My Spring 2021 Collection | Inspiration, Designing, and Sustainability

Hi everyone, it’s Emily! 

Over the last few months, I have been working on my latest spring collection called Darling. Today I want to go over through each of my styles and talk about my inspirations, how I designed them, and how I incorporated sustainable practices within the collection. 

So let’s get started!

My Inspiration

mood board - fashion design

Continuing with the idea of slow fashion through timeless and effortless styles, Darling champions the idea of barefoot glamour through sweet, feminine designs. This high-end beach style inspired collection exudes warm shades of rosy peach, touches of light aqua blue and gold against stark white. Since we have been in lockdown for a year now, I wanted to create a collection that would help a woman feel prepared and excited for this spring and summer. Most of all I really just wanted the woman wearing these pieces to be comfortable and happy. 

So it consists of fuss-free pieces; you don't have to think too much about when or how to wear them. They are very versatile in that you can really dress them up or down. The standouts include easy breezy everyday sets; feminine, gracefully draped dresses; and billowing tops and jackets in neutral tones that pop against the other colors of the collection. 

The Styles: the Design Process 

The Annie Coat

Annie coat- slow fashion brand

The Annie coat is defined by its trench style details - note the traditional storm flaps, prominent collar, and adjustable belt that ties into a bow. Made from lightweight twill weave cotton, it fits slim at the waist before falling to a flowy, above-the-knee length circle skirt that mirrors the softly draped bell sleeve. This ivory fabric with a light pink hue goes especially well with this season's animal prints. The Annie dress is versatile enough to wear with heels or layered over jeans and a T-shirt. 

Originally when I had started designing this coat, I used full circle patterns for the skirt and the panels at the top. For those of you not familiar with fashioned design, that means I cut a huge circle where the radius is the length of the skirt. I have to say it looked hilarious.

 My original sample looked like it was out of maybe the 18th century with all of the frills. A little something like this:

seinfeld puffy shirt - fashion blog

If you know, you know!

I had to scale back and use box pleated panels on the bodice. When designing this I really wanted to create a flowy top and bottom with a tight waist, so the contrast would accentuate a woman’s curves. I also used the bell sleeve to help create this effect.

box pleats - annie coat

The Coco Skirt and Top

Designed with super soft, chain printed, silk jersey fabric, the Coco Top is designed to be worn with the Coco Skirt. This perfectly fitted top features a V neckline and cropped silhouette. I envisioned this one with high rise pants or wear the matching set with a cropped blazer or denim jacket.

The Coco Skirt nips in at the waist and bursts into a beautiful asymmetric gathered handkerchief skirt. I love the asymmetry of the skirt. It can really elongate the body. The luxurious chain print fabrication makes it feel surprisingly lightweight and fluid. You could style this skirt with white slip-on sneakers or dress it up with strappy heels and a mini bag. 

I actually shot this piece barefoot. I felt so grounded and joyful being able to move so freely in this outfit. I love matching sets because they’re easy and versatile. You wear them with other separates or if you don’t want to think too hard, you wear them together, and it creates a unique, luxe look. Originally I planned to make this a dress, but the two piece look seemed a little more modern and economical for a wardrobe. 

The shape of this skirt uses a ton of fabric. When cutting a handkerchief hem, you’re basically cutting a huge rectangle, and when it’s gathered, you have to make it twice as big. It’s a lot of silk fabric! But creates a beautiful look. 

The Claire Top and Marcy Pant

The Claire Top is made for sun- drenched locations with its light breathable cropped silhouette. This sleeveless top is made from white cotton matelassé and features asymmetric patchwork style lines with a front button up closure and built in bra cups for added support. It’s actually a matching set with a piece I haven’t released yet. It will be out in the summer so stay tuned!

The Claire Top has very unique details. If you look closely, there are asymmetric style lines. This piece I had to shoot in a different light so you could see the detail. Each panel on the top is different, which made it very hard to fit. You’d be surprised what it takes to make a simple crop top fit when there’s over 10 seams in a consolidated design.

marcy pant- fashion blog

The Marcy Pant is cut from a breathable cotton fabric with a high-rise waist and gathered ruffle at the top. This fully lined paper bag style pant tapers at the ankle and features a stitched box pleat at the waistband that makes the fit a little roomier around the hips. The ruffle at the waist is complemented by the cinched waistband for a flattering silhouette. 

I’m so proud of the Marcy pant because the fit is so flattering and comfortable. When I made the original sample, I had so much fabric. I had to make the pleat smaller and take in the excess fabric to make it more flattering. 

The Grace Top and Elizabeth Skirt

The Grace Top has a fresh, youthful energy while maintaining the timelessness of the main collection. Made from white seersucker cotton, this top is cut for a slightly loose fit that's tempered by a gathered midriff and a mandarin collar. The slight high low hemline adds an elongating touch to the silhouette. 

I love the simplicity of this top. I could see it being worn on the streets of Paris with a leather pant or somewhere in the countryside picking berries. The cotton seersucker takes me back to childhood. 

I shot this top with the Elizabeth skirt, which is a fitted variation of my Mickayla skirt from last season. 

Maria Top and Ellie Pant

Cut from a luxurious silk jersey and decorated with a very chic chain print, this sleeveless top wraps at the waist and drapes beautifully with a high low hem. It has two buttons at the waist and comes with a belt that ties for the perfect fit. The Maria Top is designed to be worn with the Ellie Pant. Pair this flattering, timeless look with gold jewelry and espadrilles to your next beach soirée. 

I had a lot of fun designing this. I draped it on the mannequins due to its loose fit. Draping is the most fun way to design in my opinion because you really interact with the fabric. You can see how it interacts with the figure - the way it drapes and flows. It made it a lot easier to create a final design. 


As I have spoken before in the past, I identify with the small maker. I mean that I produce everything on a small scale. I make everything to order to reduce waste and excess inventory. For this spring collection, I did something a little different. I utilized mostly deadstock fabrics, meaning fabrics that are leftover from other designers. Because I produce on a  smaller scale, I can get away with sourcing fabrics in this manner. I love being able to take waste and make something beautiful out of it. Any fabrics I used that weren’t deadstock, I made sure to use biodegradable natural fibers like cotton that are easier to recycle, especially when not used in blends. 

Comment below if you’d like me to do more videos/blogs on my fashion brand. Let me know if you have any questions or specific topics you’d like me to cover. Subscribe to my channel and click the bell to get notified when I upload new videos every Friday!. Thanks for watching and have a great day!

Watch the full YouTube video here:

 What to watch next? 

Watch my video on Finding Inspiration

Watch my video on Slow Fashion and Why I Believe in the Model

Watch my video on Designing from a Mood Board | 3 Steps to Bring Your Collection to Life 

Watch this video on Fashion Design in the Circular Economy

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