Jardin Fauve, The Story Behind a Fabric Print

What's more remarkable than a print?

I don't know about you, but when I wander through shops, this is often what will catch my eye: before the cut, the line, the garment itself, it's a fabric that will stop me in my tracks. A color that will catch my attention from the corner of my eye, a print that I will want to look at more closely.

Furthermore, an exclusive print is also the way to identify a brand.  And in the world of sewing, fabric editors who develop their own patterns are immediately recognisable. When we look at a hand-sewn garment, we will first notice the print of the fabric, before identifying the chosen sewing pattern. And I love this idea of a print that people will like to wear, and which will “define” a look, an outfit. Choosing a fabric for a pattern is a way of saying what you like and asserting your style.

Since I created my brand, I have always wanted to achieve a global creative proposition. This begins with working on the sewing pattern, seeking to infuse each pattern with a creative note specific to Maison Fauve. Then on the design of the envelopes of our sewing patterns, so that the paper patterns are an extension of the theme of the collections. There is also all the research surrounding our shoots: the locations, the accessories, the styling of the outfits, the way in which our photographer will work on her photos in order to recreate the atmosphere with which I wish to impose in the collection. The print work on fabrics is therefore the right continuation of this creative approach. 

For Fauvae Botanica, the Jardin Fauve print was the culmination of several months of work to create a print that would be emblematic of the collection.

How to create a textile pattern?

The first step is researching the design. The Fauvae Botanica universe is imbued with the atmosphere of cabinets of curiosities, the slightly gothic Victorian aesthetic and the wild and dreamlike garden. I wanted to develop a floral print with a “mysterious” or even poisonous note. I was inspired by botanical engraving books, old printing plates drawn by botanists, to work on my drawing. The line had to highlight the contours, the volumes, the breaks because I did not want to “fill” my flowers with color. The background would be the only color and the outlines of the flowers would be highlighted by contrast.

The other constraints that I imposed on myself were:

  • That the fabric is not “top” and “bottom” in order to be able to place its pieces while optimising fabric consumption
  • That the print does not connect to avoid you having to deal with this problem when cutting and assembling the pieces
For the flowers, I carefully chose which species would be represented. My preference was Japanese Camellia, Peony, Anemone and Immortelle.

The Camellia is a winter flower whose petals have very tight curves and very soft roundings (and I'm not going to hide my passion for Chanel, the wink is far too obvious ;)).

The Anemone is a very interesting flower due to the contrast between its visually strong center full of stamens, and its soft and light petals.

The Peony is a spectacular flower due to its volume, the cut-outs of the petals, and it is as beautiful represented in bloom as in bud. It is also the flower that I chose to embellish my forearm with in a large, life-size tattoo of peonies in black and gray.

The Immortelle brings a more vegetal note, and it has a particular emotional charge for me because my mother is Corsican and the Immortelles have the smell of holidays, of the sun, of the wild beauty of the Corsican landscapes.

Then comes the element that creates the surprise in this bucolic composition: the viper, which undulates and whines to bring dynamism to the look. The viper is also drawn according to the codes of naturalistic drawing.

I created each flower in several copies, and in different configurations. Then I mixed them, entwined them, and integrate the snake in order to create harmony, and establish 2 “basic” patterns.

After hand sketching on paper, to practice and refine my drawing, I worked on Procreate to put the drawings in digital format and on Illustrator to format the overall pattern. This was followed by the most technical part, which is essential in the creation of a textile design and which was the most difficult for me: creating a pattern with the ratio/connection. The pattern must have consistency in the repetition, and the pattern jump repeats without creating a break between the different work areas, in the direction of height and width. What is complicated is to manage the repetition without obtaining a strange and too obvious multiplication effect, especially on a figurative and non-geometric print like Jardin Fauve. I carried out multiple tests and paper prints to validate the placements, the scale, the repetition. The patterns had to be easily identified from one pattern piece to another, while remaining airy to make them easier to read. 

Choose your fabric wisely

I wanted the Jardin Fauve print to embellish light pieces like dresses, tops and blouses. I chose viscose poplin as it is a supple, soft fabric, easy to sew, and whose opacity allows you to create all kinds of pieces. It drapes beautifully, accentuating the “living” side of the design. The quality of our poplin had already been validated in our previous collections, so I knew that there would be no problem washing or ironing, and that the fabric was suitable for a lot of sewings projects.

Do... And redo!

I sent our textile printer all the elements, and we made the first samples to look over the print with color on the viscose poplin. When we received them, it was a big disappointment: the drawing came out poorly, the lines were too fine. The scale was not great either, the pattern was too small, too compact, not legible enough. But it still allowed me to validate color choices, and above all to highlight the flaws in my first drawings. So I completely re-designed each element, reworked the placements, made new test prints on paper... And sent it back to the textile printer, crossing my fingers that the pattern is as beautiful as I imagine it. And this second try was the right one, I had my signature print!

Now that the new print is ready, it’s time to choose the color range. For this, I established a range of colors for Fauvae Botanica. I chose Cherry Red, Cinnamon, and Mahogany (Acajou) as new colors to add to our range. They complement the Sand (sable), Khaki, Ink Blue (Encre) and Scarabée Green already present in our range of fabrics, and above all combine well with each other, with the fabrics that we had sourced in deadstock and the jacquards that we had woven: Storm Gray (Gris Orage) and Deep Black wool drapes, Off White (Ecru) and Ink Blue Botanica jacquards.

Once the colors were decided, I made a selection of colors for each fabric: the Jardin Fauve print is available in Cherry Red, Scarabée Green, Ink Blue and Sand.

How is a collection created?

The work on the collection is built around a primary inspiration (here the secret garden). I imagine a wardrobe that will fit into this theme. I design each piece mix and matching them together until I decide on the patterns that will build the season's wardrobe.

At the same time, I work on the choice of fabrics, the range of colors, the patterns and I carry out initial fabric tests to decide which ones will be best suited to the prints. When the colors are decided, we produce the range of matching buttons, we order the sewing threads, and we then sew the patterns for the visuals which will be presented during the shoot.

The goal of our fabric collections is to allow you to sew Maison Fauve sewing patterns without worrying about making a mistake. And each season, the fabrics combine with our patterns: the Soliflore blouse/dress, the dress version of the Vipère pattern and the Cicadella blouse are sewn beautifully in Jardin Fauve viscose poplin.

The Vipère dress in Jardin Fauve Scarabée Green - The Soliflore dress in Jardin Fauve Bleu Encre - The Cicadella blouse in Jardin Fauve Rouge Cherry

A story that ends with you

It is you who writes the rest of this story. When we launch our collections, we are not sure: will the patterns please you, what color will appeal to you the most, what projects will you imagine in the new fabrics?

Discovering yourself in Maison Fauve fabric, seeing how you build your wardrobe with pieces hand-sewn in our fabrics, it's the most beautiful conclusion to give to this creative journey: from the drawings that I sketch to your most beautiful works, The circle is complete!

Discover Jardin Fauve fabrics

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