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BEHIND THE SCENES: The Making of the Desert Sun Collection

BEHIND THE SCENES: The Making of the Desert Sun Collection

You know how for each collection we write a special article covering the entire process from the conception of an idea to the launch of an entire line? We do this for each collection separately, because we believe it’s fun to take you with us every step of the way and show you the ins and outs of our small label. So far we haven’t heard any complaints about it, and since you look like you’re enjoying this tremendously and gladly take part in our journey, we figured that it has now become our duty to not only keep you informed and be transparent, but entertain you while we’re at it. So let the fun begin.

The Desert Sun is inspired by women adventurers and explorers whose wild untamable spirit and thirst for conquering the unknown, in a moment in history when women had so few rights, was a loud and dare we say a brave roar that woke up many women. These awe-inspiring heroines, each with her own impressive story to tell are admirable creatures who lived life by no one else’s rules but their own. They defied convention by walking through deserts, trailing paths and shining light on generations of women who would follow in their footsteps. In our humble opinion they deserve medals, but since we have no authority to bestow upon them one, a praise will have to suffice and a dress named after them, of course. It’s our own way of showing appreciation for their audacity. 

Picking The Fabrics & Colors

Among the hidden gems while digging through piles of unwanted fabrics, we came upon a batch of a 100% cotton based cream material with this beautiful embossed pattern that stretched through the entire length of the material. The material was so soft and flowy. Its earthy tones reminded us of the desert, its mysticism, it allure and brought back memories of long forgotten adventure. Right then and there a unanimous decision was made to develop the entire collection around earthy, desert-like tones and so that’s what we were looking for from that point onward.

Cream Cotton embossed deadstock fabric Bastet NoirThe material for The Bell Dress

What followed after were materials that had similar and complementary tones, such as olive, ivory white and black, which we rounded with a water color desert brownish dot print and star print. 

The Creative Process

At this point of developing our brand, Pinterest has become our best friend. It’s where our visualization and designing process start. Since our last line was a bit more girly, we decided to balance things out and design a more androgynous one this time with the exception of one dress, which we went full on romantic mode.

Hand-drawing the design for The Bell Dress

The Production Process

Once we have all this figured out we move on to production. The production starts with cutting the pieces of fabric and applying them directly on the model, where we check for proportions, we do the draping and decide on the silhouette. Some fabrics for instance fell differently than we’ve anticipated. This is why we check them directly on a model to make sure we get a precise fit and flow.

The production for an entire collection of about 10–12 pieces takes between 4–6 weeks and includes pattern making, try ons and assembling the cutouts, which oftentimes involves the use of hand making techniques.

Making the patterns for The Bell DressMaking the patterns for The Bell Dress

When we decide on the exact proportions and details we then proceed to create the patterns, followed by assembling the cutouts of fabric. Every design is different, so naturally that means every piece will take different amount of time to make. Simpler models with all their nooks and crannies take between 4–6 hours to make and more complicated ones can take up to 16 hours or more.

This time around we went zero waste all the way, as we even used the leftover scraps and turned them into scrunchies. No scrap left behind people.

The Freya Scrunchie

The Freya Scrunchie

Inspiration Behind The Designs

Enticing storytelling is woven into every single piece of this collection, because when we embark upon this equal part marvelous and equal part exhausting journey of creating, we want our designs to stand for something more than just’ pretty’. We want them to have a meaningful voice and send an equally purposeful message when you wear them. More than anything else we want them to empower. This is why we always name them after strong women who have left an indelible mark in a certain period in time, women whose voices grew stronger and became louder with every societal attempt to silence them and shut them down. Inspired by their incredible strength of character and potency this time around we found an inspiration in the mystically alluring creatures that are the women of the desert, women who defied convention to undertake awe-inspiring journeys, as well as desert’s stark beauty. Naturally, the name followed, The Desert Sun, as their courage was the light that gave other women the courage to step out of their comfort zone.

The Hesi Dress

Lady Hester Stanhope (1776–1839) was one of the most famous travelers of her age. Crowning herself queen of the desert, Stanhope was the first European woman to cross the Syrian desert and the first to conduct modern archaeology research in the Holy Land.

https://bastetnoir.com/products/the-black-white-dress?_pos=1&_sid=97ca646c3&_ss=r

The Hesi Dress, fully customizable and made-to-order 

Made from a combination of black and creamy white linens, the Hesi Dress features a boat neckline and a boxy silhouette, with a waist tie ready on hand to cinch the waistline and give some definition.

The Bell Dress

Born into a wealthy family in northern England, Gertrude Bell (1868–1926) was a free spirit. Luckily, she had an open-minded father who allowed and probably even encouraged his daughter to chart her own course. She traveled throughout the desert states creating maps of previously uncharted territories, served as an archaeologist, and worked for the Red Cross during World War I. In her free time, she wrote books and was one of the best-known mountaineers of her time. She is also responsible for establishing the modern state of Iraq during the 1920s.

https://bastetnoir.com/products/the-cream-cotton-dress?_pos=1&_sid=33920c0b3&_ss=r

The Bell Dress, fully customizable and made-to-order 

Featuring statement bishop sleeves with a wrap around silhouette, the Bell Dress wins the award for the softest cotton fabric ever made, making it a dream to wear in spring and summer. The ruffle details give movement to the dress, while the waistband accentuates the waist’s natural curve.

The Robyn Dress 

‘Where other people might see a vast expanse of arid nothingness, Davidson saw the desert as a “limitless garden,” a place “teeming with life.”’ — as Guardian would so delicately put it, Robyn Davidson (b.1950) is an Australian writer who has crossed the Western Australian Desert using camels. She has documented her journey in her book Tracks. With over 40 years of traveling, this awe-inspiring woman known as the “desert woman” was peripherally involved in the Aboriginal Land Rights movement.

https://bastetnoir.com/products/the-olive-dress?_pos=1&_sid=8e6407047&_ss=r

The Robyn Dress, fully customizable and made-to-order

Made from a lightweight linen material that’s both breathable and structured, the Robyn Dress features a square neckline, waist belt and a sexy front slip that will most definitely turn heads.

The Freya Dress

Dame Freya Stark , was an Anglo-Italian explorer and travel writer. She was one of the first non-Arabs to travel through the southern Arabian Desert. She was also an acclaimed writer with more than two dozen books under her belt that covered her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan as well as several autobiographical works and essays.

https://bastetnoir.com/products/the-black-star-short-shirt-dress

The Freya Dress, fully customizable and made-to-order

This dress is made from the most comfortable georgette silk fabric that comes in a star print on a black base. Featuring long sleeves with a ruffle end, as well as ruffle details along the neckline and bottom hem, this romantic flowy beauty will leave anyone breathless.

The Odette Dress

Odette Loyen du Puigaudeau (1894–1991) was French ethnologist, traveler and journalist. When forced to give up her dream of working for the marine laboratory in Carthage, Tunisia, she assumed positions in fashion, working as a stylist for Jeanne Lanvin. Dressed as Moorish men, together with her partner she travelled the Western Sahara to research the region’s nomads.

https://bastetnoir.com/products/the-cream-abstract-dress?_pos=1&_sid=cd987a194&_ss=r

The Odette Dress, fully customizable and made-to-order 

Made from the most comfortable cotton & viscose blend fabric, this abstract paint splatter print elevates what would be considered an everyday dress and turns it into a romantic dream that makes you feel like the main character in a 1990s French movie. The Odette Dress features a semi-sweetheart neckline, thick straps and a skirt with a wrap-around look, adorned with flowy ruffles.

For more details about the photoshoot, make sure you check this.

Daring, functional, sassy and comfy, the collection is available to shop on our site as well as through our carefully selected network of trusted retail partners.

The Desert Sun Collection is made entirely out of deadstock materials, which means limited quantities are available. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Click here to get the pieces while they’re still in stock.

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