Each collection is a journey. The journey often begins with an emotion, a piece of writing, or a dream -- something that Dira wants to explore further in physical form. Whatever form the initial inspiration takes, the designer goes into sketching mode, developing the inspiration a bit further, followed by visual research. This stage of the design process culminates in a "mood board' or visual pastiche of images, colors, yarns and fabrics, that sets the tone for the remainder of the collection.
Once the 'mood board' is complete, Dira dives into the next phase of the design process where she begins designing original knitted textiles (swatches) for the collection. Elements from the mood board, directly influence the textures, colors, and techniques employed in the swatches. The designer uses several techniques to create the knitted swatches, including traditional hand-knitting, manual machine knitting (or looming), and in some cases uses digital knitting software to create original textures not possible by other means.
After the swatching process is complete, Dira chooses the best swatches from the group for further development into garments and accessories. At this stage, the designer also begins to consider woven fabrics that may complement her knitted swatches.
In addition to using commercially available colors, Dira also develops her own color palettes, incorporating natural dyes, including Sandalwood and Black Walnut.
During this phase, the designer sets out to find the best materials for the collection, incorporating local wools and overstock fabrics from luxury fashion companies based in New York City.
SAMPLING & PRODUCTION
Each collection concludes with the creation and testing of sample and final garments. Dira works with a local team of artisans and small factories in New York City and in Great Britain, her second home, to produce each collection.