Winsome Fall/Winter 2018 + Illustration Project

 The Adelaide top, Photographed by Colin Simmons

The Adelaide top, Photographed by Colin Simmons

Here it is: the twice yearly collection release. Fall/Winter 2018 in all of its wool, cotton and silk glory. This collection has enough pockets to negate a purse and so many ways to wear that I may just take a break from my regular closet and see if it is just possible to survive off of these few items alone.

 The Nina Top, Photographed by Colin Simmons

The Nina Top, Photographed by Colin Simmons

Like each Winsome collection, these styles are rooted in traditional silhouettes while stretching expected boundaries in the sometimes not-so-subtle details. This collection drew heavily from vintage clothing and patterning books. I became particular fascinated with a 1950's wedding dress design book and some details are explicitly pulled from this source (the Adelaide sleeve for instance). 

The less sophisticated inspiration came from my decreasing desire to often carry a purse or bag. The result: more pockets and variety in pockets. Some of these styles take advantage of the unused real estate on the back of the garment (take a look at the Leon and the Ines). 

 The Leon Jacket, photographed by Colin Simmons

The Leon Jacket, photographed by Colin Simmons

But in addition to these 14 cozy styles, we at Winsome decided to approach the launch of the collection a little differently. We tasked four illustrators: Natalie Johnson, Nori Norbhu, Holly Stapleton, and Kate Worum, with illustrating pieces from our collection, each in their own style, each worn by their vision of an influential female. 

 The Nina top Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Natalie Johnson

The Nina top Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Natalie Johnson

I knew this illustration project was going to be exciting and inspiring, but I was surprised by how personally motivating it was.

I'm a creative, and like many creatives it's often difficult to relinquish the creative control over a design or artwork.  It's challenging to not infuse your own ideas or aesthetics in order to tailor the product into your personal, ideal vision.

This project requited a new level of trust that I have not been forced to have in previous work, trust in our artists, trust in my team, and trust in the complicated and unique artistic process. Moreover, as a professional female, I sometimes find myself torn and confused over how often I should have all the answers. Because we are in a time where we are fighting to play one the same field, fighting to be heard, fighting for our freedom to feel less apologetic. So when I don’t have the answers I find myself somewhat afraid. Not afraid to voice the knowledge and ideas that I have, but instead I am afraid of not having the knowledge or ideas to begin with. I’m afraid that not having that somehow voids my seat at the table or participation in this important battle of equality. 

And this season, there were moments that I just didn’t have it.  I didn’t have the time, I didn’t have the energy, I didn’t have the money and I didn’t have all the ideas. And I’m slowly learning that there is no better time than these times to lean on, and put trust in, others.

 The Edith top Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Holly Stapleton

The Edith top Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Holly Stapleton

This project help reiterate why outside perspective is so important and that it can be incredibly inspiring to reach outside our comfort zone. Through illustration instead of photography alone we were able to see how others envision our collection. If location and physical realities were no boundary, what do people imagine? Who is wearing our clothing? What does a collaboration look like when it’s not actively curated? Instead of searching for similar aesthetics, we found a diverse range of female illustrators to depict our garments in anyway they wished.

And WOW, I’m so glad.

 The Marion Pullover Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Nori Norbhu

The Marion Pullover Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Nori Norbhu

Prints of these illustrations are available for sale here. 

100% of profits from these prints are donated to the Emergency Migrant Fund located here in Minneapolis. This fund is particularly important to us as it is currently helping one of our own, Marcia, our production manager. Marcia, and her family recently took in a family who escaped gang violence in Honduras, and this Emergency Migrant fund is supporting her family and situation. This fund helps them, as well as future families providing for refugee families, get back on their feet and start a new and safe life here in the United States by supplying them groceries, school supplies, clothing, and many other important necessities, as they came here with nothing. A full article about this story is posted here

 The Ines Jacket/Dress Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Kate Worum

The Ines Jacket/Dress Photographed by Colin Simmons, Illustrated by Kate Worum