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Soft Focus x Melody Hansen | A Creation Story

This is Soft Focus' latest artist collaboration, featuring the work of Melody Hansen. It's a very limited capsule collection. Only 6 Wink, 6 Nod and 3 Palomino.Wink Shirts were produced. A limited run of 25 Melody Tees were printed as well. Everything was sourced, designed and made in Toronto.

November 25, 2017 | The Bad Girl's Collective Holiday Market | This was the first official day of selling + sharing Soft Focus with the world. I only had some photo samples and a few of the styles completed in production, but I was elated to be there. I barely had a chance to leave my little "living room" booth and meet the other vendors but luckily Melody and I connected. We both immediately felt a connection to each other's work and chatted about a potential collaboration. The way you do with someone you literally just met but have a feeling something cool can come from this new relationship.

January + February 2018 | Various coffee shops | We meet a couple times to get to know each other and chat about what a collaboration could look like. It won't just be a graphic tee. How do we incorporate Melody's work into more garments, to create a "complete look". We build mood boards on Pinterest. I've been collecting oversized men's vintage dress shirts that I think would be perfect for including in the assortment. Melody gets to work on developing her design concepts and we review back and forth over email.

March 6, 2018 | My living room | We've decided on the final artwork for the series. We play around with scale of the different elements, tracing and re-tracing the designs in different sizes and placing them on the shirts and tee to see what looks best. My floor is covered in striped shirts. We select our favourite stripes and decide which designs will go on which shirt – will a bold stripe look better with the "Nod" or the "Wink"? Melody has a vision for how you can layer all the pieces together to create a complete look. Unique to each wearer, it tells a story of sorts.

April 3, 2018 | Liberty Village | I've spent the past few weeks sourcing a place to get the embroideries done. We had to rule out doing it by hand since neither of us are much for needle work. I find a spot downtown, willing to take on our small capsule run. Pretty sure they normally deal with corporate uniforms, sports teams and bachelorette parties. We peruse thread books and choose our favourite colour combinations from a palette that Melody put together and that felt in line with the Soft Focus aesthetic. Red + soft, dusty pinks, chartreuse + aqua – did you notice on the Palomino.Wink we chose two tones of tawny gold? 

April 11, 2018 | Paranoid Print | Slight delay! My favourite t-shirt blanks have been out of stock, but they finally come in and I drop off the tees with my printer dudes. Once this is done I get to work customizing the tees + vintage shirts for a perfect fit.

May 10, 2018 | Souvenir | Shooting the editorial campaign with Melody and her talented stylist/photographer/creative director-in-the-making roommate, Buffy. We shoot on film in the natural daylight of the shop. We use different colourful back drops and the clean white space. We walk around the neighbourhood a bit and shoot Melody sitting in a garden of multi-colour tulips. We play around with layering the shirts on shirts on tees. Melody wears these amazing yellow tights that freak me out at first but Buffy knows they'll look great as part of the story. She's right. It was a nice day.

May + June, 2018 | We get the film developed and review the footage. Pretty much everything looks amazing. We lose a roll to some exposure damage which is a teeny tragedy. We choose our favourites and Buffy edits. In the meantime, I do an impromptu product shoot with my new interns so that we have clear photos to help show the fit and unique details of each shirt for the website. All the shirts are a men's size L or XL, hemmed slightly to perfect the fit, but each one is slightly different. 

June 20, 2018 | Hello world, meet Soft Focus x Melody Hansen.

Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination. 

Editorial photos by Buffy Carlson


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