Do you ever think about what it is that makes a style work? It is it the handle? The proportions? The size, the fabric, or the color? Is it a secret ingredient like a person’s love for the food they’re preparing?
Over the years, we’ve gotten pretty good at sitting down, looking at our sketches, deciding what bag will work with the line, putting aside the designs that are beautiful but don’t fit with our vision for MATT & NAT. Feedback is a crucial part of the process for a creative person, meant to help gain perspective, question and understand better what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Last week, I was browsing through Lifehacker (I’m officially obsessed, more on that in another post… it has nothing to do with computer hacking) and I came across this video about receiving and giving criticism from Scott Berkun. Scott is an author that writes about ideas and how they work, and I’ve just recently picked up his book Mindfire: Big ideas for curious minds. I thought that I would share his invaluable advice for designers (or any creatives really) and the people giving them feedback. I want to say that I wish I had seen this video years ago, but as my friend always tells me: timing is everything, and I may not have been ready to hear this advice back in the day.
How to give and receive criticism:
Partie 3: la revue des croquis.
Avez-vous déjà pensé à ce qui fait qu’un sac a du style? Est-ce la poignée? Les proportions? La taille, le tissu ou la couleur? Il y a t’il un ingrédient secret comme quand une personne cuisine avec amour?
Au fil des ans, nous nous sommes habitués aux meetings pour évaluer nos croquis, et il nous est devenu plus facile de savoir si un style est en ligne avec notre direction, et évident de mettre de côté les idées qui sont belles, mais ne cadrent pas avec notre vision de MATT & NAT. Le feedback est un élément crucial du processus pour une personne créative, destiné à aider à mettre les choses en perspective, à questionner et à mieux comprendre ce que vous essayez d’accomplir.
La semaine dernière, je surfais sur le site Lifehacker (je suis officiellement obsédée, plus de détails dans un autre post … ça n’a rien à voir avec le piratage informatique) et je suis tombée sur cette vidéo de Scott Berkun sur le feedback. Scott est un auteur qui écrit à propos des idées en général et comment elles fonctionnent. Je viens récemment de commencer à lire son livre intitulé Mindfire: De grandes idées pour les esprits curieux. Je voulais vraiment partager ces précieux conseils pour les designers (et tout les gens dans un domaine créatif en fait) et les gens en charge de leur donner du feedback. J’allais dire que j’aurais aimé avoir vu cette vidéo à mes débuts, mais comme mon ami me dit toujours: le timing est important pour ce genre de chose, et je n’aurais peut être pas été prête à entendre ces conseils à l’époque.
Voici comment donner et recevoir des critiques:
Montreal. A city whose culture radiates regardless of what season we’re in. Spending a winter in Montreal can get freezing cold (we just had a week of -30! & survived it luckily!) Though keeping active and participating in the numerous activities around the city makes the winters pass by in the blink of an eye. This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite nights in Montreal “Nuit Blanche”. An inspiring night with 5 different districts around the city filled with visual arts, music, film, theater, dance, literature and more. The city comes alive right in the heart of winter. Over 185 activities & an underground art passage, take a stroll, and hop into the many places offering free events!
You can download a map depending on what district you will be in, and join myself and many Montrealers for 24 hours of art, exhibitions & music! Here are a few events that I’m looking forward to:
ABC : MTL—A Self-Portrait of Montreal / CCA : Vernissage of the final phase of our latest project, ABC : MTL—A Self-Portrait of Montréal. For one night only, especially for the Nuit blanche, drop in on performances by Montréal artists, and catch the live bands, karaoke, and family activities. www.cca.qc.ca/nuitblanche
Sara Graham StreetFinder is a collection of photographs that questions the “literal” meaning of road maps.
Raymond Aubin Tissu urbain Daily life on a sidewalk of Times Square photographed through a public webcam.
You can make your own schedule here!
I just got back from PROJECT, a trade show that we participate in twice a year and was pleasantly surprised to see that amongst all the craziness going on in sin city, there is a mandate to be more sustainable…
I try to stay at the the Wynn whenever I can, not because their gardens and lobby are absolutely stunning or because they have the largest Ferrari and Rolex showcase in North America but because every one of their exquisite restaurants offers a separate vegetarian menu. At Tableau I had what seemed like a gourmet vegan egg mcmuffin for breakfast yesterday, I have to say that I was very impressed. Was also the best damn freshly squeezed O.J. I’ve had in a long time, no, not all fresh O.J.’s are the same, some places are whimsical enough to blend in clementines, tangerines…
The Mandalay Bay encourages you not to worry about recycling your trash at their property because they physically go through everything to separate recyclables. This all gets topped off by plans to light up the strip with solar power over coming years.
For a city that has always had a reputation for being over the top, seems like some of the hotels can be examples for other properties around the world. I’m happy to report that I no longer have to feel so sinful when heading out there twice a year
Part 2 of our weekly post about the design process: get your sketch on!
The design process of new styles begins where we left off last week, having picked our colors and materials for the season (because it’s always good to know what palette you get to play with). We used to travel for a few days every season, getting inspired by walking endlessly, soaking in the architecture, the people, the art exhibits. These days though, we like to reduce the noise from the outside world—and our carbon footprint at the same time—really focusing on our vision for the aesthetic of the brand (linear! powerful! functional!) and imagining what bags we would want to carry. Sometimes that means isolating ourselves for a few hours to sketch and get all the initial ideas out on paper, not thinking too much about construction yet, but just playing with the lines and proportions until we’re feeling it. We listen to lots of music in the process, the Velvet Underground, Beach House, and Pink Floyd are regulars on the playlist.
Next week if you want I’ll tell you how we once followed a Japanese dude around the Vancouver airport, mesmerized because he was carrying a satchel (a manbag?) in the perfect shade of green with just the right zipper detail.
Partie 2 de notre blog hebdomadaire sur le processus de conception: sortez vos croquis !
Le processus de conception de nouveaux styles commence là où nous nous étions arrêtés la semaine dernière, après avoir choisi nos couleurs et nos matériaux pour la collection (en effet, c’est toujours mieux savoir avec quoi on va travailler). Nous avions l’habitude de voyager quelques jours chaque saison, de marcher pendant des heures à travers une ville, s’imprégnant de l’architecture, des gens, de la culture. Ces jours-ci, on sent moins la nécessité de voyager. On préfère vraiment se concentrer sur l‘expression de notre vision artistique pour MATT & NAT, que l’on voit comme une ligne fonctionnelle avec des formes intéressantes, différentes mais toujours pratiques. Cela nous permet de réduire notre empreinte carbone en même temps! En termes pratiques, On s’isole pendant quelques heures pour esquisser et sortir toutes les idées initiales sur papier, sans se soucier trop des détails techniques de construction pour pouvoir être plus libres d’inventer de nouvelles formes. On trouve que la musique aide beaucoup la créativité, et entre le Velvet Underground, Beach House, et Pink Floyd, il y a toujours quelque chose qui joue sur notre iPod au bureau.
La semaine prochaine, si vous voulez, on vous raconte comment une fois on a suivi un gars japonais à travers tout l’aéroport de Vancouver, fascinés parce que son sac avait une nuance de vert parfaite.
Each week, on our Facebook page we have a weekly giveaway! We recently decided it would be fun to add something personal to the giveaway. From now on, once a month, we will have our “favorites of the month” to go along with the bag : ) This week, being the month of February and love being in the air, our pick was my favorite book Essays in love by Alain de Botton.
It’s rare that I pick up a book and get glued to it until the last page. Often I’ll start a few books, but never finish them. De Botton’s Essays in love was everything I could ask for when recently dealing with a breakup & wanting to read a love story. Unlike most happy classic romance novels, this book takes you through each stage of being in love: the good, the ugly, the breakups, heartbreak and the healing process. He shares intimate moments when you can laugh with him & cry at the same time following his passionate, romantic, heart wrenching relationship with Chloe, a woman he met on a flight from London to Paris and rapidly fell in love with. Since I’ve read it, I’ve loaned it to all my friends, each whom connected with it at different levels. It’s a good read for everyone who’s been in a relationship and simultaneously confused by them. His way of analyzing emotions that we’ve all felt but perhaps never understood so well made what I was going through make more sense, and aided the healing process. It’s a book I can re-read a hundred times & want to pass around to everyone. He has a way of writing positive outlooks when confronted with the many low parts of being confused and in love. It’s uplifting & encouraging. For this reason, I hope the Winner of our valentine’s day giveaway whom we will be choosing today, enjoys it just as much as I did : )
So it’s officially 6 weeks since the start of 2013… how are you feeling ? The top New Year’s resolutions tend to involve health and spending more time with friends and loved ones. I made a resolution to not make any resolutions which seems to be working out ok !
I did come across this short story this week that reminded me of the following: we are not in control of our future however we are in complete control of our choices in the present moment. Our choices and behavior are affected by our perspective, hope this fable reminds you of some simple truths as it did for myself and helps shape your desired reality….
Just outside a small village, on a hot day, an old man is
sitting by the roadside. Soon, a traveler from another village
stops to rest.
“Old man,” says the traveler, “What are the people like in
The old man asks the traveler, “What are the people like in
“They are mean-spirited, vindictive, and selfish.”
“Ah…” sighs the old man. “I am sorry to say the people in
this village are also mean-spirited, vindictive, and selfish.”
A while later, another traveler stops to rest and he, too,
asks the old man what the people are like in this village.
The old man responds as before, “What are the people
like in your village?”
The traveler smiles warmly and says, “They are the most
caring people I have ever known. They are warm, open,
and will go out of their way to help you if you are ever
The old man smiles back and says, “The people in this
village are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
They are warm, outgoing, and kind.”
The irony of the story is that, not only were both travelers
going to the same village, both were also coming from
the same village. Each traveler found the old man’s description
to be true because each traveler saw the world
from his own perspective.
The way each traveler thought directly affected his
impressions of the people he attracted and those with
whom he interacted. His perspective shaped his reality.
Ever wanted to know how we go about designing our collections every season? Where we get the inspiration, how we choose our colors, or how we develop the samples? We’ve decided to launch a weekly Wednesday post that will give you more insight into our design process and into what goes on behind the scenes in our office.
These days, we’re already working on our Spring 14 collection. That’s right, we work the collections pretty much a full year in advance! The first step in our process is to decide what materials and colors will go in the line next year. We won’t lie, it’s one of the most fun aspects of the job, getting to research trends and be inspired by colors and the world around us. We look at a little bit of everything from trend reports and magazines to furniture and interior design. We also travel occasionally to visit cities like NY or London; traveling is always good for the soul and we like getting a sense of what’s out there. But in truth, picking colors for the season is based in a large part on instinct, and we are our own toughest clients sometimes. We pin color swatches on a cork board, we’ll take one down, put a new one up and keep adjusting until we’re satisfied that the palette is balanced, rich, and feels new to us.
Vous avez toujours voulu savoir comment nous concevons nos collections chaque saison? D’où vient notre inspiration, comment choisissons-nous les couleurs, ou la façon dont nous développons les échantillons? Nous avons décidé de lancer un post hebdomadaire chaque mercredi qui vous donnera une meilleure idée de notre processus de conception et de ce qui se passe dans les coulisses de notre bureau.
Ces jours-ci, nous travaillons déjà sur notre collection de printemps 14. Effectivement, nous travaillons les collections à peu près un an à l’avance! La première étape de notre processus est de décider quels matériaux et couleurs iront dans la ligne de l’année prochaine. C’est l’un des aspects les plus fun de la job, rechercher les tendances et se laisser inspirer par les couleurs et le monde qui nous entoure. Nous recherchons les tendances un peu partout : magazines, internet, et même la déco intérieure. Nous voyageons aussi occasionnellement pour visiter des villes comme New York ou Londres, voyager est bon pour s’ouvrir l’esprit et nous aimons avoir une idée de ce qui passe ailleurs. Mais en vérité, l’instinct joue une grande partie dans notre choix de couleurs, et nous sommes notre propre client le plus exigeant parfois. Nous plaçons les échantillons de couleur sur un mur en liège, puis nous enlevons une couleur, en rajoutons une autre, et ainsi de suite jusqu’à ce que nous soyons totalement satisfaits que la palette est équilibrée, riche et originale.
One of our webinars this week was brought to us by the lovely folks over at STYLESIGHT regarding fall 2014 trends. Beyond the multitude of movements and happenings that will be shaping up the next 18 months, 1 in particular caught my eye on a totally different level, quietude and introverts. Apparently the 20th century was the century of extroverts, lots of noise, bigger is better. The 21st century seems to be lead by a group that is a little quieter, one may even say a little modest.
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
As a brand and community we like to consider ourselves under the radar, it’s where we feel the most comfortable. It’s also not by coincidence that some of the brands we appreciate are somewhat understated, acne, m0851, margiela…
I’m not sure if I’ll be picking up Susan Cain’s book: The Power of the Introvert but I am curious to see if fashion for fall ’13 will have an understated, quiet confident feel to it.