still very proud. Apart from sales, I contributed to store presentation, dressing mannequins, and cleaning up the sewing room and their client room. I wanted to make sure I was helping in any way that I could. As Juna was so busy with adjusting clothing for clients, I stepped up and pinned alterations onto clients, which helped alleviate some of the workload.

Looking through the placement goals that were set for Briggins, I can confidently say I worked through each section, learning bits and pieces while I went. No matter what I was doing or who I was helping, I was learning. I have a better understanding of basic suit alterations and construction, even though suits are very complicated with complex patterns seeing the suits get taken apart for alterations allowed me to get an insight into how they were made. Briggins had machines I hadn’t used before such as the hemming machine, used for well, hems. I got the chance to use this several times, the machine is much more trigger-happy than an overlocker, but I did get the hang of it.

I contributed to Homie and Marcus in a few different ways, for one I produced around 30 products that were to be sold under Reborn either online or at their store. These products included around 15 jumpers and 15 hats. All were bleached by me using different stencils and techniques and hand-painted afterward. Hats are a big part of sales under Reborn, to get these ready for selling I had to put them through the embroidery machine. I was able to help Sarah with her workload by getting these products ready. Apart from production, I helped with trend research which Marcus is proceeding with.

My goals for Homie were split into two sections, one being around the Reborn process. I am intrigued to learn how it works, where did they get their stock from? What is the design and making process like? I was able to learn all of this. Sarah showed me her process in the design and making of the Reborn product. Homie has built connections with everyone, it’s a big part of their brand, they get stock donated from various sources who believe in what they are doing.

Overall, the goals set out before my placements were effective learning points for me, but I feel I have just scratched the surface of my learning. In terms of sewing, which was a big part of the reason I chose Briggins, I still have a lot to learn, and lots of practice is needed. I am happy with the progress I made, my confidence raised, my sewing ability has improved, and I got insight into how these brands run.

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