The beginnings of a fashion line

Amanda Talley began her fashion line on accident -- stumped for wardrobe choices for a photo shoot in 2015, she collaborated with then-friend and now-tailor Paty Alfaro on a custom dress and jumpsuit for herself and her gallery director.  Fast forward a few months and special occasions, and friends were asking where they could get their own Talley creations.  Finally, after making textiles an official wing of her business in late 2015, Amanda hired Paty full time and the studio began producing clothing.

The Scout Guide ad that started a fashion line

The Scout Guide ad that started a fashion line

Initially using favorites from her own closet, Amanda had Paty alter garments and recreate them with her signature prints.  In the spring of 2017 Amanda took the next step: hiring a design professional to help cultivate a "from-scratch" fashion line.  The process involved a lot of magazine tear sheets, racks of clothing, and dissections of current fashion trends to determine what has "staying power".   After some thought, Talley determined that creating a "capsule collection" of key pieces would be her goal.

Capsule Collections were originally popularised by Donna Karan in the 1980s. The idea was to create a capsule wardrobe that features only the most essential or influential pieces from a collection. A capsule collection is essentially a condensed version of a designer’s vision, often limited edition, which transcends seasons and trends by being functional.  With guidance from her consulting designer, Talley began to hone in on what she considered to be wardrobe staples, and create her collection.

Inspiration torn from magazines

Inspiration torn from magazines

Sleeve detail inspiration

Sleeve detail inspiration

More sleeves and cuff ideas

More sleeves and cuff ideas

After poring over magazines and a few shopping trips, the direction for the first piece began to crystallize, and the first design for an "Amanda Talley Original" was sketched out.  After a few rounds of edits, a spec sheet was created for the workroom to help Paty translate Amanda's ideas into sized garments conforming to industry standards.  

Initial sketches for the "Cassandra" blouse

Initial sketches for the "Cassandra" blouse

Spec sheets for the studio workroom

Spec sheets for the studio workroom

After the details were reviewed and approved, it was time to choose a pattern for the first sample set.  As a pattern-driven line, this is always an important (and difficult) choice -- with 56 choices it's not simple!

2017 Pattern Collection

2017 Pattern Collection

After much thought, the Prisma pattern was chosen for the first sample set.  Amanda likes this pattern because the colors are rich, but not seasonal.  It works year-round, which is important  in New Orleans, where we only have two seasons: hot and hotter.

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Prisma Pattern

Prisma Pattern

Despite not (yet) being a multimillion dollar fashion empire, Talley knew that she wanted her items to feel luxe, and have high-fashion details.  Because the process still relies on Paty's workroom and her skillful hands guiding each garment, details such as gathered sleeves, an inverted pleat back and an extended placket in the front were added to the final product, constructed in the studio's signature polished cotton sateen.

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The first piece of the Amanda Talley capsule collection is now available through the studio.  It retails for $280, and is available in sizes small, medium and large.

Amanda in the first piece of her capsule collection, the "Cassandra" blouse.

Amanda in the first piece of her capsule collection, the "Cassandra" blouse.