The Design Process

by e.lee caleca

The Fashion Design Process encompasses your vision from inception to manifestation of your finished product. You can start with a sketch or a board.

Inspiration, Mood, Theme

Anything can inform your aesthetic. You may have a love for luxurious fabrics or you may lean toward the utilitarian. Perhaps your love of travel has made you curious about the way other cultures dress. Maybe you are a nature lover or an elementary school teacher. Fashion inspiration can come from anywhere. It is commonly defined as anything which stimulates the mind or emotion. In our case, we hope it stimulates to a creative idea as this is where the design process begins.

Mood Board for Zippered Bustier & Skirt
You probably have many inspired ideas ready to go. Once you've decided which idea you are going to tackle, make a mood and/or theme board. You may not need to make both. The idea behind creating a board is to help keep you focused. Look through any magazine for ideas on color, texture, pattern and shape. They don't necessarily need to be fashion orientated. Start a swipe file - a folder of all the magazine tears you've collected. This will be a great source of reference for you in the future.

Start with an art board heavy enough so that it doesn't bend easily. If you don't have one, use anything you have but for a real world presentation, use the good stuff. Using tape or glue, start applying anything that reminds you of the vision you have for your design. For my romantic Castilian-inspired bustier design, I envisioned old gold and lots of playful ruffles or flounces. The ballerina's tutu was a great image to keep me on track. (View the sketch for this design and the finished piece in 'Fashion Sketch')

At this point in the process, don't be too concerned with getting it right. This is a mood board. You can change it as often as you want to before you come to a final decision. You'll know when the mood is right.