Come Behind the Scenes of Ginger & Smart’s Intricate Design Process

Welcome to How It’s Made. Where we go behind the scenes with your favourite brands to find out how their designs are produced. For our next instalment, we visited Ginger & Smart ahead of Fashion Week Australia.

One of our all-time favourite Australian labels Ginger & Smart just presented its resort 17 collection at Fashion Week Australia to fashion editors, celebrities, and bloggers at Carriageworks, Sydney. The collection solidified why we love Ginger & Smart—it’s tightly edited, full of colour, tight accordion pleats, and interesting shapes—and and we can already imagine wearing every single piece on our next summer holiday. Exactly how a Resort collection should make you feel.

Right before fashion week commenced, we visited Sydney-based designers (and sisters) Alexandra and Genevieve Smart to discover the inspiration behind the collection and how one of their runway pieces was created.

Keep scrolling to find out, and then shop some of our favourite pieces from the current collection.

Photo:

Courtesy of Ginger & Smart

Who What Wear Australia: What do you love about showing your collections at Fashion Week Australia?

Alexandra and Genevieve Smart: For us, runway shows are about expressing our ultimate creative vision for the brand. We love bringing that vision together through music, staging, the styling, and beauty elements. 

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

WWW: How has your label evolved since it launched?

AS & GS: We began Ginger & Smart with a small collection of leather accessories 14 years ago. Since then, the label has evolved to include two fashion lines (Ginger & Smart and Akin By Ginger & Smart) and a collection of footwear, handbags, and now swimwear. We evolve further with each collection through new technology in materials. This year we are also about to open our fifth store and have more retail stores planned.

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

WWW: Where’s your studio? Are your pieces designed and made in-house?

AS & G: Our studio is in Rosebery, Sydney where we design and make our sample collections. It is a very hands on process as we design all the fabrics, textures, and prints in-house. We have an amazing team, not just in design but across the whole business.

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

WWW: What do your customers always come back to you for?

AS & GS: Our customers are everything and we work hard to maintain great, long-lasting relationships with them. Our customers come back to us for looks that transform them in some way and give them confidence.

WWW: What are your favourite trends for resort?

AS & GS: We love resort for its ease and lightness. Everybody loves the concept of parties and holiday and that is what this season is all about.

WWW: How would you describe your aesthetic?

AS & GS: Polished yet playful.

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

 

WWW: Where do you search for inspiration?

AS & GS: Life. Fashion is reflective of how we live, so often we become intrigued by something that just feels completely relevant to a collection. This season we became drawn to images of the earth from space and the idea of looking at ourselves from afar and seeing the planet as one living canvas. We started imagining intricate dreamy prints and laces that felt like they had been designed from an aerial perspective with a sense of movement. 

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

WWW: What has been the defining moment for your label where everything fell into place? 

AS & GS: Our first runway show 10 years ago was an important moment in defining our aesthetic.

Photo:

Jason Bardas for Who What Wear Australia

WWW: Talk us through the process of start to finish of creating one of your pieces in your resort 17 collection.

AS &GS: For our white embroidered tulle gown, we took inspiration from an aerial picture of earth. We drew a pencil drawing of the embroidery featuring ridges and texture, fringed, and heavily stitched elements. We played with the illustration to get the repeated pattern and proportion right, using InDesign, and chose various threads and bases that would give the right effect. We wanted the embroidery to feel modern, textured, and light. Our fabric mill developed quite a few samples before they got the technique right as we hadn't done anything like this before. 

We then played with how the fabric moved naturally and saw that it lends itself to effortless shapes with luxurious volume and graphic lines so that the embroidery feels cool and has a resort-vibe. We sketched up some silhouettes and toiled with them to get a sense of the shapes. Finally we selected trims and finishes and our lovely sample machinists completed the gown and it was ready to fit on our model for runway.

Shop our favourite pieces from the current collection:
See our favourite runway looks:

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Getty Images

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