We asked our head honcho Dee, to write about the making of our latest print 'Pretty in Peonies' and what goes into our print design process each season...
Peonies are my favourite flower and they symbolize love and romance, which are some of my favourite things!
I have wanted to create a gorgeous peony print for years, it has been on my mood board and on my mind, but I wanted to make it just perfect, so it has been one I have been obsessing over for a while.
To start the process, I needed the perfect hand painted peonies and for this important task, I enlisted the help of my friend and talented local artist Michelle from Sprout Gallery.
Michelle and I first met back in 2020 to discuss the Pretty in Peony Print. I gave her my brief and she went away and painted the flowers for me. She totally nailed it of course, because she is so clever like that, I'm a big fan of her gorgeous water colour prints.
Then I worked with Chloe, my textile designer. We recoloured some of the peonies so we had a lot of varied colours. My favourite colour combination is pink and red, so we coloured the peonies in all different shades from the palest of pink to a deep pinkish red.
Then I printed them out, cut them up and pasted them down to get an idea of what they would look like in a print. I am old school like that, I know it could be done all on the computer, but the old fashioned actual cutting and pasting is part of my design process!
From there Chloe creates the print and turns it into a print repeat. We have a lot of chats about size and proportion and we print out lots of different scales and different background colours to make sure we've got it just right.
Chloe also mocks up the dresses and puts the print into the dress design, to scale so we can imagine it in the actual dress before we decide on the final print.
Then we send off the print to our printer Jane in China. We met Jane at a trade show in Melbourne back in 2014, and have been working with her to print all of our fabrics since then. She runs a small printing business and is happy to do the smaller runs of each print that we need at Maiocchi.
We love that Jane likes to work with eco-friendly bamboo fabrics and natural fibres, and she also uses a digital print process, which significantly reduces the waste associated with the traditional printing process. Digital printing also allows us to print in small quantities and to use all the colours in the rainbow. There is no limit to the number of colours in a digital print, so we can do more creative, hand painted and hand drawn types of prints with digital printing. Digital printing is also the most expensive type of printing to have done and the bamboo base cloth we use is significantly more expensive than the polyester base cloth that is mostly used in jersey dresses.
Jane prints a strike off of each colour and onto each base cloth for us to approve. When we receive the strike off's at Maiocchi HQ it really is like Christmas - we get very excited to see the prints on the actual fabric. Sometimes we do several changes and more strike off's before we get to the final result.
Being able to design our own prints has been a game changer for us at Maiocchi as it allows me to express my creativity and love of colour in each collection. Prints are my true love and I have a million ideas running through my head all the time... I have been obsessing over the perfect peony print for years and so I'm very excited to release the peony print perfection of my dreams!!
I hope you all love it as much as I do.
Our Pretty in Peonies Collection (part one) launches Sunday 15 May at
7pm AEST xo