We’re super pleased to welcome Named Clothing back to Indie Pattern Month this year. Saara and Laura, the sisters behind Named, create a gorgeous range of patterns that they release in two seasonal collections each year. Kat caught up with them to find out more about their latest collection – Royals.
Hi Laura and Saara, welcome back to Indie Pattern Month! First up, tell us all a bit about your designs. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
Our designs are quite simple and classic, but we usually like to put a little twist into them by designing interesting cuts and combining elements in an unusual way. We like to design so called ”staple garments” that people could make and wear for ever, not just follow the latest trends. It’s also important to have the right proportions and we put a lot of effort into getting the deails just right.
Most designers only put out one pattern at a time. We love that you put out entire collections at once! Why did you choose to release your patterns as collections?
Mostly because it’s more fun that way! And we always have a lot of ideas in mind, it’s really hard to cut down to just 8 or 10 patterns per collection. If we had more time, our collections would be much bigger! We also love to build our collections around a certain theme every time – our first collection was inspired by menswear, the second was about careless summers of our childhood and the third about native Americans. Our fourth collection was inspired by travelling and the fifth was streetwear inspired. The newest sixth collection (I can’t believe we’ve made six already!), was about royals and rococo fashion. However, we don’t take the themes too literally, but only take some inspiration from there and then interpret them in our own way. So if you didn’t know, you probably couldn’t tell that the ’Royals’ was inspired by rococo.
You’ve recently launched a new collection, Royals. We’d love to hear a bit more about it! What was the inspiration for your collection?
With this collection we wanted to do something completely different compared to the New Black collection that was released before it. New Black was very modern, urban and consisted of very classic garments. With this summer collection we wanted to do something romantic, decorational and feminine. We became very inspired about the idea of using gold and metallic fabrics with some embellishments, so after that the theme came quite naturally. Rococo fashion is very inspiring and crazy, so it was relly easy to take inspiration from there! Corsets, voluminous skirts, rectangular necklines and bows and ruffles were some of the things that we borrowed into this collection in a kind of subtle way – for example the corset-like cut in the Grace top was quite obviously inspired by a corset, the piping detail in the Madeleine blouse was inspired by the rectangular necklines that were very common in womenswear of that era. We also used the bows in Grace top, Astrid pants and Madeleine blouse. The Eleonora was our way of taking the silhouette of a voluminous skirt with a forepart.
You make such gorgeous look books for your collections. Can you tell us the story behind your latest look book?
We shot the lookbook in November, so it was clear that we couldn’t shoot it outside, or at least it wouldn’t have been very summery. So our only options were to either shoot in location or at a studio. In Finland we couldn’t find a place that would have been the perfect shooting location (we don’t have Rococo castles here!) so we decided to do it in the studio and use wallpapers and flowers instead to create the necessary ’royal’ look. It was our photographer Petra’s idea to bring the poodle to the shoot as well, which suited the theme quite perfectly! This was actually one of the hardest photoshoots we’ve had, because there were so many moving parts and so many props. We had to tape together the wallpapers and then hang them on a rack to make it look like an actual wall, which was a lot of work.
How did you choose the colours for the product photos and look book?
In the beginning it was sure that we wanted to use gold as one of the main colors of the garments. The pale blush tone was a natural addition to highlight the pastellic rococo origin, and then we just needed the bright royal blue to wrap up the whole thing! Usually we have to go with what we manage to find in our local fabric stores, so that limits our choices a bit. Even though we use a couple of stores here in Finland, and also in Tallinn, Estonia. But planning the colors and hunting for fabrics is one of the funnest parts of the job!
What’s your favourite piece from your new collection?
I have to say that we love the Astrid pants and the Grace top. Astrid was a surprisingly difficult piece to make, since the wrap front was a little harder to execute than we predicted. I think we made 6 prototypes of it before nailing the construction and fit, but now that it’s done, it was definitely worth it! Also the Grace is just very sweet, kind of girly summer top, with a really lovely cut – there’s no regular vertical side seam; the side seam goes diagonally across the front all the way to the back, which we think is a nice constructional detail. Details like this are often lost on ready-to-wear garments, but a seamstress does value them and it’s nice to try new cuts and constructions.
What’s your favourite part of releasing a new collection of patterns?
The excitement! It takes about 6 monts to make one collection happen, and it includes a lot of work, stress and setbacks, but it’s also so rewarding to make something out of nothing! To see something that was just an idea in your head be transferred to an actual garment and then see people making their own versions and interpretations of it. That’s really the best part and one reason why it’s so much better to be a sewing pattern designer than to be an ready-to-wear garment designer.
Which of your newest patterns do you wear the most, and how do you like to style it?
The Paola turtleneck has been worn a lot since it’s a great classic that looks good with almost any bottom, and is great for both summer and winter (in Finland summers can be a bit cold sometimes). I (Laura) also have a Grace top on my cutting table, and Saara’s working on a Beatrix Dress.
Thanks so much Laura and Saara for telling us the story behind your Royals collection! So many beautiful designs. I have plans to make a few of them as well, especially those Astrid pants and the Beatrix dress. 😉 How about you, Monthly Stitch people – which designs from the Royals collection have most caught your eye?