The Guangzhou International Textile and Fabric Market is the destination for almost all designers and fashion brands. And it is no wonder why- this fabric hub is home to over 4,000 textile, accessory, and fabric trim shops all in one market. Lead designer, Jose takes us through his experience at the Guangzhou Market during his visit to China back in June, giving us another snippet of his design process for Jasmine Bridal’s Spring 2020 Collection.

Along with the design team and CEO Kyle, Jose started his fabric shopping trip early in the morning- the most ideal time to visit the market. If you can only imagine, traffic only gets heavier as the day goes on. Many motorbikes and trucks transport hundreds of pounds of fabric bolts to fulfill orders from the day, this can get very stressful. At the mega-mall, each floor carries different textiles, including the first floor carrying all sorts of accessories- buttons, trims, ribbons, rhinestones, and so much more- totaling it to 7 floors. Just reading this sounds overwhelming, but with extensive knowledge in textiles and having a plan of attack, the Jasmine Bridal Spring 2020 came out flawlessly, thanks to the entire design team.

To describe the market in three words, Jose chose, “Over the top”. Jose last visited the market about 10 years ago, but since then, there has been so much change and development of the entire market that he found it astounding. Everything from the quality of fabrics to the size of the market itself has evolved and doesn’t even compare to years ago. Products and overall operations are much more modernized and efficient. He also was impressed by the grade of fabrics that have truly come such a long way that he saw resemblances in couture shows he attended in Paris. But not only have the quality of fabrics vastly improved, the variety of options increased as well. In the past, he would see the same things at each store, yet during this trip, repeat designs/construction were kept at a minimum because of the technical and creative innovation of the market.

Endless samples of lace

Jasmine Bridal has been a life-long customer of the Guangzhou Market, so the design team made it easy for Jose to find the highest quality products at the shops. Not many sellers can speak English, so as a foreigner, your only form of communication is either a calculator with the price on it or hiring a fabric buying agent to assist you on the trip. Luckily, Jose was with the design team, who is very well-known at market, so shopping was a breeze. He was able to give them his fabric wish list and either within the same day or the next day he received all the swatches. Jose described this as “better than being kid in a candy store”. Instant satisfaction!

As a designer, Jose is fond of working with lace fabrics. He loves working with lace because it’s one of the few fabrics that lends itself to many silhouettes. It can also be interpreted into something romantic, traditional, ethereal or even sexy- this fabric translates well. Lace has been such a staple fabric in the bridal industry for years, so it’s easy to see why Jose gravitates to it. This fabric is also somewhat nostalgic for Jose as it reminds him of his heritage and attending many church weddings as a child. While at the fabric market, Jose was inspired by the many designs of lace he came across. His process for the designs of Spring 2020 were influenced by the lace patterns and the nature around him in China. By not only seeing, but feeling the fabrics at the market made his design methods more thorough and profound. Jose did have some sketches at the market with him, so that made it easier to pair a fabric to the draping and silhouette of the gowns. Because of the market’s large fabric selection, he found more interesting textures and looks for some of the upcoming season’s dresses by building it around the perfect fabric. To Jose, “the perfect marriage is when you can’t remember if it was the fabric or the sketch that came first.  It makes the design more organic and meant to be.”

Jose can be as creative as he wants because all of the shops can and are developing new ideas and are also unlike one another. It’s as easy as giving them a sketch or inspiration and they will execute it for Jasmine Bridal. His trip to the market has unequivocally evolved his technique for designing.