C O N S U L T A T I O N
The inception of the couture process begins with an initial consultation for design services. Whether the inquiry is pertaining to a couture invitation design ensemble or the complete conceptual design and fabrication of an event, the process essentially follows the same philosophy. The consultation may be conducted via email, phone, or in person, at your convenience. Not dissimilar to an artist studying the intricate nature of his subject, this initial introduction and collaborative exchange of visions, history, cultures and passions provides the inspiration and genesis for your exclusive design.


T I M E L I N E
We recommend invitation/accoutrement consultations commence 6 to 8 months in advance of the event (though time-sensitive commissions may certainly be accommodated), noting that most invitations are mailed 2 to 3 months prior to the event. Couture ensembles typically require 1 to 2 months for the design phase, and 1 to 2 months for the fabrication, dependent upon the design complexity, quantity, papers, design elements, printing method, hand-labor required, and season. We advise allocating 2 weeks to 1 month for addressing envelopes, either hand-calligraphed or digital calligraphy, and an additional 2 weeks to 1 month should designs reflect ornamental embellishments, hand-lined envelopes, custom wax seals, limited-edition artwork, unique packaging or hand delivery.


Each ensemble is an exclusive creation and may infuse a wide array of components and services requiring tedious individualized attention, design and fabrication. Event Design, Planning and Management commissions, generally abundant in detail, necessitate precise orchestration and are therefore customarily commissioned one year or more in advance. Intricate customized timelines are intrinsic to providing the optimum attentiveness to detail, reflecting all phases of the design process, suggested deadlines and payment schedule.

  

S E R V I C E S
The firm specializes in couture invitation design and full-service event design and planning. Distinctive concepts find harmony in a precarious balance between delicate and bold details, traditional and non-traditional design elements, contemporary and vintage aesthetics and structured stylization. A couture invitation ensemble is ultimately an expression of individuality. The statement ensemble may incorporate any of the following: save-the-date card, invitation, reception card, response card, program, direction card, itineraries, custom map, and all corresponding envelopes. Escort cards/envelopes, custom seating chart, table numbers, menus, favors and signage are also design elements which complement and enhance an original concept.

The event design philosophy is to echo this expression of individuality… Event design services entail any or all of the following: qualifying/contracting ideal venues and vendors; acting liaison between client and vendor; scheduling site tours, arranging necessary procurements ie: catering, entertainment (musicians, performers, exhibits, etc.), floral sculpting, photography, videography, rental equipment, staffing and full-service event management.
 

D E S I G N
Following the initial consultation a proposal will be drafted detailing the preliminary requirements, estimated expenses and projected timeline for the services requested. To retain the services of W I L L O W   D E S I G N S or to secure an event date, a 50% deposit is required at which time the design phase begins. Our inspirational atelier acts as an evocative platform from which ideas flourish and find the ultimate mode of expression. With an extensive archive of unconventional design elements and an impressive collection of vintage ephemera, rare and antiquarian books, couture visions transform into tactile art forms.

Our exclusive bespoke designs begin with a series of custom storyboards and prototypes (on average, four to six concepts are presented), displaying original artwork, photographs and reference materials for the proposed invitation/accoutrements and/or conceptual clarity of an event. Distinctive design elements are rendered for consideration ranging from captivating color palettes to sumptuous paper selections; exquisite and eloquent typography to distinguished vintage printing methods; exotic textile swatches to the quintessential appointments, tablescapes, décor and innovative vignettes. The boards will be furnished for your perusal and tailored to your specifications until their evolution portrays the optimal design, offering a sense of destiny fulfilled. Three drafts/proofs are customary and included in the design phase, the last requiring approval and final payment for all custom orders/products. Whether we fashion a provocative invitation or entirely transform a venue from a faint vision to a tangible, visual form, we consistently deliver uncompromising quality and customized service.


F A B R I C A T I O N
In regard to couture invitations and accoutrements requiring printing, we recommend allocating 1 to 2 months for the printing process. The majority of our couture invitation concepts showcase engraving or letterpress printing, promoting the preservation of vintage artisanal processes embodying superb aesthetics. Both printing disciplines emphasize a distinctive tactile presence. Letterpress, a centuries-old printing technique, has been virtually unscathed by time, imbued with incomparable sophistication. Relief plates dramatically embed artwork and typography deep into the paper. Its antithesis, engraving, is the process of etching text/artwork into copper plates whereby the paper conforms to the etching resulting in a raised impression. The signature of this process is the "bruise" or indentation on the reverse of the paper. Either discipline results in an exquisite art form, rich in character. The fabrication of all other couture event design elements and products are based on design complexity and materials/product availability and will be addressed in the proposed custom timeline, essentially requiring a minimum of six months to one year to fulfill.

     
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