I’m very excited to finally share with you guys the first of hopefully several guest posts and blog collaborations! This article has been in the works for awhile, and I can’t wait to share it with you and see what you all think! We’re mixing it up this week with Marlee of Style That Talks, a blog about her personal take on fashion and style. Marlee is a junior in Journalism at Radford University, but she’s always had a passion for writing about fashion. She was previously involved with our Winter 2013 Lookbook and I’m excited to share her post with you relating design to fashion. Enjoy!
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Fashion is an art form, developing from the initial sketch to the make of the first pattern. Each stage of the process is unique to the designer, or artist if you will. The final outcome (the actual clothing or accessory) is carefully planned to be both (im)practical and aesthetic. In this sense, fashion design directly correlates with the elements of design.
There are seven elements of design: color, texture, shape, line, value, and size. All of these components help to shape fashion from inception through completion; however, the three elements that most encompass today’s fashion design are color, shape, and texture.
Color is one of the most essential aspects of fashion. “Color refers to specific hues and has three properties: chroma, intensity and value,” defines Incredible @rt Department. This is where I, personally, feel the designer truly makes their piece come alive. Color can portray an abundance of emotions, from the anger or passion seen in a deep red or a bright and life-filled yellow.
A prime example of a designer using color would be Betsey Johnson. Her collections are widely known for their outlandish designs, from clear plastic dresses to bright pink tutus. With every design she creates she always incorporates a bright, bubbly, and youthful feeling, using color as the main component.
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The next element that is extremely important to fashion design is shape, also known as form. Incredible @rt Department defines form as “a three-dimensional object having volume and thickness.”
The common perception of fashion is often a long runway with a model in a voluminous ball gown, like a still from Project Runway. That large ball gown, in my mind, perfectly signifies the element of shape. In fashion design, shape relates to not only the structure, but also the volume of each piece, such as how large or small the garment is. A dress can have large gathers of fabric in the back or it can be skin tight with a little ruching. There is no one set form when it comes to fashion design because every designer has their own style in mind when they create their pieces.
A perfect example of a designer putting emphasis on shape is Zac Posen. If you look at any of his designs, especially gowns for events such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, and more, you can see the detail that went into shaping each garment. Although Posen prominently uses several elements of design, if not all, I feel that you can always see the detail in each garment’s form in the ruching, gathering, or how the dress flows when twirled around by the model.
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Last, but certainly not least, is texture. This is probably one of my favorite elements of design and, like color and form, goes hand-in-hand with fashion design. Incredible @rt Department states that texture is a “surface quality either tactile or visual[ly implied]… It is the degree of roughness or smoothness in objects.”
When texture is used in fashion design it is sometimes apparent in the feel of the fabric and sometimes it is clear just by first glance. An American fashion designer that uses texture well in his collections is Chris Benz. If you look at his Fall-Winter 2011 collection you can see the different textures being used, from fur to leather to denim and more.
When picturing texture for a garment it may sound like it only applies to the touch and feel of the garment, but it applies to the look just as much. Different fabric and textiles catch the light differently and they all set a different mood to the design as well. For example, a herringbone pattern might be printed on a cotton fabric, resulting in a smooth surface with a implied texture on the fabric.
All in all, the elements of design coincide with fashion design perfectly. Whether it is texture, color, form, or any of the other four elements, each component helps to shape the outcome of the final product and securely link fashion to the fundamentals of design.
(edited by Chelsea)
Do you have any questions for Marlee about fashion design? What other topics would you be interested in learning about? What do you think of our new collaborations? Let us know in the comments below!
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