BEHIND THE SCENES: The making of the YOUNGBLOODS Collection
When I founded Bastet Noir several years ago, it all started on a piece of paper. While doodling, first came the name, followed immediately after by some awful handwriting of a few catchwords about what that name meant to me and some impossible, “aim for the sky” type of goals, ‘cause honestly, being realistic has never been my forte. I wanted to conquer the world from a country with extremely limited resources. Lunatic, I know, but that’s a topic for another place and time. Anyway, rewind few years later and the only thing that stayed the same from that initial idea is a keyword I’ve written down 7 years ago. Community!
When I scribbled that word I was not aware of its potency. Because even though it came naturally, as I honestly wanted to help other designers succeed far beyond the borders of my native country, I wasn’t fully aware of just how much building and shaping this platform of likeminded individuals will help the development and growth of my label. Today, even though the target community we work with is very different, that same core idea of helping others prevailed and stayed the same.
So here we are with yet another collection developed by women single parents in North Macedonia, but this time around designed in collaboration with the stylist and amazing human being, Milena Tanaskoska. Some of you might remember her from our previous collections where she was a fundamental part of every set, as she was styling the looks. This is her debut collection in collaboration with our community of women single parents and we’re taking you behind the scenes to show you the entire process. Yes, you read that right, the entire process, as we’ll be going full transparent with you, revealing our pricing policy to demonstrate why our items come with a bit pricier tag.
1. PICKING THE FABRICS & COLORS
As you probably already know by now, every single one of our collections is made of discarded fabrics which we repurpose to save these materials from ending up in the landfill. These materials include end-of-season excess and fabric pieces leftover during the cutting process, the result of factories optimising for saving time rather than minimising fabric waste, which for us means that before starting with the inspiration for any collection we have to pick out the fabrics first, as we’re not sure what we’ll find. What we do know however before starting this exhausting, but always thrilling and exciting hunt for fabrics, is that when possible, we always choose to use as many natural materials as possible. This time our Insta fam was the one who decided on the colors which helped us set the tone of the collection and ultimately the inspiration behind it.
2. THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGNS
For most part, the 70s was an exhilarating decade and a major turning point for women’s rights and women empowerment when indifferent, anti-conformist casual style ruled the world. It was a time when style became such an eclectic mix of patterns, prints, colors, exuberant shapes and variety of silhouettes. It was also a decade when sportswear for the first time became an acceptable attire for everyday wear, suede set off to be an inevitable part of every woman’s wardrobe and tailored suits turned into a staple, sort of like a must-have uniform of the educated and working woman. The name for the Youngbloods Collection is inspired by the buzzword “youngblood” which was frequently used in the 70s to indicate a person with a youthful spirit and since we’re currently entering a state of forever young attitude, we thought why not reflect that in this line. In this defiantly weird times, we all need just a little pop of color to chase away the blues. That’s what this collection has plenty of.
THE GLORIA SUIT
If there was one woman that became a voice of the 70s generation, it was Gloria Steinem. As a journalist and a social political figure, her activism back in the 70s left an indelible mark in the history of fighting for women’s rights. Today, you can not mention feminism without thinking of her. She’s become synonyms with the movement which testifies for just how big of an impact she has made.
This is why, the design for the blue corduroy suit is inspired by her fearlessness, leadership and the selfless support she gave and is still giving to so many women. The blazer design features open patch pockets with a slightly bellbottom shaped high-waisted, mid calf pants, a silhouette that definately marked the 70s.
THE DIANE DRESS
Best known for her quirky personality and androgynous style, Diane Keaton is another remarkable figure of the 70s, who’s most famous for portraying strong, independent and oftentimes funny women on screen. An Academy Award winner, Keaton’s eclectic and tomboyish look off screen makes her one hell of a fashion muse and an inexhaustible source of fashion inspiration to many generations, especially the millennial one.
The style which features a cinched waist with pleat details, shoulder pads, two side dramatic slits and side pockets is dedicated to Diane’s incredible legacy.
THE GIA CO-ORDS SET
One can not speak of the 70s without mentioning Gia Carangi. She was as many would say the world’s first supermodel whose life story was tragically cut short. Her tomboyish persona, extraordinary charisma and fast paced life which serve as a cautionary tale to many, making her one of the models whose name will live forever.
The Gia co-ords set is dedicated to her tomboyish wild, untamable spirit and forever-rebel attitude. The set comes in two different colors mint green and cream white.
THE IMAN TRENCH COAT
A model turned business mogul, Iman is one of the women whose remarkable career is still going strong long after her most prolific years as a model. Born in Somalia, she’s one of the original supermodels whose astonishing style is thrillingly powerful and gasp worthy.
The oversized emerald green trench coat is an ode to her whimsical and classy style.
THE RUTH SHIRT
Another woman who was fiercly empowering women during the 70s is Ruth Bader Ginsberg who co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the U.S. to focus exclusively on women’s rights and became the first tenured woman at Columbia University. As the second woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court of the USA, RBG was instrumental in the fight for equal rights between men and women. Sadly, she passed away few days ago.
The Ruth Shirt is inspired by her extraordinary contribution to women’s rights with its subtle wrist details, just like RBG’s collar.
THE BIRKIN SHIRT
Who doesn’t know Jane Birkin? Her simple, French look has been our go-to look since forever and we strongly believe that she’s singlehandedly responsible for popularizing that eponymous chic style French women are known for. The turquoise simple shirt is inspired by the simplicity of her outfits and always on point chicness.
THE KATE SKIRT
We started this design inspiration with a feminist, so it’s only natural that we end it with another one. As a part of a group of young, radical and untenured educators, Kate Millett’s most remarkable milestone is perhaps her engagement and activism on modernizing women’s education or in her own words she wanted to provide women with “the critical tools necessary to understand their position in a patriarchal society.” She’s the inspiration behind the flannel pencil skirt.
4. THE PROCESS OF MAKING IT
First things first, we begin with measuring and cutting the fabrics
Followed by making the patterns for the designs
After which we cut the fabrics and then proceed to sewing. Depending on the model, we spend between 4–5 hours to make one piece. And voila, after a piece is finished we proceed with the next one.
To be honest, I rarely take photos. It was actually my New Year’s resolution to do this more often, so for this photoshoot even though we were both tired, because we spent the night before at the studio of one of our production partners, working till 5am in the morning going over every single details to make sure everything’s ready and perfect, we decided to clench our teeth, get in front of the camera and pose to mark what will hopefully become a collaboration for many years to come. So this is us, the design team behind this collection shot by the incredible photographer Darko Mitev.
We aimed for a simplistic set that included few things like a chair and dry floral arrangements to make sure the designs stand out.
6. THE PRICING
Inspired by Natalie Kay from Sustainably Chic and in an attempt to help you make an informed purchase, we decided that for this collection, every piece will have a cost breakdown which you can find directly under the descriptions of every item. We want to be as transparent as possible with our customers, so this will now be publicly available. You’re welcome! :)
So there you have it gals. This is what making our last collection looked like.
Sleek, bossy and playful, The Youngbloods Collection is made entirely out of dead-stock materials, which means limited quantities are available. Can’t wait to see the pieces? Click here to browse the entire line.