Find a Fashion Specialty
So now we've done a little bit of forecasting. We've kinda of tried to predict. And now we're gonna narrow it down even further. Fashion today, the big name fashion designers, we just assume that they design everything, because they have, they offer everything from underwear to outerwear. But we need to remember that they have teams of people that design specifically for those categories. They work under the umbrella of that designer in terms of what they wanna focus on that particular season, but we wanna remember that the specialty is very important, that focus. So here are a couple of specialties. One os the art and craft of fashion, so custom clothing. Or maybe costuming. You know, we talked about the importance of that sort of that high level, and that's where you're gonna live at, and that's where you're gonna work at. Then we have active style. We have athletic wear. Fashion has so many influences, from everything from uniforms to athletic apparel that you'd wear to work out. We...
mentioned earlier about yoga, and things like that. Those things are influencing how we wear our clothes and what we wear. Special occasion, this could be everything from a wedding, being the bride, to actually going to the wedding, parties, date night. You know, I always talk about the dress you wear for a party might not be the dress you wear for a date, because they're different objectives. You're trying to say something unique with what you're wearing. And then professional, this can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Depending on, like, really getting an idea of your customer and what are some of the needs and how does the fashion feel like it's a prof-- what does that mean, professional? It will mean different things to different people, but you wanna figure out what it means to you. And then last but not least, on the specialty, there's also the whole idea of fantasy. And not necessarily just, I mean we have some great examples, because people in the class who are doing costume, who are doing theater, as well as cosplay, so these things are about that sense of the idea almost being more important than the garment, in terms of this makes me feel a certain way. I'm expressing myself a certain way. Or I am embodying a character, you know, whether it be in cosplay or an actor, like feeling like you're pushing that envelope. From a professional industry point, this could also be for dressing performers. So we don't, it's not necessarily a theatrical costume, it might be a rock band, right? And they wanna do leather, but how do you do leather for performance, and how do you do a leather outfit that can be worn for many, many performances? Do you duplicate it? Is there, what are the needs of that theatrical experience? And here we have also some bonus materials that are related to this whole process. Just a note about the bonus materials, a lot of times, there's some heavier, deeper delving into the subject that, you know, in a simple conversation, it's really hard to get at, so I try to include some of the bonus materials, not just having guides, but also having concepts, and things that you can steep in a little bit longer, which I think are really important, because a lot of times, especially with fashion, we kind of think it's just fluffy and light, and there's a lot behind the content that I think is really valuable. So I'm hoping you take advantage of that. So, okay, let's explore these a little bit. Here we have items from a collection by Christian Lacroix, and the reason I really respond to these images is just all the detail and all the techniques that are used to make this come together. I mean, this dress has so much going on. There are ribbons, there are beading, there's distressed fabrics, beautiful brocades, so there's a lot there in that world that we kind of touched about that within education about those techniques that we need to think about including if we're working on that level. Then we have the importance of athletic wear. And here it's definitely a little more on the fashion side here, but we wanna think about why the fashion component is so important, and the, wanna think about the, what is it during the performance of that activity that those clothes are supporting? So is it about feeling dry, is it about feeling mobile, is it about, for instance, in yoga, there's always in a lot of yoga collections, there's always a layering piece, 'cause you warm up, but then when you cool down, you wanna be able to cover up. So that whole thing about those processes can translate into the fashion world. Here for special occasion. And in special occasion, as I mentioned, there are so many different ones. The real sort of easy go-to is the wedding, because it's such an important part of our lives, and we wanna ask ourselves what are the important parts of designing for a wedding. So, I mean, from my personal experience, I kinda feel like the whole wedding world, I mean, the whole bridal world, is a whole other industry. It's sort of an off, sort of satellite of fashion because it isn't just about the latest trends, it includes so much more, and I'm just curious, since we have someone who designs bridal wear, what are some of the things that you find when you're working with brides that kind of are important?
So right now, I'm seeing a lot of the brides who are very athletic, very physical, feeling very constricted by the trends, by the fabrics, the fact that there's no give, and they are so conflicted by, they wanna be able to raise their arms, they wanna be able to move around, and these dresses are not allowing that. So to somehow meet their, what their design ideal is, and combine it with, perhaps, stretchable fabrics, fabrics that have some give, neoprene, layering with lace so that there is a garment that has the look but can move with them. And it's been really challenging and fun.
That's an amazing example. That's a real tangible example. In addition to that, I'm sure you come across the whole idea of the fantasy behind the bridal experience, that they come too prepared?
Oh, yes, the ideal, what they have in their head and then somehow interpreting that in a way that A, can work, because you know, well I want backless, but I want sleeves, and somehow figuring out how to put sleeves into a backless garment. There are always these things about trying to marry their design idea, their concept, with the reality of actually putting it together and making it stay on them during the wedding.
And that's really important, because in bridal wear, you really understand that, the bride is gonna come in with all these ideas, but it's also true when you're designing garments. If you're not designing for the masses and you're working with clients one on one, a little black dress can be a real collaboration between the designer and the customer. The other thing that's important to remember is like when we talk about special occasion, the word special. There's an emotional attachment to whatever we're categorizing as special, so it means something to us, so that means we will want to feel a certain way. So that how you feel in that dress, like you mentioned, the more athletic brides, want to feel like they're still, they can be aware of their bodies and be mobile. So we don't wanna forget that that word special is very, very important. Okay, so and here, working into the professional mode, and asking ourselves, again, what is professional? And I picked these, 'cause these are pretty, sort of, corporate examples, but remember that people in different professions will have different ways of interpreting professional. Here we have the suit, and the thing about these suits that I think is really important is that there's very little embellishment. You know, there might be an accessory in terms of a pin or pearls, but the idea is to look clean and streamlined, whereas for someone else, professional might be uniform, like an actual uniform. And as a fashion designer, you can pull a lot from uniform and utility clothing. And on the opposite spectrum, we have, in the creative professions, you know, if you have an art dealer, chances are she might have a little bit more flair in how she dresses, but still wants to look quote/unquote professional. And then we talked of fantasy, and you can't do fantasy without Lady Gaga. And I think, one of the great things about Lady Gaga and how she plays with fashion, it's, she's telling incredible stories, and reinventing, every performance is a reinvention. So we want to figure out how that plays a part in our design process. Does anybody have any particular fantasy wear or theatrical wear that stands out to you as something that was particularly on target and really helped the actor or the performer or, anything? With cosplay, does that kind of make you feel like that character?
Nothing that particularly jumps out or stands to mind. No, sorry. (audience laughter)
It's okay, it's a harder one if you don't do that aspect a lot. But I think when it comes to this, like I mentioned with the other performers, we wanna ask ourselves, what is that fantasy we're creating? Because although here it's in the extreme, ultimately, we're not selling clothes, even thought the clothes should be able to stand up to the, quality and fit and all that kind of stuff, but really what we're selling is a lifestyle, and a way of expressing ourselves. So this is the extreme, but we're doing that even in the smallest ways by our choices as designer.