The Fashion Design Process
By Claire Hacon
…..Is the unique creative approach that each student evolves to arrive at their final garments designs, it is something that sets each student apart from another. There is no one or right way to approach design and each student brings their individual design sensibilites with a diversity of approaches, its amazing how they evolve concepts and develop designs to create fashion innovations.
Some students have a very natural working method, it tends to be linear and they build one idea upon another in a coherent way to form a concept, each design idea builds from the other and you start to see a theme emerging in their work. Journalling ideas is encouraged to organise initial ideas into details and silhouettes and move them forward into useable designs /garments.
Other sudents take a more random approach scattering design ideas and thoughts with no apparent order, in this case it is essential to assess and edit their work to find correlation to achieve a cohesive concept.
At some point the students aquire ownership of their ideas and their process and it helps them to become more independent thinkers and they become more self aware along the way and as a result become more astute designers.
…..Is usually the start to any student creative project, its purpose is essentially to inspire and outline the aims and objectives that are required. It will identify any constraints, conditions or problems that need to be solved, as well as providing information on what the final outcomes or tasks are to be achieved. The brief is there to guide the whole research and design process.
The students are required to research and then identify things like the occasion or season, customer/target market, materials and fabric, costings and technical specifications along with practical outcomes which may be specific garment types, for example a dress, or a jacket.
Let function dictate architecture-
…….This was Tatiana’s project, students were asked to design a small collection inspired by architectural work. Observing Rem Koolhas’s Seattle Public Library design Ttaiana decided to use his concept of letting the functions of the building dictate its form.
2-d Sketch development
2-d flat pattern
Digital technical flat drawing
The initial idea for this project began with the idea that fashion can also be a medium where function dictates form. Tatiana’s project looked at a variety of methods of re-appropriating existing garments functional shapes and details for new design.
2-D sketch book development-Tatiana used images, photography and sketches to explore the art of appropriation of the functional aspect of garment construction, deconstructing and using elements she found interestingby drawing over the shapes and details she was able to explore different silhouettes. Interestingly during this phase she also thought of robbing garments of their fuction to see if that could also generate new design ideas-something for the future.
3-d draping on the dress form
Tatiana experimented with layering different pleat and fold shapes on silhouettes on the dress form.
As she worked on the dress form Tatiana had no preconceived idea of how her technique would work, she was simply responsive to the movements of letting fuction follow form, for example the opening and closing of a collar and working with repitition of shape. This hands on approach led to new ideas that she would not have developed with flat pattern alone.
From this she developed her details, suface, fabric manipulations, (pleating and origami) and finishing.
2-d flat pattern
After marking up the calico with all fols and joining lines, tatiana transfered this to flat pattern.
Digital technical drawing
As Tatiana began to define her designs and redrew each outfit as a technical drawing using Adobe Illustrator software.
She had to make final decisions within the line-up of the collection. The balance of colour and silhouette was key to drive this process forward.
Key components of the collection included graphic shapes representing the captured movement of shifting plates of fabric with functional use and different detailed techniques repeated in different garments to simulate folding, opening and closing.
Toiling / Sampling
Tatiana describes her typical approach to design as one of indepth research and concept-driven design development. Visual research, sketch development and 3-d modelling on the dress-form will always be the driving force that creates meaning and thought behind every seam placement and silhouette development. Tatina’s signiture aethetic is one of tailoring and she works to incorporate new shapes and structures that represent this, the result for “function dictates form” was based on a balance between draped and tailored looks.
Designer – Tatiana Semenova | Academy of Design – Broadbeach