How to Curate a Collection

One of my favorite aspects of designing and working in a creative field is determining the direction of the piece or the collection. I love curating. I've been an active user of Pinterest and Tumblr for ages just because I find it fun! So let's talk about curated collections.

A curated collection can be anything: a Pinterest board, a mood board (physical or digital), a collage, a new swimwear collection, a photo gallery on a wall, an Instagram account, an interior design board for a room makeover, a stack of books, anything that needs to be cohesive, have direction, and inspire a feeling.

It can seem overwhelming when you first start out. Everything is gorgeous! All the colors rock! This vibe makes you feel just as much as that vibe! Slowww down.

My first tip is to start either with a color, or a texture, or a single photo. Think about what's been sticking in your mind lately. Do you keep buying things in the same color blue? What's similar about the last 20 pictures you liked in Instagram? What location are you obsessed with vacationing next? Look at your recent clothing purchases, is there a trend you can identify?

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Once you've picked something, start gathering everything that either has similar colors, or makes you feel the same way. We're talking about intuition and gut feeling. 

I loved this photo (right) as soon as I saw it, and knew that was the direction I wanted to take my next collection of swimwear. But how do you get from one photo to a collection of bikinis? 

Like likes like. I started paying attention to things that felt similar and realized I was dreaming of a French getaway that was more rustic than chic. Here's what else felt right.

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I was obsessed with Jamie Beck's Ann Street Studio Instagram account documenting her artistic exploration in France. I had just finished reading Driving Over Lemons, a story based in Andalusia. And neutral colors were calling out to me, especially that dusty rose color and a sagey green. So I started browsing Spoonflower for swatches that felt the way these images made me feel and found the perfect Orange Blossom print. From there I created a few custom colors, fell in love with a muted floral pattern, and picked up some more black fabric that just fit. Here's what resulted:

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This method can be applied to all kinds of curating. Let's review.

1. Pick a color, or one central image.
2. Gather everything that feels or looks similar.
3. Begin to pair things off or group them, identify uniting themes.
4. Remove ruthlessly anything that doesn't fit.
5. Take the next step with your project!

It's that simple, and I wish you luck with your next curation project! Share them with me here or on Instagram!

Ps. Shop the new collection colors by shopping on Etsy or send me a DM on Instagram.