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[caption id="attachment_4875" align="aligncenter" width="432"]Entrance to Dress Designing Factory in China
Entrance to Dress Designing Factory in China
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It's hard to believe that it has really been 10 days since we arrived in China to work on the 2015 Collections for Prom, Bridal, Evening and Cocktail. It seems like we just arrived yesterday! We're finally over the jet lag, thank goodness. But now are heads are spinning from the dozens and dozens of samples we have reviewed and the new ones we ordered. The styles - and colors - look fresh and strong as we walk through factory doors decorated with red banners to review the designs. One big challenge we always face. We must be sure not to order too many plus size special occasion dresses  in the same color. A master spreadsheet with each sample and its color helps us try to avoid avoid making that mistake. We enter names like Aqua, Orchid, Wine, Champagne and Mint. Then we keep another tally by color "family": blue, purple, green, etc. On the same master summary, we also log what fabrics we use to design each style so everything doesn't look the same! After all, our goal is to give you choices to fit every fashion taste when you dress up for life's special celebrations. Today we get a welcome break from the frantic pace of visiting factories every morning, afternoon and evening.  
[caption id="attachment_4877" align="aligncenter" width="432"]Street vendor slices fresh pineapple on holiday
Street vendor slices fresh pineapple on holiday
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It's Qingming Festival, a national holiday in China that traditionally honors a family's ancestors. The annual event, always held starting April 5th, actually translates as something like "Tomb Sweeping Day". Many families travel far to visit the grave offering flowers, paper that looks like money and gifts for their loved ones, including the dead person's favorite foods. Schools, banks and businesses close. We welcome the lazy day by sleeping in then strolling the tree-lined streets where flower shops create elaborate arrangements for families to take to the burial place of their loved ones. The holiday also welcome Spring, and people celebrate the start of warmer weather with picnics and kite flying.
[caption id="attachment_4876" align="aligncenter" width="468"]Flower shop bouquet display for Tomb Sweeping Day.
Flower shop bouquet display for Tomb Sweeping Day.
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  Tomorrow the factories reopen and we get back to designing. With just a week left here in China, there's so many dresses to create and so little time!

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