Gemini Casual: Development, Part 2 of 3
September 29th, 2015
“Relaxed fit” can easily become carte blanche for total shapelessness (think: parachute back) – which is the exact opposite of what we envisioned for Gemini Casual. Like all of our garments, its functionality would be dependent on the body in motion. And while a more relaxed shape was the plan, the shirt's design still needed to align with the body’s shape in order to actually work.
We started out with a proof-of-concept design (pictured below) on which we could try our our ideas for material as well as details like buttons and pockets. Since the Gemini Casual would boast a relaxed shape, it was that much more important that its details were polished.
Bonding – which we wanted to use in lieu of sewing for flat seams and a sleeker aesthetic overall – was tough to get right. If we didn’t use enough pressure or heat, the seam’s bond wouldn’t be strong, but too much pressure and heat would lead to fabric damage. The above prototype was a test to see if the bonding was strong enough.
To keep the shirt’s construction sharp and clean, we knew that we wanted its panels, button holes, and chest pocket all to be laser-cut. But getting the laser-cutter's power and speed right is similarly difficult. Too much power makes for less precise cuts and can cause burning (which leaves actual burn marks on the fabrics), but too little power just won't cut through. So the challenge was hitting that balance. And it took a lot of trial and error.
Since the Gemini Casual's body would be more universal, it was clear that the back yoke was where we could make the biggest upgrade. (It's the panel that stretches across your upper back.) As you reach forward or bend over, that part of your shirt receives the most stress. Taking this into consideration when developing the yoke, we laser-cut the panel into into a curved shape that's extra conducive to movement.
For a shirt to be untuckable, it needs to have the right hemline. We decided to slightly flattened the curved shape we’d used for the more formal Gemini, so its more relaxed iteration looked like it was meant to be untucked.
We also decided to put tape dots over the threads at the back of the collar and cuff buttons. It’s a subtle add, but goes a long way in protecting against irritation at sensitive spots like your wrists and neck.