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How I created a spring-summer collection for fashion brand Oasis

In this blog, BA (Hons) Fashion student Cassidy El-Fazazi takes us behind the scenes of her second-year industry collaboration project, working on a live brief from fashion brand Oasis. Cassidy talks us through what inspired the 12-outfit collection: ‘Life is good’ and how she tailored the pieces to appeal to the ideal Oasis customer.

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What was the brief? 

Our brief was to design a 12-outfit collection for the fashion brand Oasis in our recent industry collaboration project. We had to create a customer profile, and since they’ve recently had a rebrand, we tried to appeal to the younger side of their target market, bringing the age down from 35 to 25. The brief focused a lot on print, giving us the task of designing approx. five prints to use across styles. We also needed to consider how our prints would work as a collective so there were no clashes.

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What was your initial idea? How did you get your project going?

We knew we wanted to create a spring-summer collection and use lots of floral prints and airy fabrics from the start. Shruti, our concept creator, actually got the idea for our concept from looking at Oasis’ Instagram page. They have an Instagram highlight that they regularly post to about the Oasis feel-good club, which is all about self-care and loving yourself. We used this and combined it with people’s urge to get back to nature post lockdown to create the ‘Life is Good’ concept. 

We started developing prints and doing sketches using lots of florals and insects like dragonflies, butterflies, and bees. Our head of print, Grace, did lots of watercolour painting for backgrounds and the main detail on the prints, which I overlayed with textures that I drew on my iPad to make a delicate floral print.

What advice were you given in crits? 

Michelle, our industry mentor, gave us a lot of feedback and helped us narrow down our prints based on the customer and what would be most commercial. She also gave us advice about or final line-up and what would be considered bestsellers, any adjustments we could make to improve the outfits and what may not be working. We were also advised to print out all the designs that we liked as a group so we could rearrange and see what would work for our collection.

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Did you get stuck on anything while developing the collection?

When working with a group it’s super important that everybody has equal input into the project. However, when it comes to finalising collections, sometimes designs that you may have really liked get cut because they don’t fit the line-up, or it’s not quite right for the brand. It can be quite hard to make sure you’re not taking things personally, but at the end of the day when we move on to work in industry this is what’s going to happen. Not everybody is going to like your work and that’s okay.

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How it’s going: tell us about your collection now.

Our group is really happy with our final designs and how it’s all turned out. We designed a really light-hearted spring/summer collection that is perfect for the Oasis customer and is available in four colourways. Each colourway has a different print set, which allowed us to showcase all the work we had put into the project.

I think this project is one of the best I’ve done, and the feedback we’ve been getting made me realise just how successful the outcome is and how far I’ve come this year.

What’s been the toughest part of the project? 

The toughest part of this project for me was learning to work well in a group. I’m so used to working individually that it was little difficult at first to not take over. A few times members of our group butted heads but thankfully at a university level it’s a lot easier to have a discussion and then just get on with things. 

What feedback did you receive from Oasis?

Our final feedback from Oasis was really positive. A big compliment we received was the comments on our technical drawings, which they mentioned were of a standard higher than some of their own design team. 

We are now waiting to see if Oasis can put our work into production.

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