What does it take to tailor the perfect garment? What happens before the final creation is revealed for the public eye?
Yasemin is Head of Quality Control at our partner high-end garment manufacturing company in London, and our Production Manager/Design Consultant. In addition to being an all-round, hands down BOMB person, she is also a creative genius in her own right, having studied fashion and designed collections that inspired high-street designers, and well-known fashionistas. This week she takes us backstage, and talks about her work, passions, and the garment manufacturing industry.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into garment manufacturing
My family was in the garment manufacturing business, and as a result I spent some time running around the factory as a child looking at all the trims and fabrics, and I was mesmerised by the way fabric could suddenly become something we would wear. I have been drawing and designing since I was 6 and I guess I never looked back since.
I studied Fashion Design and Marketing at the London College of Fashion, and did my bachelors in Womenswear. As a young child, I was heavily influenced by Asian culture and as I grew older I began to develop further interest in fashion, music, art and animations from different countries. After a few internships at companies like All Saints and Burberry, I came to work at this manufacturing company.
As much as I loved designing, I realised that I didn’t know enough about production and I thought it would be a good place to learn how things really work and to see what ‘fashion’ is like behind the scenes.
How has your experience been working in garment production?
We manufacture for a lot of top names in fashion. My experience here has taught me something that no university could ever teach me! You pick up a lot of things and you quickly learn how to really work under pressure to ensure that deadlines are met whilst the standard of quality never falters. I had initially joined with the idea of staying for a few months, but ended up staying to learn more. It’s been nearly three years now, and I’ve managed to work my way up to Head of Quality Control.
This is probably one of the best production companies to work for in the UK. Everyone here is treated like family- equally, with a boss who is always willing to help. Everyone works hard to produce work of the highest quality. We have some of the most skilled machinists in the country and a team of technical advisors with years and years of knowledge gained from hard work within the trade.
You can be honest now. What were the challenges you faced when making Freka facewear?
(Laughs knowingly) It was a challenge. I guess especially since for all of us it was our first time attempting to create something new like facewear.
A lot of people were involved before I really took it on. It was work, since with your mask, even a millimetre here or there makes a difference. It took us a great many, many samples to get us to where we are, but we don’t regret any of it. I really enjoyed the challenges I faced with Freka, especially as it was also a learning experience for me.
I wanted the masks to be as perfect as possible; I liked pushing myself to solve the problems we faced. I believe when faced with an issue, you should concentrate on finding the solution, and not dwell on the problem. An important thing I think you guys also learnt through this process was that we have to balance our dreams with the limits of working with designs and fabrics in real life.
For you, what makes good design?
The thought and the story behind the design. Some unique element- even if it is a little detail that only the wearer or the designer knows about. It is something that speaks of the designer and can be carried on to future designs. That’s the beauty of the tailored garment. You can see the soul and thought of the person who made it.
Quality is also very important. For example, here we make sure everything is to the highest standard. My colleagues often say nothing gets past me and that I have “Eagle-Eyes” for my strong attention to detail. Also, if the touch and feel of the fabric doesn’t appeal to me, I will not work with it. When I was very little my mom took me to buy sunglasses at House of Fraser. Instead of choosing cheap kids’ sunglasses, I had wandered off and picked up Chanel ones from the shelf and didn’t want anything else! The sales assistant had to run after my mum and tell her what I’d done.
What excites me most is seeing the dream turn into reality. The possibilities of what can be made with the designs in our heads, to the fabric in our hands, to the types of stitching chosen for the garment, it all just comes together in perfect harmony and the result usually is worth all the blood, sweat and tears put into a collection. For example with Freka facewear, all the masks are individually hand cut and tailored to fit the face so the precision and quality is a really special thing.
Tell us about one of your collections:
I created a unisex tailored collection I made for my Bachelors final: Savile Row Meets Korean Pop. As a young child, I was heavily influenced by Asian culture and as I grew older I began to develop further interest in fashion, music, art and animations from different Asian countries. My collection was inspired by the two different types of music that I listen to: Korean pop, and classical music. I wanted to create something that was traditional to England, but was still able to reflect the fun and boldness of Korean pop fashion.
Bonus Question: What does your ideal world look like?
My ideal world? Laughing is the best way to get through things, so a world with laughter where people can get through life without unnecessary hardships. Where injustice and discrimination doesn’t exist. I just don’t understand how humanity can be so weak.
I suppose a little bit of magic and unicorns would also help. A world where I’ve met a panda and got more sleep would be great too. I would also love to have T.O.P (K-Pop Star) wear my designs- I really respect his taste in art and fashion.