Every season at Quilt Market, the show’s organizers sponsor a series of Schoolhouse presentations for shop owners who are interested in learning more on topics of interest to them. This season, Oliver + S led two Schoolhouse sessions.
One of our talks focused on how savvy retailers can increase sales in their shops by making samples of Oliver + S garments. It’s no secret in the industry that if a retailer makes a sample of a quilt or a garment the pattern and the fabrics used for the sample will fly out the door.
As you know, Oliver + S patterns are designed with a sophisticated aesthetic in mind, and we wanted to share with our retailers how we go about selecting fabrics that highlight that fact. After all, the right design made up in the wrong fabric doesn’t, in the end, turn into a successful garment.
We received a good deal of positive feedback on what we presented, and we thought that you might be interested in what we’re calling the Oliver + S principles of fabric selection as well. So, without further ado, here they are:
- See the child before the outfit
- Think sophisticated and understated
- Look at the supporting fabrics in a collection, not necessarily the central prints
- Solid colors and neutrals can ground a bright, busy print
- Be eclectic; don’t be afraid to mix collections
- Look for updated versions of traditional prints
- Tonal and two-color prints look very fresh
- Approach juvenile prints with caution
Over the next several weeks we’ll be publishing a series of posts that explain and illustrate (with your photos from the Flickr group) each of these principles. Many of you understand these concepts intuitively and have selected great fabrics that demonstrate these principles. We can’t wait to highlight some of your work and to talk more in depth about why we believe each of these ideas is important.
(Note: we’ll be tagging each post in this series with the label, “principles of fabric selection.” You can click on that link to see all of the posts brought together into one page.)