In this special post, we follow Creative director and founder of Bombshell Bay, Emily Doig as she travels to Thailand and Cambodia to source fabrics and accessories and sample the Bombshell Bay 2012 Collection “JET SET”. Emily Doig is a finalist in the Debut contest at Fashion Exposed from 1-3 February at the Sydney Exhibition Centre.
South east Asia has always been special to me. I love the sights, sounds and smells, so it made total sense for me to return to Asia to produce my Bombshell Bay collection.
My time in BKK was limited. I had just 36 hours to find what I was looking for, which in a city the size of Bangkok is no easy feat! So, pack your bags and come on a whirlwind tour of Bangkok and Cambodia as we sample our JET SET collection just in time to present it to the judges at Fashion Exposed for the “Debut” program.
Thailand – Day One
Arrived at Hotel, a quick bathroom break and we are straight into the fabric sourcing. First stop is the local fabric market where we will source buttons, zips, fasteners and haberdashery. The market is like a treasure trove, with thousands of amazing bits and pieces. We find some amazing leather, ribbons and pom poms. The market is hot, chaotic and not for the faint hearted. Our colour pallette for SS 12/13 has some amazing and vibrant pinks and oranges along with a few classic blues and a beautiful neutral tone. Finding and matching these colours to our fabric is often tricky, so we buy a little of everything and will spend time matching it later.
Next stop is the India Market which is just around the corner. Here we find a supplier who has the most amazing selection of fabrics. The dyes are very gentle and are the most vibrant colours. We stock up, forcing ourselves to limit our selection to just three prints. Expect to see our new range of kaftans and sarongs in these prints.
After a big breakfast we hit the famous weekend markets.We are on the lookout for some of the local talent to manufacture some of our accessories. The market has over 200,000 visitors per day (open only on the weekends) and has over 10, 000 stalls that sell almost everything you can imagine! There are many local designers who sell their wares and we are on the hunt for a local manufacturer who can produce our new beach totes which are a more sturdy and chic version of our 2011/12 beach bags. We find a great supplier and order a few samples before heading home after an epic 6 hours at the market.
We arrive in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh armed with bundles of imported fabrics and head to meet with our manufacturer who is an expat working with local sewers to create a fair trade workshop for marginalised women. We are spending a week here at the workshop to finalise our designs for SS12/13 and to complete as many samples as possible before returning to Australia to present at Fashion Exposed.
Manufacturing garments offshore can tend to attract some negative attention, with terrible working conditions and below average wages for women who are often providing for large families. Our decision to work with a fair trade workshop was an easy one, Emily, the creator and designer at Bombshell Bay had lived in Cambodia and knew that if she was manufacturing outside of Australia then the factory had to provide safe and healthy workplace with fair wages. After almost a week in Phnom Penh working daily with the workshop the samples begin to take shape and we are starting to see a glimpse of what will eventually become our “JET SET” collection.
Our two weeks in Cambodia comes to a close with a meeting with the Aman Hotel group who are stocking pieces from our debut collection “Hollywood Bungalow” The resort is known for its high profile, A list guests and exclusive private villas. We are extremely excited about our new stockist and hope a certain well known Hollywood actress slips into one of our pieces when she is next in the country with her brood of adopted children…
So, that wraps up our sourcing and sampling trip for our SS 12/13 collection. We are so excited to be presenting it to you all at Fashion Exposed, we have some amazing on trend colours in our swimwear, vibrant eye catching pattens in our accessories and a reworked beach tote that you wont want to put away at the end of the summer…