I’ve been talking a bit lately about consistency issues. Here’s an example of what I mean. The Precisionist satchel sustained some significant changes, both intended and unintended.
The above is a prototype of the revised Precisionist; behind it is the former prototype, the version designed right before the one in the forefront.
Here are better views for side by side comparison:
Left photos (or bags positioned at left) throughout this post are of the Precisionist First Sample. Right photos (or bags positioned at right) are of the revised Precisionist Second Sample. In other words, “before” and “after” shots.
If you glance quickly, you might not pick out the differences, so let’s go through them, one by one. Do let me know which changes you like and which you do not, which details I should keep from the left first sample and which I should keep from the right second sample.
Hubby prefers the flap detail on the First Sample. Although I don’t like that First Sample flap detail because it’s absolutely not functional in any way, I don’t like the Second Sample either. We’re going to have find a detail design between the First and the Second… so for that part, it’s back to sketching.
Here is an unintended change. I like how the reconstructed bow detailing looks on the First Sample. I did not want any changes to it. As you can see, the factory took liberties and changed it on the Second Sample, which is interesting since ideally the same pattern should have been used to make both the First and Second. Oh well. Fortunately, this is an easy alteration.
Also, note that there is contrast stitching in the First Sample, but in the second, the thread color is matched to the material color. One of the signatures of Taryn Zhang bags, at least in this first collection, is the contrast stitching. I love that duality concept and want to make it an integral part of my design theory.
However, this is where we have to learn to overcome our insecurities as a designer. Someone told me that same color stitching on the Precisionist would look better than the contrast stitching. I wasn’t so sure, but I also wasn’t so sure of myself. Thus, I listened and changed the Precisionist from contrast stitching as seen in the First Sample to what you see in the Second Sample. Now, I’m sure that I was right. The contrast stitching is better. The only point I might concede to is that the color of the thread I chose for the First Sample is too dark. I should use a gray.
Here is an intended change but the actual result is unintended. I thought perhaps having 2 different compartments would be a good idea, one open with a magnetic snap closure flap, and one zipper compartment. Nope. It looks terrible. Back to the First Sample version.
The favorability of the contrast stitching becomes most apparent in the back view. Also, the Second Sample is missing the studding detail on the top corners. The little things always make a big difference.
We changed the zipper heads on all bags. The First Sample zipper heads were made of the same material as the bag. I realized when I received the bags that this looks terrible, so I shopped around for cuter zipper heads and found the metal ones to the right, as you see in the Second Sample. Too bad that isn’t a clear shot of it.
Also, note the handle bases. I changed the handle base on the Precisionist to be consistent with the handle bases of the other TZ handbags in the collection. The changes gives a greater sense of fluidity throughout this collection.
My biggest gripe with the Second Sample is the unintended change in seams. In the Second Sample, the bag is sewn inside out, then reversed to give it that seam effect. I don’t like it, at least not for the Precisionist. Typically, doing this gives a cleaner more streamlined silhouette. But in this particular case, I like the First Sample seam better, with of course a few minor improvements to make it smoother. It’s a bit lumpy dumpy in the First Sample.
Another change to the side walls: the V-scoop open pockets. Also, the Second Sample Precisionist comes with 2 zipper pouches that fit snugly in the side pockets. You don’t have to keep them there, though. You can stuff them with knick knacks and store them inside the bag. I just thought not having side pockets as you see in the First Sample was a waste of space.
In conclusion, sampling for the Precisionist is nowhere near complete. We still do not have a prototype that yields us 100% satisfaction. I really don’t know how other designers do this. Every day is an uphill battle.