Still want to create your own fashion? Did I not terrify you with the last week’s post? 😉 If you’re still excited or intrigued, and up for learning more, this week I’m going over the next stage.
Create Your Own Fashion: The Next Stage
So far, you’ve been inspired, completed your research, and collated it all too, either within a sketchbook or on loose sheets like me. You have a mood board, and an idea for your colour story. You’ve also found or drawn out a design template / croquis to help you with the design process.
What then, is the next stage?
2D Design Development
This is the stage where we use our template to ‘rough’ sketch our ideas based on our research pages. For me, this means taking a page of layout paper or tracing paper, and placing it over my template. I then aim to sketch out between 5-10 ideas based on each image in my research.
The reason for this, is that it gets the ‘rough stuff’ out. The most obvious and literal ideas are taken and you make way for the good stuff. In the same way that writers will sit down with a notebook or computer and write out anything for half an hour, the process aims to loosen you up and get your creative design juices flowing. 🙂
3D Design Development
If possible, it’s a great idea to add in some 3D design ideas. You can use a dress stand or a friend to drape fabric and help you realise what will or won’t work. You should be using your research to inform this design process, we’re not draping fabric for the fun of it after all! 🙂
The whole time you’re draping and developing the 3D designs, take photos and make sketches. These you can print out and add to your research pages / sketchbook, to further enhance the design process.
Once you have about 20 pages of rough sketches and 3D developed drawings / photos (I typically fit five front view rough sketches on each page), it’s time to go through your 100 ideas with a marker and highlight a selection of about 20 that you really like.
You’ll then use this smaller selection and pull elements from them to design a cohesive collection. It may be that there is a silhouette you love, a pocket detail that works really well, a series of style lines that epitomises the overall theme. Your job at this point is to pull these awesome elements and build up twenty new rough sketches that work together, without being craaazy!
A big part of the design process to consider is color, which we touched on in my last post. The color palette you decide upon can greatly affect the overall design of the collection you are creating. Color availability will also be affected by trend forecasters, as the mills that manufacture fabrics typically rely upon trend forecasting to decide which colour ways they’ll manufacture their new fabric collections in. This is why it can be so tricky to find that perfect blue jacket, or that perfect three yards of real green velvet. (Yuck, I HATE velvet!) 😉
There are big fabric fairs around the world, the largest and most impressive being Premier Vision in Paris. This is where manufacturers of fabrics, leathers and hardware show their wares for the season ahead and make wholesale sales, which usually means a minimum order of 1000 meters.
As an example of just how far ahead they work: the next Premier Vision show is in September in Paris, and the manufacturers exhibiting there will be showing fabrics for the Autumn Winter 17/18 season. We’re only just going into the fashion show season for AW 16/17 which takes place in September, so you get an idea of how far in advance these guys work. This is why it is also important to have a critical path when you’re working in fashion.
If you’re not planning on working in fashion, but just want to create your own fashion pieces, the colours at the main exhibitions will filter through to the main fabric stores and retailers a year or so later.
With this being the case, it can be a good idea to dye your own fabric if you’re only planning on making a few pieces. Or just grab what you see and like from fabric stores when you get a chance! This way, you’ll get the perfect colour without the lengthy wait. 🙂
Deciding on a Color Palette
How many of you have no idea how to put a colour palette together? It took me some time to get it too! Even studying for my fashion degree didn’t get me there!
I’m sure there are loads of options, but there are only two ways that I work when developing a color palette.
The first method is to find a photo that appeals to me from a color point of view, and develop the palette in an app (usually photoshop, but there are free and cheaper options available) or on paper using paint. I generally pull 3-5 colors that I really like and think work well together.
The second method it a little more time consuming initially, but evens out later: I hit up the fabric stores in Berwick Street and Goldhawk Road in London asking for ‘swatches’ of colours and fabrics that I like.
The second method is probably the best as it means you know there will be somewhere stocking the fabric and colours that you like at that particular time. However the first method of great if you like a game of hide and seek. Trying to then locate the perfect fabrics to match the color palette can be both a fun and frustrating game! 🙂
Once you’ve decided on your color story, you need to consider fabrics. There are woven fabrics, knitted fabrics, no grain fabrics. There are fabrics of different weights which will affect how the fabric sits on the body.
We wouldn’t make a coat out of heavy wool to wear in the summer, nor would we make a delicate silk chiffon skirt for the winter – for one it wouldn’t look very nice with a pair of thick warm tights underneath! 😉
So, with our color palette decided it’s off to hunt for the relevant fabrics. An overall idea is that lighter weight fabrics should be used for summer garments, and heavier weight fabrics should be used for winter clothes.
Things like sportswear and nightmare obviously changes this general idea. So too do designers looking to be more conceptual and innovative. The number of times I was told by my final year tutor that I couldn’t use a fabric in the way I intended! 😮
So, while you’re hunting down your fabrics, bear in mind what it is you’ll be making.
And in the meantime, what do you get most inspired by? Drop your answers in the comments below, I can’t wait to hear!