Making the AW18 collection
For me, the whole creative process starts with the fabric. My AW18 collection first began when I booked a ticket and flew to Milan, and back, in 24 hours. I hadn’t been for a while and felt the urge to go. When I arrived at the mill, I was swiftly taken to the heart of it and was immediately mesmerised by the sea of sumptuous fabrics that surrounded me.
Where do you start when there is just so much to choose from, and so many different directions to go in? I felt just like a young child in a sweet shop, wanting it all but having a limited budget!
There were so many lavish fabrics in striking colors and patterns; but what really excited me was the potential of what each of them could do and what they could be. I had to focus… I somehow managed to narrow down my fabric choices, to under 15 that I really loved and that I knew would compliment each other.
I fell in love with some beautiful wools - perfect for coats, a wild printed velvet that I just couldn’t leave behind, some silks and satins in rich bold colors, a few checked prints, some florals, and paisleys. Suddenly I could see the beginnings of a collection taking shape. My head was literally spinning with ideas - it was time to go home.
Whilst I always have a strong idea of the direction I want to go in I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I throw the fabric onto my mannequin and drape my initial idea. From this, I can see if my idea is going to work and then I’ll think about other possibilities for the fabric. What would look best? What would be unusual and unique? And most importantly, what would fit with the rest of the collection?
Then I begin sketching my ideas until I know what I want to do with each piece. Even with my sketches as a reference, things continue to change throughout the whole process. Coats transform into capes, dresses turn into two-piece sets, long trousers are cut and become culottes. I am constantly trying to push myself in my own way, thinking of new ideas to make my pieces true to me.
I find other fabrics and detailing that I know will make the pieces come alive. This season I was particularly inspired by tassels, beaded trims, patent leather details and statement buttons. I’m always looking for something that is going to bring a different dynamic to the piece.
It’s very exciting working on each piece, knowing it is beginning to come together. And if the excitement isn’t there, then it isn’t done. I’ll sleep on it until the right idea comes to me. And the beauty of inspiration is it always seems to come when I need it. Then I go back to the piece and I change or tweak it.
I have called my Autumn/Winter 2018 Collection Urban Legends. I love juxtaposition, so the concept was we have the mythical, magical vibe of the designs contrasted with the power and strength of the women who choose to wear them. Every piece has its own story. The constant threads that run through the collection and, I hope, everything I create within Amanda Thompson Couture are a classic timeless elegance, with hints of androgyny and often a subtle twist.
The new collection will be available in the shop from the 6th September