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Design Essentials


Text Š 2 0 1 1 by Rockpo rt P u b l is h e rs Design Š 2 0 1 1 by Rockpo rt Pu b l i s h e rs

Fi rst p u b l i s h ed in t h e U n ited States of Am erica i n 2011 by Rockport P u b l i s h e rs, a m e m ber of Q uays i d e P u b l i s h i ng G ro u p 1 00 C u m m i ngs Center Su ite 406-L Beverly, M a ssach usetts 0191 5-6101 Te l e p h o n e : (978) 2 8 2-9590 Fa x : (978) 2 8 3 -2742 www. rockpub.com A l l rights reserved. N o part of this book may be repro d u ced in a ny form without written perm i ssion of the copyright owners. A l l i mages i n t h i s book have been reprod u ced with t h e knowl edge a n d prior consent o f t h e a rtists concerned, and n o respo n s i b i l ity i s accepted by producer, p u b l is h e r, or pri nter for any i nfringement of copyright or otherwise, a ri s i n g from the contents of this p u b l icat i o n . Every effort h a s been made to e n s u re that cred its a ccurately c o m p l y with information s u p p l ied. We a po l og ize for any i n accu racies t h at may h ave occu rred and w i l l resolve i n a c c u rate o r m i ss i n g information i n a s u bsequent rep r i n t i ng of the book. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 I S B N -1 3 : 978-1 -59253-701-3 I S B N -l0: 1-59253-701-4 D igita l edition p u b l i s h ed i n 2011 e I S B N -1 3 : 978-1 -61 0 5 8 - 043-4 D igita l edition: 978-1-61058-043-4 Softcover edition: 978-1 -59253-701-3

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available Design: Kathie A l exa n d e r P h otogra p h s and i l l u strations b y Jay C a l d e r i n u n less otherwise noted . Printed in C h i na


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C O NTENT S

I ntroduction

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7

THOUGHT

I N V E N TO RY

T EC H N I Q U E

1. H i storical Reference a n d Reverence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

16. Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 8

36. Fashion Translations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

2. Emulation a n d I n novation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

17. C o l laboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

37. Fou r Seasons: A Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

3. Trends: On, Off, and Adjacent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

18. Articu lation of Style . . . .

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38. Rote, Ru les, and Roughs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

4. Corro borating Couture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4

19. B u i l d i ng a n d Breaking Tem p lates

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39. Hand to Eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

5. Forging I d e ntity

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20. Pattern I nstruments

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21. Stitc h i ng Too l s

6. Sensing Style

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7. Fashion Equations . .

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8. Suits of Armor

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9. C l ient Compatibi l ity

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40. Checks a n d Balances

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41. Mac hine I nterfa ce . .

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42. Cut, Drape, and Fo ld

22. Rendering Media

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23. Ta ming Texti l es

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43. Underpi n n i ngs and Assem bly

24. Letters: Siopers

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44. Manip ulating Full ness

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45. Body Mapping

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46. U n iformity

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47. Fit

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48. Mend and Alter

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49. Deconstruct and Reconstruct

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50. Structure and Sca l e

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68

51. Anatomica l l y Correct

32. Care and Feeding of a Garment . .

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70

52. Roads Less Traveled

33. Ancient Too l s a n d Tec hniques

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53. Camo uflage and Complement

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54. C l ot h es That Carry

11. Restra i nt, I m pu lse, a n d I m pact . . . . . . . . . . . .

13. Net a n d Narrow

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26. Sentences: Ensemb les

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27. Stories: Coll ections

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28. Punctuation: Deta i l s

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29. Closures

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30. Specialty Requisites

14. Disposable as I nvestment 15. Environ menta l Context . .

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25. Words: Garments

12. M i n d Ma pping

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10. C u stom ization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 ..

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31. Misce l laneous Markers

34. Accessory Closet

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35. Vintage Pat i na . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

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86 88 90

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100 102

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55. Design u nto Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 6 56. Reshape a n d Reconfigure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 8 57. Resu rface . . . . .

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58. A Cut Above

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59. Fringe a n d Fray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 4 60. A d d , Su btract, and Prese rve 61. Change Agents

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62. D rawing t h e Eye

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63. A-Symmetry . . .

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64. I ntarsia: Puzzles a n d Missing Li n ks 65. The Revea l


ARTI STRY

N AV I G AT I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

86. A Designe r's I n h eritance . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Contributor I n dex

67. C u rated Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

87. Luxury Washing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Acknowledgments

68. Culture Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

88. Copies Degrade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . .

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About the Author

69. More Is More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

89. Platforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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70. Less I s M o re

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90. Label M a ke r . .

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91. M a ster a n d Ap prentice

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92. Desig n i ng t h e Job

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93. External I nflue nces

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94. Lifestyle: A Rosetta Stone

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95. Fashion Portals

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96. Diversification a n d Specia lization

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97. C rowdsourcing Style

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98. Labors of Love: Diy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201

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99. Rapid Prototyping:

66. C u ltivated I nflue nce

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71. Meditation on a Dress . .

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72. Build ing on Basics

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73. Design of Dissent

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74. Attitude Adjustment

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75. Myths a n d Archetypes 76. Wit

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77. B l ackouts a n d Fu l l I m m ersion

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80. Dynam ics

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81. Trompe L'Oe i l

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82. Space a n d Sculpture

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83. Matters of Size: Addressing C u rves 84. Dressing for Bowie

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78. Representation a n d Abstraction 79. Symbols

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85. O bjects of Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 76

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Twenty-Fou r-Hour Fa shion 100. What Is Good Fashion?

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INTRODUCTION

Creative ideas are elevated by experience and expertise. Th is book sets forth a c h a l l enge to

fas h i o n design ers: C o n t i n u e to expand your h o r i ­ zons, hone yo u r s k i l l s, a nd experi m ent w i t h st rat­ egies. The idea b e h i n d col lecting a n d cataloging the esse n t i a l p r i n c i p les of fa s h i o n d e s ign i s to b u i l d a framework for a rtfu l exa m i nation t h a t the designer can rev i s it reg u l a rly for i n sp i ration and i n structio n . T h i s book i s for a nyone devoted to fas h i on-whether you a re a profe s s i o n a l design­ e r, a d e s ign student, o r a fa s h i o n D I Y enthus iast. The world of fas h ion des ign is constantly c h a nging-what was i n sty l e last month may be old hat now, but if you know how to stay a h ead of trends and keep yo u r des ign ski l l s s h a rp, you ' l l a lways b e ahead o f the c u rve. Fashion Design Essentials offers p r i n c i p les, tools, a n d processes for succeed i n g in a l l fas h i o n endeavors. E d i t i ng the l ist to o n e h u n d red concepts is m e a n t to h e l p o rgan i ze a n d prioritize t h i s i n formation for m a x i m u m efficiency. The refe ren ces in each l ayout h ave been selected beca use they hone i n o n the essence of the topic with p recis i o n , w h i l e a l lowing f o r d iverse rei nterpretation, not s i m p l y reproduction.

Five primary areas of investigation provide the structure for the book. In m a ny ways, they can be described a s a set of best p ractices for c u l tivat­ i n g c reativity: T hought

Intellectual exercises t h a t a re intended to serve a s catalysts for c h a n n e l i n g c reativity Inventory

Definitions and applications for u s i n g o r repu r­ posing tools, m a n power, a n d raw m ateri a l s for fas h ion design Technique

Fundamental skills for i d e ntify i ng and executing fas h ion design ideas Artistry

Creative rituals that h e l p co nj u re a n d c u lt ivate the i m aginative i n sti ncts of a fas h ion designer Navigation

Diverse strategies designed to a l low a fa s h i o n d e s igner to negotiate a c l e a r path to success Each esse n t i a l concept i s u l t i mately a s o u rce of sti m u l i that m ust be deciphered and then s ha ped to fit t h e project at h a n d . Dedication a n d att e n ­ tion to d et a i l d u ring that exa m i nation w i l l h e l p l everage a des igner's v i s i o n . I n a n attempt to round o u t the w h o l e experience, s o m e p h i losophical debates a re woven i nto the ideas t h roughout the book, s u c h as t h e benefits or fa r-reac h i ng i m pact tod ay's fas h ion designers w i l l have on the foreseea b l e future.

Pierre Card i n coat a n d hat, Autumn/Winter 1959/60 /

/

PHOTO BY RDA AGIP GETTY IMAGES

7


THOUGHT

1

Historical Reference and Reverence I t i s s a i d that those who don't l e a rn from h istory a re doomed to repeat it. W i t h i n the fra m e of fa s h i o n , those who d o n 't l e a rn from h istory a re doomed to waste a wea lth of i n s p i ra t i o n . Three m a i n stays in the fa s h i o n wo rld t h at a re restyled t i m e and aga i n a re co rsets, a prons, and kim o n os.

4

The corset, orig i n a l l y a fo u n dation garme nt, sti l l reigns s u p re m e on the fa s h i o n l a n d scape. C o m m o n l y a ssociated with goth, fet ish, a n d most rece ntly, Steam p u n k fa s h i ons, couturi ers s u c h as T h i e rry M ugler a n d J e a n Pa u l G a u ltier h ave been res ponsible for ra i s i n g the corset to an iconic stat u s . T h e a p ron a t i t s most f u n ct i o n a l protects cloth足 i n g from wear and tear. Aprons at their m ost gla m o ro u s have graced the ru nways of A l exander McQueen, M i u M i u , a n d M a rc Jacobs a s fash ion a ccessories. S h o rt-waist a p ro n s m a d e in practi足 cal fa brics as we l l as d ecorative h ostess a p ro n s speak t o a t i m e w h e n h o m e m a k i n g w a s a way of l ife for most women. Long ve rsions s u c h as the b i st ro a pron a re a mong many that a re used i n the service i n d u stry. The bi b-sty l e a p ron can t a ke s h a p e in leather, r u b b e r, or heavy ca nvas for m o re rugged uses. The p i n afore is a decorative sty le of a p ron that conj u res u p i m ages of l ife on the pra i rie-a look that was very popular in the 1 970s. The co b b l e r a p ron is a p u l lover style with a front, a back, and ties on the side. Whether it is incorporated i nto a co l l ect ion by way of nosta lgia or u t i l ity, the a p ron sti l l m a kes strides in fas h i o n . T h e k i m o n o is a fu l l - l e ngth, T-s h a ped robe. W h e n part of a t raditiona l e n s e m b le, it i s sec足 u red with an obi sash. The k i m o n o i s m ade fro m a t a n , w h i c h i s a fixed bolt of fa bric m ea s u ri n g 1 4 i n ches by 1 2 . 5 yards ( 3 5 cm x 1 2 m ) . The length is cut i nto fo u r pa nels of fa b r i c that m a ke u p the two s i d es of the b ody a n d both sleeves. A col l a r and l a pel-sty le panels a re added with s m a l l strips of fa bric. K i m onos were orig i n a l ly d i sassem b l ed for clea n i ng a n d reconstructed by h a n d .

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1. Corset by Joe Carl 2. Vintage apron-Poor Little Rich Girl

3. "Old Japan" Bridal Kimono (circa 19805) 4. Corset 5. Apron 6. Kimono 8 Fashion Design Essentials


French model Audrey M a rnay in a tweed corset suit by Thierry M ugler, haute couture collection, Autumn/ Winter 1998/99


THOUGHT

2

Emulation and Innovation E m u l a t i ng styles from the past often w i l l go a l o n g way i n fa s h i o n d e s ign, as everyt h ing eventu足 a l ly m a kes a comeback. The grace of G re c i a n gow n s forever i m mort a l i zed i n stone i s a prime exa m p l e of the power of a fa s h i o n idea that does not s i m p l y s u rvive, b u t th rives in the i m agina足 tions of fa s h i o n designers t h roughout h istory. I n the 1 92 0 s, M a d e l e i n e V i o n n et wa s i n f l u e n ced by the d a n ces of I sad ora D u n c a n who, in t u rn, wa s i n s p i red by G reek sc u l pt u res. W h i le V i o n n et c o m m a n ded t h e b i a s, H a lston s u m m oned the spi rit of these e n d u r i ng d ra pes and fo l d s with the knit jersey in the 1 970s. The H ouse of H a lston conti n u es to pay h o m age to that aesthetic today. At every level of t h e m a rketplace a n d from every corner of the globe, t h e god dess gown con t i n 足 ues t o s p r i n g from the co l lect i o n s o f designers who can a p p reciate its bea uty and who wish to interpret it for t h e m se lves. Desig n e rs can t a ke a cue from t h is exa m p l e a n d explore t h e degrees of separation that l i n k t h e m a n d a ny of t h e i r ideas to k i n d red h istorical cou nterparts.

1 0 Fashion Design Essentials

Below: G reek-inspired statue Right: Floor-length

Madeleine Vionnet d ress, September 1935


Halston fashion show Autumn/Winter 2008/09 New York City


THOUGHT

3

Trends: On, Off, and Adjacent Alth ough t re n d s a re no longer d ictated, des ign ho uses spend a great d e a l of t i m e and m o n ey try i ng to p re d i ct t re n d s a n d/o r set t h e m into motion. Designers looking to find thei r p l a ce in the m a rket m ust know whet h e r t h ey i ntend to be o n -tre n d , t rend -adjacent, o r off-trend a lto­ get h e r. They m u st co nsciously decide whet h e r they w i l l lead, fol low, or ign ore a trend. Alth ough tre n d - conscious des ign ers ride the wave of the media and the p u b l i c's c l a m o ri n g for exa m p l es of the l atest fas h ions, designers who i ntention a l ly m iss the b a n dwagon sometimes find that t h e i r independent perspe ct ives i n a dvertently trigger tre n d s or cou ntertrends of t h e i r own. On-trend co l l ections w i l l be boil ing ove r with the concept. An a lterna tive a p p roach to the l atest c raze may be to find s m a l l e r and s u bt l e r ways to e m b race it without m a ki n g it the foc u s . The c o n s u m e r b reaks d o w n t h e s a m e way, a n d a designer who h a s a clear u n d e rstand i ng of w h e re s h e sta n d s on trend w i l l c o n n ect w i t h the right a u d i e n ce for h e r product.

Above: Model Naomi

Campbell i n leopard print hat, 2004 Below: Anna Wintour in

leopard print jacket, 2007

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Leopard and other a n i ma l pri nts get p u l l ed out of re l ative obscu rity a n d a re p resented as fre s h a n d n ew every few seasons. I n fa i rn e ss, designers w i l l be m oved by a t rend i n d iffe rent ways from season to season, resu lting in new a n d i nterest­ i n g interpretations of it. I f a designer decides to offer t h e trend du j o u r as a statement garme nt, a ccent piece, and a ccessory, she m a kes it easy for cl ients to adopt at least o n e i nterpretat i o n of it on t h e i r own terms. Then, of cou rse, t he re a re those who w i l l want to h ave n o t h i n g to do with it. The fas h i o n fi l m classic Funny Face de picts the c h a ra cter of fas h i o n editor Maggie Prescott pai nti ng the town p i n k . Someone on h e r staff a s ks, " I h aven't seen a woman i n two weeks i n a nyt h i ng b u t p i n k . W hat a bout you?" P rescott re pl ies, " M e? I wou l d n 't be caught dead." Truth is, many t rends a re not m e re l y forecasted, b u t often m a d e b y a n i n d u stry.

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Publ icity portrait of actress Audrey Hepburn as she wears a wide-bri m m ed hat and white blouse d u ring the filming of Funny Face, d i rected by Stanley Donen, 1957

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THOUGHT

4

Corroborating Couture Fa s h ion h istory i s t h e next best t h i ng to a t i m e m a c h i n e for the fa sh ion designer. Contact with a uthentic a rt ifacts brings the true essence of a t i m e into s h a rper foc us, whether those a rt i 足 facts a re t h e a c t u a l ga rments a n d accessories, or i l l u st rations, p hotos, and f i l m c l i ps. Eras a re com posed of c o m p l exities that i nvolve every足 t h i ng fro m science to celeb rity. The 1 950s, for i n sta nce, could be a s o u rce for fa s h i o n s i nformed by the Cold Wa r, teenage cultu re, fou n dation ga rme nts, rock- a n d - ro l l , o r p o p u l a r television p rogra m s such as I Love Lucy. Paco R a b a n ne's fas h i o n s i n the 1 9 60s were considered "out of t h i s world." At a t i m e when the race to the moon was heating u p, v i s i o n s of a fut u re i n space f u e l ed the i maginations of m a n y designers. Raba n n e's foray i nto fi l m l e d h i m to team with designer Jacques Fonteray. Together they created the cost u m e s for t h e c u l t c l a ssic film Barbarella. Although many of the clothes i n t h i s ge n re now seem dated, e l e ments of t h e i r fa s h ion pred ict i o n s f o r the fut u re l ive o n . H a l l m a rks o f the 1 970s i n c l ud e the exploration of a n d rogyny and a grow i ng im portance for the re lations h i p between fa s h i o n a n d celebrity. U n i 足 sex fas h i o n b l u rred t h e l i nes between the sexes, a n d even though ge n d e rless j u m psu its n ever beca me a m a i n stay, pants p layed a b igge r part i n women's fa s h i o n t h a n ever before. Fas h i o n beca me a bo u t l a bels, s o m u c h s o t h at t h e y were no lo nger on the i n s i d e of ga rments b u t boldly d i s p l ayed on t h e back pocket of designer jeans. Everyt h i ng was big i n t h e 1 9 80 s - h a i r, jewel ry, belts, a n d most of a l l, s h o u l d e r pads, w h i c h were served u p i n d ra m at i c proport i o n s . Fa s h i o n designer a n d t e l evis ion cost u m e r N o l a n M i l l e r i s best known f o r c reating the fas h i o n s f o r the cast of the popu l a r 1 9 8 0 s television series Dynasty. C a reful study of bygo n e e ras (or the cu rrent o ne) can lead designers to consider how they may be able to best defi n e t h e ti mes they a re l i ving i n .

14 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Maureen McCormick

and Barry Wil liams rehearse on the set of The Brady Bunch

Hour, 1977. Below: Linda Eva ns, John

Forsythe, and Joan Col l ins, who starred in Dynasty


THOUGHT

5

Forging Identity "Age can not wither h e r . . . " These words from S h a kespeare best describe B etsey J o h n son's stay ing power in the fas h i o n i n d u st ry. A Betsey J o h n son ru nway show i s not com plete u n t i l the b ra n d's n a m esake takes her bow i n the form of a c a rtw h e e l . G y m n astics as ide, t h e spi rit of the gest u re is what is i m po rta nt. The bra n d 's the t h i ng in fa s h io n , a n d i n t h i s case, consistency足 youthfu l s p i r it, fl i rty fe m i n i n ity, a n d a wild-ch i l d playfu l ness-is respon s i b l e for ma king Betsey J o h n son s u c h a recognizable l a b e l . G reat b ra n d s h ave o n e t h i n g i n c o m m o n : They del iver messages, p rod u cts, a n d services that evo lve, but never d eviate too far from the f u n 足 d a m enta l s t h at gene rated t h e m . Designers can craft a n i d e n tity with every c h oice they m a ke.

1 6 Fashion Design Essentials

Designer Betsey Joh nson does a signature cartwheel after her spring 2009 collection show at Mercedes足 Benz Fashion Week, 2008, in New York City.


THOUGHT

6

Sensing Style Each of the five senses p l ays a significant ro l e i n how w e interpret fa s h i o n , a n d e a c h s h o u l d be considered in the design process. Sight

T h i s i s e a s i l y the fastest way to assess whether somet h i n g is pleasing or not. H ow d o shape a n d scale relate t o e a c h other? H o w vi brant i s t h e col or? H ow d ra m atic is t h e contrast?

Fashion designer Jean Pa u l Gau ltier poses with a sculpture of one of his dresses made of bread by French bakers for a n exhibition a t t h e Cartier Foundation in Paris, 2004.

Touch

T h i s i s the second most i m port a n t fa ctor. H ow does the materi a l feel aga i n st your s k i n? Does the ga rment conform to your body and feel com­ forta b l e? Is the material soft a n d p l ia ble, o r stiff? Sound

I m agine the c l icks of loose beads knocking i nto each othe r; cri sp, papery fa brics that rustle a s they sway o n t h e body; t h e synthetic s q u e a k a n d c r u n c h of plastic as i t stra i n s t o move. Smell

Scents h ave been designed a n d a re chosen to transform e n v i ro n m e nts, camo ufl age, or se­ duce. For exa m p l e, the T h o m a s P i n k l a b e l , w h i c h p r i m a r i l y sel l s d ress s h i rts for men a nd women, pi pes a fresh l a u n d e red scent i nto its stores as part of its reta i l strategy. Although s u bt l e, deta i l s s u c h as t h i s serve a s a psyc hological trigger, h e ighte n i ng t h e fa s h i o n experience t h rough a romathera py. Taste

E d i b l e ga rments m ight seem l i ke the excl u s ive d o m a i n of n a ughty n ove lties, b u t food a n d fa s h i o n h ave always had a m u t u a l l y i n s p i ra t i o n a l re l a t i o n s h i p . J e a n Pa u l G a u ltier's d ress scu l pt u res m a d e of b read m ight m a ke the m o u t h water i n a s m u c h as they c o u l d i n s p i re t h e color, text u re, and form of an a c t u a l ga rment. The S a l o n d u C h ocolat i s a chocolate expo that recognizes the bond between the food i e a n d t h e fas h i o n i sta. A fa n c i f u l fas h i o n r u nway s h ow i s a h i g h l ight of t h e event, a n d feat u res m o d e l s c l a d i n every k i nd of cocoa confect i o n .

Left: Jon F ishman's Sonic

Rhythm Dress by Alyce Santoro, Sonic Fabric 2003. Sonic fabric is woven from 50 percent recorded audio

cassette tape and 5 0 percent polyester threa d . When gloves equi pped with tape heads are rubbed against the fabric the d ress makes sound. Below: Y i ng Gao's Walking

City pneu matic fashions, which are triggered by movement, wind, and touch.

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18 Fashion Design Essentials


H u m a n beings have more than just five senses. Con足 sider the sense of bala nce, acceleration, temperature, kinesthetic, pain, and the sense of d i rection. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is working on projects that promise a new level of interaction between a p pa rel and the wearer. Textiles infused with sensors that read and respond to movement, biological varia足 tions, and external factors hint at the future of fashion. One example is the S K I N : dress, which uses pattern and color cha nges to display a person's emotional state.


THOUGHT

7

Fashion Equations The basic a rithmetic of dressing can be a useful way to b u i l d a collection. Top p l u s bottom is easy enough, but w h i c h top? W h i c h bottom? O n ce the designer figu res out w h i c h basics w i l l fit i nto a c o l l ection as well as i nto a c l i e nt's wa rd robe, he can beg i n to c a l c u l ate t h e va r i a b l es. Design det a i l s asi de, c u stomers have oth e r d e m a n ds, s u c h a s p ractica l ity a n d comfort, w h e n it co mes t o m ix i ng and matchi ng. T h e designer m u st a n a lyze those needs, design components that w i l l fit i nto the a rch itectu re of the col lection, and engineer the garments the mselves. B roaden足 i n g a c u stome r's wa rd robe of basics or a de足 s igner's core l i n e i s easy to do. H aving more than o n e variation of each f u n d a m e ntal garment i s a n effortless way to i n c rease the n u mber of opt i o n s . O n ce a structure i s i n p l a ce, i t is e a s y t o p u l l i n a ccessories to kee p t h i ngs i nterest i ng. I n 1 985, the fi rst Donna Kara n co l l ection wa s l a u nched a n d it featu red her Seven Easy Pieces. The o rigi n a l Easy Pieces were the bodysu it, a wra p s k i rt, a ch iffon b l o u se, a b l a ze r, a longer jac ket, l eggi n gs, and a d ress; t h ey a l l rem a i n re l evant today. T h i s system o f d ressing was a n i m portant too l for wom e n i n the workforce who had a desire to re p l ace t h e i r " power s u its" with m o re fas h i o n a b l e c h o ices, a n d to stream l i n e the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p rocess so that they could put together outfits for the offi ce, trave l , or a social occasion at a m o m e nt's notice. In 2 0 09, Donna Ka ra n rei ntrod u ced h e r version of the Easy Pieces w ith an u pd ated l i st of m u st-haves: a t u rtleneck, a s k i rt, the pa nt, a jacket, a coat, and jeans.

TECHNICAL DRAWINGS BY MARIE-EVE TREMBLAY

20 Fashion Design Essentials


21


THOUGHT

8

Suits of Armor The i n st i n ct to cover o u r bodies for p rotect i o n c a m e before t h e d e s i re to d eco rate ou rse lves, i n it i a l ly from the e l e m ents a n d eventu a l ly from each oth e r. Com bat n ecessitated t h e s h i e l d i n g of v u l nerable parts of t h e body d u ri n g wa rfa re. The major sections of a rm o r broke down i nto h e l met (h ead), ga u ntlets (fore a r m s), gorget ( ne c k), b reastplate (torso), greaves ( l egs), a n d c h a i n m a i l (for a re a s t h a t d i d n o t a l l ow for rigid pl ates). It is i nteresti ng to note t h a t some of t h e early vers i o n s of b u l letproof fa bric were m a d e of m a ny l ayers of s i l k due to the strength of the fi bers. Alth ough Kev l a r's b a l l istic fa bric is currently the sta n d a rd, experime nts with s p i d e r s i l k a re finding that it has not only compara b l e strength, but a l so e l a sticity. Mode rn-day fa s h i o n design can provi de protec­ tion i n n ew, i n n ovative, and re l eva nt ways. I n a soc iety t h at va lues m o b i l ity, the d eve lo pment of l ightweight, wea ra b l e a rc h itect u re speaks to fa s h i o n designers concerned with social issues such a s s u rviva l and h o m e l essness. Contempo­ ra ry visual a rtist Lucy O rta created the H a b itent as part of her e x h i b i t i o n cal led " Refuge Wear a n d Body Arch itect u re (1 992-1 998)." These works exa m i n e t h e c o m m o n fa ctors that both a rch itec­ ture and fa s h i o n design s h a re. They a l so a d d ress a s h ift i n g l o b a l co nscious ness rega rd ing what we pro d u ce and why.

22 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: A model wears a silver

ensemble from Jean-Cha rles de Castelbajac's ready-to­ wear show, 2010. Below: Refuge Wear­

H a bitent: Aluminum-coated polyamide, two telescopic a l u m i n u m poles, whistle, a n d compass; copyright 2011 by Lucy

+

Jorge Orta


A model wears a n armor足 inspired, silver metal dress by designer Jean-Cha rles de Castelbajac, 2010,


THOUGHT

9

Client Compatibility Design ers, l i ke a rtists, a re often court i ng thei r m u ses for i n s p i ration. They m u st a l s o c u l t ivate a rich and mea n i ngfu l re lations h i p with t h e i r patrons a n d those w h o w i l l partner i n pro mot­ i n g t h e i r work, s u c h as styl ists and celeb rities. H i story p rovides exa m pl es of many su ccessf u l pa i r i ngs o f a rt i ste and m u se. Yves S t . La u rent had severa l p ro m i n e n t sou rces of creative i l l u m i ­ n a t i o n : for m e r model a n d fa s h i o n icon Betty Catro u x, designer Loulou de la Fa l a ise, a n d ac­ tress C a t h e r i n e Dene uve, whom h e a l so d ressed for fi l m s from Belle de Jour to The Hunger. A l ifet i m e frien d s h i p was t h e basis of the re lation­ ship between designer H u be rt de G ivenchy and a ct ress A u d rey H e p b u r n . Ove r the years, many l ovely wo men h ave i nf l u e nced t h e H o u se of C h a nel, but recently, head designer a n d c reative d i rector Karl Lage rfeld a n o inted actress Kei ra Kn ightley a s t h e C h a n e l m u s e . And o n the ot her s i d e of the c a m e ra, f i l m d i re ctor Sofia Coppola i s recog n i zed as one of M a rc J a cobs' strongest i n fl uences. H aving a h ighly v i s i b l e i nd iv i d u a l i n corporate your designs into her wardrobe can h ave a p rofo u n d effect on a des igner. U . S . Fi rst Lady M i c h e l l e O ba m a is respon s i b l e for s h i n i ng a l ight o n m a n y t a l e nted d e s igne rs, such as I sabel To ledo and J ason Wu. To ledo h a s been design­ ing s i n ce 1 9 85, but it was the i n a u gu ration s u it that s h e designed for M rs . O b a m a that put her name o n everyo ne's l i ps. Later that d ay, Jason Wu, a re lative newcomer, having d e b uted h i s fi rst co l l ection i n 2 0 0 6, experienced t h e s a m e transformation when M i c h e l l e O b a m a wore t h e now-fa m o u s wh ite gown h e d e s igned for h e r t o the m a ny i n a ugu rati o n b a l l s . W hether it is the m use, t h e ben efactor, o r the m a i nstay of every b u si n ess-the customer-the best relationsh i ps a re sym b iotic ones where both sides learn a n d benefit from each other.

24 Fashion Design Essentials

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D i rector Sofia Coppola with designer M a rc Jacobs bac kstage prior to the Marc Jacobs Spring 2009 Fashion Show


PHOTO

BY

MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

u.s. First Lady Michelle Obama stands with inaugural dress designer Jason Wu i n front o f the gown she wore to the inaugural balls. The gown is now on d isplay at the Smithsonian Museum of American H i story, Washington, DC. 25


THOUGHT

10

Customization Eve n though the d es i re to fit i n i s strong, the idea of i n dividual ity a l lows a person to fee l spec i a l . Fa ster, m o re fac i l e m a n ufacturing now a l l ows custo m e rs to benefit fro m lower prices, w h i l e sti l l a l lowing t h e m t o e njoy own i ng s o m et h i ng that i s t r u ly u n ique, beca u se t h ey contrib uted to the d e s ign p rocess. Des ign ers of m a ny d i fferent types of pro d u cts a re taking a dvantage of both the tools a n d consu mers' i nterest in f i n d i n g this b a l a nce between t h e two. C o m p a rtmental ized design a l lows the custo m e r to select how the e l em e nts o f a pro d u ct a re fa b ricated, c reat i ng o n e-of-a-kind c o m b i nations. 9ta i l o rs pro d u ces q u a l i ty s h i rts. M ix i ng fa b rics and choosing specific design details, such as co l l a r, p l a c ket, pocket pocket position, c u ff, and cuff button , a l lows a c u stomer to transform a 9ta i l ors s h i rt i nto a n origin a l . Conve rse p roduces the iconic C h u c k Tay l o r A l l Sta r h i-top sneake r, a sty l e that is offered i n t h e tra d i t i o n a l ca nvas, suede, or leather-but that is j u st t h e fou n d a t i o n . C u st o m e rs h ave m a ny c h o ices when i t comes to the design and c u stomization of the s hoe, a s we l l a s a wide assortment o f colo rs, res u lt i n g i n infi nite design variat i o n s . Based i n the N et h e rl a nds, fa s h i o n designer Berber Soepboer a n d gra p h i c designer M i c h i e l Sch u u rm a n designed the C o l o u r- I n D ress, a s i m p l e s l eeve l ess d ress with a n A - l i n e s k i rt. The t h i rd p a rt n e r in the design process is the wea rer. She can use t h e text i l e m a rkers provided with the d ress to m a ke it her own. The gra p h i c pattern on the text i l e l e n d s itself to b e i n g interpreted in m a ny d ifferent ways. The d ress also h a s the poten t i a l to be a work in p rogress, s h o u l d t h e wearer decide t o a d d more color each t i m e i t IS worn. The whole customization process is particula rly s uccessf u l when the ga rment itself is fa m i l i a r a n d t h e modifications a re easy t o i m agine. Designers m ight be wary of giving up c o m p l ete contro l , but i n a l l of these exam ples, the p roduct designers h ave the u n iq u e opportun ity to see t h e i r design t h rough the eyes of t h e i r customers. The exercise p rovides va l ua b l e i n sight i nto what t h e i r a u d i 足 e n ce wa nts.

26 Fashion Design Essentials

The N 3 Zipper Dress by artist designer Sebastian Errazuriz. Made of 1 2 0 zippers this ,

dress a l lows the wearer to customize neckline, openi ngs, and length simply by zipping or u nzipping segments.


Above: Colour- I n Dress by

Berber Soepboer and Michiel Schuurman, 2008 Right: Customized Converse

sneakers

27


THOUGHT

11

Restraint, Impulse, and Impact Design is a s m u c h a bout what you add to the m i x as what you elect not t o a d d . T h e fa b r ics, t h e cut, and the fi n i s h m u st be beyond re p roach, be­ cause t h e re a re no d i stract i o n s-what you see i s what you get. N e utra l col ors a n d the a bsence of adornment a re often used to define a restra i ned aesthetic. Fa s h i o n with more of a pop u s u a l l y re l ies on somet h i n g m o re . T h i s type o f d e s ign has a p u l se, somet h i ng that can be tapped i nto, whether it is t h e vi brant p l ay of color, a s t i m u l at­ i n g pattern, or the h a n d of a texture. I m pact c a n have many of the q u a l i ties of i m ­ pu lse, b u t it i s not restra i n ed t o passion o r t h eat­ rical ity. Somet i m es t h i s type of forcef u l fas h io n c a n b e down right h ideous. The rol e of ugly fas h ­ i o n i s t o c h a l l e nge. O bse rvers c a n 't h e l p b u t b e e ngaged, whet h e r t h ey f i n d t h e m se lves i n t rigued or offe n d e d . The l ove-h ate re l a t i o n s h i p teeters on d e s ign se n s i b i l ities. W i l l pu rposefu l l y dowdy, d i scorda nt, or garish c reat i o n s be i nteresti ng? O r does a ru nway odd ity d isturb a n d u n sett l e you? T h e point i s t h at rega rd less o f whether you l i ke someth i ng you d o n ' t u n d e rstand you can not d i s m i s s it, because it has grabbed your atte ntion. I t can be a p p reciated merely for having been a b l e t o s h a ke t h i ngs u p a n d pen etrate est a b l i s h ed sta n d a rds of beauty fa r e n ough to c h a l l enge yo u .

28 Fashion Design Essentials


A model wearing a H ussein Chalaya n creation, 201 0


THOUGHT

12

Mind Mapping A t r u l y c re ative m i n d is o n e that b u i l d s a founda足 tion with t h e l eft b ra i n so that the right b ra i n can m a ke giant leaps of fa n cy. I t's easy to i d e ntify a n d focus on what o u r b ra i n has a natural ten足 d e n cy to be good at, and to d i s rega rd wea kness. St rengthen ing those sh o rtc o m i ngs i s a key to success. Lefties a re ana lytical, tec h n ical, critical, a n d logical. They n eed to stretch to tap into the part of thei r b ra i n that a l l ows t h e m to be m o re i n t u itive, i maginative, a n d i n novative. The s a m e level o f effort s h o u l d be put i n t o p l a n n ing, o rga足 n i z i ng, a n d b u i l d i n g st r u c t u re for a right-b ra i n i n d ivi d u a l . S i m u ltaneously enterta i n ing oppos i ng needs a n d d e s i res can b e a tough t h i ng t o contain i n yo u r b ra i n . I n order t o overco m e natu ra l tendencies that l e a n to one s i d e o r t h e other, a designer needs to move the p rocess outside of h e r head. T h e re a re seve ra l ways to map out a su ccessfu l c reative strategy t h at a l l ows the designer to see, sort, a n d s h u ffle everyt h i ng i nvolved.

30 Fashion Design Essentials

Left-brain fashion thinking

can be found i n a designer's ability to a na lyze the needs of the ma rket; make reasonably logical decisions; craft language that w i l l best represent their vision; have a n awareness and basic comprehension of i n novations i n science and technology; and be wel l-versed in the va lue of n u m bers in patte rnmaking as well as i n busi ness.


Talk it out. Every designer can use a sound ing Right-brain fashion

thinking can be fou n d i n a designer's ability to

board. H ea ri n g ideas out loud is a great rea l ity c heck, m a d e even better when others p rovide you with feed back.

consider the process of

Write it out. Com m i tt i ng it to paper a l l ows o n e

design thoughtfully; trust

thought to l e a d to a n other on t h e page, without the risk of l etting a n y idea s l i p t h rough you r fi ngers.

their intuition when making decisions; always be open to creative insights and exercises; a ppreciate the art of fashion; and find the music that creates a n a p propriate setting for their work.

Lay it out. The wide open space of a t a b l e, a

b u l letin board, or a wa l l a l l ows the designer to s p read out a l l as pects of an idea. When a designer can see the whole p i ct u re s h e w i l l begi n to recogn ize relatio n s h ips betwee n the m a n y d if足 ferent e l e ments. M a pp i ng t h i ngs out is a way to fi ne-tune the p rocess and e n h a n ce the potentia l for o rigi n a l t h i n ki ng.

31


THOUGHT

13

Net and Narrow The world of h a ute couture i s so e l ite a n d exc l u ­ s ive that m a n y designers fee l they need t o a l l ud e t o i t i n t h e i r work, i f n o t a s p i re t o i t . Although it h a s a very n a r row a u d i e n ce, couture h a s a com­ pe l l i ng a l l u re beca use that a ud ience i s com posed of some of t h e rich est, most fa m o u s, and most powerf u l fa s h i o n c l ients in the world. This n iche crowd ce rta i n l y has its pe rks, if o n l y by associa­ tion. Serving this a ri stocratic caste of couture we l l w i l l often come with critical a c c l a i m , but not a lways eco n o m i c s u ccess. Fas h i o n designers w h o su pport t h e i r v i s i o n a ry p rojects with m o re m a i n st re a m c reations a re t h e ones who have stay ing power.

Musician/a ctor L L Cool J and designer To mmy H i lfiger, 2007

Ready-to-wea r rea c h es the people e n m asse. The o n l y l i m i tations when serving vast n u mbers a re m a n ufacturi ng o u t l ets and deve l o ping p roducts that h ave m ass a p pea l . Casting such a wide n et not o n l y generates greater s a l es, but a l so b u i l d s n a m e recogn i t i o n . J u st because it i s off t h e rack doesn't m e a n it c a n not have great i n fl ue n ce . I n 1 994, ra pper S n oop Dogg wore a To m m y H i lfiger s h i rt on an episode of Saturday Night Live. The b l ack, urban, rap s u bcu l t u re responded a l m ost i m med iately. H i lfiger's work was adopted a n d a d a pted by h i p - h o p fo l l owers everywh ere. H i l ­ figer c u l t ivated re latio n s h ips with other l e a d e rs i n t h i s com m u n ity and a reta i l star was born. This was e n o ugh to p l a ce H i l figer o n the m a p, but he rea l ized h e needed to serve t h i s a u d i e n ce b y sca l i ng the c l ot h es u p i n s ize, sty l i n g h i s work to refl ect the c u l t u re, a n d t u rn i ng h i s logo into a h ig h l y visible status symbol in t h e fas h i o n co m m u n ity. H i s l a rge customer base cont i n ues to i n form the d i rection of his work. The rest is fa s h i o n b u s iness h i story.

o e­ o I �

32 Fashion Design Essentials


THOUGHT

14

Disposable as Investment No ntext i l e p rojects a re c o m m o n l y used to stretch a fa s h i o n designer's c reative m u scles. Many fa s h ion progra m s offer at least o n e course that req u i res a student designer to b u i ld a body cove ring without fa b r i c and conve n t i o n a l sewing methods. The exploration of this ty pe of wear足 a b l e a rt i nvo lves a great d e a l of experi mentat i o n . W h a t a re the objects o f c h o i ce? H o w w i l l t hey be asse m b l ed o r wove n into a su rface? H ow w i l l com pone nts s u c h as t h e bod ice, skirt, and s l eeve be put togeth e r? W h at k i n d of method of c l o s u re w i l l be devised? The f i n a l prod uct takes s h a p e as a form s c u l pted to f i t t h e body and m i m i c tra d i t i o n a l a p parel. Depe nd i ng on the n a t u re of the raw materia l s i n a ga rment of t h i s category, i t m ight not h ave a long l i fe span-a t i ssue-paper gown 's days a re n u m bered. So, why i nvest i n s u c h a d i sposable piece of fa sh ion? The n ovelty and artistic va l u e of ga rments m a d e o u t o f paper bags, plastic spoons, or d u ct tape a re i n h e rent, but t h e re i s a greater va l u e to be fou n d . The res u lts of b r i n g足 i n g fas h i o n design s e n s i b i lities to nontrad i t i o n a l p roj ects i n c l u d e u n ex pected problem-solving methods a n d i n s p i red tec h n i q ues. Compositions, color schemes, textu res, and construction s o l u 足 t i o n s that m ight not h ave otherwise been used to create conventional c l oth i ng become a p p a rent. A n ew set of ski l l s and a fresh perspective can kick-start a col l ecti o n .

34 Fashion Design Essentials


Left: Nontextile dress

constructed out of pennies by I nes Antigua Right: Nontexti Ie d ress

constructed out of tea bags by Kathryn Feeley

35


THOUGHT

15

Environmental Context G eogra p h i c a l regions d evelop a sty l e of t h e i r own . I n t h e U n ited States a lo n e, the N o rth a n d t h e South h ave d istinctly d ivergen t tastes for c l ot h i ng. The West Coast a n d t h e East Coast h ave very d iffe rent takes o n the defi n it i o n of fa s h i o n . The M i dwest has a nother sta n d a rd of sty le a l together. I n stead of m a ki n g va l u e judg足 m e n ts a bo u t the wort h i n ess of a certa i n s e n s i b i l 足 ity, a good designer w i l l d elve i n t o t h e roots these assessme n ts stem fro m . These foundations a re u s u a l ly based on t h e m a n y a s pects of a n envi足 ron m e n t t h at would color o u r c h o i ces: h i storical events, cu ltural i nflue n ces, geogra phy, a n d c l i m ate. W h e n t h i s concept is extended globa l ly there a re even s u bt l e r d iffe re n ces to be studied. A good fa s h i o n com pass w i l l help u n cover t h e reason s for u n de rsta n d i n g w h y a w a rd robe of b la c k h a s become synonymous with u rb a n sett ings s u c h as N ew Yo rk. I s the i n c l i n a t i o n to adopt s u c h a d a rk pa lette j u st a practical c h o i ce? I s the ove ra l l look h a rder a n d m o re i n t i m i d a t i ng, somet h i n g t h a t m ight give you an edge when dea l i ng with the gritty rea l ities of the city? W h a t is t h e explanation for a n i n c l i nation towa rd b right colors a n d bold patterns i n the South? Does the weather play a part in it? Do these cho ices reflect the l a ndscape? This exa m i n a t i o n assists design ers i n d e l i ve ri n g thei r p roduct to a m a rket that i s a l ready prone to receive it we l l .

36 Fashion Design Essentials


Left: Vintage Yves Saint

Laurent dress in bright, colorful floral print Right: Sophisticated, dark

brown cascade collar suit by Sara Campbe l l


I NVENTORY

16

Acquisitions Setti n g u p a bus iness o r sta rt i n g a p roject re足 q u i res t h at design e rs s h ift into h u nter-gat h e re r m o d e . W h a t a re t h e m e a n s b y w h i c h they w i l l b e a b l e t o deve l o p wo rk? H ow w i l l t h ey a m ass resou rces? Good fas h ion h u nters w i l l fa m i l ia rize themse lves with a terra i n, track thei r ta rget, a n d a cq u i re it. I d e ntify i ng the r ight m a c h i n e ry and the proper tools is esse n t i a l . Not a l l cutting i nst r u m ents a re c reated eq u a l . For i n stance, the d iffe rence between scissors and shears is length; the l atter m u st measure m o re t h a n 6 i n ches ( 1 5 cm). De足 s ign room s w i l l reserve shears for cutt i ng fa brics versus scissors for c utti ng paper. P i n k i ng s h e a rs, a p p l i q u e sc issors, a n d s n i ps each m a ke specific jobs a little easier. Fa s h i o n gatherers a re a l ittle m o re s u bjective. They w i l l forage t h rough the m a n y c h o i ces of fa brics a n d notions to procure the ideal raw m a 足 terials, based on aesthetic needs a n d seaso n a l demands. O n ce a workroom is o u tfitted and its s h e lves a re stocked with s u p p l ies, a workforce m u st be asse m b l e d . I n d o i ng so, t h e designer m u st dete r m i n e how each m e m be r of the staff fits into the com m u n ity being crafted. N ext, the designer m u st b u i l d a c u l t u re, an e n v i ro n ment, systems, and tech n o l ogy. I n some cases, it is a s m a rt idea to accu m u late reserves. A s u r p l u s can mean the d iffere n ce be足 tween e n d u r i n g and t h rowing i n the towel when fa ced with situations that c h a l l e nge su rviva l . H owever, stockp i l ing i s n 't h e l pful u n less t h e goods a re rel eva nt and a re actua l ly p u t t o use. The va l u e of a des ign er's i nventory-co m p r i s i n g m a c h i n ery, raw materi a l s , m a n power, or fin i s h ed p ro d u ct-depends on how cohes ive it a l l is.

38 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Design stu dio:

button bins Far Right: Design studio:

fabric and pattern storage PHOTO: JOEL BENJAMIN


I NVENTORY

17

Collaboration Some very s u ccessf u l fas h i o n design tea m s p rove that two heads a re often better t h a n one. A c reative c o l l a borati o n can res u l t i n designs that a re m o re complex and i n n ovat ive than those that origi n ate fro m a s i ng u l a r v i s i o n . Partners h i p s with buyers, ed itors, c l i e nts, a n d oth e r designers a l l h ave the pote n t i a l to foster s u ccessf u l ideas and e n h a nce the creative process. Some exa m p l e s of s u ccessf u l fa s h i o n d e s ign teams i n c l u d e : •

Viktor Horsting a n d Rolf Snoeren o f V i ktor &

Rolf met w h i l e studying fas h i o n at the A r n h e m Academy o f Art a n d Design i n T h e Nether­ l a n d s . T h e i r team a p p roach to fa s h i o n cont i n ­ ues to surprise a n d c h a rm the fa s h i o n e l ite. •

Parsons School of Design in N ew York City wa s where Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough both stud ied before go ing on to form the l a b e l Proenza S c h o u l er-a n a m e t h at keeps it a l l i n the fa m i ly, originating from t h e m a iden n a mes of both designers' mothers. Domenico Dolce m et Stefano Gabbana

w h i l e working for the same design firm i n M i l a n, Ita ly, and a re now the force b e h i n d I ta l i a n l u x u ry house D o l ce and G a b b a n a , a m u lt i m i l l io n - d o l l a r fas h ion e m p i re . •

S i b l i ng c a m a raderie, n o t riva l ry, i s at t h e h e a rt o f the s i ster t e a m o f Kate a n d Laura Mulleavy for Roda rte, a company a lso n a m ed after t h e i r mother's m a i d e n n a m e . They h ave c o l l a borated with the G a p as wel l as Ta rget, p roving they u n d e rsta nd how to interface well with others.

Above: Ruben and Isabel

Toledo Right: Dutch designers Rolf

Snoeren (left) a n d Viktor Horsting (right), of Viktor & Rolf, shake hands at the end of their Autumn/Winter 2010/11 ready-to-wear collection show in Paris.

Power couple Isabel and Ruben Toledo represent t h e h u sband and wife d u o that i m pact c u l t u re o n m u lt i p l e fronts. She is a fash ion designer a n d h e i s a n a rt i st.

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41


I NVENTORY

18

Articulation of Style Use your words. A designer ben efits great ly from a m astery of la nguage- n ot m erely having a n exte n s ive voca b u l a ry, b u t a lso posses s i ng the a b i l ity to c raft words i nto ideas, messages, a n d stories. W h ether complex o r u nc o m p l icated, t h e intent b e h i n d t h e words t h a t a re used t o describe and define t h ings helps to i n spire and deve l o p design concepts. Th rough la nguage, a designer can d iscover a d i rection for a project. U s i ng color as a n exa m p le, the adjectives used to n a rrow the defi n ition of a color can affect t h e context i n w h i c h t h e f i n a l pro d u ct is perce ived . J u st red? It s h o u l d n ever be just red. Per h a ps it i s ru by, a red as rich a n d l u x u r i o u s as t h e ge m 足 sto n e . O r c h er ry red, a c o l o r you can a l most taste. When you t h i n k of Fe rrari the associations a re sport, speed, and Ita ly, w h i c h m a kes Ferra r i 's co-bra n d i ng of s n e a ke rs a n d a t h l et i c spo rtswear a natu ra I fit. A lt h ough design ers m ay work from a broad p a l ette, they can also become closely associated with a part i c u l a r color. Elsa S c h i a p a re l l i is forever l i n ked with s h oc k i ng p i n k, j u st as Va l e n t i n o w i l l a lways b e re m e m b e red for h i s signat u re red. I t may just seem l i ke sema ntics, but the s a m e i s t r u e o f a l l t h e v i t a l com pone nts i nvolved i n deve l o p i ng a ga rment o r a central t h e m e for a col lectio n . A sm ooth text u re c a n be descri bed as having a glossy, polis hed, or satin f i n i s h , wh ereas a gra i n y texture can be descri bed as rough, porous, or eart hy. C l ever word play is at the h e a rt of how fas h i o n is d i scussed in the me足 d i a , so why not sta rt that d i a logue i n - h ouse on the designer's terms.

42 Fashion Design Essentials

Models in red, Va lentino's signature color, wa l k on the catwa l k for a grand fina le, 2008.


43


I NVENTORY

19

Building and Breaking Templates Esta b l i s h i ng sta n d ards p rovides a fash ion de­ sign e r with reference points. F i n d i ng the m i d d l e is i m porta nt. The "ave rage" s h o u l d n o t be con­ sid e red a death sentence to c reativity, when it is positioned as the sta rting point. O n ce specifica­ tions a re in p l a ce, u n d e rstood, a nd respected, a designer can bend, if not break, a l l the rules. The basic s l oper i s e m p l oyed as a fou ndation for flat pattern m a ki n g beca use it conta i n s a l l the vital meas u rements t o b u i ld a pattern that w i l l correspond to the body it is being d e s igned for. With those m e a s u re m ents i n pl ace, a l m ost a n y modification is poss i b le, w h i l e sti l l keepi ng the f u n ction a n d fit of the ga rment gro u nded i n rea l i ty. A fitt i ng m u s l i n i s a ga rment that can be used i n m u ch the same way. This ga rment is constructed so that a designer can m a n i pu l ate the d e s ign a n d custom ize t h e fit. Good c ro q u i s figu res a re based on the propor­ t i o n s of the h u m a n body. W h e n the re lation s h i p s between parts o f the body a re m a i nta i n ed, t h e figu re can b e exaggerated t o extremes without risking a bstract i o n . The transformation may refl ect the design e r's style tendencies, b u t the finished p roduct will re m a i n recognizable.

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44 Fashion Design Essentials

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exaggerations designed to accentuate overa l l sil houette


45


I NVENTORY

20

Pattern Instruments A s h a rp pencil, some paper, a n d a rul e r - it seems s i m p l e enough, but pattern m a ki ng de­ m a n d s that d e s igners filter t h e i r vision of a ga r­ m e n t t h rough a strict m at h e m atical grid. There is no gett ing away from the fact that we l l-executed patterns rely heavi ly on geometry a n d a re the re­ s u l t of t h i n ki n g l i ke a n engineer. Designers s h o u l d be very fa m i l i a r with the purpose o f e a c h tool of the t rade and flu ent in the l a nguage of whatever u n its of measurement t h ey a re working i n , down to the s m a l lest fraction. Precise measure m ents a n d c l e a r notations a re key when ma king p ieces fit together. N otches, for i n st a n ce, provi de the stitcher with specific places w h e re pieces a re to be joined. They serve as a n chor poi nts, wh ich h e l p to e n s u re p roper as­ s e m b ly. Seam a l l owance can be looked at a s the b reakdown lane of stitc h i ng l i nes, because t h ey give us room to h a n d l e t h e fa b r i c w h i l e we a re sewing a n d p rovide room for a lterations after t h e fa ct-too m u c h a nd you h ave u nwanted b u l k; too l ittle a n d sea m s begin to fa l l a pa rt . Beyond taking each flat p iece a n d atta c h i n g it to a n other, t h ese two-d i m e n s i o n a l pieces may a l so be m a n i pu l at­ ed i nto m o re n u anced t h ree-d i m e n si o n a l shapes. Ta i loring a garment to the h u m a n form m ight req u i re darts that e l i m i n ate u nwa nted full n ess, or gathers that add it where d e s i red. A comm e rci a l pattern comes with a set of i n structions that t a ke the consumer t h rough t h e most efficient way o f putting a ga rment togeth e r. Part of the design process for the d e s igner should i n clude c reat ing a s i m i l a r a lgo r i t h m for a pattern a d d ressi ng w h i c h methods of construc­ tion w i l l be used, and what the specific sequence of steps w i l l be.

46 Fashion Design Essentials

Above: Tracing wheel,

notcher, and awl Right: Pattern rack


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I


I NVENTORY

21

Stitching Tools Sewing i s a sen sory experience. Fo llowing i n struct i o n s that a re provided i n a book, a video, or a l ive d e m onst rat i o n is a start, b u t t h e re is n o su bstitute for expe r i e n ce, a nd l ots of it, w h e n it comes to stitc h i ng a ga rment together. Eas i ng the cap of a s l e eve i nto a n a r m h o l e i s defi n itely e a s i e r s a i d t h a n d o n e . O n l y repet ition w i l l provide the experience needed to h a n d l e t h e fa bric expertly, select the proper t h read, a nd u n d e rstand how to co ntrol a n d m a x i m ize the tools you a re work i n g wit h . N ot h i ng i s pe rfect, but p ractice certa i n ly gets you close. There a re m a ny choi ces when it comes to what type of stitch to use for a ny given job, and each can be executed by hand or on a m a c h i n e : •

Loose s i ngle-thread stitches f o r basting

B l a n ket o r overlock stitches to fi n i s h an edge

Pad st itc h i n g to sec u re layers of fabric togeth e r

Back stitches o r tacking to rei nfo rce a reas

Z igzag o r top stitc h i n g to decorate the su rfa ce

C h a i n, c ross, or satin stitches for e m b roidery

Butto n h o l e stitches to f i n i s h a n d re inforce the ope n i ng for a button c l o s u re

B l i n d stitches for h e m m i ng

I n every case, a l ight, see m i ngly effortless touch is the mark of the p rofes s i on a l .

48 Fashion Design Essentials

Above Left: Hand sewing Above Right: Machine

sewing Right: Basting samples Far Right: Hand basting


I NVENTORY

22

Rendering Media Fa s h i o n ren d e r i ngs a re u s ua l ly c reated i n pencil, m a r ke r, or pai nt. Today, the pixel is another m ed i u m for d rawing fas h i o n with the a i d of com puter softwa re. Whether it's a fash ion n ote on a n a p k i n , style schematics in a notebook, or fa s h ion shorthand i n c h a l k on a c h a l kboard, the goa l i s t h e exc h a nge of ideas. There i s a myst i q u e a ro u n d t h e a rt of fa s h i o n , as tho ugh o n l y a sel ect few a re entitled t o even atte m pt to c reate it. Alth ough not everyo n e who sits down to d raw w i l l prod uce a rt to riva l t h e work o f Steven Stipe l m a n or Antonio Lopez, it's i m porta nt to rem e m be r t h at these m a sters a re i l l ustrators a n d not designers. H o n i ng the s k i l l s req u i red t o com m it concepts t o paper is p ri m a r­ ily a bout h a n d to eye coord i nation, w h i c h o n l y comes with t i m e a n d p ractice. A carefully conceived d rawi ng, in w h i c h style l i nes, design deta i ls, a nd propo rti o n s h ave been t h o ughtfu l l y p l a n ned out, will h e l p m a ke the next ste p - d ra p i ng a nd/or pa tte r n m a king- move that m u c h faster.

Right: French designer Yves

Saint Laurent using chalk to sketch fashion designs on a chalkboard in the atelier of the Ho use of C h ristian Dior, where he has just been na med as successor to couturier C h ristian Dior, Paris, November 1957.

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Fashion Design Essentials


I NVENTORY

23

Taming Textiles Textiles a re a very tang i b l e s o u rce of i n s p i ration. Much l i ke t h e marble that informs the s c u l p ­ t o r w h a t it wants to become, fa b ri c w i l l suggest what sh apes a n d types of m a n i p u lation w i l l transform it i nto a work o f a rt . T h e s a m e pattern for a ga rment w i l l a s s u m e u n i q u e l y d ifferent c h a ra cteristics, d e p e n d i n g on whether it i s m a d e of s i l k ch iffo n , rib bed knit, r i pstop nylon, Lycra, taffeta, or wool felt. The de­ sign e r can design with fabrics ba sed on h ow they coord i n ate and cont rast with each ot her. Weight, body, a n d weave w i l l p rovide further d i rection. C o l o r, pattern, and text u re a lso d e l iver a w h o l e set o f a d d i t i o n a l c h o ices. A designer can take ideas fo r a col l ection i nto n ew territory by switc h i ng fa brics. S u bst ituting fa brics l i ke d e n i m for taffeta, ch iffon for oxford c l oth, leather for l i nen, and lace for tweed i s o n e way t o trigger u n pred icta b l e i n n ovations. B l ock­ i n g with color, pattern, and text u re is another way to s h a ke t h i ngs u p. Combine these methods with tec h n iques u s u a l ly reserved for d iffe rent fa brics, a n d the design cho ices m u l tip ly. A p p l y a top-stitched fl at-fe l led seam, c o m m o n l y found on d e n i m , to s i l k orga ndy and it bri ngs together two see m i ngly u n re l ated a reas of fa s h io n , c reat­ i n g something fresh a n d u n expected.

5 2 Fashion Design Essentials

I o -; �

Right: Medium body: Sara

Campbell floral jacquard skirt Below: Fu l l body: Viktor &

Ro lf silver d i pped sati n skirt

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o m � � m Z

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Light body: soft satin charmeuse blouse


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Letters: Siopers A s l oper is a tem plate for a n y pattern piece t h a t does n o t i n c l u d e s e a m a l lowance. Starting from scratch is not a lways n ecessa ry. It is used to deve l o p va riations on patterns a n d is a great too l for bra i n st o r m i ng a n d test i ng out design ideas without having to go back to s q u a re one. S i nce a good sloper a l ready i n c l udes a l l the m e a s u re足 m e n ts that w i l l ens u re a proper fit, the designer h a s the freedom to concent rate on aesthetics. The designer can m a n i p u late the position of a d a rt, add fu l l ness, l e ngt h e n or s horten, as well as cut away or b u i l d a reas onto t h e origi n a l . Each s l oper piece is l i ke a l etter i n t h e D N A o f a ga rment. Each of these base patte r n s is designed to conform to a d iffe rent p a rt of the body as well as i nterfa c i ng with other pieces. Every t e m p l ate h a s e l e ments that a re u n iq u e to t h a t piece. I n a sleeve, the seam that c l oses it does not relate to a ny part of a n other pattern piece. But the cap of the sl eeve m ust fit i nto an a r m h o l e that is c re足 ated when the fro nt bodice is con n ected to the back bod ice at the s h o u l d e r and side seams. The most essentia l a s pect of designing something that goes from two d i m en s i o n s to th ree is fit足 how t h e pieces fit toget h e r and how they fit the pu rpose. Getting wrapped up in the m i n utia of t h i s b l u e 足 print for a ga rment may s e e m l i ke t h e exc l u s ive d o m a i n of pattern m a ke rs, but designers c a n use their own sensi b i l ities to solve design c h a l l enges with t h i s as we l l .

54 Fashion Design Essentials


Slo p er s

55


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Words: Garments Every ga rment m a kes a va l u a b l e contribution to an overa l l look. It might be cast i n the sta rring role or as a su pporting piece. I n d iv i d u a l ite m s of clothing can be t reated l i ke the words that w i l l b e expres s i n g t h e designer's v i s i o n . B ig word s as well as l ittle o n e s s h o u l d b e ca refu l ly chosen, beca use even the s l ightest va riation i n d efi n it i o n s can m a ke a b ig d iffe rence. The o rigi n a l st i m u l us for a design e r's i n spirati o n can b e d is t i l l ed i nto s u bt l e b ut powe rfu l det a i l s i n even t h e s i m plest of ga rments. I n addition to b e i ng a p p reciated by the true connoisse u r, these touches add a com plexity that m a kes these ga rme nts d i s t i nct. A lthough some ite m s a re intended to e m ph a s ize a m o re d o m i n a n t p iece, they s h o u l d n ever be t reated l i ke an afterthought. If they a re designed as independent entities, they w i l l stand a l o n e i n terms of design and q u a l ity.

56 Fashion Design Essentials

A simple white blouse by Viktor & Rolf, made distinctive with button detail, 2006


• • • o


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Sentences: Ensembles Asse mb l i ng a n ensemble i s l i ke stringing words together to form a sentence. In the best of situ足 ations, the res u ltant fas h i o n p h rase i s a we l l- c a l 足 ibra ted comb i n at i o n o f refe rences t h a t i n s p i red the d e s ign p rocess i n the fi rst place. M ix i ng d ra st i c a l l y d iffe rent colors can p u n c h up a look. B l e n d i n g more h a r m o n i o u s shades w i l l result i n a gen t l e r t o u c h . At e i t h e r end of t h e spectrum or a nywhere i n between, color s h o u l d a lways a l l u d e t o t h e i m pact the designer w i s h e s to have on h i s a u dience. The interplay of textu res a n d patterns can a l s o b e used t o sti m u late or re lax the person wea r i ng those specific garments. F i n d i ng the right b a l 足 a n ce betwee n d i fferent s ha pes is a n i m portant fa cto r, whether the designer wants the com p l ete look to h ave a rese rved s i l h o u ette or o n e with d ra m atic f l a i r. O rn a m e n t can be sca l ed to differ足 ent propo rt i o n s so that it h a s t h e d e s i red effect. The lack of it c a n be j u st as bold i n its a uste r ity. Design ers need to consider t h at these sets of ga rme nts w i l l not exist i n a va c u u m , and they need to m a ke thei r m a rk o n the observe r-the c l ie nt's c i rc l e, the media, a n d the ge n e ra l public. Every designer has t h e abil ity to m a ke c l e a r state m e nts o f sty le w i t h every compos i t i o n .

PHOTO: JESSICA WEISER

58 Fashion Design Essentials


Samira Vargas ensem bles featuring a mix of texture and pattern, 2010

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Stories: Collections A variety of looks can be brought togeth e r to i l l ustrate a bigger idea. The m i x itse lf is an exten足 sion of t h e conce pt that i n s p i red each e l e m ent of t h e col lection to begin w i t h . M a ny cho ices a re i nvolved i n designing a s i ngle garment, c reating co rrespon d i ng pieces to put together a n outfit, a n d t h e n d o i ng that n u m e ro u s t i m e s u n t i l you h ave a l l the i n gred i e n ts n ecessa ry to tel l yo u r fa s h i o n story: a co l l ectio n . T h e designer m u st t h i n k l i ke a sty l i st a n d con足 sider how these pieces will go togeth e r to c raft a bigger, m o re c o m p l ex pict u re. Ask the q u estions that would help you c raft a good story. H ave you a made conscious c h oice to j u xta pose contra st足 i n g e l em e nts to c reate confl ict and d ra ma? I s h u m o r wove n into t h e col l ection t h a t con nects with yo u r a u d ience t h rough witty c h o i ces? I s there a s e n se o f harmony i n h ow yo u r c h o ices come together? Does each e n s e m b l e fee l l i ke it represents a c h a ra cter in your story? D o you h ave a strong sta rt and an exciti n g fin i s h? The specific decisions a designer m a kes-putti ng e m p h as i s on what s h e sees as i m po rta nt-wi l l u lti mately set h e r a p a rt from other d esigners and t h e i r co l lect i o n s . This p rocess is j u st a s i m porta nt as t h e garments themse lves, beca use it p l a ces the d esigne r's vision in a context of her own c reation.

60 Fashion Design Essentials

C h ristian Lacroix Col lection, 2006


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Punctuation: Details O n ce the structure of a ga rment h a s been clearly defi ned and the materi a l s being used to fa b ricate it have been chosen, it is t i m e to conte m p late the deta i l s . These points w i l l fine-tune the d e s ign a n d e n s u re t h at a design er's aesthet ic s e n s i ­ b i l ities a re con s i stent t h roughout. We l l - p l aced e m b e l l i s h m e nts w i l l pu nctuate t h e design, b u t n o t d i stract from i t . Decorative b utton s or s n a p s h e l p to m i x form and f u n ct i o n . O n e big, bold button on an other­ wise u n d erstated coat serves as a n exc l a m ation point. M ost fa ns of the classic Weste rn -style s h i rt wo u l d agree that pearl s n a ps a re an es­ sential fi n i s h i ng touch. Big brassy zi ppers stress uti l ity, a n d when used d e l i be rately they c a n m a ke a statement. Exposing t h at k i n d of h eavy h a rd ­ wa re and having i t s l a s h t h rough a del icate d ress defi n itely m a kes a d e c l a ra t i o n . Strictly orna m e n t a l deta i l s s u c h a s e m b ro i d e ry or bea d i ng a re straightforwa rd e nough, except when t hey a re strategica l ly pla ced in u n expected locations. A s m a l l godet inserted at t h e end of a seam can provide ease but also i nterest. Top­ stitc h i ng with t h read in an accent color is o n e way t o u n d e r l i n e the style l i nes of a ga rment. The edge of a ga rment may be d otted a n d d a s h ed with a d ecorative b l a n ket stit c h . Fo r m a ny fas h i o n designers, " t h e d e v i l i s i n t h e deta i l s " beca use that i s w h e re t h e y m ight f i n d the process the m ost d iffi c u lt or c h a l l e ngi ng. I t i s a l s o a way t h at design ers can s u btly sign t h e i r m a sterpieces.

6 2 Fashion Design Essentials

Above: Beaded Mary

McFadden gown Right: Decorative zipper

deta i l by Aey Hota rwaisaya


Beaded, bowed, a n d gilded dress by C h ristian Lacroix, 2006

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f

---'

/


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Closures C l o s u re methods a re pri m a rily p ract ical consid­ e rations, b u t they can also be used as prom i n e n t design d eta i l s that com plete a l o o k . A l m ost a n y fa stener c a n be stea l t h i l y h i dden w i t h i n a p la cket or a seam, or camo ufl aged when covered i n fa b­ ric, to a c h i eve a c l e a n a ppeara n ce. There a re a l s o specia l considerations for e a c h type o f closu re that w i l l affect the fit a n d f i n i s h of a garment. Flat buttons a re c o m m o n in most i n stances, but s h a n ked buttons a re often used when the t h ick­ ness of the fa bric req u i res greater space to a l low for that b u l k to be butto n e d . A sta n d a rd z i pper can be centered, l a p ped, or i n se rted without a n y exte n s i o n s o f fa bric t o intenti o n a l l y re m a i n vis­ ible. The i nv i s i b l e z i pper is designed to p u l l t h e fa bric o n both sides together t o m i m ic a sea m . H ooks a n d eyes as we l l a s snaps a re ava i l a b l e i n d iffe rent sizes, col ors, a n d types. I n s o m e i n sta nces, t h e y a re cove red to b l e n d i nto the ga r­ ment. Both a lso a re ava i l a b l e on a tape that can be sewn in. Vel cro is c o m m o n l y not visible and can be a pp l ied i n segments o r co n t i n u o u s strips. E l e m e nts such as ties, be lts, frogs, and toggles a re u s u a l ly chosen for t h e i r decorative contri b u ­ tion as wel l a s t h e i r u sefu l n ess.

Top: Pink bias ribbon lacing Above: Blue fabric-covered

buttons

64 Fashion Design Essentials


• • •


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Specialty Requisites Spec i a l m ateria ls a re often req u i red to a c h i eve d e s i red effects, p rovide specific functional ity, a n d e n s u re q u a l ity workm a n s h i p . S o l v i ng u n i q u e design c h a l l enges req u i res d iffe rent m ateria l s . I f the right i ngred ients don't exist, a n i n n ovative designer w i l l be i n s p i red to invent t h e m . A fu l l -flowing s k i rt w i l l ben efit from a b a n d of h o rse h a i r braid sewn into the h e m . O rigi n a l l y m a d e o f actual horseha i r, t h i s m e s h i s now made of nylon. O n e of its uses i n c l udes provid ing a flexi b l e stiffness that reinfo rces the edge of the hem. The s k i rt m ight be m a d e without it, but i n ­ c l u d i ng i t res u lts i n a rou nded, b i l lowi ng h e m l i n e t h a t seems t o ro l l a s it moves. I n weatherproof outerwea r, a l a c k of b reat h a b i l ity m ight req u i re the i n sertion of a nylon mesh into strategi ca l l y p la ced vents. D o u b l e z i ppers a l l ow the garment to be part i a l ly o p e n ed at either end without com pletely exposing the wea rer to the e l e m e nts. T h read i s at the h e a rt of putting togeth e r most ga rments. Each project w i l l req u i re a d i ffere nt type of t h read. The size and weight of a t h read is i n d icated by a set of n u m bers, such as 50/3 . The fi rst n u m be r refers to the d i a meter of each strand (the h igher t h e n u mber t h e finer the t h read) a n d the second to the n u m ber of stra n d s t h a t h ave been twisted together t o c reate that t h re a d . F i n e r t h reads a re i n kee p i n g with h a n d ­ work a n d d e l i cate fa b rics. Strong t h reads w i l l h o l d u p t o heavier fa brics a n d c a n be used i n situations w h e n t h e re w i l l b e a d d i t i o n a l stress, a s i n gath e r i n g stitches a n d b utto n h o les. Synthetic t h reads p rovide a l itt l e m o re give when sewi n g kn its. E m b roid e ry t h read is m o re c o m m o n l y refe r red t o a s floss and is u s u a l l y co m posed o f six loosely twisted stra n d s . I n addition t o d iffe rent lengths a n d d i a meters, t h e s h a pe o f the point o f a needle is very i m po rta nt. Fo r i nstance, needles used fo r kn its need to be sl ightly ro unded at the point so they do n't snag.

66 Fashion Design Essentials

Clockwise: Decorative yarns;

heavy-duty zipper ; thread; horsehair


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Miscellaneous Markers I n fa s h io n , eve ryth ing revo lves a ro u n d the n ew a n d the u nexpl ored. L i ke a nyth i ng e l se, even the fa s h i o n i n d u stry can fa l l i nto a rut, and o n l y ra ndom w i l d cards a re a b l e t o s h a ke t h i ngs u p a n d sh ift the fa s h i o n l a ndscape j u st e n ough to infl u e n ce c h a nge. I n truth, they deserve t h e i r own custo m , sometimes com p l ex, l a b e l , but beca use it is d iffi c u l t to fit t h e m i nto a category, these fa s h ion fl a res a re u s u a l l y f i l ed under "M isce l l a ­ neo us." Their ra n d o m n ess s h o u ld not b e l i e t h e i r i m porta n ce i n terms o f i n s p i ration a n d d i rection. Now that v i rtu a l l y everyon e h a s a b l og of h i s own, t h e b l ogos p h e re's i m pact see m s d i l uted a nd c o m m o n p l a ce. H owever, the b l oggi ng l a ndscape is sti l l a p l a ce wh e re d i a m o n d s i n the ro ugh c a n b e fou n d . These u n d iscove red ge m s reflect facets of fa s h i o n that may not h ave been on a nyone's ra dar u n t i l o n e of these writers chooses to foc u s on i t a n d s p read t h e word . Some a re described as being on t h e front l i nes of fas h i o n , so tappi ng into t h e right c o m b i nation of o n l i ne voices w i l l p rovide i n s ight, resou rces, a n d i n s p i ration for the fa s h ion designer. B l ogs a re just one exa m ple. Move m ents toward susta i n a b i l i ty a n d fa i r t rade h ave been b u i l d i n g m o m e n t u m i n t h e fa s h i o n i n d ustry, but they ra re l y ga i n traction i n the h igh-end fa s h i o n world. H oweve r, i n the J u ne 2 0 0 9 i s s u e of Vogue, C a m e ron D i a z was featured wearing a p a i r of eco-frie n d ly/h igh-end fas h i o n sh orts by Goods of Conscience, a fas h ion label c reated by Fat h e r Andrew O'Connor, a C a t h o l i c priest based i n the B ro n x, New Yo rk. The u n expected s o u rce ce rta i n l y generates interest, but t h e bus i ness model and the message lay the gro u n dwork for the evo l ut i o n of an i n d ustry. Design ers need to be looking fo r signs of the fut u re on a l l fronts-who is s h i n i ng a l ight o n a d iffe rent perspective a n d h ow t h at w i l l fuel t h e i r creative p rocess.

6 8 Fashion Design Essentials

Father Andrew O'Connor, (right), created Goods of Conscience in answer to the needs of several co m m u n ities. The company employs both Mayan I ndian weavers and underem ployed Bronx sewers, supporting loca l production in both locales. The line uses a soft, lightweight material made of o rga nic cotton, called Social Fabric, which is made in the G uatemalan tradition of back-strap weaving. The manufactu ring of the fabric and garments ta kes into

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account i m portant issues of

susta inability and fair trade

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that face the fashion ind ustry

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Tavi Gevinson is a n American fashion blogging phenomenon. She started "Style Rookie" in 2008 at the age of eleven and her followers include M i uccia Prada, John Galliano, Rei Kawakubo, a n d the M u l leavy sisters. These design stars say she "gets it," and they are taking notice.


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Care and Feeding of a Garment I t's i m pera t ive to consider the l ife of a garment w h e n desig n i n g it, such as h ow t h e ga rment w i l l h o l d u p over t i m e, t h rough wear, c l e a n i ng, a n d stea m i ng. T h i s can m a ke the d iffe rence between having an object that is a keepsake a n d o n e that is re legated to the d u stbi n . In some cases, it is the patina that deve l o ps d u ri n g the aging p rocess that adds to its d e s i ra b i l ity. I n othe rs, the va l u e comes from t h e item's a b i l ity to reta i n a good-as­ n ew a p peara n ce over t i m e . W i l l the garme nt's fa bric a n d c o n struction sta n d u p t o m a c h i n e wash i ng, o r w i l l it req u i re h a n d wa s h i n g or d ry c l e a n i ng? W i l l a l i nt b r u s h o r a n a d h esive ro l l e r b e a b l e t o c l e a r the s u rface o f l i n t, h a i r, a n d fuzz?

Faux furs can be brushed gently to

Nylon, polyester, and other synthetics

prevent matting, a lso removing dust and

used for outerwear may be machine

debris. May be machine washed and h u ng to d ry. No d ryer o r direct heat.

washed or dry cleaned. They can also be placed in a dryer at a low temperature.

Sturdy cotton (canvas, denim twi l l ) can

Dry cleaning is preferred for most

be laund ered-hot water for whites;

d e l icate si l ks. They may also be gently

warm or co ld for colors. Shrin kage can

hand washed with mild soap. Lay flat to

be addressed with prewashing.

dry on a noncolored towel.

Heavy wool tweeds and suiting may be

Hairy fabrics (a ngora, moha i r, a l paca, or

dry cleaned or spot cleaned with a damp sponge. A steamer is the recommended

vicuna) should be dry cleaned or gently

way to take out wrin kles.

Steam; do not iron flat.

Does the fa b r i c req u i re p ressing or stea m i ng? I n the case of velvet or cord u roy fa brics, w i l l a needle press board or pad h e l p m a i nt a i n t h e p i l e? W h e n i ro n i n g the ga rme nt, h ow w i l l a t a i l o r's h a m , a press m i tt, a seam ro l l , a point press, o r a sleeve board wo rk for the user? W i l l a p ress cloth or pad help to prevent the fa bric from s h i n i n g or si nge i ng? After a length of t i m e, folds can beco m e perma­ n e nt and wea ken the fabric, so proper sto rage is essent i a l . W h i c h type of h a nger best s u its that part i c u l a r garment? W i l l p a c k i ng with tissue a n d cardboard for m s h e l p keep t h e body o f t h e gar­ ment in s h a p e a n d w r i n k l e-free? Wo u l d it be best to store t h e ga rment on the h a nger in a plastic bag or a cloth bag, o r i n a box with acid-free pa­ per? W i l l basting pockets a n d vents closed h e l p p revent saggi ng o r twisti ng? Design ers may not a lways h ave t h e t i m e to test the e n d u ra nce of a ga r m ent, but they can be­ come fa m i l i a r with how fa b r i cs and construction tec h n i q ues w i l l sta n d u p to t i m e and use, h e l p i n g t h e m t o m a ke the best c h o ices.

70 Fashion Design Essentials

washed. Do not wring or agitate; dry flat.


Right: For t h e designer

working with exotic trims such as fur or feathers, it is a good idea to design the garment so that these sections are removable for cleaning pu rposes. Gown by designer N a ra Paz

Raw silks and linens can be dry cleaned o r gently hand washed. They may be pressed at a low heat from the reverse side of the fabric or steamed.

Fabrics with meta llic or plastic threads should be dry cleaned. A press cloth should be used when ironing on low temperature from the reverse side.

Pile fabrics (velvet, terry cloth, o r cordu roy) c a n be cleaned according to fiber content. Steam only from the reverse side or on a needle press board .


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Ancient Tools and Techniques Fo r the fi rst t i m e o n record, the woman who h a s b e e n c h a rged w i t h creating b ra id w o r k u s e d t o decorate C h a n e l su its s i n ce 1 947 w a s i nt roduced to t h e p u b l i c in t h e documentary Signe Chane/. M a d a m e Pouz i e u x creates t h e fa m o u s fa s h ion b ra ids on a o ne-of-a-kind a n c i e nt l o o m . Wor k i ng the loom i s second n a t u re to h e r, but m a n y a p 足 p re n t i ces have been confou nded by i t s intrica足 ci es. The H o use of C h a n e l i s a loyal patron of h e r wo rk, beca use t h i s type of b ra i d t r i m can be fo und now h e re else. T h i s story i l l u st rates o n e exa m p l e of h ow va l u 足 a b l e a n d u n i q u e o l d-world tech n i q ues c a n be, not to mention antique tools and m a c h i n e ry. N ew sewing m ac h i nes with bu i lt-in c o m p uters can be p rogra m m ed to do m a ny wonderfu l t h i ngs, but for power a n d sta b i l ity, not h i ng compares to o l d e r i n d u st r i a l m a c h i nes. W h i le the m a 足 c h i nes can st i l l b e found, t h e knowledge a n d s k i l l req u i red to m a i nta i n them i s beco m i n g h a rd t o f i n d . M a n y t a l e nts a re a l so fad i ng i nto obscurity, beca use t h ese v i ntage c rafts a re not being passed on. A l t hough automation affords the designer the a b i l ity to p rod uce fa ster, t h e p rocess of resea rc h i ng, l e a r n i ng, a n d i m p le me n t i ng o l d -fash i o n ed methods may p rove to be a useful c reative exercise.

72 Fashion Design Essentials


Left Above: Vintage sewing

machine Left Below: Loom Right: Assorted braids by 18

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Accessory Closet W h i c h comes first t h e s u i t o r the stil ettos? W h a t about the c u r rent "it" bag or a s m a rt p a i r o f g l asses? A great accesso ry can be t h e c e n 足 terpiece of a great o utfit . I f the sho pper can t a ke that a p p roach, why c a n 't the design e r? G reat a ccessories that stra d d l e the l i n e betwee n f u n c足 tion a n d a rt a re worthy of a designer's atte ntion. Studying t h e m i c rocos m s of sty l e may gene rate ideas that a designer can expand u pon, a n d pos足 s i b l y b u i l d a col lection a ro u n d . H ats a re n o t a m u st for tod ay's fas h i o n a b l e wom a n t h e way they were i n t h e 1 9 5 0 s a n d 1 960s, b u t t hey h ave n o t gone away. M i l l i n e rs a re reg u l a r l y req u i red to rise to the c h a l l e nge of e m powe r i n g t h e i r c u stomers with the confi d e n ce to don these a rtfu l expres s i o n s of fas h i o n . Ap足 parel designers can t a ke a cue from the c raft a n d a rti stry b e h i n d t h e i r work.

Clockwise: Fashionable

eyewear; Shaunt Sarian bag; Zack Lo shoes

Shoes h ave become one of the most i m portant fa s h i o n a ccessories, beca use u n l ess the option of going ba refoot i s on the t a bl e, a pa i r of shoes is tec h n ica l ly a n ecessity. Accord i n g to A n swers. com, on ave rage, women between the ages of twenty-five a n d fifty own from forty to s i xty p a i rs of shoes. As a fa s h i o n category, shoes r u l e !

PHOTO: SIMPLYNATE PHOTOGRAPHY

74 Fashion Design Essentials


Ma rie Ga lvin hat


I NVENTORY

35

Vintage Patina Right: "IT'S M I N E ! " A Daily

You nger s i b l i n gs everywh e re co m p l a i n about h a nd-me-downs, but i n fas h i o n , a seco n d h a n d ga rment h a s the potenti a l t o b e a t r u l y coveted item. Its degree of va l u e ste m s from m a n y t h i ngs: o

o

o

News front-page head l i ne from October 28, 1999. Col lector Bob Schagrin pays $1.1 m i l lion for Marilyn Monroe's dress.

I s the garment sti l l re levant? A great m oto rcyc l e ja cket sends j u st as powe rfu l a m essage a s it ever d i d .

PHOTO: N Y DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Does a designer l a be l cou nt? I d entifia b l e m a rke rs s p e a k to the power o f b ra n d i ng fash i o n . I s i t a sym b o l i c part o f h i story? The u ltra足 fem i n i n e s i l houettes of the early 1960s have greatly influenced contem pora ry fa s h ion t h a n ks to t h e p o p u l a rity of the television series

Mad Men. o

o

o

How ra re i s the item? O n e-of- a - k i n d p ieces a re sought after regard less of the category. W h o wore it? The provocative d ress that M a r i lyn M o n roe wore to sing " H a p py B i rt h d ay" to P resident J o h n F. Ken nedy i n 1 962 was n oteworthy in its d ay, but has cont i n ued to i n c rease expo n e n t i a l l y in both p o p u l a rity and va l u e s i nce then. Does it possess g l a m o u r by association? Designers and j o u r n a l i sts a re often gu i lty of foste r i ng relations h i ps between c l ot h ing and celebrities, even if th ere i s no c re d i b l e affi liation betwee n the two . Describing a l i tt l e b l a c k d ress a s "very A u d rey H e p b u r n " m a y be a sort of tri bute to h e r, G ivenchy, a n d Breakfast at Tiffany's, but t h ere i s n 't a rea l connect i o n .

I n w h a t way can today's designers b r u s h t h e patina of a v i ntage g a r m e n t ove r t h e i r work? I t need not be as l itera l as t a r n i shed butto ns a n d buckles o r d i stressed and faded fa brics. The s u bt l e use of color schemes that reflect the aesthetics of a n oth e r t i m e i s a n option. The a p plication of o l d -wo rld pattern m a k i ng, construct i o n , o r f i n i s h i n g tec h n i q ues is another. The use of s i l h ouettes that refe rence specific periods in fas h ion h i story can a l so provide the designer with a sense of a not her era. Vi ntage sources a re now varied a n d p lentifu l . Local boutiqu es, regional m a r kets, and o n l i ne reta i l e rs a re useful b a rometers t h a t a l low a designer to spot ti mely vintage tre n d s .

76 Fashion Design Essentials

Evening gown featuring a distinctive geometric silhouette of the 1980s


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GORE GOES ON OFFENSIVE IN DEBATE

17 MIWON HOT DOGS RECAll ED

LAPTOPS GO HOME WITH SCHOOL KIDS

PAGES 4 6 5

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SPECIAL REPORT PAGES 32 6 33

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Fashion Translations Fa s h i o n i n fl u ences come fro m many d i fferent sou rces, i n c l u d i ng spo rts, c l u bs, social and eco­ n o m i c c l ass, a n d d iffe rent c u l t u res. I t's up to the designer to tra n s l ate and adopt these i n fl uences to fit i nto the m a i nstre a m . T h e rugby s h i rt, for exa m p l e, a l lows t e a m s to ide ntify the mse lves with team-specific colors i n corporated i nto the five or six horizontal stripes cal led hoops. The " rep" tie i s used by schools, c l u bs, a nd m i l itary reg i m ents to d i splay t h e i r af­ filiations. The term rep refers to the r i b b i ng of t h e fa bric's weave, n o t t h e c o l o r a n d configurat ion of stripes (a c o m m o n m i sconcept i o n ) . How m ight the idea of wea r i ng y o u r "co lors" figure i n the design p rocess? I nteresti ng d i st i n ct i o n s deve l o p a mong d i ffer­ ent social a n d e co n o m i c c l asses. I n the U n ited Ki ngdom, costermo ngers, who s o l d fruit a n d veg­ eta b l e s from m a rket sta l l s , would set t h e m se lves a pa rt from ot h e r ve ndors by sewing a row of pearl buttons a l o n g the sea m s of t h e i r ga rments. The res u l t was cal led a Flash Boy outfit. A large ca rgo of pearl butto n s from J a p a n in t h e 1 8 60s is sa id to have contrib uted to the deve l o p m e n t of this t rend a mong the trad e s m e n . H e n ry C roft w a s a part o f t h a t com m u n ity, a n d he i s c red ited with creating t h e u n iq u e Pea r l y Ki ngs a n d Q u e e n s l o o k i n 1 875. Croft, a teen­ age orphan who had a desire to h e l p those i n need, u n derstood that h e needed to set h i mself a pa rt to be n ot i ced, so he covered a n e n t i re s u i t w i t h pearl buttons. T h e fi rst "pearly" w a s born. The working class adopted the Pea r l y Ki ngs a n d Q ue e n s trad ition t o continue t h e "whip a ro u nd," w h i c h is what they called m a k i ng co l l ect i o n s for those i n need. D e n i m ga rments have been interpreted a nd re interpreted over t h e yea rs. I ntro d u ced as work c l othes a n d then ad opted as fa s h i on by teenag­ e rs, d e n i m went on to se rve as a canvas for s u c h e m b e l l i s h m e nts as m eta l studs, h a n d p a i nt i ng, a n d r h i n estones. Someti m es the fusion of two d iffe rent fa s h i o n languages c a n resu l t i n a fresh new idea-denim a n d pearly button s .

78 Fashion Design Essentials

M a ry and Fred Ti nsl ey, Pearly Queen a n d King of Southwark, London, 1949


Decorative button deta il on denim from Art by T


TECHN I Q U E

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Four Seasons: A Timeline The seasons h e l p co m pa rtmental ize fas h i o n . The p ractical d e m a n d s of weat her a l o n e c a u s e u s t o focus o n t h e e l e m e nts o f design that shield a person from the ra i n , s u n , w i n d , o r s n ow. H ow足 ever, the natural aesthetics of each period a l so infl u e n ce designers with regard to t h e colors, patterns, a n d text u res t h ey choose. Each season is potent with reference poi nts; even for peo ple living in a c l i mate that doesn't cha nge d ra m ati足 ca l ly from season to season, the re a re degrees of d iffe rence that have an i m pact on t h e i r fas h i o n cho ices, whether t h ey a re the designers o r t h e c o n s u m ers. What seaso n a l associations m ight someone m a ke? S p r i n g could b r i n g s howers a n d gard e n s to m i n d . S u m m e r may evoke s u n s h i n e a nd s u n fl owers. Fa l l m ight conj u re u p a cava lcade of color as the l eaves cha nge. A n d wi nter has the poten t i a l to st i r u p frosty i mages of s n ow and ice. Although these a re a c c u rate reflections of s p r i ng, s u m m e r, fa l l, a n d w i nter, each d e s ig n e r has a u n i q u e set of va r i a bles that s h e b r i n gs to the table based on h e r perso n a l expe r i e n ces.

Below: Spring inspiration Right: Colorful ensemble

featuring floral embroidery by designer N a ra Paz

Below: Summer inspiration Right: Vintage hand-painted

cotton d ress from Poor Little Rich G i rl

These fa s h ion t i m e l i nes a re not s i m p l y l i ne a r. They a re a set of para l le l l i n e s that begi n at d if足 ferent poi nts o n the calendar. It's a b a l a n c i n g act for design ers, because whic heve r season you're a ctu a l l y experienci ng, as a fa s h i o n profess i o n a l y o u a re designing for at least two seasons a h ead, p ro d u c i n g for o n e season a h ead, a n d d e l ivering i n the p resent d ay.

Below: Fall inspiration Right: Copper leather shirt

and sati n stripe skirt by designer Elena Sanders

80 Fashion Design Essentials


Below: Winter inspiration Right: Black-and-white wool

coat by designer Pavlina Gilson


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38

Rate, Rules, and Roughs A fas h i o n designer may be tem pted to avoid ste ps in the creative p rocess to m eet dead l i nes or simply reap the rewards a little sooner. Whether it's i n sketchi ng, pattern m a ki ng, o r sewing, bypassing steps cou ld u n d e r m i n e the final outcome. •

Sketch i ng: A s e n se of the shape and flow of a ga rment can often i n it i a l l y be fou n d in a rough sketch. Repeating that p rocess on paper p rovides a place w h e re deta i l s can be fin essed before the actual garment is being deve loped.

Pattern m a k i ng: M e a s u re twice, cut once. Mathematics i s a u n iversal l a nguage, and t h e re i s l ittle roo m for i m p rovisation when it comes to accu racy. H ow pattern p ieces i n te r­ lock, how they a re based o n c l e a r a n d d eta i l ed notations o n a pattern, a n d h ow they a d h e re to t h e body's m e a s u re me nts a re a l l based o n a system o f r u l es.

Construction: Basting seems l i ke t h e biggest waste of ti me, u n t i l something goes wrong. I n the end, t h i n k i n g a bout basting u s u a l l y wa stes m o re t i m e t h a n actu a l ly d o i ng it. These tem­ pora ry stitches serve much the same f u n ction as a rough sketc h . They let you a ssess h ow the ga rment i s coming together without t a k i ng per­ m a n ent, a n d i n some cases i rreve rs i b le, ste ps.

I n addition to getting it right the fi rst t i m e, each and every p h a se of pre p a rat ion p rovides a n op­ portun ity for i n s p i ra t i o n . The r u l e s d o n 't n eces­ s a r i l y cha nge, but the o n e s you a p ply, as well as how, when, and where you a p p ly t h e m , is a c reative act i n itse lf.

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TECHN I Q U E

39

Hand to Eye The c o n n ection between the m i n d 's eye a n d the hands of the designer is easily taken for granted. T h i s l i n k m u st be re i n fo rced t h rough conscious exercise and exploration. I f the co m m u n ication between the two i s f l u id, a designer's d exterity i n exec uting ideas beco mes effo rtless a nd, after a t i m e, second n at u re. B u i l d i ng strong bonds re­ q u i res e q u a l pa rts a rtist, a rc h i tect, and construc­ tion worker. I t's easy to p l ay to your strengths, but a good designer w i l l have a clear com pre h e n ­ sion o f cause and effect i n every a rea . A stitc h e r who u n d e rsta n d s h ow a pattern is designed to come together p roduces better work. The seq u e n ce of construction and deta i l p l a ce­ m e n t w i l l m a ke a big d iffere nce i n the fin ish of the f i n a l p roduct. The q u a l ity of a s ketch is h igher when it ben efits from knowledge of construction tec h n iq ues a n d experience with a wide va riety of d ifferent fa brics. Rendering the ro l l of fa bric cut on the b i a s has a d istinctly d ifferent feel than d rawing something cut on the l engthwise gra i n . Patter n m a ke rs w h o c a n v i s u a l ize how a ga r­ m e n t w i l l be sewn w i l l be s u re to i n c l u d e t h e right i nfo rmation i n the pattern they ' re d rafti ng. I n clud i ng we l l - p la ced notches, the a p propriate seam a l l owa n ce, or e n o ugh ease is essenti a l if the stitc h e r i s going to be a b l e to do his job we l l . A designer s h o u l d b e a b l e to n avigate between v i s u a l mode where the i magination a n d a esthet­ ics a re para m o u nt, the b l ueprint phase that d o c u m ents and com m u n i cates how each design w i l l be executed, a nd bu i ld i ng somet h i n g that re­ spects and reflects the origi n a l vision and i ntent. The m o re d i rect the path between the designer's imagination a nd the rea l ities of producing it, the better t h e work.

84 Fashion Design Essentials

Above: Fashion sketch

of a design by Victoria Dominguez-8agu Right: Design by Victoria

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85


TECHN I Q U E

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Checks and Balances O n e of the most im portant stages i n the design p rocess is self-correcti o n . There may be a sense of something b e i n g off, but it's diffi c u l t to p i n 足 point t h e pro b l e m . To do t h i s objectively, t h e piece needs t o b e taken out o f context. There a re seve ra l ways to c h eck t h e work. W h i l e re ndering a two-d i m e n s i o n a l representa 足 tion of a design, t u r n i ng t h e sketch u ps i d e down so that it can be seen a s an a bstract o bject h e l p s to m a ke i m ba l a nces obvious. A vers i o n o f a sketch on t raci ng p a p e r c a n b e folded i n h a l f d own t h e figure's center t o avoid u n wa nted d i stort i o n s . The custom o f worki n g on the h a l f i s a l ready p racticed in pattern ma king and d ra p i ng because it cuts down on h u m a n error when trying to p roperly b a l a nce both s i d es of the ga rment. Eve n patterns for some a sy m m etrical ga rments c a n be sta rted on the fold to e ns u re proper fit in a reas that s h o u l d reflect each other, a l lowing for the asym m et ry to then be incorporated i nto the patte r n .

Color i n a fabric u nder natural light appears cool, with a blue cast.

W h e n considering t h e fa brication o f a design, col足 ors s h o u l d be checked i n d ifferent types of l ight to have a c l e a r vision of how the colors w i l l read. Fa bric s h o u l d a l s o be tested for t ra n s p a re n cy to avoid u nwa nted overexposure . Throughout construction, d o u ble-checking seam a l l owa nce, d a rt l e ngths, and hems for consistency is a good p ractice to develop. Fi n i s h i ng h e m s that fa l l on the bias, l i ke a circ u l a r s k i rt, s h o u l d fi rst be a l l owed to h a n g for at least twenty-fou r h o u rs, beca use most fa bric w i l l end up sagg i n g i n those a reas. This w i l l a l low the designer to e n s u re an eve n l y d istri b uted s k i rt length.

Color in a fabric under incandescent light a p pears warm, with a red cast.

Color in a fabric under fluorescent light has a green cast.

86 Fashion Design Essentials


When a tried-and-true basic sloper is used to generate a new pattern with a n asym足 metrical feature, starting the process on the fold will help ensure that the fit is consistent. Once the piece is opened and laid flat, a l most any alteration to incorpo rate asymmetry into the new model can be made. The bal足 ance is a l ready built in.

87


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Machine Interface The owner's m a n u a l w i l l provide the funda­ mentals for u s i ng a sewing m a c h i ne, but th e re is m o re to t h e re lations h i p between sewer a n d m a c h i n e t h a n basic i n structions. A s u ccessfu l i nte ract ion req u i res a com m itment from t h e de­ signer to "get to k n ow" the m a c h i n e . I t's easy to att r i b ute h u m a n c h a racteristics, even perso n a l i ­ ti es, t o a m a c h i n e that is used o n a reg u l a r basis. Some designers d evelop s u c h a strong bond that they go as far a s n a m i ng their m a c h i n e s . T h i s can be a good t h i ng beca u se it means the operator of that e q u i p m e n t is res pons ive to feedback sh e's gett ing. A u d i b l e, v i s u a l , a n d tact i l e cl u e s u n iq u e t o every m a c h i n e h e l p t h e sewer m a ke decisions d u ring the prod uction process. Although most sewing m a c h i n e s work in p retty m u c h t h e s a m e way, there a re l ittle d iffe rences a n d s u btle n ua n ces rega rd ing h ow they work. Threadi ng, b o b b i n type, power, and speed of the motor a re a few of the m ost obvious t h i ngs that w i l l va ry a mong m a c h i ne s . If the designer is a b l e to re cogn i ze m a c h i n e parts a n d u n d e rsta n d t h e i r fu n cti o n , she can solve p ro b l e m s more easi ly. A foot pedal, power cord, spool h o l d e r, b o b b i n w i n d e r, tension d i scs, stitch length, width and need l e position adjustments, t a ke - u p l ever, p resser foot, p ressu re a dj u stme nt, t h roat p l ate, feed dog, h a n d wheel, m otor, belt, t h read c utter, s l i d e p l ate, b o b b i n , a n d b o b b i n c a s e a re the parts common to most m a c h i nes. Beco m e i n t i m ately a c q u a inted with yo u r ma­ chine. Read the m a n u a l . C l e a n i ng, l u brication, a n d m e c h a n i c a l adj u st­ m e n ts a re a part of basic m a i ntenance that e n ­ s u res consistent resu lts. Safe p ra ct i ces a re often based on com mon sen se. D o n 't rush, don't force, keep the a rea n eat, and keep finge rs away from the needle. If fa bric is being fed into t h e m a c h i n e p roperly, there i s no reason w h y h a n d s s h o u l d ever b e c l ose e n ough t o c a u s e inju ry. An i n vestment of t i m e a n d e n e rgy is req u i red if designers a re going to have a good expe r i e n ce a n d positive resu lts.

8 8 Fashion Design Essentials

I nside a n overlock machine


Inside a buttonhole machine


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Cut, Drape, and Fold Close exa m i nation of how fa bric is m a n i p u lated by cutti ng, d ra p i ng, a n d fo l d i ng a l lows the designer to b u i l d s u bt l e and dyna m i c elements into a design. Deve l o p i ng a lternative cutting strategies, wrapping t h e figure i n soft fo lds, or desig n i ng systems of pleats, permits the designer to tra n sform a ny s i l houette. The role of the cutter in a design roo m seems s i m p l e enough-cut the p ieces - b u t it i s a job that d e m a nds great precision and attention to deta i l . H ow the garment i s cut especi a l l y when u s i ng patte rned fabrics l i ke stripes, c h ecks, a n d p l a i d s can res u l t i n d iffe rent a p pe a ra n ces. Pieces can be cut o n d iffe rent gra i n s or the bias for effect.

Kilt by H ector Russe l l , Edinburgh, Scotland

There is a sensual ity i nvolved i n d ra p i ng fa bric on and a ro u n d the body. The s a r i (or saree) i s a n i d e a l exa m p l e o f a garment that uses a rtful d ra p i ng. I t i s a le ngth of fa b r i c, a p p rox i m ately 5 to 1 0 y a rds (4.6 to 9.1 m ) in length, u s u a l l y featuring a n ornamental border. I t i s n ot c u t o r sewn i n a ny way. T h e contem pora ry s a r i is worn ove r a c h o l i (sari blouse) and a petticoat. I t can be d ra ped in a va riety of ways, but the N iv i style is the most po p u l a r. Scott ish tartans were origi n a l ly d raped i n a fa s h io n s i m i l a r to the sari, cal led t h e G reat K i lt giv ing a soft toga - l i ke a p peara n ce. The k i l t has evo lved over time to t a ke o n a m o re ta i l o red l ook, featuring precise l y measured a n d pe rfect ly p ressed k n i fe or box p leats. The modern kilt uses 6 to 8 ya rds (5.5 to 7.3 m) of fa b ric and can be pleated to set, w h i c h a lthough p l eated, v i s u a l l y m a i n ta i n s the t a rtan repeat. A k i l t c a n a lso b e pleated t o stri pe, a m ethod associated w i t h ki lts for the m i l ita ry. A p roper ta rta n is m a d e of wool twi l l a n d m ust be identical i n both d i rect ions of the warp a n d weft of the fa bric. Methods that req u i re a n a d h e rence to t h e kind of rigid r u l e s i nvolved i n ki lt-m a k i n g c u l t ivate a beauty o n l y mathematics ca n provide.

90 Fashion Design Essentials

Straight-gra i n top

Bias top

Cross-gra i n top

Straight-gra i n swatch

Bias swatch

Cross-gra i n swatch


Vintage sari cou rtesy of Shel ley C h ha bra


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Underpinnings and Assembly Any ga rment, from p l a i n to intricate, w i l l benefit from a s o u n d i n frastruct u re . We l l -const ru cted ga rme nts rely on m a ny e l e ments that a re not a p parent a t first g l a n ce. Good workma n s h i p w i l l depend u pon specific tec h n iq ues a n d additional materials that best se rve t h e d e s ign. C h oosing the best seam for a p roject i s con足 ti ngent on the effect t h e d e s igner i s trying to ach ieve a n d the nature of the mater i a l s being used. S i m p l e garme nts may u s e p l a i n sea ms that can be fin i shed with pi n king s h e a rs o r ove r l ock stitc h i n g to p revent u n rave l i ng. B o u n d sea ms a re f i n i shed with a strip of b i as-cut fa b r i c a n d a re c o m m o n l y fo u n d i n u n l i ned ga rme nts. A French seam is a seam within a seam, which works well with shear fa brics. Lapped o r flat-fe l led sea ms can be fou n d on jeans a n d a re used for their strength and d u ra b i l ity. Fa ci ngs a re used to f i n i s h off a reas s u c h a s a neckline o r a n a rm hole. F u s i b l e a n d sew- i n i nterfa c ings a re fo u n d i n fa c i ngs, c uffs, co l la rs, plackets, a n d butto n h o l e s to add body, keep sha pe, and s u ppo rt a n d rei nforce an area. They a re ava i l a b l e as wove n, no nwove n , a n d k n i t materi a l s . L i n i n g i s the i d e a l way to profe s s i o n a l l y fi n i s h a ga rment. I nterl i n ing is used between t h e l i n i ng a n d the garment to provide warmth, whereas u n d e r l i n i n g is used to a lter the hand (drape a n d fee l ) o f t h e fa b r i c, w h i l e a lso sta b i l i zi ng a n d strengt h e n i n g it. I t c a n b e as l ight as organza o r as rigid as buckra m . B o n i ng is a nother type o f sta b i l i ze r a n d i s not restricted to use in corsets, b u stiers, and stra p足 less c resses. I t can be used a long side sea m s to p revent saggi ng or as part of a neckline to avoid ga p i ng. I t can be a p p l ied to a n y a rea to prevent it from col l apsing a n d taking away from the design. Depe n d i ng o n t h e garme nt's design, t h e re is a lways a logical o rder for its assembly. H ow it is asse m b l ed a n d f i n ished a l so affects t h e final p ro d u ct. Which a reas a re to be stitc hed? G l ued? Ta ped? Fused? Every c h o i ce t a kes the ga rment i n a d i fferent d i rection, m a k i ng it truly u n i q u e t o the designer who conceived of it.

92 Fashion Design Essentials

Clockwise: Boned bodice;

Overlocked seam; Pinked sea m


Infrastructure of a Daniel Faucher Couture bridal gown


TECHN I Q U E

44

Manipulating Fullness The vo l u m e a nd b u l k of a ga rment can be con­ t ro l led by various methods. Gathering fa bric is o n e way to add f u l l n ess. Ruffles a re made of gathe red fa bric that is re­ leased on one edge. S h i rr i ng i nvolves gathering on opposite edges, in m u lt i p l e rows, so that the rows a re co nta i n e d . Both f l o u n ces, which a re c re ­ ated u s i n g c i rc u l a r sha pes, a n d godets-wedge­ sha ped i n se rts - a re used to add f l a red fu l l ness. Smocking i nvo lves p i n c h i ng fa bric in patterns such as the h o n eyco m b . The s i l h ouette of a gar­ ment can a l so be pum ped u p with q u i lt i ng a n d stuffi ng. Fa bric can a l so be folded to c reate m a n y d iffe rent types of pleats t h at m a n age fu l l ness. Flat pleats such as k n i fe, fa n, accord i o n , box, and i nverted box can be p ressed or u n pressed, can be partia l, or can r u n the f u l l length of the a rea. B roomst i c k pleating i s a n i rreg u l a r, c r u s h ed type o f pleat. Exa m p l e s of p rojecting pleats i n c l u d e c a rtridge, pi nched, a n d t u b u l a r. Tu cks can be spaced, gra d u ated, d o u b led, and tapered, as we l l as being contoured, s l a shed, a n d c ross-stitc hed. Materi­ als that have a m i n i m u m of 60 percent m a n ­ m a d e fiber have thermoplastic p roperties, w h ich m e a n s they will reta i n shapes that a re ba ked in with heat. These heat-treated fa brics a re ideal for c reating sta rbu rst pleat i ng and va riations on Fo rtuny-style p l eati ng. D a rts a re one of the most effi c i e n t ways to e l i m i ­ nate u nwa nted fu l l ness a n d contour t h e shape of a ga rment. They a re u s u a l l y triangu l a r or diamond sha ped and sewn r ight s i d es together so that excess fa bric can be folded o r t r i m med away. M a n y of these tec h n i q u e s can be used i n conce rt a n d the com b i nations a re end less. Devi s i ng a p l a n for the a p p l i cation of a ny of these p ro­ ced u res can co n t r i b ute to b oth s i l h ou ette a n d su rface textu re .

94 Fashion Design Essentials

Above: Gathers create

vo lume in a C h ristian LaCroix dress. Right: Empire dress

pleated at bust by Victoria Dominguez- Bagu


Box pleats are gathered into the bubble sil houette of a cocktail dress by Ed d i Phi l l i ps.


TECHN I Q U E

45

Body Mapping The leg bone's con nected to the knee bone, the knee bone's c o n n ected to t h e th igh bone, the th igh bone's c o n n ected to the h i pbone, and so on and so fort h . These a re the roa d s to the ca rtogra phy of cou t u re. A step further t h a n a n atomy, body m a p p i ng is a bout und e rsta nd­ i n g t h e re l a t i o n s h i p s between d i fferent a reas of the body, t h e experi ence of the wea rer, a n d t h e ga rment itse lf. The concept o f body m a p p i ng re l ies on se lf-observation and self- i n q u i ry. The designer has to gather the same kind of i n s ight by co m m u n icating with h i s c l ient. S i m i l a r to u s i ng a road m a p, a body m a p antici­ pates needs to build in the structure, function, and size. Does a stra p l ess d ress have e n ough structural su pport to keep it from s l i pp i ng down the body as the wea re r moves? In the case of ga rme nts b e i n g used i n a ct ive s ituations, do t h e ga rme nts a l low for fu l l a rtic u l ations o f joi nts, m u s c l e reflexes, a n d/or how the body expands as it b reathes? Is there enough ease in the seat of a garment that is worn by someone who sits most of t h e day? If t h e a n swer to any of these q u estions is " no," the designer can m a ke co u rse correcti o n s w h i l e d eve l o p i ng t h e ga rment that a l low for effi ci ent, e l ega nt m ove ment a n d comfort i n a n y situation. These a re a l l physical rea l ities, but there a re also a b stract b o u n d a r i e s infl u e n ced b y society a n d a designe r's s e n s i b i l i ­ ti es, s u c h a s h ow Iow a n e c k l i n e o n a b l o u se c a n a n d s h o u l d go.

CD Designing a neckline close

® The height and shape of

to the base of the neck

the rise in a pant must

should take i nto consider­

a l low for any extension of

ation that the neck natu­

the abdomen, the fu l l ness

rally leans forward so as

and shape of the backside,

not to constrict the throat. The height of a collar may

and the fact that the body bends at this point. When

interfere with the head's

the figure bends or sits,

range of motion.

the seat spreads.

@ The shou lder is a pivot point for the arm. When

stress point for the pant

engineering a n arm-

leg. The pant leg may be

hole, the designer must

designed with a generous

consider how much ease

a m ount of ease to main­

w i l l a l low for fu l l or lim ited

ta in a smooth sil houette

rotation of the a rm. The

or be intentionally lacking

depth a n d breadth of the

ease in order to create a

armhole will also be a

shape that bunches u p

contributing factor to fit.

and grabs a t t h e knee.

® The fit at the bust line

® A pleat, a s l it, o r a wrap

must take into consid­

deta i l will a l low for a full

eration not only the

stride i n a skirt with a

measurement and the c u p

narrow sil houette. The

size, b u t a l s o t h e contrac­

designer may limit move­

tion and expansion of the

ment by design to bring

lu ngs-wh ich also affects

about a very specific way

the back. The back of the

to move in the garment.

garment is subject to ad­

Some examples include

ditional stress across the

the t radition a l kimono or

shoulder blades due to the

Pa u l Poi ret's hobble skirt

natural tendency of the

of the 1910s.

arms to reach forward.

@) The elbow is a primary stress point for a sleeve. A sma l l dart at the elbow will allow the arm to bend without putting undue wear and tear on the sleeve while sti l l reta i n ing a snug fit. Adding volume to the sleeve at this point will also a l low for freedom of movement, but alters the sil houette.

96 Fashion Design Essentials

® The knee is a primary


97


TECHN I Q U E

46

Uniformity H aving been raised i n I nd i a , where u n iforms were a fact of l i fe in p u b l i c school, Sheena M a t h e i ke n h a d no p rob l e m pledging to wea r t h e s a m e d ress for 365 days (seven identical d resses, one for each day of the wee k). The c h a l l e nge lay in sty l 足 i n g and resty l i n g the d ress so t h a t n o two days were t h e s a m e . The whole p roj ect was deve l oped as a fu n d ra iser fo r Akanksha Fou n dation. The concept i s a test a m e n t to p utti ng a new face on how m u c h we can do to express ourse lves, even w i t h i n t h e constra i nts of a u n iform, s i m u ltane足 ously speaking to i ssues s u c h a s susta i n a b i l ity, w h i l e su pport i ng a great cause. In the a re n a of mo re t ra d i t i o n a l u n iforms, these ga rme nts become sym bols associated with t h e m i litary, law e nforce ment, p rotection, rescue, and the service i n d u stry. U n iform design has its l i m its and may not have the gla m o u r of tre n d - ba sed designs, b u t the c h a l l enge comes i n the fo rm of p rofessi o n a l sta n d a rds of q u a l ity, comfort, d u ra b i l ity, safety, a n d a n y of t h e specific req u i re m ents of the job.

98 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Beyond the practical

there is the pageantry. Due to the historic and heroic nature of many of those who wear a uniform, there are often fo rmal ceremonies that req u i re a little more gra ndeur. This might be done gently with ribbons and/o r with a great deal more im pact, as i n the case of the Scottish mi litary tattoo where long足 standing tradition dictates the flourish of deta i l s. Below: Blauer police u niform

deta i l s


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U n iform Project dress

99


TECHN I Q U E

47

Fit G a r m e nts can g ra b, skim, or bag a ro u n d the wea re r's body depending o n the designer's aesthetic of fit. A fl atte ring fit may be i n the eye of t h e beholder, but as a r u l e, garments that s q ueeze and cut into the body, or that ove r足 w h e l m it with vo l u me, a re not u s u a l ly considered attractive or p roperly s i zed. U l t i m ately, o p i n i o n s regard i ng fit a re a lways su bjective, d u e t o a wide variety of c u l t u ra l i n f l u en ces that c u l t ivate d i ffer足 ent sta n d a rds of bea uty. A tight fit w i l l seize the body, becom ing a second skin, often creasing and fo l d i ng as it stra i n s to cove r the a rea. A true fit w i l l fo l l ow the contou rs of the body, u s i ng a b a l a nce of ge ntle ta i l oring a n d ease to reta i n the i ntegrity of the s i l hou ette. A loose fit's gen e ro u s p roport i o n s m ight a l s o be considered re laxed or oversized beca use t h ey a l low for a f u l l range of mot i o n . Other factors t o con s i d e r w h e n a d d ressing t h e f i t o f a g a r m e n t i n c l u d e vanity s i z i ng, which m o re accurately reflects t h e psyc h o l ogy of the custo m e r rather than her actual s i ze . Category s i z i ng, as in M isses, J u n ior, Wom e n 's, a n d Petite, a re used to i n form s i z i n g for specific body types. There is rea l l y no s u c h t h i n g as one size fits a l l , beca use a ltho ugh you m a y b e a b l e t o get a ga r足 ment ove r y o u r body, t h e fit w i l l be d iffe rent from person to person . C u st o m i zation i s a lways a n option w h e n i t comes to prov i d i n g the proper fit for the c usto mer, but designers can a lso d evelop i n -house sizing sta n 足 d a rds that reflect specific body measurements. Armed with this useful tool, customers a lways know what they're getti ng.

100 Fashion Design Essentials

Tight fit


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101


TECHN I Q U E

48

Mend and Alter " M a ke D o a n d M e n d " was t h e n a m e of a c a m ­ p a i g n d u ri n g World Wa r I I which encou raged t h e re pa i r a n d rep u rposing o f everyt h i ng t h a t st i l l had the poten t i a l to b e u sefu l . Waste wa s t h e e ne m y, a n d t h i s move ment set a c reative c h a l ­ l e nge t o w o m e n everywhere to do t h e i r p a r t a n d sti l l be sty l i s h . Booklets were d i stributed t h a t i n ­ c l u d ed tec h n iq u e s s u c h as b i n d i ng frayed edges, d a r n i ng, taking garme nts in a n d letting them out, recutting a ga rment into a n ew style, u n p i c k i ng a kn it, re kn itti n g with the same ya rn, a n d p l a i n as we l l a s deco rative patch i ng. N ecessity bec a m e both t h e mother o f invention a n d fas h i o n . Fixing i m pe rfecti o n s i s a n exercise i n f i n d i n g the beauty in flaws. Eve n a lteri ng perfectly good ga rme nts c a n e n ha nce the ove ra l l look a n d fee l, and in the end can c reate a u n iq u e design for the weare r.

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102 Fashion Design Essentials

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Left: Recut and repurposed brown

plaid dress by Shannon G lasheen 1

3

1. Origin: gray knit hoodie

2

sweatshirt

2. Origin: men's plaid flannel jacket

3. Origin: herringbone pencil skirt

Right: Recut and repurposed color

blocked dress by Shannon G lasheen 4

5

6

4. Origin: men's red hoodie sweatshirt and women's terry cloth tank top

5. Origin: Vespa logo T-shirt 6. Origin: African dashiki

103


TECHN I Q U E

49

Deconstruct and Reconstruct I n the n a m e of susta i na b i l ity a s we l l as style, m a n y design ers a re taking u nwa nted clothes a part and refa s h i o n i ng them i nto c o m p letely different and origi n a l ga rments. In the interest of m a k i n g good use of t h e m o u nt a i n s of discarded fas h i o n s that sit i n c losets, th rift sto res, a n d warehouses a ro u n d the globe-if t h ey have not a l ready been re l egated to l a ndfil ls-these designers t ra n sfo rm the seco n d h a nd and the u n sold i nto relevant n ew fa s h i o n s . T h i s re purposi ng resonates with a gen e ration of fas h i o n e n t h u s i asts concerned w i t h the environment. Designer S h a n n o n G l asheen a pp l i e s all h e r t ra i n 足 i n g i n pattern making a n d construct i o n to re p u r足 pose ga rments that may be outdated, we l l worn, or m i s u n derstood. B reat h i n g new l ife i nto pieces such as these req u i res that t h e designer look at each item as raw materia l and not as a fin ished p ro d u ct. O n ce d i ssected, th e re may a l so be very specific sect ions of a garment that can be reori足 e nted to serve a n ew pu rpose. B u i l d i n g hybrids is a not her va riation of t h i s m ethod, where e le ments from va rious garments a re rem i xed into a designer m a s h u p . Fo r designers worki ng with i n the confi nes of a b u s i n ess model with d iffe rent d e m a nds, the deconstruct/reco nstruct a pproach to the des ign p rocess c a n be incorporated as an a esthetic from the sta rt, utilizi ng it to d eve lop s a m p l e ga rments that can then be rep l icated.

104 Fashion Design Essentials

Shannon G lasheen designs


TECHN I Q U E

so

Structure and Scale I n the w i l d , when confronted by a n a n i m a l, some ex perts suggest extendi ng yo u r arms over yo u r head o r out t o your s i d es, o r h o l d i ng you r ja cket open, to give t h e i m p ression of being l a rge r and m o re th reaten i ng. Basic rept i l i a n b ra i n s u rv iva l i n s t i n cts m ight be at the core of what d rives u s t o refra m e o u r bodies to s i m u l ate m o re i m pos­ ing s h a pes. A colorful exa m p l e of fright or fl ight fa s h ion can be found a m ong the cost u m e s designed b y Tim C h a p pe l a n d Lizzy G a rd i n e r for t h e movie Priscilla Queen o f the Desert. M a ny cost u m e ideas for t h at f i l m c a m e from a n i m a l l ife i n d ige nous to Austra l i a . O n e of those c reatures, the f r i l l - n eck l i z a rd , has a ruff of skin around its neck t h at f l a res out when frightened. The design­ e rs e m u l ated that featu re to d ra m atic effect in a co l l a r on o n e of the cost u m es. W h e n the m a l e peacock fa ns o u t its feat h e rs to attract a mate, it creates a very d ifferent su rviva l i m p u l s e . T h e h o o p s k i rt is a n und erga rment that consists of rigid concentric ri ngs m a d e of ro pe, osiers, w h a l e bone, stee l , or nylon, a n d su spended by fa bric o r bands of ribbon. When stored, the structure can c o l l a pse into itse lf, but when worn, the whole t h i n g functions as a s u p p o rt system for a wom a n 's s kirt. Partic u l a r shapes refl ect the fa s h ion of any specific period, but the scale a lso p rovides a m e a s u re of personal space that keeps everyone at a r m 's l e ngth . The Fre n c h word panniers refers to wicke r baskets that a re s l u n g on e it h e r s i d e o f a pack a n i m a l . Pa n n iers used for fa s h i o n were faste ned onto a wom a n 's h i p s to create an effect s i m i l a r to the hoop ski rt. H ea d d resses, s h o u l d e r pads, b u st l es, a n d tra i n s a re a l so used t o exte nd o u rselves a n d o u r personal b o u n d a ries i n t h e n a m e o f fa s h i o n . At a t i m e w h e n fa s h io n w a s focused on the bust, Vivi e n n e Westwood is c red ited with d ivert i n g u s t o t h e rea r with bustles d u bbed Faux Cui, that cel­ e b rated, if not exagge rated, a woman's derriere .

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106 Fashion Design Essentials

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1. Hoop skirt 2. Panniers -

3. Bustle

=

107


TECHN I Q U E

51

Anatomica Ily Correct I t i s no coincidence that o n e of t h e t h i ngs that designer G eoffrey Beene i s known for i s l i b e rat­ ing a wom a n 's body. He stu d i ed m e d i c i n e at Tu l a n e U n ivers ity for t h ree years before s h ifting gears and studying fa s h i o n at Tra p h agen School of Fa s h io n . He u nd e rstood the m e c h a n i cs of t h e body, a n d therefore e l i m i n ated conventional i m pe d i ments such as u n n ecessa ry paddi ng, interl i n i ngs, z i p pers, a n d fasteners. Co mfort i s one of the p r i m a ry concerns for the contem pora ry consum er. A designer be nefits from u n de rsta n d i ng the body a n d h ow it works, such as what happens when a m u s c l e contra cts, re l a xes, or extends. W i l l a garment p rovide u n re­ stri cted moveme nt? Struct u res that e n case the body need to res pond to the p l i a b i l ity of m u scles and the rigid ity of bones. Studying the a n atomy of m a m m a ls, b i rds, i n sects, rept i l es, and aq uatic l ife co u l d p rovide a wea lth of design cues. The a rch itecture of plant l i fe m ight suggest a lterna­ tive methods i n s o l v i ng c reative c h a l l e nges. Even m i c roscopic o rga n i s m s can serve a s a s o u rce of i n s p i ration. Ath l et i c garm ents, medical ga rments, and u nder­ garments take a dvantage of text i l e tec h n o l ogy a n d engi neering to add ress the issues a ssociated with m o b i l ity. Beyo nd range of motion, the same too l s can be a p p l i ed to com pressing the body to p rotect o r res hape it. A good com prehension of the body and how it works a l so a l l ows the de­ signer to i so l ate aspects of the design p rocess to a d d ress specific a reas of the body, with each zone offering its own advantages and d isadvantages.

108 Fashion Design Essentials


Haute Contour, the Dessert Shapewearâ&#x201E;˘ by SPANX, launched i n 2009 is the next step in the evolution of fo u ndation garments, designed to ach ieve a specific sil houette while a lso providing gentler support and more comfort than it's predecessors-the corset and the girdle. What may be i n itially taken for granted as a simple u ndergarment is now infused with the kind of scientific research and techno logy that make it a powerful partn er in the process of fashion design.


TECHN I Q U E

52

Roads Less Traveled A designer who foc uses p r i m a rily on t h e front torso when desig n i ng a ga rment is m i ssing out on an opportun ity to explore and accentuate oth e r parts of the body. H e re a re oth e r i m porta nt a reas to consider: Going Below

Fo r some designers, the lower h a l f of the gar足 m e n t or e n s e m b l e i s a n afterthought, something that c o m p l etes the look but rem a i n s seco n d a ry a n d su bord i n ate to t h e top. The hem of a d ress, an e m b e l l is h m e n t on a s k i rt, a n d the s h a pe of a pant a l l have j ust as m u c h power to set the tone for the rest of the outfit. From Beh i n d

M a king an e n t ra n ce is one t h i ng, b u t how some足 o n e looks as she t u rns and w a l ks away has the poten t i a l to have a s much i m pact, if not m o re so. P l u nging ba cks, s k i rt tai ls, bows, fl owers, and oth e r f l o u ri s h es a re j u st a few of the ways to bring u p t h e rea r. Side to Side

The satin t r i m down the s i d e seam of a t u xedo pant i s not t h e extent of deta i l that can be p l a ced i n this a rea. The very seam itse lf p rovides myriad cho ices. Side sea ms can s p l i t to reve a l , pleat to control fu l l n ess, i ncorporate a c l o s u re, or be decorated . Inside Look

C l ose and c a refu l atte n t i o n to t h e work m a n s h i p a n d special deta i l s i n side a ga rment a re t h e m a r k o f a f i n e pro d u ct .

110 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Kira McClellan side

deta i l Below: Va lentino back deta i l Far Right: Aey Hotarwaisaya

design with focus on skirt hem deta i l


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Camouflage and Complement W h e n it comes to camo uflaging or complement足 ing the s h a pe of a body, design ers need to t h i n k a bo u t how t o conceal or a ccentuate d iffe rences i n body s h a pe . A designer who t reats these de足 viations from the ave rage l i ke va riations and not flaws is a l ready a step ahead in t h e psyc h o l ogy of fa s h io n . Consider that average is j u st a reference point. I t u s u a l ly i n d icates bala n ced p roportions i n a sca l e t h at relates t o he ight, width, a n d weight. These basic body types benefit from specia l design d eta i l s : T h e Apple B road s h o u l ders and n a r row h i p s can benefit from something that b reaks u p the width of the s h o u l d e r, such as a ha lter neckl ine. The Pear E m p h a s i z i n g the torso, especi a l l y the s h o u l d e rs, a n d downplaying the h i ps w i l l b a l a nce a fra m e w i t h n a rrow s h o u l de rs and a f u l l e r h i p. The Ru ler The c o m b i n at i o n of n a r row s h o u ld e rs a n d h i ps creates a lo ng, t h i n fra m e . That l e ngth c a n be b ro ke n up with horizontal l i nes as well as cups o r oth e r deta i l that e n h a nces t h e b u st l i ne . T h e Hourglass and t h e Fuller Figure B road s h o u l de rs, fu l l bust, a n d fu l l h i ps benefit from asymmetrical style l i nes. If the m idsection is fu l l e r, deta i l s such as r u c h i ng can c reate the i l l us i o n of a m o re tapered waist l i ne. Add ing other fa ctors into the equation, s u c h as l o ng waist, s h o r t wa ist, c u p s ize, height, a n d weight, gives rise t o n u a n ces that m ay req u i re adj ustments a n d/o r a d a ptations. C u t le ngth, sty le l i nes, asym m etry, deta i l p l acement, pad足 d i ng, and corset ing a re some of the design cho ices t h at a s s i st in t h e modification of a body type t h rough clothi ng. Tra nsfo r m i n g the a ppear足 a n ce of a figu re is about red i recting atte ntion, and not a bout co r rection.

112 Fashion Design Essentials

Clockwise:

Bathing suit d rawings: a pple; pear; rul er; hourglass


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Clothes T hat Carry Whether it is the s m a l lest of five pockets o n a pa i r of jea n s meant for spare cha nge, o r a l a rge pouch o n t h e front of a hooded sweat s h i rt, a ny type of pocket can be eq u a l parts function a n d design. Even a n i n -seam pocket, w h i c h is meant to d i sa p pear, helps to keep t h e l i nes of t h e design sm ooth w h i l e s i m u ltaneously p rovi d i n g the ca pacity to carry. World Wa r I I is recogn i zed as a period i n which m a n y tech nologi cal adva n ces were made i n response to the d e m a nds o f the d ay. Designs deve l o ped d u ring that e ra also refl ected needs u n i q u e to the t i m e period, as is evident in the creation of the kanga roo c l oak. This garment was designed with huge pockets that a l l owed the wea re r to q u ic k l y stuff t h e m with household items w h e n air ra id s i re n s went off. Pockets can d o d o u b l e d u ty d e p e n d i ng on h ow they're m a d e and what t h ey're m a d e of. Some pockets can be t u rned i n s id e out to envelop a ga rment, l i ke a w i n d b rea ker o r ra i n poncho. When made o u t of fleece, they can se rve as hand wa r m e rs in outerwea r. Designing pract i c a l pockets for carpenter pants w i l l be d i ctated by t h e specific too l s that need to be c a r ried. Any type of pocket can have a f l a p t h a t i s faste ned b y buttons or Ve lcro. Z i pper pockets offer a n other type of closure. Pockets can be inserted into a s l i t in the fa bric a n d e m 足 b e l l i s h ed/strengthened w i t h a welt. Accessories that act as uti l ity be lts, such a s the fa n ny pack, poc ket belts, bum bags, or hip sack, a re pop u l a r for t h e i r versat i l i ty. C loth i ng deve l 足 oped for t h e m i l it a ry or spec i a l a ctiviti es, s u c h as safari jackets, fish i ng vests, a n d ph otogra phy vests, provides tem pl ates for pocket- d riven design. The ca rgo pant is sta n d a rd issue in the a rm ed forces, a s well a s i n many fas h i o n a bl e wardrobes.

114 Fashion Design Essentials

Patch pocket with button flap


Inset zipper pocket

I nset welt pocket

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Design unto Others Design u n to others a s you wou l d have t h e m de­ s ign u nto you. This golden r u l e s h o u l d a lways be refe ren ced d u ri n g t h e design p rocess, especi a l ly i n the world of fa s h i o n . W h at a re the c u st o m e r's concerns when it co mes to c l ot h i ng? A designer m u st d eve l o p a certa i n level of e m pathy for c l i ­ e n t s w h o p lace d ifferent d e m a n d s on t h e a p p a re l they p u rchase. Put yo u rself in t h e pl ace of someone who i s es­ pec i a l l y t a l l , petite, thin, o r fu l l -figu red, o r whose body proportions have u n expectedly cha nged d ra m atical ly. I n addition to the psyc h ological concerns, t h e re a re u n d e n i a ble physi c a l aspects to contend with. Fa s h i o n design for the e ld e r l y i s an i m portant consideration as wel l . As we get o l d e r, o u r sen­ sitivity to c h a nges in tem peratu re and textu re i n c reases. L i m ited m o b i l ity i s a lso considered a fa ctor. D i s a b i l ities that req u i re t h e use of a c a n e, wa l ke r, or w h e e l c h a i r p rovide t h e designer with percep­ t i b l e issues that m u st be add ressed. Arthritis is a d i s a b i l ity that i s less obvious. B utton c l o s u res that m ight seem s i m p l e e n ough at fi rst g l a n ce c o u l d pose a c h a l l e nge for someone l iving with a rth ritis. Poss i b l e solutions can be fo u n d i n the most u n p redictable p l aces. The long zipper p u l l for the back z i p p e r on a wet s u i t m ight b e o n e way to d e a l with a back z i p p e r on a d ress for someone with l i m ited ra nge of motion. Fa s h i o n designers can take a cue from other i n d u stries t h at have i n corporated t h ese pri n ­ ci ples i n to t h e i r work a s bench m a rks o f good design. Fo r exa m p le, t h e m ission of the I nstitute for H u m a n Centered Design is to expand a n d e n ha n ce experiences for people o f a l l ages a n d a b i l i ties t h rough design t o i m p rove q u a l ity o f l i fe. Designers who can put themselves in the shoes of any of these c l i ents w i l l d evelop s e n s i b i l it i e s t h a t i n f l u ence a nd e n h a nce t h e i r work.

116 Fashion Design Essentials

Wetsuit zipper deta i l


When honoring fashionable and elder clientele, a designer may find inspiration in the form of the iconic American model Carmen Dell'Orefice, who began her career at the age of fifteen in 1946 a n d continues t o b e a sought足 after model on the runways and in print. With the muse of matu rity, designers can counteract the ageism of the fashion ind ustry and truly serve their customer, Grandmothers are no longer relegated to their rocking chairs-i nstead they can be fou nd at the gym on the tread m i l l beside you-not to mention the front row,


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Reshape and Reconfigure O n ce of t h e easiest ways to reshape a garment is to belt it. W h ether it serves to gra b a n d control vo l u m e or create a v i s u a l b reak, the effect i s powerf u l . C o n s u m e rs a re looking for versat i l ity i n t h e i r w a rd robes a n d design e rs can b u i l d t h a t ver足 satil ity i nto t h e i r work by considering h ow tyi n g off a ga rment a t d ifferent p l a ces w i l l t ra n sform it. Co ntrasting belts create the most obvious b reak. A self-belt i s a softer way to cinch a s h a pe . D rawstri ngs do t h e s a m e job b u t can be d i s足 creet ly h i dden with i n c h a n n e l s positioned a l most a nywh e re on a ga rment- u n d e r the b u st, wit h i n s i d e sea ms, at t h e wa i st, a l o n g t h e s l eeve, or o n pant l egs a n d skirt h e m s . S i l h o u ettes can a lso be transformed w h e n p a rts of t h e garment can be attached or rem oved with button, z i p, s n a p, hoo k, or Ve l c ro. S l eeves b utton off and t ra nsfo r m a j a c ket i nto a vest. Pa nt l egs z i p off to become shorts. A snap-on pep l u m w i l l take a d a y jacket i nto eve n i ng. A sk irt o r t ra i n c a n b e b u stled u p w i t h h id d e n hooks. S h o u lder pads Ve l c ro in to c reate an exagge rated shape. Eve n b u l k can be adj u sted with re mova b l e l i n ings.

118 Fashion Design Essentials

Viktor & Rolf belted trench coat


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Resurface The i m a g i n ative a pp l i cation of d eco rative cou 足 ture d eta i l s a l lows for even t h e most m odest of fa brics to become extra o rd i n a ry. The use of t h read, beads, seq u i n s, fl owers, a p p l iq ue, feath 足 e rs, a n d ribbon i s l a rge ly a decorative p rocess that i nvolves raw materials that a re not neces足 s a r i l y generated by the original cloth. U s i ng o n l y t h e fa bric itself, i t i s a l so poss i b l e t o transform both the su rface and the s i l h ou ette with r u c h i ng, b u st l es, q u i lt i ng, ruffl es, a nd pickups. The a b i l 足 ity t o a lter, e m phas ize, a n d accent a concept i s restri cted o n l y by o n e's imagination. Beading

Embroidery

Fabric roses

Sequins

Feathers

Corded applique

Q u ilting

120 Fashion Design Essentials


Gold sequin d ress by Daniela Corte


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A Cut Above Scissors a re a n essen t i a l part of a design er's tool kit, for obvious reasons. When it comes to most ga rme nts, a designer w i l l use shears to tri m away excess fa bric a n d s h a pe the overa l l s i l h o uette, w h i c h i n c l u d es c a rving out neckl i nes a n d a r m ­ h o l e s . T h e laser takes the a rt o f the cut to a n ew level of precision a n d efficiency. Although c utting holes a n d t ri m m i ng edges i nto scallops is tech n i c a l l y a p rocess of e l i m i n a t i o n , i t is a lso a form o f d ecorat i o n . Sh aped key h o l e ope n i ngs have l o ng been i n corporated i nto t h e design o f a c l o s u re, but t h ese open ings can b e scaled a n d even m u lt i p l ied for d ra m a t i c effect. The c utaway a esthetic is a lso the basis of cut­ work n e e d l e lace and em bro ideries. The edges of a n y a rea that is extracted may be l eft u n t reated, bound with t h read, or fin ished with a facing. C a ref u l l y consid ered cutting p roves that there a re t i m es when what i s removed i s a s i m port a n t as w h a t is a d d e d .

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A model wearing a ready-to­ wear outfit featuring cut-outs by designer Yohji Ya mamoto, 2010

122 Fashion Design Essentials


A model wearing a cut-out ensemble from Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's ready-to­ wea r collection, 2006

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TECHN I Q U E

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Fringe and Fray The outer edges of a s i l h ou ette n eed not be the defi n it ive finish l i n e of a garment. D e l i berately a d d i n g some type of trim to the edge of a gar­ ment w i l l have a m o re orga n i c a n d less rigid q u a l ity. Fri nge softe ns a s h a pe by e l i m i n a t i ng the h a rd l i n e by way of movement, a n d i n some instances, i rreg u l a r l e ngths. Po m po m s, tassels, beads, a n d feathers have a l l been used to c reate i nteresting and playful edges. Eve n s i m p l e eye­ l a s h fringe on a flapper- i n s p i red d ress w i l l d a n ce on the s u rface of the d e s ign with just the sl ight­ est of m ove m e nts. S u c h a n a n i mated garment is compe l l i ng and enterta i n i ng. A word of caution is in order for des ign ers who see frayed edges as an easy out from the trad itional and often c h a l l e ng i n g work of f i n ish­ i n g a ga rment. I n corporating a raw edge i n t o a ga rment has its own set of c h a l lenges if it i s to be d o n e wel l . I f t h e gra i n l i n e at that edge i s not p roperly a l igned, it w i l l end up fray ing u n even ly. If the fa b r i c is pro n e to frayi ng, it's i m perative to a p ply a stay stitch to co ntrol h ow fa r it w i l l u n ­ rave l . N a t u ra l frayed edges w i l l soften a n d re l a x even t h e most iconic o f ta i l o red ga rments, s u c h as a C h a n e l su it.

Dress by Aida Lourenco with frayed hem as the center of interest

124 Fashion Design Essentials


A model i n fringed white suit by Chanel, 2005

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Add, Subtract, and Preserve A sc u l ptor i s afford ed t h ree basic p rocesses t h at w i l l i nform the style of t h e f i n a l work. S h e may add, s u btract. or preserve. A designer a p p roach­ es the use of materials i n much the same way. Each has a n i m pact on the spat i a l re l at i o n s h i p of a ga rment to the wea re r as well as t h e enviro n ­ m e n t that s u rro u n d s it.

Lady Gaga i n a t h ree­ d i mensional black and gold dress, 2008 A model i n a n origami­ inspired gown from the C h ristian Dior Haute Couture Collection, Spring/Su mmer 2007

Lady G aga i s known for her high-conce pt fa s h i o n sen se, taking i n s p i ration from ava n t­ garde designers s u c h a s M a rti n M a rgiela a n d A l exander M cQ u e e n . Pa rt o f h e r ha ute cout u re tro u sseau i nc l udes variations of a d ress i n s p i red by Thierry M ugler. The design of t h e d ress fea t u res m u l tifaceted t h ree - d i m e n s i o n a l shapes that p roject from h e r body l i ke an explosion of crystal sta lagmites. C ostu mes l i ke these use the add itive process, asse m b l i n g t h e fi n a l s h a pe by b u i l d i n g onto a core ga rment. The t u l l e gown s in a V i ktor & Ro lf 2010 col lec­ tion a c h ieved a l evel of su r re a l i s m that would have i m p ressed Sa lvador D a l i . The m et i c u l o u s l y ca rved s i l houettes we re a n exercise i n the c re­ ation of n egative space. These ca refu l l y executed voids d efy c o m p rehe n s i o n a n d l eave most ask­ ing, " H ow d i d they do t h at?" The Dutch design team a s s u red environ m e n t a l watchdogs that the m issing fa b r i c was properly recyc l e d . I n the a rt o f origa m i , nothing is rem oved o r a d d e d . O n l y t h rough fo l d i ng d o e s t h e form take a n d ret a i n its s h a pe . The M a rc J acobs c o l l ection for Dior in 2007 experim e nted with the l i fe-size a p plication of fo l d s and p l ea t i ng used in origa m i . The gowns were o bvio u s l y not constructed from one a ltered piece of s q u a re fabric, but the d ra p i n g and s u rface treatments do pay homage to the gracef u l forms that res u l t fro m thoughtful fo l d i ng.

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A model wearing a sculptura l cut-out gown by Viktor & Rolf, 2010


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Change Agents C lever couture that i s m u ltifunct i o n a l by design is not o n l y a great i nvest m ent, but a l so a c reati ve exercise for both t h e designer a n d the user. O n e exa m p l e i s a gown designed b y N o r m a K a m a l i , exc l u sively f o r e Bay. I t can be worn i n seve ra l d iffe rent ways: boatneck, o n e - s h o u l d e r, strap­ less, ha lter, a n d c ross - h a lter eve n i ng gown , a l l i n one. Be lted a n d b l o u sed, t h e gown transfo r m s i n t o a d ress f o r everyday. S o m e designers, s u c h as Karo l i n a Z m a rlak, a re m a k i n g the concept of convert i b l e clothing a part of t h e i r brand D N A .

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Ath l etic ga rme nts a n d cloth i n g meant for out­ door activities often ben efit from being versa t i l e as we l l . B e i ng a b l e to p u l l a d rawst r i ng, button on a h ood, or zip off a pant leg a l lows the u s e r to re­ spond to a situation in s h o rt order. The novelty of these very p ract i c a l a p p l i cations m a kes them a n attractive design deta i l t o i n corporate into other categories of fas h i o n . M o re often these adop­ t i o n s a re m o re a bout aesthetics t h a n function. Adva nces i n t h e science of dyes i n c l ude U V­ reactive photoc h ro m i c pai nts, w h i c h cha nge color in the s u n a n d glow u n d e r a b l a c k l ight. W h e n these pai nts a re used i n t h read, fa b rics, and beads, clothes can take on a l ife of their own depend i n g on thei r environ ment. I n the h a n d s of i n n ovator H u sse i n Cha layan, t h e tech nology of cha nge i s m o re complex. The designer's co l l ection of transfo r m e r d resses pushed the b o u n d a ries of fa brication with the help of the Lon d on - based e n g i n e e r i ng firm 2 0 : 3 0 . Com­ puter syste ms b u i lt into the ga rment mecha n i ­ ca l ly m o rp h ed it i nto a d iffe rent s h a pe a n d style without a ny ext e r n a l assistance. I nter-i n d u st ry part n e rsh ips l i ke t h i s one m a ke it poss i b l e for a designer's c reativity to rea ch new h e ights.

128 Fashion Design Essentials

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Norma Ka mali convertible dress versions


Left: Karolina Zmarlak

convertible design versions Below: A model wearing a

garment that transformed into a different sil houette using technology by designer Hussein Chalayan, 2007

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Drawing the Eye The designer i s i n t h e d river's seat when it comes to m a p ping a path for the eye to t ravel . A s e n se of move ment c a n be ach ieved with repeati n g patterns as wel l as the variat i o n s in those patterns that c reate rhyt h m . Action or i m pl ied action i n t h e form of anyt h i ng that points in a specific d i rection may use a gra d u ation of s izes, color, or i ntensity. The fa s h i o n designer can con足 tro l where to pl ace e l em e nts t h at block o r push i n and a ro u n d the body. E m p h a s i s w i l l d o m i nate the composition and a r rest attention. Eq u a l b i l l足 i n g cancels everyth i ng out; with n o foca l poi nt, the overa l l d e s ign is u n re m a rka b l e . C a refu l ob足 servation and meticulous a p p l ication of potenti a l foca l points a l low designers to control t h e p u l s e o f t h e i r design. Wh e re does t h e eye l i nger? What m a kes it dart away?

130 Fashion Design Essentials

Ed d i Phi l l ips' silver cockta i l dress uses color and embel lishment to create a powerful focal point.


131


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A-Symmetry Sym m et ry a n d b a l a nce a re not n ecess a r i l y the same t h i ngs. S y m m et ry i s defi ned by sides that m i rror each oth e r. I n this case, the b a l a nce wou ld be consid ered form a l . S y m m et ry can a l so be ach ieved t h rough rad i a l b a l a n ce where a l l e l e 足 m e n ts radiate from a central focal point. A n i n fo r m a l bala nce can be fou n d i n design that is asymmetrical, l i ke a o n e - s h o u l d e red gow n . W h e n o n e s i d e does n o t reflect t h e other, t h e re is a n a bsence of sym m et ry a n d a designer m ust rely on i n st i nct a n d experience to find the right ha rmony. With each s i d e working i n d ependently, it is i m portant to b u i l d re lati o n s h i ps between t h e d i s si m i l a r-vibrant color a n d n e u t r a l co l o r; d a rk, l ight, a n d mid -tones; flat a n d t h ree-d i m en s i o n a l ; s m a l l a n d l a rge; a variety o f sha pes; position a n d re l ative p l aceme nt; o r solid a n d patte r n . Whether t h rough sym m etry o r asym m etry, the designer can d raw d e l i be rate atte ntion to an a rea by d i rect i ng the observer with a rrow-sha ped/ tri a n g u l a r o bjects. Zigzags a re a nother way to t a ke co m m a n d of t h e viewer. As a r u l e, the bias can be a powe rfu l tool beca use of t h e e n e rgy and d i s r u ptive natu re of the d iago n a l l i ne. A test of b a l a nce i n sym metri cal or asymmetrical ga rme nts i s to ga uge h ow focused t h e observer's atte ntion i s . If the vi ewer's eye travels a ro u n d t h e piece, taki ng i n the w h o l e, there is a n i n d ication of b a l a n ce. Eve n a see m i ngly c h aoti c d i spersal of deta i l s can ach ieve b a l a nce if there i s an overa l l s e n se of u n ity. M a n y b a l a nced cout u re co m posi足 tions, but not a l l , tend to be visually we ighted or sta b i l ized at t h e bottom of t h e piece.

132 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Pavlina G i lson layers

an asymmetrical design over a symmetrical day dress. Below: Maison Martin

Margiela vest featuring leather straps, woven into an asymmetrical pattern


Samira Vargas ensemble


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Intarsia: Puzzles and Missing Links Solving a mystery can be an i rresistible c h a l ­ l e nge-so m u c h so t h at w e w i l l c reate them ou rselves to sti m u late our m i n ds. Des igners can use the p r i n c i ples of puzzle m a k i n g to test thei r p ro b l e m -solving s k i l l s . I f a d e s igner c a n s u ccess­ fully express h i s ideas i n a m o re complex fa s h i o n , t h o s e intricacies have the potential to ca ptivate the i m aginations of others. Patt e r n m a king is, i n essence, o n e b i g mathematical puzzle. The n onogram is a puzzle akin to mosaics, which is t h e a rt of c reat i ng patterns and pictu res by as­ s e m b l i n g s m a l l pieces of colored mate r i a l . O n ce the d e s igner designates the p a rt i c u l a r placement of color, it becomes paint by n u m bers u n t i l the f i n a l picture is revea led. The p rocess u s u a l l y i nvolves sq u a res or oth e r specific geomet ric sha pes, b u t a rch itect Antoni G a u d ! used the a ngles and c u rves he observed in nature to cre­ ate h i s very u n iq u e a n d o rga n i c mosaics. Pieced work or patchwork is an exa m p l e of how t h i s tec h n i q u e can b e a pp l ied t o fabric. C o m p uter d i s p l ays e m p l oy the s a m e p r i n c i p les of mosa ics, beca use this m e d i u m i s based on grids and u t i l i zes s m a l l recta ngles of co l o r cal led pixels to b u i l d d igital i m ages. Photomosaics is an i nte rest i n g a lternative to this p rocess, w h ich uses photogra phs instead of s o l i d b l ocks of co l o r. To c reate m u lticolor patte r n s i n kn its, each n ew color is i ntro d u ced by l i t e ra l ly tying i n a d iffe rent ya rn, but each stitch correspo n d s to the pixel p r i n c i p l e . T h i s tec h n i q u e i s c a l l e d i ntarsia. C l oth is wove n by interl a c i ng warp and weft t h reads. The c o m b i n at i o n of specific weaving patterns and caref u l l y chosen co lors can be used in m u c h the s a m e way. A designer can c o n n ect t h e dots for h e r a u d i ­ e n ce o r intenti o n a l l y tea se. P rovid i ng y o u with a l l but one c l u e, the q uestion becomes "What is X?" Obvious om issions a re able to b u i l d c u rios­ ity around couture . Coded messages, and h id d e n m ea n i ngs, enterta i n a designer's a u d ie n ce by a l l ow i ng them to solve the c i p h e r.

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Peter H idalgo d resses


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T he Reveal D i recto r Al fred H itchcock i n tegrated a pers o n a l c a m eo a ppeara n ce i nto h i s fi l m s . C a r i caturist AI H i rschfeld i n corporated Nina, his da ughter's n a me, i nto most of h i s d rawi ngs. Both became a l m ost as fa m o u s for t h ese ve i led gifts as for the f i n e work t h ey p roduced. Software, m u sic, books, a rt, a n d t e l evisi o n s h ows a re just a few of the media wh ere " Easter eggs" can be h id d e n . This l ong-sta n d i ng t radition o f weavi ng i n special h i dden su rprises can a l so be fou n d i n fas h i o n , w i t h d iscovery beco m i n g as m u c h a part o f t h e exper i e n ce as the actua l c l ot h i ng. There a re some tra d i t i o n a l target a reas for the placement of a h id d e n treat. C l assic s h i rts m ight h i de them on the u nderside of the c o l l a r, the col足 lar sta nd, or the i n side cuff. Some sort of d ecora足 tive deta i l m ight a l so be p la ced on the sh i rtta i l . Addressing t h e part of t h e tradition that req u i res "someth i n g b l u e," a brida l gown can be designed to i n c l u d e t i ny b l u e bows sewn i nto the l i n i n g. A s i m p l e s u m m e r d ress c a n m a ke good use of a contrasting fa bric to face the neckline, a r m h o le, or hem of t h e garment, h i nt i n g at somet h i ng m o re p l ayfu l . The a m biguously p l ayfu l m essage " L u cky Yo u " can be fo u n d on a l a b e l placed o n t h e i n s i d e z i pper o f Lucky B ra n d jea n s . Private m o m ents a nd p u b l i c d i sp l ays o f design can be caref u l l y c rafted i nto a ny ga rment. Letti n g your h a n d s i n k i nto a pocket l i ned with t h e soft足 est fleece is a pers o n a l present from the designer to the wearer. A flashy l i n i ng in an otherwise con servative s u i t a l l ows the user to choose when, where, and to whom he wi shes to expose h i s w i l der s ide to a rea l "Ta-da ! " moment.

136 Fashion Design Essentials

Right: Jeff Lahens for ECC

Life & Style; und ercollar deta i l Middle: Arnold Scaasi d ress

with matching coat lining Below: Sara Marhamo cuff

lining detail


Jeff La hens for ECC Life & Style; suit li ning detail


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Cultivated Influence Fa s h i o n m avericks a re c o m m o n ly defi ned by a s i ngu l a r attri bute: They fo l l owed t h e i r own i n st i n cts rega rd less o f t h e conve n t i o n s o f t h e i r t i m es. M a r l e n e D i etrich a n d Kathe r i n e H e p b u r n h ave beco m e refe rence poi nts for t h e pant a n d m en swea r- i n s p i red fas h i o n s for w o m ­ e n - D ietri c h i n a top hat a n d tai ls, a n d Hepburn i n casual s u iti ng. In l ight of the h i story of pa n ts for women, these lad ies d i s p l ayed a certa i n l evel of fa s h i o n bravery. A m e l i a J e n ks B l o o m e r, a n early advocate of women's rights i n the U n ited States, is known i n part for adopt i ng the fa s h i o n o f wearing loose t ro u se rs gat h e red at the a n k l e . A h e a d of i t s t i m e, the trend d i d n o t last.

Right: Actress Marlene

Dietrich making her Hollywood film debut as the tuxedo-clad Amy J o l ly i n the film Morocco, directed by Josef von Sternberg, 1 930 Far Right: Portrait of actress

Katharine Hepburn in slacks

World Wa r I I made wea r i ng pa nts a pract i c a l necess ity f o r wo m e n who were working i n fac­ tories, but it was not u n t i l the 1 970s t h at s l acks beca me a fas h io n a bl e item to i n c l u d e as part of a wo m a n 's wardrobe. Designers tapped i nto the Wom e n 's Li beration M ovem e nt, infusing their co l l ections with t h e a l l - e m powe r i n g pant, wh ich had become yet a nother symbol of e q u a l ity between the sexes. There a re few co ntem porary exa m ples of s i m i l a r n o n confo r m ists. B u t t h e re a re more theatrical fa s h i o n ren egades, such as Lady G aga and Bjork, who without q u estion integrate fa s h i o n as part of t h e i r pers o n a l ities that a l s o t ra n s l ates to thei r perfo r m a n ces. The q u estion fo r design ers w h o l e a n towa rd t h e re b e l l ious i s , " W h i c h visiona ries of style infl u e n ce the essence of who you a re a s a d e s igner?"

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Curated Experience I t's a b i rd ! I t's a p l a n e ! I t's a supermod e l ! The power of a fas h i o n concept can be traced back to the most u n expected of sou rces. Who would have ever thought that a n e n t i re e x h i b i 足 t i o n e x p l o r i n g the i n f l u e n ces of s u pe r h e roes on fa s h ion would be t h e basis for an e x h i b ition at the M etropolitan M u s e u m of Art in N ew York? The " S u pe r he roes: Fa s h ion a n d Fa nta sy" e x h i b i t filtered fas h i o n t h rough t h e colorful fiction of comic books a nd gra p h i c novels. Beyo n d secret identities, the e x h i b i t i o n esta b l i s h ed specific strategi es for c reati ng s u p e r h e ro pe rso n a s t h a t had a d i rect correlation t o fa s h i o n . The fas h i o n tactics e m p l oyed i n c l uded u s i ng gra ph ics to brand a s u p e r h e ro; wra ppi ng a h e ro i n the flag to capital ize on patriotism; s u persizing m u s c l e to overe m p has i ze the m a s c u l i n e o r fem i 足 n i n e strength; t h e contra d iction o f good a n d bad exist i ng s i m u ltaneously w i t h i n the s a m e c h a r足 acter; a d d i n g a p rotective layer of a rm o r; h ow a erody n a m i c design feeds t h e need for speed; b re a k i ng with conve n t i o n a l sta n d a rds of bea uty; h e roes that morphed i nto h u m a n - a n i m a l hybrids; and the i nt ro d u ct i o n of the a nt i h e ro, with a d a rk足 e r, grittier s i d e t h a t d efied easy c l assificat i o n . T h i s wealth o f resou rces w a s generated from j u st one gen re . Ap p roa c h i n g fa s h i o n design l i ke a m u s e u m c u rator has the adva ntage of b e i n g exposed to con nections that may n o t h ave been obvious, and b u i ld i ng a concept a ro u n d t h at.

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I n "Superheroes: Fas hion and Fantasy," the Costume I nstitute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explores fashionable supe rheroes. Outfits by designer Bernhard Willhelm and Ho use of Moschino.


141


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Culture Filter Anyone who h e a rs t h e word poncho h a s a n i m m ed iate i m age i n h e r m i n d o f what i t is. The poncho was used very strategi ca l l y in Ugly Betty, a television s itcom that revolved a ro u n d the fa s h 足 ion world a n d a M e x i c a n A m e r i c a n fa m i ly. H i s足 torical ly, the poncho has n ever rea l l y been a b l e t o ga i n a footh o l d as a defin itively fa s h i o n a b le garment. but it does h ave a d i rect c o n n ection to Mexican fol k cultu re . O n e of t h e fi rst t i mes t h e c h a ra cte r o f Betty S u a rez i s on -screen with i n t h e context o f the fas h i on world, she is wea r i ng a decidedly Mexican poncho. I f we were n ' t certa i n of its origin, t h e word Guadalajara e m blazoned a cross the front of it i nforms us i m m ed iate ly. There is a l s o a n interplay with a very g l a m o rous c h a racter who is wea ri ng a designer's i nterpre足 tation of a poncho t h a t bri ngs the point h o m e t h a t Betty i s n o t sty l i s h . Used as a storytel l i ng tool i n enterta i n m e nt, a stereotype stradd les t h e border between h u m o r a n d good taste, a n d that is exactly the same l i n e t h at designers m u st be conscious of navigating when e m bra c i ng c u l t u ra l symbols a s part o f t h e i r concept. Some designers shy away from i n corporating e l em e nts from t h e i r own c u ltural background beca use they fear b e i n g ste reotyped. Others avoid any d i rect cu ltural refe re n ces because they can not see beyond the folk costume. A designer m u st stretch, rea c h i ng beyond the expected, but not bypass the eth n i c and c u ltural sym b o l i s m associated with the ga rment. Fas h i o n can use the idea of a ste reotype a s a sta rti n g poi n t, a n d l et the idea evo lve into a c o m p l etely new expression of t h e s o u rce.

142 Fashion Design Essentials

I nuit poncho from I ris Apfel private col lection


America Ferrera stars as Betty Suarez in ABC Te levision's Ugly Betty.

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More Is More I f a designer i s a b l e to synthesize a wide variety of e l e m e nts into o n e garme nt, it h a s the poten ­ t i a l t o b e a m u st-have, goes-with -eve ryt h i n g ga rment. This type of core ward robe item c a n be used a s a founta i n head t h a t bra n c h es out into a b road col lection. But the designer m u st a p p roach the d e s ign of each item with a greater u n d e rsta n d i ng of how it works w i t h i n the w h o l e . T h i s a d d i t ive process s h o u l d a l ways e n h a n c e a n d n ever overwh e l m , beca u se t h e overa l l s i l h ouette can easily be com prom i sed by b u l k . Seve ra l strategies c a n b e e m p l oyed w h e n assem­ bl ing e n s e m b l es that i nvolve m a n y l ayers: •

Base layers s h o u l d a lways be l ighte r t h a n those on the n ext leve l .

Concentrate on s hort over l o ng, restricting the a p p l i cation to j ust o n e a rea-ta n ks ove r tees or leggings ove r t ights, but not bot h .

Control t h e v i s i b l e proportions o f each layer t o s e e t h e s h a pe it c reates, a n d a l low t h e eye t o fol low each l a ye r.

Select special items for t h e m i x that a re strong enough to sta nd a l o n e .

D raw attention t o fa m i l y rese m b lances i n s i m i­ l a r ite m s and c reate t h e i l l u s i o n of fa m i l i a r ity with d issi m i l a r ones.

Mix day i n to eve n i ng and bring a l i tt l e n ight­ t i m e g l a m o u r into the d a y l ight.

Coord i n ate looks that a re co mforta b l e and not forced.

144 Fashion Design Essentials

Sara Marhamo design


145


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Less Is More Ockham's razor i s a p r i n c iple t h at m e a n s "A l l t h i ngs being e q u a l , the s i m p lest sol ution is u s u a l ly the right one." As it relates to fas h i on, this r u l e of t h u m b sets the tone for designers w h o don't wish to e m b e l l i s h or c o m p l icate t h e i r work. Knowing when to stop i s n o t a lways easy. A we l l -ed ited col lection need not be a ustere a n d i s stre ngthened by t h e power of m i n i m a l ­ i s m . D e s igners m u st resist t h e tem ptat ion to add e l em e nts i n o rder to d i sg u i se m i stakes-a pitfa l l not unco m m o n a mong n ew d e s ig n e rs. Be w i l l ing to sta rt over. A designer s h o u l d be a b l e to create somet h i n g s i m p l e a n d restra i ned t h a t is as compell ing as a m o re complex design.

Minima list white d ress by Donna Karan

Every designer s h o u l d view his work t h rough the visual filter of s i m p l i c ity to avoid weigh ing ideas down with u n n ecessa ry c l u tter. Clear com pre­ h e n s i o n of the design c h a l l e nge at h a n d a l l ows the d e s igner to e m p h a si ze the vital essenti a l s . Anyth ing t h a t d istracts s h o u l d be revi sited a n d , i n m a n y i n st a n ces, d iscarded. But h o w m a ny layers of design can be stripped away without com p rom i s i n g the ga rme nt's functional ity or aesthetic va l u e? W h e n i n d o u bt, l eave it out.

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146 Fashion Design Essentials


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Med itation on a Dress M a n y s p i r i t u a l a n d re l igious i nfl u e n ces i n fas h i o n a re rooted i n a ncient c u l t u res a n d a re often b rought to the m a i nstre a m by bold, v i s i o n a ry trend setters. For i n sta nce, M a d o n n a i n itiated a trend for wea ri n g cruc ifixes a n d rosa ry beads i n t h e 1 9 80s. J e a n Pa u l G a u lt i e r s h owed a c o l l e ction i n 1 993 that was i n s pi red by the t rad i t i o n a l ga r足 m e n ts worn by H a s i d i c J ews. Religious icon og足 raphy a lso plays a big part i n fas h i o n . C h ristian Lacro i x e n ded his 2009 h a ute couture show with a heav i l y e m b roid ered gown t h a t c o u l d be descri bed as a trib ute to the V i rg i n M a ry. I nternat i o n a l l y recogn i zed figu res s u c h a s the D a l a i Lama expose the globe to a way of l ife a n d d ress t h a t people m ight n o t otherwise b e aware of. O n e exa m p l e is the saffron ro bes of Ti betan B u d d h i sts. A l o n g the s a m e l i n es, m a ny websites a re d evoted to H ija b-fr i e n d l y fa s h i o n for M u s l i m women w h o w i s h to e x p ress t h e i r faith without i n h i biting their fas h i o n sense. Exploring rel igion t h rough fas h i o n can be seen as a t r i b ute to a l l the m ea n i ngfu l traditions, rich h i story, a n d beautifu l a rtwork a ssociated with rel ig i o n .

148 Fashion Design Essentials

H i s Hol iness the 14th Dalai Lama in Tokyo, 2009


A model wearing a haute couture gown with distinctive religious references by designer C h ristian Lacroix, 2009


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Building on Basics Tried-an d-true basics may feel l i ke fa l l back items i n fas h io n , but ga rments i n this category exist beca use everyon e u n d ersta n d s and a p p reciates t h e i r va l u e . Staple ga rme nts a re not an easy o ut, beca use t hey actua l ly pose greate r c h a l l enges for the designer. C o m i n g up with s o m et h i n g com足 pletely d i fferent i s often easier than putting y o u r sta m p on a c l a s s i c . T h e l i t t l e b l a c k d ress is a ga rment t h a t most women own or h ave owned d u ri n g t h e i r l ife足 ti me-it n ever goes out of sty l e . It h a s been at the center of everyt h i n g from m u s e u m exh i b i 足 t i o n s t o m o r n i ng-show m a keove rs. The f i rst association most people m a ke regard i ng the little b l a c k d ress is t h rough t h e film Breakfast at Tiffany's in w h i c h A u d rey Hepburn wea rs o n e d e s igned by H u be rt d e G ivenc hy. I n fact, i t i s G a b r i e l l e Coco C ha ne l 's work i n the 1 92 0 s that i s c redited as t h e origin of the modern-day l ittle black d ress. Vogue cal led it " C h a n e l 's Ford," refer足 r i ng to t h e Model T, w h i c h was a l so designed to be s i m p l e and a ccessi b l e . O n e of its most redee m i n g q u a l ities is the a b i l ity to accessorize it to s u it a n y occa s i o n . For m e n, the tuxedo is a fa s h i o n sta p l e for for m a l occa s i o n s, though most men don't actu a l l y own one. Defi n i ng t h e basics t h a t a designer w i l l i n c l u d e i n h e r body of work req u i res as m uch, if not m o re, research a n d deve l o p m e n t i f the designer wants h e r v i s i o n to be m em o ra b l e .

150 Fashion Design Essentials

British actor and comed ian Cary G rant in a t u xedo, 1953


A model wearing a sequined little black d ress at a Marc Jacobs fashion show, 2010


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Design of Dissent Rebels h ave a lways infl uenced fas h i o n . By today's stand a rds, the flapper look of t h e 1920s is c h a rm i ng a n d c h i c . Nostalgia now c l o u d s h o w wo men who epitom ized t h a t l o o k were perceived, s u c h as Louise B rooks a n d C l a ra Bow, w h o were t h e bad girls of t h e i r day. Re b e l l ious a n d rec kless, these girls bobbed their hair a n d wore fl i m sy d resses that exposed t h e i r knees a n d ba red thei r arms. J e a n H a rlow, M a e West, Joan C rawford, a n d Bette Davis perso n ified t h e sloe-eyed va m p of the 1 930s who b ro ke with conve n t i o n a l m o ra l s a n d brandished ove rt sexual ity i n s l i n ky satin gow n s . Actresses such as La n a Tu rner, Virg i n i a M ayo, a n d Barbara Sta nwyck b rought t h e fe m m e fata l e o f t h e 1 940s t o l ife i n fi l m n o i r. The u nd e rc u rrent of the very conservative 1 950s was part teenager, part Beat G e n e ration, a n d part "rebel without a cause." J e a n s a n d leather jackets were t h e major fa s h i o n influence of icons such a s J a m es Dean and M a r l o n B ra n do. H i pp i e fa s h ions o f the 1 960s were heavily i n fl u e n ced by a b o h e m i a n l ifesty l e a n d the m u s i c of perfor m e rs such as Joan Baez and J o n i M itchel l . P u n k i s o n e o f t h e most aggressive a ntifa s h ion m ove ments. I n the 1 970s, infa m o u s perfo r m e rs such as J o h n ny Rotten a n d Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols were d ressed by Vivi e n n e Westwood, who i n 足 co rporated B D S M gea r, safety pins, razor b l ades, and s p i ked dog co l l a rs into her fas h ions. In d i rect contra st to s l ick power d ressing in the 1 9 8 0s, street fa s h i o n and d e l i berately torn clothing beca m e the a ltern ative fa s h i o n , heavily i n f l u e n ced by pop stars M adonna and C i n d y La u pe r. The 1 9 8 0 s a l so i n itiated the start of Goth, w h i c h h a s d i ve rs ified ove r t h e yea rs to i n c l u d e everyth i ng from h orror to h igh fas h i o n . Function t r u m ped form i n gru nge fa s h i o n s o f the 1 990s, p o p u l a rized by t h e Seattle m u s i c scene, and in part i c u l a r, Ku rt Coba i n . Layers of baggy, u n ke m pt p l a i d flannel s h i rts, c h a rity shop finds, cardigans, and c o m bat boots com prised the look. Fa s h i o n designers m u st be i n touch with t h e fringes o f fa s h i o n . Who a re the outsiders of today that m ight be defi n i ng o u r e ra?

152 Fashion Design Essentials

Goth-infl uenced style


G r u nge-influenced style


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Attitude Adjustment C l othes do m a ke t h e m a n , or the wo m a n , when they a re part of the sto ryte l l i ng process on stage or on -scre e n . Ward robing s u ccessfu l l y for f i l m or the theater req u i res t h a t each c h a racter i s p rofi led accurately. Fo r a costu m e r, und ersta n d ­ i n g the c h a racter's h isto ry, psychology, c i rc u m ­ stan ces, a n d enviro n m e n t i s as i m porta nt as a fa s h i o n designer's grasp of a c l i ent's l i festyle. Both rely on exce l l e n t powers of o bserva t i o n . Fa s h ion tel l s a story a s w e l l . T h a t t a l e is a hybrid of the designer's vision a n d the wea rer's interests a n d ecce ntricities. Many h ig h - p rofi l e models b u i l d a career by esta b l i s h i ng a d i stinct look that designers want to a l ign themse lves with, but models that a re a b l e to be c h a m e leons w i l l be va lued for t h e i r a b i l ity t o tra n sform i nto t h e i d e a l o f a ny c l i e nt . U ber-versat i l e s u permodels of the 1 9 80s, s u c h as L i n d a Eva nge l ista, were k n own a s cha meleons. They m ade good use of cosmeti cs, h a i rsty les, and clothes to t ra n sform t h e i r a p pea ra n ce in a n y fa s h ion fantasy. Fa s h i o n designers often cite fi l m s and actors a s s o u rces o f t h e i r i n s pi rati o n . W h y not weave a sto ry, based on a f i l m o r mot ivated by c h a ra cters, into the fa bric of a co l l ection? W h o is t h e m u s e d u j o u r? W h a t i s s h e doi ng? W h ere is s h e go ing? H ow w i l l s h e express h e rself? G etting i nto h e r head a l l ows t h e designer t o adjust a n d a d a pt t h e deta i l s o f h i s work s o t h a t i t h i nts at t h e sou rce, but to avo i d c l ic h es, the designer must be a b l e to p u l l t h e i l l usion i nto the context of rea l ity.

Above: Model Linda

Eva ngelista in Chanel haute coutu re, 2003 Right: Costume designs from

the show United States of

Tara are a part of a n exhibit of nom i nees for a 2009 Emmy Award i n the category of Outstanding Te levision Costume Design at the Fashion I nstitute of Design and Merchand ising ( F I D M ) Museum & G a l l eries. The title character suffers from dissociative identity d isorder

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and each costume represents � one of her personalities.

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Myths and Archetypes Accord i n g to American mythologist Joseph C a m pbell. exploring myths i s about m o re t h a n the q u est f o r m ea n i ng. It is fou nded i n the d e s i re to a l ign ou rse lves with experi ences that resonate most with our true selve s . Fa s h i o n p l ays a major ro l e i n the d efi n ition o f a n y u n iversal a rc h etype. W h e n rom a nt i c i z i n g the girl next door, what types of c h a racteristics a re att r i b uted to h e r? How do virtue, wholesome足 n ess, a n d pu r ity tran slate i nto the design deta i l s a n d m a ke h e r i m m ed iately recognizable? H e r identity m ight be s u m med u p b y modest s i l h o u 足 ettes t h a t s u p p ress h e r sex u a l ity, c o m b i ned with fres h , b r ight, h a ppy col ors a n d sweet deta i l s s u c h as buttons a nd bows. S n a p judgments m a y be ti m esave rs, but t h e re is a downside. You're l eft with gen e r i c, prefa b r i cated l a be l s with l ittle o r no d e p t h . W h o wants t o r u n off c a rbon copies of someone else's ideal? The trick to u s i n g type足 casting in fa s h i o n design is to do it creatively, to m i x it up. W h at k i n d of fas h i o n do you get when you s h u ff l e the t raits of t h e Earth mother and fem m e fata le? Or the d a m s e l i n d ist ress a n d the trickster? In fa s h i o n , t h e re a re ce rta i n ly many shades of style.

Tough

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Leather


Soft

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Ruffled Florals

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Wit C a n f u n ny be fa s h i o n a b l e? I t i s safe to a s s u m e t h a t J e a n - C h a rles d e C a stel bajac h a s a s e n se of h u m or. M a king c l o t h i n g comical i s at the h e a rt of much of his work. Elsa S c h i a p a re l l i and Fra nco M os c h i n o certa i n l y had an a p p reciation for w h i msy and the ridicu lous. These i m pish designers end eavored to a m use a n d d i d not take fa s h i o n too serious ly. W h e re i s it said that a fa s h 足 ion designer c a n n ot p ro d u ce beautiful work t h at is a l s o w itty? Fa s h ion with a sense of h u m o r can a l s o m a ke a state m e n t . L i ke a n y good editor i a l c a rtoo n , fa s h i o n can become a veh i c l e for del ive r i ng social or political messages. A coat m a d e o u t of teddy bears m ight be t a k i ng a satirical stab at t h e eth ics o f u s i ng f u r i n fas h i o n . The conscientious fa s h i o n designer m a kes a personal choice a bout which a bs u rd ities and a b uses s h e m ight wish to poke f u n at. H u m o r does n 't a l ways h ave to be c h a rged with m ea n i ng. Sometimes the only motivation beh i n d injecting couture with a l ittle comedy i s t h e p ro m i s e o f a good l a u g h . Above: A model wears a

Lego-inspired design by French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, 2008.

Right: Sebastian Errazuriz's

teddy bear jacket

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Blackouts and Ful l Immersion I n t h i s age of i nfo rmation overload, sched u l i ng blocks of t i m e w h e n every c h a n n e l h a s been turned off i s essenti a l to a designer's process-a self- i m posed b l a c kout. D own t i m e provides the t i m e and space needed to edit and d iscard the ir足 re l evant, m a ki ng room for the next i n f l u x of d ata. T h i s doesn't m e a n that a designer should c l oister h i m s e l f c o m p l ete ly. Periods of rest can i n c l ud e b re a k i n g w i t h t h e ro utine a n d f i n d i n g a lternative sti m u lation in u n re l ated a n d u n fa m i l i a r s u bjects. Rec h a rging is we l l served when the creative m i nd is c h a l l enged i n u n c h a rted territory. W h e n a designer i s ready to step back i nto the current, he can sta nd s t i l l a n d let it c ra s h aga i nst h i m or h e can ride the wave. The fi rst i s a "see what stic ks" k i n d of a pproach- looking for creative triggers in t re n d s that a re relevant to h i s work. A d e s igner w h o i s looking t o ride t h e wave m u st be ready to i m m e rse h i m se lf. A fas h i o n designer a l so needs to find a p l a ce to test the waters, respect the e nviron m e n t of the i n d u st ry, and stay in h i s league u n t i l he is p repa red to p l ay with t h e big boys. A designer who i s ded icated w i l l keep paddling u n t i l he fee ls the swe l l, and knows it's t i m e to pop u p a n d ride the wave.

Full fashion immersion

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Va 1111 .

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Representation and Abstraction Extra ! Extra ! Read a l l a bout it! The written word wraps itself a ro u n d fa s h ion, l itera l ly. The d i rect a p plication of text to text i l e a l l ows fas h i o n to be an i nstru m e n t that conveys t h oughts, p h rases, and powerf u l messages. Designers select content to expl icitly represent what they w i s h to express o n t h e i r ga rments. Pages borrowed from books o r n ewspapers, fragments of s heet m u s ic, maga z i n e covers, or the h a n dwritten word w i l l speak vol u m es when it a d o r n s what w i l l be worn . The rep rod uction of a rt a nd p hotogra p h s as texti les f o r fas h i o n is a m ed i u m t h a t gets bet足 ter with t e c h n ological advan ces. N ew methods a l low designers to capture the m i n utest deta i l s . With i n seve ra l co l lections, designer R a l p h R u c c i h a s a rtfu l ly transferred both pai nti ngs of h i s o w n a n d ph otogra phs to fa bric. D e s i g n i n g with i m ages is at its best when the translation is not obvious. Figu res that exceed the b o u n d a ries of the garmen t, becom ing a bstracted by t h e i r sheer scale and position, set the scene for d iscovery足 a m o m e n t w h e n the o bserver real izes there i s m o re t h e re t h a n m eets t h e eye.

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Jessica Lee designs featuring a newspaper print fabric


A model wearing a gown featuring a photo print fabric by Chado Ra lph Rucci, 2010

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Symbols The most co m m o n use of symbols i n fas h i o n to足 day is the gra p h i c T-s h i rt. B eyond those that a re a bo u t blatant m a rketi ng, t h e re is a t re m e n d o u s m a rket for garments i n t h i s category, w h i c h a l low the wea re r to express h e rself. N i ke's "J ust do it." was at the forefro nt of big name b ra n d s that created a lternat ives to the conve n t i o n a l wisdom of t h e day- s l a p your logo on every conceivable s u rface. Tag l i n es, m e a n i ngfu l m essages, c l ever qu otes, provocative i m ages, and e ndearing mas足 cots can speak to the m essage b e h i n d the brand better than just a l ogo ever c o u l d . These caref u l l y c rafted gra ph ics a re the con足 tem pora ry eq u ivalent of a fa m i l y c rest, a coat of a rm s , or t h e J a panese fa m i ly badges cal led kaman. Alt hough they a re a l l now a p p reciated for t h e i r beauty, each part of the d e s ign actua l ly means somet h i ng. A customer who adopts a d e s igner's motto or sym b o l i s m is m a k i ng a fa r greater contribution to the growth of the b ra n d than simply m a k i n g a s a l e . He i s flying the b ra n d's flag every time h e wears it. A custo m e r often a l igns h i mself with these pictogra ms o r ideogra m s beca use they a re u n i q u e; th ere is i n stant recognition; t h ey accurately represent the b ra n d; and they often become an a lternate m a rk or signature t h at em bodies the m essage of t h e company as strongly as its logo does.

Phrase T: " N o autographs"

Business T: Zaftigs Del icatessen

Political T: Barack Obama's presidential campaign

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Destination T: Beet lebung of Martha's Vineyard

Band T: Rol l i ng Stones

Museum T: Cooper-Hewitt National Design

School T: U niversity of Kansas mascot

Museum 'Fashion in Colors' exhibit

the Jayhawk

C harity T: Marc Jacobs' for skin cancer awareness

Memorial T: Dropkick M u rphys' tribute to Greg "Chicken man" Riley

Concert T: Pearl Jam To u r

Nostalgia T: Woodstock

Cause T: Yoko Ono for Fashion Aga inst A I DS at H&M

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Dynamics W h e n it comes to d a n ce, the spa ce t h at co nta i n s it can be considered a bla n k ca nvas, w h i l e the da ncer who moves t h rough it i s l i ke a brush. Each move m e n t is s i m i l a r to a brush stroke of e n e rgy a cross it. Kee p i ng that in m i n d , a designer can v i rt u a l ly p a i n t move m e nt if h e consid ers h ow h i s garments w i l l become a n exte n s i o n of each gest u re the wea rer w i l l m a ke. The s i l h o u ette of a s k i rt w i l l c h a nge d ra m a t i c a l l y o n c e t h e weare r begi ns to move. W i l l t h a t s h a pe restrict m ovement? H ow flexible i s t h e fa b ric, and does it respon d to the exte n s i o n and con足 traction of m uscle gro u ps? Does a l o ng h a nging sleeve create the i l l usion of l o nger a r m s? When the h i ps suddenly twist, d o the yards of fa bric i n a c i rc u l a r s k i rt w h i p a ro u n d the body? H a s the sheer vol u m e of that s k i rt become an extension of t h e c h o reogra phy? Through modern d a n ce, c h o reogra p h e r M a rtha G ra h a m uses the body of the d a n ce r to p u l l the fa bric of a ga rment i nto bold, expressive s h a pes. Color i s a vital p a rt of how d y n a m i c a m ove m e n t is perceived to be. T h e same gest u re a n d t h e s a m e ga rment m ight suggest co m p letely differ足 ent t h i ngs in different colors. A v i b ra n t red m ight push the perce ption of power. Rendered in wh ite it might be described in softer, gen t l e r terms. Texture plays a b ig part i n how s h a r p o r soft the movem ent of a ga rment ca n be. The trad itional tutu i s constructed to reta i n its rigid form w h i l e t h e l onger " ro m a n t i c tutu" is meant t o be f l u i d . T h e s a m e d a n ce i s expressed d iffe rently depend足 i n g on which form i s chosen. D a n ce, l i ke fas h i o n , often reflects a cert a i n period, c u l t u re, a n d t rad ition. The designer w h o u n d e rsta n d s t h i s a n d a l s o recog n i zes that both a re n o nverba l fo rms of com m u n i cation is a b l e t o a nt i c i pate a n d i ncorporate m ove m e n t into his works. The designer m ust a l so take steps to u n d e rsta n d how m u c h stress a ga r m e nt must e n d u re based on how people w i l l move i n it, to be s u re t h a t the mater i a l s a n d construct i o n a re u p to t h e job.

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Above: Classica l ballet tutu

at the Boston Ballet Right: Romantic bal let tutu at

the Boston Ballet


Martha G raham Dance Company performance in Berlin, 2008

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Trompe L'Oei l I n some ways, fas h i o n has a lways been sm oke a n d m i rrors. Every d et a i l of fa s h i o n can be m a n i p u l ated to fa bricate a bel ieva b l e fa <;:ade. With a h i story of m i s d i rection, it's not s u rp ri s i n g t h a t fas h i o n designers a l so play w i t h perception and rea l ity to create optical tricks for c o m p l etely aesthetic rea sons. Many of those i l l usions can be a p pl ied to the s u rface or woven i n to a text i l e . Atmosphere

Aerial o r atmospheric perspective i s the place足 ment and size of objects, the va l u e of color, or the use of h ig h l ights a n d shadows to p roduce the i l l us i o n of t h ree d i m e n s i o n s on a flat s u rface. Convergence

Co nverging l i nes create the i l l u s i o n of a s h a p e t h a t i s d i m i n i s h i ng i nto the d i st a n ce. Distortion

Someti m es c a l led the "Cafe Wa l l " i l l usion, paral足 lei l i nes can be d i sto rted by out l i n ing offset rows of b lack and wh ite s q u a res in gray.

Ouchi Illusion

A c i rcle with a pattern on the c ross-gra i n, w i t h i n a s q u a re t h a t p l a ces t h e s a m e pattern on t h e lengthwise gra i n , creates the i l l us i o n that each i s float i n g independently of the ot h e r. I t i s n a med after the J a p a n ese op a rt ist H aj i me O u c h i . Penrose Triangle

The i m pos s i b l e tri angle, or the t r i b a r, is a s h a pe that co u l d not exist i n t h e rea l world a n d was i n s p i red by the work of a rtist Escher. Pointillism

Use of points of d ifferent col ors that a re set side by s i d e to gene rate the i l l usion of a nother color was a tec h n ique used by a rt ist G eorges S e u rat. Stroop

The Stroop effect i s a cognitive v i s u a l i l l u si o n t h at c reates a conflict i n t h e bra i n w h e n the words used to i d e ntify pigments a re re n d e red in d i ffe rent colors.

Face

H u m a n b e i ngs a re h a rd - w i red for fa ce recogn i 足 t i o n , so a ny configu ration t h a t closely resembles the p lacement of facial featu res seems to be sta ring back at u s . Illusory Contour

O bjects that a re configured i n s u c h a way that their bord ers create the i l l u s i o n of a n oth e r s h a pe trick the b ra i n i nto i m posing the perception of a n object onto what i s a ct u a l l y negative space.

Stroop effect bag

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Co nvergence

Distortion

Stroop effect

I l lusory contou r

Ouchi il lusion

Face

Atmosphere

Pointi l l ism

Penrose triangle

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Space and Sculpture Clothing can be sc u l pted to co nform to t h e shape of the body o r b u i lt to c reate a bstract spaces between the garment and the wearer. When the designer scu l pts to reflect the natural s h a pe of the body it speaks to t rad itional E u ropean t a i l o r­ i ng, a n a rt form i n itse lf when done we l l . This discipline re l ies o n tec h n iques t h at subdue t h e texti le, i n o rder to m a ke it fit. Less common is the expl oration of how d iffe rent sha pes relate to the h u m a n fo r m . This p rocess is both conceptual and orga n i c . The c h a racteristics of each sha pe, as we l l as the materials, i n form the designer a s to how it m ight be m a n i p u lated i n d ependent of the body. I t can be done with every conceiva b l e s h a pe. One exa m p l e would be the use of c i rc l es or r i ngs. W h e n t h ey a re applied h o rizon t a l l y to a design they c a n e m u late the re lati o n s h i p t h a t the r i n g s o f S a t u r n h ave to the p l a net itself. They comp letely surro u n d the o bject at its cen­ ter, b u t re m a i n independent of the same fo r m . I ssey M iya ke takes i t a step fu rt h e r, c reating a kind of ki netic s c u l pt u re. I n o n e of h i s creations, a lternating s i zes of those ri ngs a re conn ected to m i m ic h o rizontal acco rd i o n p leati ng. The natu re of struct u re i n t roduces m ove m e n t i nto the gar­ m e n t that seems to a l most fl oat, at t i m es eve n b o u n ce, as it s k i m s a body i n moti o n . C i rcles can a lso be used to create a u n i q u e t h ree-d i m e n ­ s i o n a l su rface treatment. a s i n Va l e n t i no's p i n k b u b b l e s c u l pt u re. Model wearing dress from Issey M iyake's Ready-to­ Wear Collection, 1 994

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Model wearing a pink ensemble by haute couture designer Va lentino, 2007


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Matters of Size: Addressing Curves The term i n o logy t h at is used to describe a wom足 an with ge n e ro u s c u rves constitutes a reflect i o n o f h o w t h e o bserver perceives t h ose p roportions. By today's fas h i o n sta n d a rds, someone with a fu l l figu re, l i ke M a r i l y n M o n roe, would b e consid e red fat, but wo u l d a nyone rea l l y use t h at term to describe h e r? A designer m ight even find i n s p i ra 足 t i o n i n the descriptors. Vo l u pt u o u s m ight i m p l y s e n s u a l i ty. R u be n esq u e cou ld s uggest a l eve l of rom a nticism, w h i l e zaftig captures a s e n se of pers o n a l ity as wel l as size. T h roughout h i story, society has both condem ned a n d celebrated a body of gen e ro u s p roporti o n s . Theories suggest that cu l t u re, politics, a n d econom ics a l l play a part i n what is acce pted to be beautiful a n d i n fas h i o n . I n the West African cou ntry of M a u ritania, a p l u m p figu re i s p referred. Gavage, or fatte n i ng, w h i c h still ta kes p l a ce in t h i s region, i s j u st as da ngerous a s a n o re x i a . H i story s hows that d u ring t i m e s when women e njoyed greater freedoms, s u c h as the 1 920s a n d 1 960s, fem i n i ne attri butes such as the b u st l i n e and the h i ps were d e e m p h asized. Eco n o m i c prospe rity i s a lso thought to i n f l u e n ce fas h ion norms, with t h i n b e i n g i n d u ri ng good t i m e s a n d bigger fra m e s be足 ing m o re p reva lent d u ring c h a l l e ng i ng t i m e s . H ig h - p rofi le, c u rvace o u s celeb rities continue to m a ke strides in b u i l d i ng an a p p reciation for beauty in a l l sizes. Q ueen Latifah ( D a n a Owens) is not o n l y a h ig h - p rofi l e enterta i n e r in the m u s i c a n d fi l m i n d u stries, s h e is a lso a spokesperson for Cover G i r l . E m m e, wh ose rea l n a m e is M e l i ssa Aronson, m a d e a n a m e for h e rself as a p l u s s ize m o d e l . H e r s u ccess h a s a d i rect corre l a tion to co n s u m e rs' d e s i re to s e e a reflection of themselves on t h e ru nway, i n pri nt, and over t h e a i rwaves. T h e re a re u n i q u e c h a l lenges when designing for fu l l e r-fi g u re women, beca use the struct u re of the clothing m u st fit a n d flow properly for comfo rt a n d movem ent. Fou n dation garme nts can be built i nto a garment to p rovide su pport while a l so strea m l i n i ng t h e s h a pe of the wearer. L i n i ngs a l low t h e fas h i o n fa b r i c to s k i m t h e figure and move freely without c l i nging u nattractively to the body. Design deta i l s can also be sca l ed to keep in p roportion to the overa l l s i l h o u ette.

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Model Emme unveils the ful l-figured Emme Doll at FAO Schwarz in New Yo rk City, 2002.


Actress Queen Latifah arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards, 2009.


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Dressing for Bowie I s the goa l of the designer to d raw t h e observer i n gently a n d q u ietly? S h o u l d the s o u n d of fas h 足 i o n b e somewh ere i n t h e m idd le, n e i t h e r h ere n o r t h e re, just ba ckgro u n d n oi se? O r does the occasion c a l l for t u r n i n g up the vo l u m e i n order to attract k i n d red s p i rits? W h i le fa sh ion m a kers s h o u l d be at t h e controls when deve l o p i ng the clothes, it i s t h e consum足 e rs who will decide h ow loud they d a re to be. Design ers a re advised to keep in m i n d t h at psychology is a lways i n play when p u s h i ng t h e e nvelo pe, so t h ey s h o u l d be ready to a d d ress a n y issues with the c l ient. I n a story a b o u t her love of fa s h i o n a n d m us ic, sty l ist a n d a rt i st N a n cy H a rt passes on words of wisdom t h at a friend once s h a red with h e r about b e i ng true to your voice and yo u r fas h ion sense. The essence of the m essage came in the form of a q u est i o n . " W h o a re y o u d ressing for-y o u r b a n k t e l l e r o r David Bowie?" The a n swer for her was clear: " I a m d ressi ng for Bow i e ! " David Bowie i s a great exa m ple o f t h e strength of t h e con nection between fa s h i o n a n d m us ic. Through many fas h ion i n c a rnations, from Z iggy Stard ust to present day, h e h a s influenced style, a long t h e way i n s p i r i ng others to express t h e m 足 selves. Everyo n e s e e m s to h ave a pictu re i n her head of who s h e bel ieves she is a n d what s h e w i s h e s to l o o k l i ke . Fa s h i o n provides t h e t o o l s t o a ct on c rea t i ng t h a t vision, w h i l e m u s i c i a n s and oth e r h ig h - p rofile figures who e m brace their per足 s o n a l sty l e sta n d as exa m ples of how rewa rd i n g i t is to do j u st t h a t . A d e s igner m ust a s k h i m self, "Who a nd h ow a m I looking to i n f l u e n ce?" a n d "Who does m y c u st o m e r identify with?"

174 Fashion Design Essentials

David Bowie i n Wem b ley, Lo ndon


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Objects of Art Very few a rtists w h o work with fa bric compare with C h ri sto a n d J e a n n e - C l aude. The G ates a n d other p rojects l i ke it set the sta n d a rd w h e n i t co mes to a rt for a rt's sake. I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e ratio n a l e b e h i n d these a cts o f a rt the d a u nt i n g scale a n d the f i n ite period o f t i m e i n w h i c h t hey exist m a ke t h e m both o n e of a k i n d a n d o n ce i n a l ifet i m e . W h at c a n t h e fas h i o n d e s ig n e r take from t h i s? M ost designers would be h a rd - p ressed to m a ke t h i s a way of l ife, but e ngagi ng i n t h e a rt of fas h 足 i o n w i t h p u re intentions c a n beco m e t h e cata lyst for a host of va l ua b l e resu lts, i n c l u d i n g aesthetic explorations and sta rt ing d i a l ogues with ot her designers. W h a t a re the criteria fo r judging somet h i ng a work of a rt? Does it e l icit a n emoti o n a l re足 sponse? Does it c h a l le nge the observer to look at the world in a d i ffere nt way? Is it s i m p l y bea uti足 f u l ? When it comes to the a rt of fas h i on, the o n l y confl ict with t h e t ra d i t i o n a l defi n it i o n o f f i n e a rt is t h a t a ga rment no matter h ow extra o rd i n a ry, does se rve a p u rpose beyond just being a rt .

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The Gates by C h risto and Jeanne-Claude (1979-2005)


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A Designer's Inheritance I t's n ever too early to be t h i n k i ng a bout the fut u re, specifi ca l ly the passing o n of a c reative m a n tle-a fa s h i o n designer's last w i l l and testa­ ment. The motivation b e h i n d such an exercise m ight be based in the desire to q u a ntify the va l u e o f t h e b ra n d beyond d o l l a rs a n d cents. I t a lso h e l p s to e n s u re that the vision w i l l cont i n u e i n the eve nt of a t ra n sfer of powe r. M a n y compa­ n i es rea ch a point when it becomes m o re l u cra­ tive to the designer to m a ke a sale a n d move o n , rat h e r t h a n re m a i n ing i n c h a rge. Records, press c l i p pi ngs, and refe re n ce resou rces s h o u l d be col l ected a n d stored by a l i bra r i a n . Cata l ogs se rve t o d o c u m ent a designer's h istory of col lections a n d spec i a l p rojects. Arch ives ben­ efit from the c u rato r's perspective regard i n g t h e preservat i o n a n d storage o f h e i rloom ga rments based on their c u lt u ra l and h istorical sign ifi ­ c a n ce. A b ra n d b i b l e w i l l e n s u re con s i stency and p reserve the i ntegrity of the brand. The o n l y oth e r t h i ng t o co n s i d e r is a n h e i r a p parent w h o wou l d b e a b l e t o take the reign s . Designers who a re n o t yet i n a position t o b e t h i n king a bout t h i s f o r themse lves can begin to study the lega c i e s of oth e r des ign ers as a source of g u i d a n ce .

From Coco to Ka rl: The history behind the House of Chanel i s one of the best examples of a successful long term legacy of fashion.

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Luxury Washing The concept of l u x u ry p rovides t h ree rewa rds, however fl eet i n g t h ey may be: •

A s e n se of power: c l ass-d riven prod ucts or encou nters that b u i l d b o u n d a r ies betwee n u s and them A s e n se o f co m m u n ity: ite m s a n d events t h a t a l l ow us t o b e l o ng to a partic u l a r social gro u p A s e n se o f p l e a s u re : goods a n d experiences that sti m u l ate, i n d u lge, a n d comfort

The word luxury is i n d a nger of l o s i ng a l l m ea n i ng if you b e l i eve t h a t every company t h a t c a l l s itself a l u x u ry brand rea l l y is o n e . At f i rst g l a n ce, it seems l i ke a n abuse of the term, but the defi n i ­ t i o n o f l u x u ry is a lways s u bject ive, especi a l l y as it perta i n s to fas h i o n . Si nce l u x u ry is ulti m ately i n the eye of the beholder, m a ny th ings i n f l u ence our c h a racte rization of it: sta n d a rd of l iving, sup­ ply a n d demand, o r exceptiona l l y d isti nctive. C o m peting in a m a rket satu rated with cla i m s of l u x u rious ness, a designer h a s a great adva ntage if she h a s a rea l istic u n dersta n d i n g of w h e re i n t h e spect r u m o f l u x u ry h e r p roduct o r service sta nds. This a l so a p p l ies to her customers. A re they a s p i ratio n a l ? O r i s l u x u ry a basel i n e sta n­ d a rd for her c l ient? Fur, for exa m p le, is both a coveted a n d controve rsi a l c o m m od ity. W h e n and how i s it a necessity? I s it a symbol of a s u m p­ t u o us l i festyle or of a n excessive o ne? A c l e a r defi n it i o n of w h at m e rits the l u xe l a b e l p rovides a kind of p rotect ion for a design e r. H e r c l a i m s a re less at risk of being c h a l l e nged if they a re p resented i n the a p p ropriate context. Luxe warni ng: The l u x u ry trap comes in t h e form of "the e m peror's new c l ot h es": b l i n d accep­ t a n ce. The natu re of the fas h i o n b u si n ess i s to intentio n a l l y perpetuate a cyc l e in which t h i ngs come i n a n d out of favor, a rbitra r i l y i n c reasing o r decrea s i n g t h e desi re for t h e m . W i l l t h e con­ s u m e r, a nd i n some cases the designer, defer to the u n s po ke n contract between t h e i n d u st ry, t h e m e d i a , a n d the p u b l ic t o agree on w h at l u x u ry is at a n y given t i m e? If it i s ge n e ra l ly a ccepted to be t h e sta n d a rd , who will t h e l e a d e rs be, who w i l l fo l l ow, and who w i l l rebel?

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Luxe costume jewelry


Viktor & Rolf fur coat, 2006


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Copies Degrade The M u see de l a Contrefac;:on i n Paris i s replete with d i sp l ays of counterfeit coutu re a n d every oth e r type of fa u x l u x u ry item worthy of coveting. The e x h i b its a re c u ra ted to clearly compare t h e origi n a l s w i t h t h e forge r i es, a n d t h e re is no short­ age to choose from in the m a rket p l a ce . At fi rst glance, the novelty of a knockoff a n d t h e consid­ erably lower price tag may be entic i n g, b u t these crude facs i m i l es d o n 't l ive u p to expectations. There a re a few t h i ngs that c o n s u m e rs s h o u l d consider w h e n buying a l u x u ry item: •

Point of s a l e : Is the p u rchase t h rough a re pu­ table department store or o n a street corner?

Packagi ng: Is it consistent w it h the pro m i s e of the b ra n d ?

Price: Are you gett ing what you pay for?

I m itations a re m i s re presenting the brand, a n d therefore a re i l lega l . A n y product t h a t assumes the identity of a b ra n d i s a l s o deva l u i ng the origi n a l work. Big c o m p a n ies have reco u rse, but the l ive l i hood of s m a l l e r operations is t h reat­ e n ed w h e n thei r ideas a re m i sa p p ropriated. Cities a round the world a re cracking down on the pu rveyors of fa lse fa s h i o n s, confiscating and destroyi ng them. Reflecting o n w h i c h materi a l s, tec h n i q ues, and fi n i s h i ng touches a re i n corpo­ rated into a design w i l l h e l p to m a ke the design h a rder to d u p l icate, resu lt i ng in a product that is not profit a b l e to d u p l i cate.

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Genuine and cou nterfeit bags are disp layed at the Musee de la Co ntrefa<;:on in Paris. The museum serves to highlight the impact that fake items have both on the producers of authentic products in regard to consumers and the wider econo my, and on general health and safety issues.


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Platforms To be prepared when opportun ity knocks, a de­ signer s h o u l d a l ways be b u i l d i n g a pl atform with and a ro u n d his work. Authentic experiences a n d va l u a b l e excha nges a re a b i g part of cu ltivating a loyal fa n base. H ig h - ca l i b e r co n n ections put the designer i n a position to e n e rgize a n d activate that a ud ie n ce when needed. Before e m b a rking on the d eve lopment of a com­ pl icated com m u n i cation n etwork, c h oices need to be made regard ing w h i c h o u t l ets best a l ign with the goa ls of the designer: a webs ite, social media, project partners h i ps, b l ogs, l ive events, television a ppeara nces, releva nt produ cts, w rit­ i n g books, a ut h ored m agaz i n e articles, speaking e ngage m en ts, work expe r i e n ce, and tea c h i ng opport u n ities. The designer s h o u l d a l so esta b­ l i s h a n d prioritize h i s va l ues, because s h a red ideals forge strong bonds between h i m a nd h i s constitue nts. These syste ms a l low t h e fas h i o n designer t o a d d v a l u e b y e n co u raging i ntera ctiv­ ity; i nvolving h i s a ud ience t h rough reg u l a r u p ­ dates, m o b i l izing t h e masses with c a l l s to action, reward i n g loya lty, and ext e n d i ng the perso n a l ity of t h e bra n d .

Isaac M izrahi presents

The Adventures of Sandee the Supermodel. 1997 S&S Editions Comic Book Series. Artwork by William Frawley

.: .

"Absohllely � AnI Wdedy FUliny'"

a e. .. ..t y....l..e. h o w , t. . o, . , h ... , . . . . , . . .. . . i

aa

. ..

tJNZiPr£J5

rn i z r a h i

-Isaac Mizrahi uses a segment

How to Have Style

ca lled "Sketches & Answers" to

Unzipped DVD of

by Isaac Mizrahi, 2008

sketch out answers to aud ience

1995 documentary

questions about style.

by Douglas Keeve

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Business Week magazine d u bbed Isaac M izrahi a "one足 man brand," which describes his exceptional talent for translating his vision and style across a wide variety of platforms. I n addition to a documentary, a series of comic books, and a book on personal style, he designed a diffusion col lection for Target; served as creative d i rector for Liz Claiborne; designs products for QVC; hosts reality show, The

Fashion Show, on Bravo TV; communicates with fans via a daily video-blog, Facebook, and Twitter; hosts the web足 show, WATC H I SAAC.com; and was among the first generation of designers to livestream his fashion runway shows online. He was also the costume designer for stage revivals of The Women (2001), Barefoot in the Park (2006), the operetta, Three

Penny Opera (2006), and the Metropolitan Opera's production of Orfeo ed

Euridice (2008).


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Label Maker Pa rt of the fas h i o n design process i nvolves how information about t h e ga rments you c reate w i l l b e s h a red with you r c u stomer. T h e re a re laws regard i ng how clothing m u st be l a b e l e d . In the U n ited States, the Federal Trad e C o m m ission req u i res that most text i l e a n d wool p roducts c l ea rly identify fiber content, co u n t ry of origin, a n d brand o r m a n ufact u re r, a n d that those labels be securely fastened. They can be sewn i n or i roned on. A label pri n ted d i rectly onto the ga rment ca n end u p as part of the design. The perce ntages of fiber co ntent for each component of the garme nt- body, l i n i n g, i nterl i n i ng, a n d/or decoration-m ust a lso be i nc l uded. Kee p i ng tabs on i n formation is the designe r's respo n s i b i l ity.

C a re l a be l s for a pparel s h o u ld p rovide comp lete i n st r u ctions rega r d i ng c a re a n d a n y warning spe­ cific to that ga rment to e n s u re t h at the q u a l ity is not com p rom ised. Wa r n i ngs s h o u l d use c l e a r ter m i n o logy, s u c h as " D o n o t i ron," " N o bleac h," a n d " D ry c l e a n o n l y." A system of u n iversa l symbols for v i rtu a l l y every conti ngency is a l so ava i l a b l e . Designer n a m e l a b e l s, h a n g tags, a n d price t i c kets a re u s u a l l y designed to be exte n s i o n s of t h e brand.

U n ive rsa l G a r m e n t- C a re Sym bo l s Machine Wash Cycles

N o rmal

Permanent Press

Delicate Gentle

Hand Wash

Do Not Wash

Water Temperature

WASHING

• •

Cold (86°F [30°C])

Warm (104°F [40°C])

Any Bleach When Needed

BLEACHING

186 Fashion Design Essentials

Only Non-Chlorine Bleach When N eeded

• •

Hot (122°F [SO°C])

Do Not Ring

Do Not Bleach


Tumble Dry Cycles

[Q] [Q] [Q] Normal

Permanent Press

Del icate/ Gentle

Line Dry

[ill]

E1

Drip Dry

Dry Flat

Tumble Drying Temperatures

D RYING

0

e G 0

Any Heat

H igh Heat

Medium Heat

Low Heat

8 No Heat/Ai r

Do Not Tu mble Dry

Iron Dry or Steam

IRO N I NG

a

~

Low

H igh

(230°F [11 0°C])

(392°F [200°C])

B

8 Do Not I ron

Q N o Steam

Medium (302°F [150°C])

o Dry Clean

Do Not Dry Clean

D RY CLEANING

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Master and Apprentice M a ster, a p p rentice; i n stru ctor, student; me ntor, p rotege: The semantics h e re a re not as i m por足 tant as the a cts of giving and receiving that take place when the i n experienced be nefit from those who have come before. D o n n a Karan started work i n g u n der A n n e K l e i n in 1970. I n 1 974, when Klei n passed away, Karan j o i ned forces with Lou i s D e l l ' O l i o to cont i n ue to build on t h e A n n e Klei n l egacy. T h i s part n e rs h i p c o n t i n u ed u n t i l 1 984, w h e n Karan l eft t o begi n h e r s o l o career. After the u nt i m e l y death of her broth e r, G i a n n i Ve rsace, i n 1 997, Donate l l a Versace was a b l e to step i n a n d m ove forwa rd w i t h h i s v i s i o n for Ve rsace. H e r experience a n d respect for the b ra n d a l l owed her to honor the position the com足 pany had e a rned i n the fa s h i o n world, and sti l l p roj ect h e r vision for the fut u re of the l a b e l . Yohji Ya m a m oto's da ughter, L i m i Ya m a moto, was exposed to fas h i o n early in l ife. She carries on her father's passion for design t h rough her work, a l a b e l cal led L i m i Feu . S h e had s h own i n To kyo for seve ra l years before a successfu l Pa ris debut i n 20 07. H e r fath er's aesthetic c a n ce rta i n ly b e felt t h roughout her work, but t h e second-generation Ya m a m oto has an independent perspective on fa s h i o n a l l h e r ow n . N ot o n l y have these relat i o n s h i p s be n efited the " m aste r's" brand, i n that the a p p rentice can m a i n ta i n the design e r's vision of the brand, but they a l so a l l ow the a p p rentice the cha nce to i n sti l l her own se n s i b i l it i es i n the fa s h i o n . It's a w i n - w i n situation.

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Fashion designe rs/sibli ngs Gianni and Donatella Versace, 1990


A model wearing a n ensemble from t h e Limi Feu fashion show, 2010


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Designing the Job " C reate a job you love, a n d you w i l l n ever have to work a day i n your l i fe": I t's a sl ightly mod ified vers i o n of the wisdom of Confu c i u s . Designing your own job may sound l i ke a l u x u ry, o r perhaps is t h e very defi n it i o n of a fa nta sy, but i n s p ite of how u n re a l i st i c it s o u n d s, t h e re a re some pretty s i m p l e steps you can take to get a l ittle bit closer to that ideal work experience. The good n ews is that a fa s h i o n designer i s a l ready o n the a rti st's path, so m a k i ng a n emotion a l i nvest m e nt i n h e r work i s par for the course. Fi rst, no one wants to h e a r, "That's not my job." If somet h i ng needs to be done, someone who s i n cerely c a res a bo u t the end res u l t also c a res a bo u t how to get there, so s h e assigns h e rself tasks t h at seem petty. This m e a n s there a re no s m a l l jobs. Seco nd, "I was o n l y fol l owi n g o rders" i s just as bad. H ave a point of vi ew, a nd let your voice be h e a rd . Risk and sacrifice come with the te rritory if i n novation i s goi ng to take p l ace. Every t i m e y o u s u p press y o u rself a n d avo id u ncomforta b l e situations y o u d eva l u e you rse l f a n d your work. Fi n a l ly, t h i s is n ot the d o m a i n of a select few. H aving pu rposefu l p u rs u its, a n d lett i n g y o u r work e t h i c class ify you a s i n d i spensable, is t h e curre n cy you need t o rem a i n com petitive. G o i n g the extra m i l e w i l l pay off i n the e n d .

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The top ten things to consider when designing you r u ltimate job: Ask yourself how does this job meet you r expectations with regard to: 1 ) creativity; 2) financial compensation; 3) recognition; 4) commu nity involvement; 5) productive teamwork; 6) strong leadership; 7) opportunity for advancement; 8) ski l l development a n d continu ing education; 9) environmental impact; 10) intel lectual integrity.

10

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External Influences I nd iv i d u a l s a n d orga n i zations t h a t h ave the a ut h o rity to m a ke their views known to a broad a u d ience can h ave a profo u n d effect on p u b l ic o p i n i o n , and ulti m ately t h e comm erc i a l success of a designer. A nod of a p p rova l from a respected i n d u st ry p rofessional can fuel the fire w h i l e a n egative gesture may have the power to ext i n 足 g u i s h it. C h ristian B e ra rd, kn own as Bebe, was a n a rtist i n Paris w h o had great i nf l u e n ce i n the 1 93 0 s a n d 1 940s. H e w a s sought after b y c l i e nts o f h a ute couturiers because his fa s h i o n assessments held a lot of weight. In many ways, he was a p rede足 cessor to the stylist. Sty l i sts p rovide a va l u a b le service because they p rocess fas h i o n i n formation i n a way that t a kes into consideration t h e needs of the c l ient, the vision of the designer, and the enviro n m e n t i n which the wo rk w i l l be see n . A s l o ng a s there a re c reat ive i n d i v i d u a l s who a re b rave e n ough to s h a re t h e i r work with the rest of the world, t h e re will be critics. Anyone who i s p u rs u i n g a career in fa s h i o n i s fa m i l i a r w i t h Vogue's editor- i n -c h i ef, A n n a Wi ntour. It i s i m porta nt t o rem e m be r t h a t s h e h a d esta b l ished her reputat ion l o ng before movies and books m a d e her a household n a m e . Yea rs of experience a re respo n s i b l e for her i m m e a s u ra b l e i m pact o n t h e careers o f designers a n d t h e fas h ion i n d u stry as a w h o l e . W h ether the s o u rce o f i nfluence i s i n t e r n a 足 t i o n a l , n a t i o n a l , reg i o n a l , or l o c a l , t h e re w i l l b e j o u r n a l i sts, editors, a n d sty l i sts who h e l p guide the d i rection for fa s h i o n under thei r watc h . On the g l o b a l stage, G race C o d d i ngton, H a m i s h Bowles, a n d A n d re Leon Ta l l ey a re j u st a h a ndful of fa s h i o n ed itors who a re held i n h igh regard for how wel l t h ey a re a b l e to inte rpret fash io n . These a rbiters of taste enjoy a broader u n d e rstand i ng of the fa s h i o n l a ndscape and, as a result, a re i n a position to s h a re inva l ua b l e feed back. Although designers s h o u l d a lways trust their i n st i n cts, they wou ld be well advised to l i sten when the criticism i s co nstruct ive.

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G race Coddington and Hamish Bowles attend a Marc by Marc Jacobs fashion show, 2010.


Andre Leon Ta lley


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Lifestyle: A Rosetta Stone The designer d iscovers or creates h i s u n i q u e Rosetta stone, a p r i m e r that h e l p s h i m t o decode a n d t ra n s l ate the i ntricacies of other fields. Armed with a key, h e a p p roaches his design c h a l lenge as an i nterpreter. Although h e needs to work w i t h i n t h e natural bounda ries of h i s c raft, he can introduce h i s a u d i e n ces to n ew t h i ngs, e d u ca t i ng t h e m as to how v i a b l e a n d va l u a b l e they a re w i t h i n t h e fra m ework o f fa s h i o n . W h ether it's p o p c u l t u re o r s c i e n ce a n d tec h n o l 足 ogy, ga i n i n g i n sights into other areas sti m u l ates the d e s ign p rocess and spawns n ew ideas. The a rts have a lways sti m u l ated the c reative m i nd, but dedi cated p ractice of another a rt fo rm-whether it is p a i n t i n g o r perfo r m a n ce足 ga i n s a d m ission into a n ew d i m e n s ion of that a rtistic outlet. A n a lyz i ng hortic u lture and the c u 足 l i n a ry a rts provides i n s ight i n t o h o w t o c u ltivate plant l ife and prepare foo d . A n i m a l , i n sect, a n d s e a l ife a l so broaden t h e scope o f u n dersta n d i n g of h o w t h ings work. Even if i n -depth comprehen足 sion is not the goa l, a casual a c q u a intance with the s u bject can be e n o ugh to t rigge r a n idea if the d e s igner is open to it.

Fashion and art: preschool masterpiece by Zak Atkinson as inspiration

194 Fashion Design Essentials


Fashion and tec hno logy:

Fashion and architecture:

Fashion and food:

c i rcuit board surface as decoration

reflecting patterns in man-made structures

produce provides a source of sil houette and color

Fashion and transportation:

Fashion and nature:

Fashion and lifestyle:

emu lating the finish and flair of automobi les

identifying layers of texture in landscapes

beach toys provide common reference points

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Fashion Portals There i s l ittle point to a l l t h e h a rd work i nvolved in fas h ion design if t h e fi n a l product doesn't go a nyw here . Designers m u st a lso design syste m s that d istribute t h e i r work t o m a ny d i fferent des­ ti nations, u ti l iz i n g lots of c h a n n e l s-with each c h a n n e l having a d ist i n ct m essage. I n -store, it is a l l a bo u t ha nger a p pea l . Reta i l ers ex pect the prod uct to be pa ckaged in a way that m a i n ta i n s the i ntegrity of the design. Screen a ppeal ru l es o n l i n e, a n d that means beautiful, clear i m a ges. The e-co m m erce experi­ e n ce falls sh ort in m a ny ways beca use t h ere is no way to touch t h e fa bric or try o n t h e garment. A pict u re m u st provide a great deal of v i s u a l i n formation a n d be stro ng e nough t o e n gage the custom er.

It's i m portant to com part m enta l i ze d i fferent needs for the press a n d w h at t hey u lt i mately need to d e l i ver to their a u d iences, as wel l : A b l ogger is looking to express h i s o p i n ion; the j o u r n a l ist needs to present the facts; an editor needs to place the designer's work within t h e context o f the c u rre nt v i s i o n for t h e m a rket. How can you h e l p each of them reach t h e i r goa l s? Last, a n d most i m port a n t, p u b l ic o p i n ion a n d word o f m o u t h a re para m o u n t . P u b l i c o p i n io n , i n partic u l a r, i s a powe rfu l conveyor o f m essages. It a l s o va l idates a n d perpetuates a design er's reputatio n .

A s howroom i s a bridge betwee n d e s igner a n d bu yer. The s a l e s re presentative m u st b e i n formed and invested in the prod uct because she i s e d u ­ cating a n d sti m u l at i n g t h e c l ient i n order to m a ke the s a l e . Cele brity association is o n e of the easiest ways to scale u p perceived i m po rta nce w h e n the d e l iv­ ery c h a n n e l is through i m agery-either motion or still shots. H a v i ng a we l l - known perso n a repre­ senting the prod u ct i s an a sset. Pop - u p stores, taking a co l l ection on tour, tru n k s hows, a nd private s h o p p i n g experiences a re j u st a few of t h e g u e r i l l a tactics that can be e m ployed to s u rprise a n d seduce t h e s h o pper. Fa s h i o n s hows a n d s h o p p i n g events put the c l othes o n d i s p l ay with i n the co ntext of enter­ ta i n ment. The ru nway presentation i s t ra n s ­ formed w it h theatrical m o d e l s, h a i r, m a ke u p, a n d sty l i ng.

The fashion show: Girls Rule! Runway fashion show at Bryant Park during New Yo rk Fashion Week

196 Fashion Design Essentials


The pop-up store: Puma transformed shipping containers into prefabricated retail stores that can litera l l y p o p u p a nywhere.

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Diversification and Specialization Find o n e t h i ng you d o we l l , a n d do j u st that. W h ether the niche is brida lwear o r skiwea r, the path to spec i a l ization i s o n e w h i c h req u i res that a designer focus exclus ively on a part i c u l a r m a rket and m a ster the design i ntrica c i es u n i q ue to t h at field.

Right: Bridal gown Below: Skiwear ensemble by

M . M i l ler

Find o n e t h i ng you do we l l, a n d tra n s late what was s u ccessful a bout it into many d ifferent p rod­ ucts. D u r i n g the late 1 8 00s, B u rberry estab l i shed itself by foc u s i n g o n outdoor att i re . The com pa ny is a l s o c redited with the i nve ntion of ga b a rd i ne, a d u ra b l e , breath a b l e, water-resistant fa bric. At the sta rt of Wo rld Wa r I, the co m pa ny was com­ m issio ned to d eve lop what e n d ed u p being the tre n c h coat. Its signature tartan was i ntroduced d u ri n g the 1 920s as a l i n i ng for the coat. The symbols of the b ra n d a re i nterpreted a n d a d a pted t o the needs a n d desires o f today's c o n s u m e r. Outerwea r i s s t i l l at t h e h ea rt of the b ra n d , but items s u c h as the i c o n i c trench coat a re re i m agined each season. The classic b l a c k, tan, a n d red B u rberry patte rn, n ow a registered tradema rk, is no l o nger re l egated to l i n i ngs. I t can b e found o n a p parel, fragra n ces, accessories, l u ggage, and even swimwea r. There i s a n a rg u m e n t to be made for both sides, but d iversification defin itely benefits from t h e p restige o f having d o n e o n e t h i ng wel l for a l o ng t i m e . Good fo u ndations provide a n exce l lent enviro n m e n t for experi mentation and expa n s i o n .

198 Fashion Design Essentials

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N AV IGATION

97

Crowdsourcing Style Too many cooks i n t h e kitc hen spoil t h e s o u p, a n d too m a ny o p i n i o n s d u ri n g the design process can t u rn out d i l uted or i n co h e rent work. H erd behavior often strives to a ppeal to t h e l owest c o m m o n d e n o m i nator. Bei ng well awa re of the downs ide of design by co m m ittee i s a good reason for c reating a filter for feed back a n d criti­ cism, construct ive o r otherwise. The fl i p side of t h i s i s the positive power of t h e peo ple. C rowd s o u rc i n g i s rea c h i ng o u t t o b road a u d iences-m ost c o m m o n l y ove r the I nternet­ to h e l p d evelop d e s igns, ra ise m o n ey, a n d m o b i lize people. Services s u c h as K i c kstarter .com h e l p vo l u nteer o rga n i zations, cha rities, startups, designers, a n d b a n d s l evel the p l aying field between a m ateurs a nd profe s s i o n a l s . They remove the m i d d l e m a n , a l lowing a designer to go d i rectly to t h e custo m e r for content, fund ing, a n d d ist r i b u t i o n . The goa ls of c rowd s o u rc i ng i n c l u d e f i n d i n g reso u rces, outso u rc i ng p rojects, f i n d i n g fund i ng, co u rt i ng i n s p i ration, ga i n i ng a dem ocratic conse n s u s, m i n i m izing costs, a n d t a k i ng ad va ntage o f t h e wisdom o f t h e masses. When it is m a n aged we l l , mass c o l l a borati o n can b e leveraged t o take advantage o f having m u lti ple designers participating i n problem solv­ ing, m u lt i p l e s o u rces contributing com po n ents of the d e s ign, a n d finding scores of patro ns who w i l l support a designer's vision. M a ki n g a good pitch o n l i ne is not much d i ffer­ ent from t h e process of d rafting a b u s i n ess p l a n t o i m press a b a n ker. A compe l l i ng case m u st be m a d e, beca use i n vestors of any kind a re loo k­ i n g for sound ideas a s wel l as a spa rk- not to mention a reward for gett ing i nvolved. Ta k i n g adva ntage of t h i s platform rai ses awareness a n d h e l p s t o ga uge w h a t people actua l ly want, a n d poten t i a l l y e m powers partic i pa nts to become a co m m u n ity of brand citizens.

200 Fashion Design Essentials

Above: Designer Valerie

Mayen of Project Runway fame, used Kickstarter.com successfu lly to raise funds for a startup venture. The project is a fashion design incubator ca lled Buzz & Growl, based in Clevela nd, Ohio.


N AVIGATIO N

98

Labors of Love: DIY I t's easy to say " I c o u l d h ave d o n e t hat." As a ny design e r knows, sett i ng aside the t i me, getting o rga n i zed, and figu ri ng o u t exactly how to do that i s a n other t h i ng a ltogeth e r. Sati sfa cti on is cited as the p r i m a ry motivation for d o i n g it your足 self, w h i c h expla i n s why so many i nvest t i m e and m o n ey i n c l asses, workshops, books, maga z i nes, and kits that a l l ow t h e m to l itera l ly t a ke m atters into thei r own h a n d s . Writing off h o m e s p u n atte m pts at fas h i o n as m e re l y crafts and h okey hobbies i s a m istake. Altho ugh the res u lts may d is p l ay an obvi o u s l a c k o f tra i n i ng, great i n ge n u ity and a wea lth of ro ugh con ce pts often can be pol ished in the h a n d s of a tra i ned designer. Many t h i ngs p roduced in t h i s enviro n m e n t cater t o u n identified n i che m a rkets that m ight h ave otherwise gone u n noticed by design e rs. The i nf l u ence of these m icroma rkets s h o u l d not be u nderest i mated. Natural tale nts with the potential to t ra nsform a pastime into a career now h ave d i stribution c h a n n e l s s u c h as Etsy.com a n d p u b l ic m a rkets i n which artisa ns and a s p i ri n g designers can show and s e l l their work. Pay atte ntion to trends i n these ma rkets.

Etsy success story: Moop, a Pittsburgh-based company that designs and man ufac足 t u res handmade bags, was able to use the website to build their business. Owner/ designer Wendy Downs describes Etsy.com as a place she could experiment with and learn how to run a business.

201


N AV IGATION

99

Rapid Prototyping: Twenty- Four- Hour Fashion Real ity s h ows s u c h a s Project Run way a n d proj­ ects s u c h as t h e 24- H o u r F i l m m a k i n g Festival a re good exa m ples of popu l a r " s i n k or sw i m " enterprises. B e warned, however, t h at con d e n s ­ i n g the t i m e a l l owed f o r a project to be executed can p ro d u ce both b r i l l i a n t a n d d i sast ro u s res u lts. As enterta i n ment, it m ight be f u n to observe the praise a n d t h e pitfa l l s , b u t in t h e real world, t h i s co u l d correlate to the begi n n i ng or end of a career. Wo r k i ng i n the fas h i o n i n d u stry doesn't a lways mean r u n n i ng at breakneck speeds, but it does demand that c reatives be able to m a ke s m a rt decisions i n c r i s i s mode.

(uni)forms are designer/ artist Ying Gao's response to the phrase "Speed kills creativity." By using morphing software, she was able to generate new u n iform designs based on the origi na I within seconds.

N ot everyon e i s cut out for it, so it's i m portant to i m pose t i m e-sensit ive c h a l l e nges to test for v u l n e ra b i l ities. These a re great opportu n i ties to l e a rn h ow to a n t i cipate a n d avoid the k i n d s of t h i ngs t h a t h ave t h e pote n t i a l to dera i l the design process. Situations in w h i c h speed i m pedes the p rocess and t h reatens to thwart c reativity a re ideal occ a s i o n s i n w h i c h to consider the s k i l l s t h a t st i l l n eed t o b e honed; i m m ed iate situation asses s m e nt, q u i c k decision m a k i ng, effi cient a p plication of tec h n i q ues, fa st problem solvi ng, a n d/o r c reative reso u rcef u l ness. Some designers t h rive o n the stress of tight, and sometimes u n re a l i stic, dead l i nes. Rapid-f i re fa s h i o n design re l i es heavily on i n st i n ct a n d ex­ perience . B eyond cross ing the f i n i s h l i ne, s u ccess u n d e r these con d i t i o n s s h o u l d a l s o be m e a s u red by how we l l executed the work is, a n d how c l ea rly the designer's vision is perceived. S peed as a cata lyst for good d e s ign is a d iffi c u l t t h i n g to susta i n . The r u s h of these p ressu re-cooker p roj ­ ects may p rovide a n add ictive r u s h of a d re n a l i ne, but that i s h a rd to rely o n .

202 Fashion Design Essentials

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203


N AVIG ATION

100

What Is Good Fashion? Assig n i n g va lue to someth i ng t h at ste ms fro m i n ­ dividual c reativity i s a very su bjective t h i ng w h e n the o n l y criteria a re the sta n d a rds o f the day. I n addition to being j u dged for its aesthetic va l u e, fa s h ion is a lso c h a rged with being f u n ct i o n a l . I n h i n d sight, it i s easy to a ssess why some h o uses e n d u re, some m a ke a b r ief but sign ificant m a rk at a s i n g u l a r point i n t i me, a n d some fade from m e m o ry. The t h i rd gro u p, a lthough it d e m a n d s greater effort, h a s t h e pote n t i a l to reward us with exciting d iscove ries. For i n stance, not m a ny peo p l e know that a rc h itect Fra n k L l oyd Wright designed d resses for h i s wife a n d for a sel ect few of t h e lad ies h e c reated h o m es for. So, what type of designer produces good, if not great, fa sh ion? The i nvento rs, who intro d u ce u n p recedented ideas- n ecessity often fuels these design e rs, a s they a p p roach a design c h a l l enge u s i ng a lter­ n ative m ethods. The a rc h itects, who design the b u i l d ings we i n h a b it-t h ey w i l l a l s o look to create a l ifestyle a round t h e i r vision to a c h i eve a com pre h e n sive u n ity. The s c h o l a rs, who a re the sta n d a rd - beare rs, serving a n d p rotect ing t h e a rt a n d c raft o f fa s h i o n-they i m m e rse t h e m ­ selves i n the m i n ut i a o f h ow o t h e r s t h roughout h i story h ave done it, and as a resu lt, they keep those p ractices a l ive. Without t h ese stewa rds of fa s h ion, every generation of d e s igners wou l d be sta rti n g from scratc h . And fi n a l ly, the re bels­ whether we und e rsta nd them or not we a p preci­ ate t h e i conoc l a sts because they have an i m pact on o u r l ives. Thei r i m agi nation and passion for the work is f u e l ed by an u ny i e l d i n g need to pro­ voke a n d c h a l l enge us. A l exa n d e r McQueen was one of t h ose bad boys of fas h i o n who was known for being t ru e to h i s v i s i o n . H e w i l l be rem e m ­ be red for the power a n d p u rity o f h i s work. I n t h e e n d , o n e word defines good fa s h i o n . I n tegrity.

204 Fashion Design Essentials

A model wearing a gown from Alexander McQueen's last col lection during the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tu l l y H a l l at Lincoln Center, 2010


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C O NT R I B UT O R I NDEX

1.

Alyce Santoro

17.

www.a lycesa ntoro.com 2.

Berber Soepboer & Michiel Schuurman

m .evetre m b l ay@hotmail .com 18.

www. berbe rsoepboer. n l 3.

Blauer Uniforms

19.

Moop

www. moopshop.com www.etsy.com/shop/moop

Bob Packert

www. packertphotogra p hy.com 5.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

www. massart.edu

www. b l a u e r.com 4.

Marie-Eve Tremblay

20.

Oscar Correcher

www.osca rco rrecherphotogra phy . b logspot.com

Boston Ballet

www. bosto n b a l let.org 21. 6.

www.design . p h i l i ps.com/p robes/projects /d resses/ i n d ex . page

Cory Stierley

www.csph otogra ph ic.com 7.

Daniel Faucher Couture

22.

Dominique Lafond

23.

Fine Art by T

24.

Goods of Conscience

25.

26.

Isaac Mizrahi

Jessica Weiser .

.

27. .

Joel Benjamin

28.

Karolina Zmarlak

www.ka ro l i n a z m a rl a k.com 15.

Kevin Day

29.

Lucy Orta

www.stud io-orta.com

206 Fashion Design Essentials

Victoria Dominguez-Bagu

m a riavictoriadesigns@gm a i l . com

www.kevi ndayphotogra p hy.com 16.

Valerie Mayen Buzz & Growl

www. buzzandgrowl .com www. ki ckstarter.co m/p rojects/ye l lowca ke/ buzz-and-grow l - c l evelands-new-fa s h i o n i n c u bator

www.joel benja m i n .com 14.

Uniform Project

www.t h e u n i fo r m p roject.com

www.Jess lcawe lser.com 13.

Tracy Aiguier

www.tracya iguier.com

www. isaacmizra h i ny.com 12.

Simplynate Photography

www. s i m plynate.com

www.goodsofconscience.com 11.

Sebastian Errazuriz

www. m eetse bastia n .com

finea rtbyt@ya hoo.com 10.

School of Fashion Design, Boston

www. schoo loffa s h iondesign .org

www.dom i n iq u e l afo n d .com 9.

Poor Little Rich Girl

www.shoppoorl itt l e richgirl .com

www. d a n ie l fa u chercouture.com 8.

Philips Design, SKIN Probe Project

30.

Ying Gao

www.cava a l l e r. b logspot.com


AC KNOW LEDG M EN T S

Special thanks to

Ro b e rt Frye, Viola Gonzalez, Ti na C a l d e r i n , J a ke & Ena C a l d e r i n , Pat r i c i a & Wa l l ace Frye, K i l sy C u r i e l , Rafa e l V i l l a l o n a , Kathy P i l a rski, R i c h a rd B rooks, M a ry G a rthe, J a cobo & Edith C a l d e rin, Fructuoso & G l oria G o nz a lez, C a r m e n Rita G onza lez, Rebecca G o nz a l ez, J e n n ifer H u dson, J aycey Wetheri ngton, J a c lyn M c G e e h a n, J a m ie M e n d oza, D oreen M e n d ez, A l icia Ke n n edy, Betsy G a m m o n s, Roytel Montero, Ros i n a Rucci, C h e ry l Rich a rdson, James H a n n o n , S o n d ra G ra ce, R i c h a rd Bath, Joel Benj a m i n , Bob Packe rt, Victoria Dom iguez- Bagu, M a r i e - Eve Trem b lay, Lisa Baker, Tra cy A igu ier, J a n e Conway-Caspe, J a y n e Ave ry, D a n a M oscard e l l i , Terri M a h n , D a n i e l Fa u c h e r, Lisa Ta ra nto, E l a i n a Ba risa no, Lisa M icheels, P h y l l i s M i site Lou i s Selvite l l a , M ered ith Bya m - M i l l e r, N a ncy H a rt, M a ri c l a i re H es s i o n - L a n d m a n , Laura , H a r rison & A m a n d a Soelter, Betha ny Va n D e lft, M u njeet G eyer, A l ex, Cynthia & Zak At kinson, M a r k B a i l ey, To ny H a lston, D o n n a Rice, C h u c k Lacombe, Wendy D owns, Va lerie Mayen, Rachel Kacenj a r, M a r i e G a l v i n , S h a u n t S a r i a n , J e n nifer Lu rie, Erika Sta i r, S a ra h C a rn a b uci, Amie B e l o b row, S h i n roku O h a s h i , Lisa Ko p l ow N ogler, Joe C a r l , S h a n n o n G lasheen, Jeff Lahens, S h e lley C h h a b ra, M a ri e l M a c N a ughton, C h a rl e s H e ightchew, Ying G ao, Fat her A n d rew O'Connor, a n d Lisa Koenigsberg

T h a n k you to facu l ty, a d m i n istration, a n d students past a n d present at the School of Fas h i o n Design in Bosto n .


A BOUT THE AUTHOR

Jay Calderin was born a n d raised i n N ew York

C ity. The Los A ngeles Times c a l l e d h i s fi rst book, Form, Fit, and Fashion, "a new fas h ion b i b l e for designers, a s p i re rs, a n d t h e j ust p l a i n c u r i o u s; t h i s tome co nta i n s a l l the secrets." After m ovi n g to Boston a n d d i scover i ng t h e great wea lth of local fas h i o n t a l e n t, he adopted the city as h i s n ew h o m e, where h e fou n ded a n d became the executive d i rector of Boston Fa s h i o n Week. He is an i n structor a nd the d i rector of creative m a rket ing at the School of Fa s h i o n Design i n Boston, a position that a l lows h i m to be i nvolved in p rogra m m i ng development a nd com m u n ity outreach, w h i l e also functi o n i n g as an i n d u st ry l ia i s o n . I n addition to the wide va riety of fa s h ion a n d p rofes s i o n a l d eve lopment courses h e teaches a t S F D, h e h a s a lso served as a n i n struc­ tor at t h e Massach usetts Col lege of Art a n d Design, B u rd ett Col lege, a n d La se l l C o l l ege. H i s p u rs u its a s a professio n a l coach a n d motiva t i o n a l speaker have afforded h i m opport u n ities t o s h a re h i s ideas about t h e a rt a n d i n d u st ry of fa s h i o n at i n stitutions i n c l u d i ng H a rva rd U n iversity, We l l es­ ley Col lege, Tufts U n ivers ity, Les l ey U n iversity, Babson C o l l ege, M u s e u m of F i n e A rts Bosto n , Pea body Essex M u s e u m , Boston P u b l i c L i b ra ry, a n d the Hatch Festiva l i n Boze m a n , M o n t a n a .

208 Fashion Design Essentials

I n h i s capacity as a fas h i o n designer h i s work has graced the pages of Vogue, £lIe, the Boston Globe a n d t h e Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. H e h a s a u t h o red n u m e ro u s a rt i c l es a n d col u m ns for n ewspapers, magazines, a n d the I nternet. He h a s worked as a n a ccred ited fas h i o n editor, ph otog­ ra pher, a n d as a fas h i o n com mentator for televi­ s i o n . He c redits his s o l i d fo u n dation in fa s h i o n to h i s t ra i n i n g at the H igh School of Fas h i o n I nd u s ­ t r i e s i n N ew Yo rk C ity. The school c u ltivated a work eth ic a n d a l legiance to exce l le n ce that h a s served h i m we l l eve r si nce. Th roughout h i s career he has m a i nt a i ned a passion ate d e d i cation to the i m porta nce of giving back to the com m u n ity. As an exte nsion of that c o m m itme nt, h e works with local c h a rities a s we l l as grassroots e ndeavors to n u rt u re a n d develop new tal ent-a d riving force be h i n d h i s work with the Fa s h i o n G ro u p I nterna­ t i o n a l as a reg i o n a l d i rector in Bosto n . See h i s website a t www.ca l d e r i n 3 .com.

Fashion Design Essentials  
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