Sunday, May 24, 2009

Production Progress: Final Speak

The third and final day at the factory was spent finishing.

Finishing is whereby the garment goes through a few steps before it is ready to be presented for review. The first step in finishing usually involves sending the garment through a wash. There are three reasons for this. First is to clean the garment. When the garment has gone through the sewing lines, it usually picks up a lot of residue/dust/etc. The pre-washed fabric also has contaminants and starch in it.

2nd is hand feel. There is a choice of various hand feels that can be achieved from washing the garment. One can choose between a regular garment wash, garment wash with softener, enzyme wash, silicone wash, etc. Even an ice wash. However, some fabrics that aren't as tightly weaved will not be able to handle the more harsh washes. We usually go with a regular 5 minute garment wash with softener for our shirting so as to achieve hand-feel and shrinkage.

Shrinkage is the third reason. Most consumers want the garments pre-shrunk so as to avoid major shrinkage when washing at home. This is also so that the garment fits the same way at home as how it fit in store.

Interesting point to note with shrinkage. This is why when drafting up a pattern, you need to take note of shrinkage and add extra so that when it does shrink after wash, it will end up at your desired size spec. For example, if the length of a cotton shirt is supposed to be 29.5 inches after washing, you need to add about 3% to the length on the pattern before washing so as to achieve that desired length. Start out with 30.385 inches to achieve 29.5 inches.

Next step after wash, we tack on buttons. The reason the buttons are put on after is because the industrial washing machines may undo the buttons during the wash.

The garment then goes through a phase of quality control whereby loose thread is removed and everything is given the once over. Picture the intense door woman outside your favorite nightclub. That's the sort of once over the garment receives.

Then it goes to pressing. There are usually three types of press. A very light press where puckering (thread pulls on a seam that cause waves) of the garment is fully retained and garment is nicely wrinkled. A semi-press where the puckering is slightly reduced and garment is not as wrinkled. Picture a shirt that's been dry cleaned but worn once after. The third is a complete press where the garment looks like it's come out of a Thomas Pink catalogue.

Sifr usually goes with the semi-press or complete press depending on the fabric. If it is a check/madras/plaid garment, you will most likely see a semi-press to retain the look consistent with that type of shirt. If it is a broadcloth shirt, you will see it completely pressed as they usually wrinkle more.

Now for a breather. Sorry for the info overload.

Packed and ready to go, the samples were brought back to Singapore for a light review session. This is where we run through all changes with the design team. We discuss changes as well as do a fit and measurement test. The reason for this is that measurements tend to differ depending on fabric choice after the garment has been washed. We have to make sure it fits according to our desired size spec.

Apologies for the lack of photographs this time around. We'll be sure to get more photographs next time. The focus was on getting the samples done.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vans Authentic

Quick one.

Vans just sent us a small shipment of the Red Authentics. $59.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

G.I. Joe: Resolute

The web series finished about a month ago in the US, so if you haven't watched these yet, I'd go make some cup noodles, grab a drink and open 11 tabs up in your browser.

G.I. Joe: Resolute is a more modern take on the series instead of the futuristic setting that was done in the original, which makes it a lot more exciting since almost all of the technology is operational or in trial stages(check the wingsuit that Snake Eyes uses, that was featured in a recent trade show in Abu Dhabi), if you're interested for more info on the Resolute series check here.

Check this link for all the episodes: G.I. JOE AMERICAN HEROES
Can't wait till the movie comes out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wolframaplha: Computing the Interwebs

I found this answer engine just yesterday afternoon while I was taking a break from the rigors of measuring garments and breaking salty sweats over rough sketches, Wolframalpha is AMAZING. My jaw dropped 15 seconds into the screencast on their website. Here's a blurb from the about section of their website:

Wait forget that, forget that, just go to the site and view the screen cast, it's mind blowing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flower Boys

For those of you that missed it, New York Magazine has a great spread on floral prints. Go through the slideshow.

An interesting comparison. Pay close attention to price, brand, extent of print, etc. The Pegleg shorts as well as the Shipley & Halmos shirt are on point. 

Found another feature on Men.Style.Com right here. I've been wanting to post this up a while ago. Stumbled upon it again very recently. And yes, not a good idea to try and adopt all trends at once.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Production Cont'd

Good to know some of you are actually interested in our production reports. It gives some of you more inside info and some transparency into what we're actually up to. We'll try and include as much insight as possible. Let us know if you readers would like more specific information through the comments section. What are you lot interested in?

So the rest of the Wednesday was spent at LLG to link up with the patternmaker and our production manager to sort out some of our proto samples. When we make a sample in Singapore, it's usually about 80% correct. Our trips to Jakarta usually involve fully correcting the garment so as to have it ready to show our manufacturer in China.

Moving on, we decided to create a pattern for a new style that is underway. This one required for us to get our patternmaker (PM) to whip something up from scratch. This one required my urgent attention so as to get the shape of the shirt absolutely on point. The sewing was also a little more tricky. This will be Sifr's standard relaxed fit shirt. Measurements should emulate our gusset shirts currently in store. Just with a longer tail.

I then touched base with our PM at about 12pm and spoke to him for about 15 minutes to iron out any confusions. By about 2.30 pm the pattern was done and we were cutting the fabric. Things really get moving down here and we're absolutely grateful for that.

While the fabric was being cut, I whipped out on of our proto samples that needed a lot of correcting. We created a pair of pants with a completely elastic waistband. With that said, we didn't want it to look like a pair of pajama pants. Therefore, we decided to make half of it elastic, and the other half without. We decided to throw on a button and cording on the inner part of the band. It's looking healthier now.

This style is particularly interesting. One would usually associate shirting fabric strictly with shirts. This time however, we thought that if this fabric was suitable above your waist, why not use it below. This would amount to a very comfortable, lightweight pair of pants ideal for this sickly/muggy weather. Paired with a t-shirt or a clean shirt and you've got a money fit right there. These will come in all sorts of colors and patterns. Trust us, this could be the next big thing out there for all the more practical/weather-dependent customers.

I then went to harass the factory operations manager/merchandiser/bouncer. In an effort to throw my weight around, he really showed me who the boss was down there. I was made to relinquish ownership of my eyeglass cord. I wasn't happy.

Done for the day and waiting on samples. We clocked in about 6 hours worth of solid work. All this probably amounted to about 10 days worth of work in Singapore with consideration paid to delays, lags, etc.

I'll be back with progress of 3rd day focusing on our standard relaxed fit shirt. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We're ALMOST 2 Years Old!

We're turning 2 tomorrow.
We're going to be setting up a table and a rack on Saturday and Sunday.
All regular priced items in store are going for 20% off.

Thanks for reading our blog, much appreciation to all your comments and emails.
Drop by and say hi this weekend!

Many thanks,

Freshness Mag feature on Hirofumi Kiyonaga

Freshnessmag has been a reliable news portal on sneakers, toys, fashion and the sub-culture context that goes with it since its first days in 2003. It's reach for knowledge spans across continents and transcends the internet.

This feature on Hirofumi Kiyonaga the founder of SOPHnet, F.C. Real Bristol, and co-founder of Uniform Experiment with Hiroshi Fujiwara has brought great joy to me for the following reasons. Firstly it was in english, secondly you don't come across too many features on Hirofumi and insight into the SOPH brand. He was part of the youth culture movement that took place in Harujuku in the late 90s but not so much in the spot light right now like his counter parts: Fujiwara, Miyashita, Nigo, Takashi. SOPH is well known in its own right in the Japanese domestic market and has recently been expanding it's stockist overseas as interest picks up. Hopefully they will start doing a XL.

I won't say anymore as this feature covers a lot of info on the man himself and the labels he's behind, ENJOY!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

We've Made Our Facebook Page!

We're finally on facebook, you can also check there for store updates, info and media tidbits.

Follow this link~

Friday, May 08, 2009

Marumushi News Map: Update

I had blogged about one of my homepages earlier last month. The news map which is created by design company marumushi has relaunched it's web url to Lots easier than the long link I had posted the last time.

They've updated the color scheme and some interfaces with the news map making it even more visually pleasing and interactive with the reader.

Give it a look if you haven't already.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Production Progress

Last Wednesday called for a quick midweek trip down to Jakarta. As response for the label continues to subtly grow, we've decided to work on more of our sampling and research in Indonesia. It's just that much more convenient and cost-effective with all the help at our disposal.
The A.M:
I first went to visit our space in Jakarta that used to be a manufacturer of mens shirts and ladies blouses. PT. ABJ used to employ about 500 people with several sewing and finishing lines. They produced garments for the likes of Marks & Spencer, Gap, Banana Republic, Eagle Dry Goods, etc. I remember packing goods in boxes to make some extra money back when I was 12. This place took care of a lot of people for 28 solid years.
The factory eventually ran it's course in 2009. Prior to that, overheads had been steadily increasing whilst orders declined. Maintaining the business just didn't make much sense any longer. ABJ closed it's doors in January of this year and paved the way for a new venture; Futsal World.
Futsal World is an indoor soccer space divided into three individual fields. The sidelines are closed off by nets and the ground is made of synthetic grass. The concept is similar to The Cage in Singapore.

Prior to closing down, I was using the facility to do some design and sampling work. Some of you may notice the Sifr Worship shirts in store. The conceptualization and production of that design was done in ABJ. We had to lay out all the fabric to topstitch it in order to create the check pattern. After all the topstitching was done, we then laid out patterns on that specific fabric blanket and cut out all the individual panels. That's how we currently have three variations of the paneled garments in store. Making those shirts was quite labor intensive.
After this factory closed it's doors, we moved all of our sampling and pattern-making to our knitwear manufacturing plant that is further out of Jakarta. PT LLG was featured in one of our previous posts where we introduced several of the people and equipment that we have on our side over there. This is where the rest of my Wednesday was spent.
More on that to follow.....

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Worldwide Festival This Weekend!

Looking forward to an action packed weekend! We'll be at the Singapore Art Museum tonight for the Worldwide opening party! We'll also be heading to HOME and Velvet tomorrow for Stereotyp and Todd Terje.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Aithor Throup for C.P. Company: Reapproaching the Goggle Jacket

Taken off BeingHunted
Aitor Throup has designed the 20th Anniversary Edition of C.P. Company's most iconic piece - the Goggle or Mille Miglia Jacket. To celebrate both the past and future of this jacket the company is hosting a special exhibition at their showroom in Milan during the 2009 International Furniture Fair. The exhibition, which has been curated by Aitor Throup, features the new design as well as 20 Mille Miglia jackets selected from the C.P. Company archive.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Trovata sues Forever 21

Been meaning to blog this as soon as I read the article. Over 50 suits in the last 3 years?! I can't deny that the F21 business model is smart but unethical and replicable. Anyways here's a short excerpt from the

After two years of legal wrangling, Trovata’s lawsuit alleging that cheap-chic retailer Forever 21 copied its designs is headed to trial next month, and the outcome could have implications for both vendors and retailers in this age of fast fashion.

Barring a last-minute settlement, lawyers familiar with Forever 21’s extensive litigation history said this would be the first time the rapidly expanding retailer faces a jury that will determine whether it illegally clones other companies’ designs. The result could be a clarification of intellectual property rights in an era when facsimiles of runway looks often appear in multinational specialty chains before a designer’s original version has a chance to hit stores.
Forever 21 is sued by Trovata

Friday, May 01, 2009

Maiden Noir and Wrath Arcane SS09

Wrath Arcane
Wrath Arcane was started on January 3rd, 2006 when Cleveland boutique owner Brian O'Neill called Cleveland designer and long-time friend Sean Bilovecky, and threw around the idea of starting a line of streetwear. They design clothes that both embody this idea and also demonstrate our minimalist approach to contemporary streetwear. Products are also made domestically in the USA for fine quality.

Double Vneck
Details: 100% Cotton Slub Jersey. Raw cut look around the neckline. Detail top stitching on shoulder seams. Straight cut with a slight taper. Off center inner vneck, gives a unique layered look on a single item.
Sizes: xs s m l xl

Made in America

Wrap Vneck
Details: 100% Cotton Slub Jersey. Raw cut look around the neckline. Detail top stitching on shoulder seams. Straight cut with a slight taper. Criss cross wrap along neckline provides an interesting texture and form to the shirt.
Sizes: xs s m l xl

Made in America

Grass Strap Shirt
Details: 100% Cotton yarn dyed gingham. Small button details on the straps that wrap from the back of the shoulders and come around the neck line to form the collars. Interesting and creative approach to construction with collars, having them flow out onto the back of the shirt.
Sizes: xs s m l xl

Made in America

Epaulet Shirt
Details: 100% Cotton in grey check broadcloth and grey small squared yarn dyed gingham. Unique contstruction detail on the back of the shirt, making the yoke “bleed” into the side seam. Button detailing. Front chest pocket. Slight taper towards the bottom of the shirt.
Sizes: xs s m l xl

Made in America

Maiden Noir
Seattle based Maiden Noir was founded by Nin Truong, Eric Green and Toshiyuki Suto, whom all grew up encircled by skateboarding, Metal, design, photography, and design. At the outset, Maiden Noir was founded as a creative outlet; however, in time grew into a celebrated clothing line. Designed in N. America and Japan, the label pays tribute to a heritage of vintage silhouettes with a more refined and clean classic look. All garments are produced in Japan for superb quality.

Details: 100% Cotton poplin madras. Embroidered logo pocket detail. Maiden Noir button detailing. Straight cut shirt, classic silhouette.
Sizes: s m l xl

Made in Japan

Where Eagles Fly
Details: 100% Cotton terry. Silk screened. Maiden Noir logo detail on back neck.
Sizes: s m l xl

Made in Japan

Tiger Pit
Details: 100% Cotton terry. Silk screened. Maiden Noir logo detail on back neck.
Sizes: s m l xl

Made in Japan

Details: 100% Cotton terry. Silk screened. Maiden Noir logo detail on back neck.
Sizes: s m l xl

Made in Japan

Details: 100% Cotton terry. Silk screened. Maiden Noir logo detail on back neck.
Sizes: s m l xl

Made in Japan

Shout Out to +65


Would like to key in all you readers out there that haven't made your way over to a fairly new Product / News site, +65, trying to make our local shopping experience that much easier by giving people a heads up on what has dropped and where. Here's a short excerpt off their site,

plussixfive was launched with the aim of being a one-stop news source for Singapore fashion, shopping, retail, design, arts and lifestyle culture as a whole.

We found interest in the diversified styles walking the local streets, and hope to broaden readers horizons about the different fashion and lifestyle products that exist in Singapore.

They're out to help facilitate your shopping experience. Give the site a peep if you like what you see tell your friends about them.