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Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Lesson 6 of 10

Explore New Fashion Frontiers

Jay Calderin

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

6. Explore New Fashion Frontiers

Lesson Info

Explore New Fashion Frontiers

The final step of this is, as I mentioned earlier, going outside of fashion. And here we have five different areas. Science, I think exploring the physical and emotional connections of fashion. I'm gonna show you a couple examples of that. Technology, integrating function and form. That's one of the things that's actually kind of transforming fashion right now, where they're trying to integrate the technology so that it becomes seamless. And it doesn't become sort of this add-on or this clunky, geeky thing, it just, even though I love the geeky things too, but incorporating it into your fashion so that it becomes just an extension of it. The arts, playing with different creative disciplines because you can get inspiration from fine art, from sculpture, from dance, from theater, it's endless, obviously, resource. Culture, looking at the origins of tradition, sort of ethnicities as well. And education, I added this because so many of the things that we may see in different periods like w...

e went through, are dying out. The techniques for making them. And I think that schools are a great place to kind of keep that alive, so I had to throw that in there because we forget about that, that we may want to create these beautiful things, but if we don't know how, then we're not able to. So, just a couple of examples. This is a great dress by Philips, which actually responds to your emotions. Which is just really cool. And here, even though it's doing this in a very dramatic, theatrical way, this can be sort of woven in to a design where it's a little bit more wearable. And then fabrics, performance fabrics are really important. You know, the fabrics that can actually do more than just cover you. They can wick away sweat or be water-repellent. And this one's just for fun, these are sort of, well, the one on the left is just for fun because I thought it was a cool image. (Jay and students laughing) But the one on the right is actually a fabric with a tiny little battery pack, kind of will light up. It's almost like fiber optics. And then a designer who's using actual artwork as an inspiration, beautiful, each one is a painting in and of itself. And then, here we have two very culturally-driven images. And we want to figure out, how do we do this? How do we adopt things from cultures without appropriating them inappropriately? So, we wanna ask ourselves, we don't wanna fetishize a culture, but we want to ask ourselves, what are things that we can do to celebrate aspects of it? And where the boundaries are, you know, 'cause I'm recently working on research on a Native American fashion design and we all know that there are a lot of issues when it comes to appropriation, and we want to figure out those things. We need to have an open dialogue and talk about those things. And obviously here, we have Japanese and Latin. And here we have actually a designer, Achk Kombana, from Boston actually, she was one of our Launch designers for Boston Fashion Week. And one of the keys to her collection was the cloth, the textile from Africa that she used. And it was very specific to her region, and yet it wasn't the traditional clothing you might associate with the historical culture, but she incorporated a really modern flair for it. And then, finally, just one of our teachers at the School of Fashion Design. The importance again, of going to, a lot of times we have people come in for a specific course, to kinda learn a skill and that can transform a collection and give you a whole menu of things that you didn't expect to influence your work. So, all right. So, Jay, as we kind of round out this first lesson of the class, can you talk to us a little bit about, it was so interesting and so exciting to go back through the history. Can you tell us again how history of fashion can help us with our mood boards today, which is what we started off the lesson with. And again, sources of inspiration, kinda wrap that back up, and then, if you guys have any questions as well, we have a few minutes for that too. Well, I think, I chose to kinda focus on the historical aspect of it because it is our history, for the work that we wanna do. So I think that's a really important place to start. But, as we talked about in the beginning, there are so many influences, so many places to go, but I just think that history, we have to give credit to what designers throughout history have interpreted for us. They've already gone through these reasons for dressing the body in a certain way. And the truth of the matter is that when it comes to clothing, we're dressing the same unit, you know. Two arms, two legs, and a torso. So, it's the same challenge. But history has just this wealth of how that was approached. Thank you. So, yeah. Jim, we had a question about trend boards. Could you talk a little bit about, is there a difference between a mood board and a trend board? And then, the question is: I often seem to have a problem creating a trend board, what would be the ideal solution? Okay. I know you have a feeling about the word trends as well. Yes. (laughing) Well, I think from a business standpoint, trends are really important. I think, in fashion, you want to figure out what that means to you. I mean from a fashion creative process. From a business standpoint, when you come up with a trend board, you're trying to figure out what's influencing fashion for the next season. So, a good example is, several years ago, Madonna performed in the movie version of Evita. And that was a look that was not associated with her, but she was a very popular icon in popular culture, and all of a sudden, that whole sort of '50s, floral, feminine look started to really create trends. And trend forecasters will do that, they'll come up with a board that reflects what's happening. So, next season, this movie's coming out, this book is coming out, so that it can kinda predict what's gonna come together.

Class Description

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Beginis your roadmap to turning your dream of a career in fashion into a viable reality.

Jay Calderin is the author of three top-selling books on Fashion Design and the founder and executive director of Boston Fashion Week. In this class, he’ll pull back the curtain on the entire design process. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Creating a moodboard for inspiration
  • The nuts and bolts of starting a fashion line
  • Specializing in specific styles
  • Crafting a coherent collection
A career in fashion design is possible. Learn about the essential first steps in Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

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Andrea Leggett

I think this is a super taster for anyone considering fashion design as a career or hobby. Jay is a great teacher who brings knowledge and experience to the students in a really nice calm manner. I learned a great deal and Jay has expanded my horizons. Involving the students in the studio was helpful and was the questions from the presenter were useful too.