Placement week 2

Making-  a zip up bag is my first creation, i felt a real sense of achievement and satisfaction, knowing that i can make quality products to be sold in store gives me a new found sense of confidence!


I then progressed on to hat making,  creating an adele cap from start to finish, Along side a neck wrap both in store ready to be sold!



Research- I was also involved in sourcing inspiartion and research by looking through magazines such as ‘oh comely’ and ‘the hat’ which resulted in a ‘ summer icecream’ hat collection that refelcted the pastel icecream colour palletes such as strawberry pink, minty green, bluberry grey and lemon sorbey yellow!


Styling- it was then a case of styling the accesories to symbolise and give relevance to the concept. Teaming the hats with corresponding items and a simple summery glass&straw combo to complete the look! I found it was an enjoyable exercise and taught me a lot about composition through the eyes of a client!

pricing/market- chrissie gave me quite an in depth overlook on pricing items, comparing highstreet to bespoke, mass production to one offs and mass market to, in this case, a woman with singular tastes, stating that in her case a woman usually needs confidence and perhaps doesnt mind attention when wearing her items, specifically hats! Comparing both niche and high end markets, and for a designer maker charging by the hour + time + materials.


Commercial Designer!

at the beginning of this rotation i thought i had a pretty good idea of what a commercial designer was, however there’s a lot more to it then i thought…!

A lot of consideration has to be put in for the design process but in a very short amount of time, considerations such as sustainability, ethics, trends, brand identity, cost, manufacture and many others, as a commercial designer a lot of responsibility is rested on your shoulders, in most cases your own personal design preferences have to be put aside for the sake of the brand or company identity. however, travel comes into this job very frequently, it produces so many opportunities to visit places that perhaps would have been unreachable without this type of job… i discuss this further in my 500 word summary of a Commercial Designer! 

Commercial Designer Task- Trade show Bid

Task- Trade show Bid, (acting as the design team at well-known interior brand ‘Laura Ashley’).

We, as a team, feel that a trip to the interior and product TrGosford Meadow Paprika Red Floral Wallpaperade show ‘Maison&Objet’ in Paris will enhance and inspire the future of Laura Ashley Designs. This particular trade show is extremely influential within the interior design market and could help us develop new Fabric innovations, provide us with up to date on-trend imagery and visual concepts, and even introduce us to up and coming product innovation. As a team we feel that we should push the limits of the brand, whilst maintaining its roots and integrity, this trip will not divert us away from the ‘Laura Ashley’ identity but will help us develop ideas for the emerging trends this season.

We intend to utilize as much as possible from this trip, we feel that now is the right time to create the update on Laura Ashley as a brand, the Gap in the market gives us more room to experiment with new ideas whilst maintaining the most popular and purchased designs within store. With Brands such as Next and H&M becoming more popular with their home and interior sectors, we need to keep ahead. As a team we strongly feel that not going to Maison&Objet will hinder the future Design ideas of Laura Ashley Home, thus declining in sales and overall profit margins.

If we do get the opportunity to go we have set out particular roles within our group of 3, this gives us the opportunity to cover as much ground as possible; I, Jessica Thornton will be looking primarily at the new up and coming trends that look into the shapes and innovations of home living, analysing what appeals most to the consumer, whist April Heppell focuses on colour and fabric, and finally Lo Green is focusing on imagery and pattern. 3 of the 2014 designers of the year are going to attend to give talks amongst 5 rising names within the interiors world, this gives us the opportunity to discover and develop designs ahead of time, As a group we have noted down that Acrila and Greek street have stands at this Particular tradeshow, and these brands (although not a big) have a similar look to ours, so it will be interesting to see what and how they are displaying.

The show itself is free to attend; it is the 5th-8th September;


Flights- £119.38 per person x3

Accommodation- £540 for the group

Transfers- £50 there and back for the group

Additional costs- £200 for potential trend fabrics, books and items we may benefit from bringing back.

Total Expenses: £1,148.14

We hope that our Bid is strongly taken into account; this is an extremely important and beneficial investment for the Future of Laura Ashley Home.

Yours, The Laura Ashley Design Team. [online image] 





Commercial Designer, Sustainable-Task

I agree / disagree

Our society values economic gain over the environment: Definitely! Consumers now are more interested in the price, quality and brand of product, and, most manufactures are in the business to make a large profit margin, whether or not it harms the environment or not. Of course this is with exception, for example M&S and H&M do a lot to enhance a sustainable environment.

Modern consumption habits cannot continue: Yes, whilst it may be beneficial to us as consumers to get the quickest and easiest products available, the resources used to achieve this can damage the environment. We should change the way we as consumers value certain products and perhaps choose the most sustainable, to prevent further damage to the future populations environment.

In the future our needs for ‘more stuff’ will be met differently: Definitely, as new technologies are developing and the use of fossil fuels will eventually run out, ‘more stuff’ might not actually be available, I personally think a lot of things will become virtual to prevent the manufacture of certain pieces of furniture or even building shops, whilst clothing may be produced completely differently.

It is up to the consumer to seek out sustainable products: I disagree that it is entirely up to the consumers to buy sustainable products, buying these will never stop other non-sustainable products from being produced or bought, mainly down to cost and unawareness.

It is up to designers to create desirable consumer goods that are sustainable: I agree that designers should perhaps create more desirable ‘sustainable products’ and advertise this fact! Perhaps a re-look into pricing will set the ball rolling on a sustainable living, yet the demand for sustainable products is not a priority within the market, which leaves the designers with less motive to manufacture these products, it is a balance between designer and customer.

Natural is always best: I agree that in some cases, natural is always best, for example, natural dyes prevent chemical dyes from polluting water, yet natural fabrics such as fur and leather in my opinion is never the best option.