The spring/summer 2014 season marked the 17th show for Amy Smilovic, designer and founder of the beloved fashion brand Tibi. Three days before her collection was due to showcase at NYFW (Saturday, September 7), we were invited to glimpse at her new designs and chat about her inspiration: Travel. "We refer to (the collection) as 'Asia to Arizona,' because it starts in the rice paddies of Bali and you end up in the Arizona desert," she told InStyle.com "It's about the grittiness of getting to your destination and what it's like getting there. A lot of the prints are distressed, oil-stained or dip-dyed. The collection represents the journey of getting there." Her line-up begins with a more rustic vibe that ends with "fresh, clean, bright, happy" looks. Click through to see all the behind-the-scenes shots and read about her process, lessons learned from her years as a designer, and regrets.
1. Rice Paddies Were a Source of Inspiration
"The embroidery details were literally inspired by rice paddies," Smilovic said as she pointed to the dress.
2. The Tibi S/S 2014 Line-Up
"I say this every time, but this really is my favorite collection we’ve done. Fall 2013 and this collection just comes down to whether we’d wear every single piece in the line."
3. Her Take On Crop Tops
"The collection starts in the darker vein, like the grittiness of traveling and getting there, but then it ends up very fresh, clean with lots of layering pieces. There are a lot of crop tops-that’s been going for a really long time, but it still feels like a fresh and modern way to wear things now."
4. Unexpected Embellishments
"We did do embellishments, but on different places, like on the runway shoes. Wherever we did embellishments, wherever we did beading, we mixed everything with wood, so it has that organic feel. We have a lot of wooden accessories."
5. A Close-Up of the Wood Hats
"These wood hats are made by these guys in Italy and I randomly found them and contacted them. They made these for us for the show. We’re using a lot of the baseball caps, so we ordered a couple more and they’re going to rush them out to us."
6. A Close-Up Of the Wood Clutch
"We have these wood clutches (by Tesler + Mendelovitch). They're hand-signed and lined in leather. These guys I found are from Tel Aviv, Israel. We’ll sell them at the store. They literally come in these wood coffins. So beautiful. All wood-so cool."
7. Amy Smilovic Models The Wood Clutch
"The wood clutches are so comfortable, they're almost engineered to fit your hand perfectly," Smilovic demonstrated.
8. The Hair and Makeup Inspiration
"We haven’t done the hair and makeup yet. Right now, we’re looking at almost creating hat head effect when you have a hat on your head and it’s smushed down to here and a little drier and eased out at the bottom. For makeup, we’re going to keep it more natural and clean. Whenever I’ve done a show and used really heavy makeup, I’ve always regretted it."
9. Fashion Week Lessons Learned and Regrets
"I feel good. I’m at a calm place. It’s my 17th show now. I feel like I know what to expect, and I really love the line. I’ve learned that I always hated if we did too much. If there’s too much going on-I always regret it later on. I like things clean and a little simpler," Smilovic said in her impeccable Tibi showroom.