Here's the procedure, if you plan, think ahead and act like a Virgo:
all wayyyyy in advance, like in September, or October, for the Fall 09 show line-up. Bring a visual reference, some ideas, and a colorway. Plot the first mock-up. Make an appointment, and keep it, to see the mock-up.
Approve the mock-up, and place the order, in full.
Call for pick-up, hopefully, before Christmas.
Guess who operates this way? Catherine Holstein, that's who! A very professional young lady, with talent on her mind, and vision in her fingertips, who knows what she wants, and how to make it all happen. Her agent called for the appointment, with a recommendation from Vogue Magazine, and the rest is fashion history now. Her Fall 09 RTW presentation happened yesterday, Friday the 13th, with nary a black cat in sight. Called "goth", by some of the press, the collection put the models in very wear-able and sale-able clothing, with the hats providing the right soupcon of accessory. I love the lapels on her jackets. I love her jackets. In keeping with a more sedate color palette, as designers are wont to do for next season, the touches of color provide just the balance needed to make the collection cook.
You can see Catherine Holstein's clothing in Saks, for one, but look for her pieces, and by all means, put in a request for an Ellen Christine hat, just in case the store buyer is making notes!