Behind the Seams ~ Designing for the Red Dress MN Event

This was my 2nd year designing a dress for the Red Dress MN event.  I don't usually do custom designs but it's for a great cause (raising awareness and money for women's heart health) and I love the women I've been paired with as my models. Last year it was Natalie Nyhus of WCCO, and this year I had the pleasure of designing for Alison Kaplan, the fashion editor for Mpls. St Paul Magazine and co-host of the weekly radio show Shop Talk. 

It's nerve racking designing a custom anything for anyone, much less a fashion editor. The Red Dress MN event is very well organized, and while we had months to sketch, pattern, fit, tweak, and come up with our final design, I knew I wouldn't get it done until the last possible minute. Because that's just how it is.

In December I met with Ali and showed her several options and we settled on one. The weekend before the dress was due, I kept seeing a different dress for Ali in my head. But I knew I didn't have time to do it., so I tried to just put it out of my mind.
When Monday morning rolled around Emma cut the fit sample for the original dress. But I just kept seeing Ali in my head in this other, at about 1 pm (Ali was coming at 3) I said to Emma, "I think we can do this" and I sat down and started making a totally new pattern. 

The original design looked very nice on Ali, and she was polite and said she liked it. But when I showed her the then half-finished fit sample of the new dress...she was pretty excited. 

We just went ahead and made finals of both dresses and on Wednesday, 2 days later, she tried both on.

The first one looked great. 

But when Ali put on the 2nd dress, you could just see her light up. I think she wasn't just being polite. I think she felt amazing and she certainly looked it. It's really important to me that if I'm designing a dress for someone, not only do I want them to look gorgeous in it, I want them to feel like it's THEIR dress. And you can tell that the moment they put it on. 

I turned in the final dress and sketch (the Red Dress people frame the sketches as a gift for each model from their designer) 2 days past deadline, one day before the event.
Emma took my place that evening because unfortunately, my former assistant's wedding was at the same time.

Which was magical and lovely, but that's a different heart story. 


Here's to heart health in all its forms.



Weekly Highlights

It's only Wednesday and it's been a jam-packed week!

This past Saturday, we had an in-studio photoshoot to round out all of our Spring 2015 photography. I JUST got a sneak peak of the first images and let me tell you -- they look amazing! I can't wait to share with you. In the meantime... here are some behind the scenes phone pics from the shoot. 

Our two beautiful models did an amazing job!

Laine was interviewed by Deena Ebbert (PropellerGirl) earlier this week. You can read the full article here!

Deena has been a wearer of KOKOON and friend to Laine for years and she has her own amazing & inspiring company -- you can check her out here! We also interviewed Deena for our client highlight features (you can find this interview on our old blog page here!).  Thank you, Deena!

We are so excited to be a part of the Minnesota Red Dress Collection this year! Laine is designing a red dress for Natalie Nyhus of WCCO. Below you can see the sketch of the dress and Laine and Natalie in front of a few options for red fabric. Today Natalie is coming back to the office to try on the first fitting! 

Full disclosure: it's beautiful!

We will keep you updated on the red dress!

Thanks for reading -- until next time!