Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a tutorial in the design process

There's an image most people have of fashion designers. Sitting hunched over a draft table sketching skinny models in outrageous designs all day. Most of the time I don't even bother to draw my designs out before I execute them. Once in a while, though, I know there will be a bit of lag time between concept and execution so I have to jot something down quickly to remind myself of what I was thinking about later on. A lot of those ideas don't get made, I'm afraid. And I'm even more sorry to say that, while I used to sit down and do a detailed sketch of the garment in mind and make sure it looked really fabulous in the end, now I just sort of throw it down on the paper well enough that I get the idea when I am looking back on it.
Here is a good example of a design I actually sketched. As you can see, I didn't spend much time making it a lovely drawing! Off to the side I wrote suggestions for fabrics (wool flannel and peacock blue"china silk" brand lining) and when I found a fabric I was particularly enamoured of I added that to the page to remind myself.
To the right you see the actual garment, which is closer to the drawing than many of my designs end up. In the end I didn't use wool flannel because it would have been prohibitively expensive (I used wool crepe instead and underlined it with cotton/poly poplin for weight) and switched from a solid satin lining to a striped cotton lining (I saw it in the shop and it just seemed so perfect to me!). But otherwise it's pretty true to the concept.

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