Have you ever experienced a sense of accomplishment only to realize you still have a long ways to go? The sun has set on another day, now mid March 2015, and the tasks seem to have multiplied.
The final samples are due to arrive on March 23, making their global trek from Bali, Indonesia. Which is great, I will have new, custom made clothing to wear and if all goes well, I can offer some really attractive pieces to the public. I enjoy tracking the progress on the blog, but I’m quickly running out of teaser photos. In October, I had a few photos of the clothing taken. They were more useful as “concept” photos (and an excuse to be in the trees again). Along the way, my team and I have had to work on dye color corrections, establishing a paypal account (we are still struggling with that one). I did not anticipate so many setbacks. When I have an idea in mind and have spent a chunk of change on initial investments (fabric, shipping, pattern making, dyeing and re-dyeing) , I get impatient and pray that things will work out. I did not set out to make stylish clothing to get rich, it was a self serving need because I refuse to pay $70 for a basic black blouse at Macy’s that’s made out of cheap fabric and has no originality to it. The perils of island living. Stubborn behavior and a need for well fitting clothing has kept this wheel turning. I want to get excited that it’s so close to completion, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Aside from straightening out a paypal account so that I can pay my team, I’ve been preparing sizing charts, finalizing prices, and researching various other online store venues.
Sizing: Part of my original motivation to have clothing made for myself. At a tall 5’8″ body frame, most stores have sizes that fall short. I need the length because I am tall, but a large size garment that will accomodate my height ends up hanging like a billowing tent. Boooo! After some experimentation, I figured out that layering separates is better. Wrap tops have become my best friend. Now I can wear a slim fitting tank and a wrap top that shapes nicely around the cleavage without hanging straight down like a potato sack.
Bear with me on the photos, since everything is still currently with the team in Bali, I am unable to take more photos. I have discovered that photographing dark colored clothing is a challenge because it does not show detailing or stitching. White can appear washed out too. But I’m building a framework with what I have, it will all come together.
This is a close up photo of one of the wrap tops. I was not able to close in on the detailing along the outer cuffs of the arms. It’s super cute and is perfect for layering. The ties allow for easy adjustment and look! I do have a waist !
Here’s a pic of the cranberry yoga top underneath. I wish I could zoom in a bit more. The cut outs are really cute . This top is one of the most comfortable pieces I own. Great for yoga workouts, absorbent for hiking, and it has a flattering shape without being too tight. You can wear a yoga bra underneath it (pictured here with black , but for a fun color mix , a dark teal looks awesome and is so “A’Kai.” An added benefit to this top is that it can be worn with the cut outs in back. Unwrap the white top for aerial silk class and you have a form fitting top. After class, the white top can be worn , instantly transforming the outfit into something with long sleeves in case it’s chilly out.
I have never been a fan of shorts. But occasionally it’s nice to mid length pants to hike in when the trail is muddy and you don’t want to drag the ends through mud. I never thought I would wear something with “ruffles.” A fellow hula hooper convinced me when learning knee hooping that it’s useful to feel the hoop around the back of your knees. Voila, capri length pants. No, I protested, tall chicks in ruffle capris, huh uh. They look cute on petite girls. After wearing them I was sold.
Here’s a pic that shows a bit of a close up along the ruffles. I don’t like the word ruffles. Can we call them.. petals? Or leaflets? I’ve seen something similar sold in the yoga shops, I tried them on and was shocked over the price, and the fact that in outdoor light, you could see right through them. The fabric we are using is thicker. It’s not bulletproof but you can relax knowing all the stretching you are doing is not going to split them down the middle. Yeah baby!
Versatility: I have always been a fan of clothing that can mix and match up with other clothing separates. I love having multiple users for one article of clothing.
The high low dress with its attractive lace up tie can also be worn as a long skirt. Check out the back of the dress (I like to wear it strapless style for a sexy outdoor style).
This same dress is also a high low skirt. I love wearing it with the lace up detailing over the butt, it can also be turned to wear with the lace up over one side. You now have something equally as perfect for the office.
Here’s another style of skirt I’m working on that is definitely more of a casual beach style. The splits over each leg make it easier to walk in (or hoop in). The splits over each leg allow for enough room to wear your favorite thigh high boots. This one is still in progress..
Another clothing item you could not convince me I would wear is a snug fitting mini skirt over a pair of pants. A benefit to these slim fitting pants is that the mini skirts (which will be sold separate so that they can be paired up with other pants) fit beautifully without getting all bunched up . Again I will attempt to get more close up photos of the detailing but hopefully this photo shows off the somewhat scalloped style. The white mini skirt in the photo below is worn over a pair of split leg pants that has a more relaxed fit. The mini can be substituted out for a fringed hipscarf for a boho style.
Here’s another photo of the same mini skirt worn over the split leg pants. The mini helps streamline the entire outfit so you can layer your outfit without adding more bulk. Shown here with the sleeveless hooded cardigan. Because you never know when you may need a hood. This photo also shows the fun side split in the pants, held closed by buttons. You see where I’m going with this? Separates that can be layered in endless combinations and colors. Are you cold at the office because someone has decided to use the air conditioner again? That sleeveless cardigan wraps smoothly over a long sleeve top as well. Layers not only add color but can be conveniently added to adjust your body temperature to the environment.
There is one style of mid length pants that has an attached mini skirt. They have become my favorite elven hike in the woods pants. The mini skirt is sewn in to the pants and I like how the pointy corners of the skirt mimic the bottom edge of the pants. These are really fun! Shown here with the classic V neck princess top.
Colors: The use of color has always been an important part of A’Kai Silks. I have some ideas of what I’d like to do regarding color but I’ll be starting with some well liked basics. For now I’m playing with photo editing to give an idea of how some of the chosen colors will look. Except for the long sleeved hooded wrap, the clothing will be solid colors and lean towards earthy vamp shades in deep forest, burgundy, magical purple, jeweled teal, black, etc. You might see some very subtle gradient colors on the long sleeve wrap, only because the shape of the garment lends itself perfectly to some excellent two tone ombres. With the exception of white since I love how the split leg pants turned out, the color palette will be in rich, deep color hues. This will require more photos once the final package is here. For now, below are some general ideas of colors based on the lace up hooded black dress.
In the next section I’ll share some ideas of how and where I’ll be listing items for sale to the public. Although I have an open etsy store that gets a good deal of traffic, etsy requires a very long questionaire with photos and details about my team in Bali. All information I have shared here in the blog post. I’ll get on that soapbox next time around. Stay tuned..