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Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Lesson 10 of 10

Learn to Edit

Jay Calderin

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

10. Learn to Edit

Lesson Info

Learn to Edit

Here we have learning to edit. We want to ask the right questions. We have a couple of questions that we're gonna approach in a second. Personal and professional evaluations, when you are asking questions and trying to figure things out you want to remember that it's not just the professional questions but it's also the personal ones that relate to why you're doing it and how you feel about it. The precious problem and this is when we fall in love a little too much with our own stuff and can't imagine changing it. And we have to remember that we have to be open to that process because if we're holding on too strong that means that the idea can't stand on its own. Then we have, not like the other, we want to be able to, we may have come up with a whole set of designs and we wanna be able to spot what doesn't fit. So, you know, ask yourself if you're designing a collection, and you have ten dresses and one pair of pants, you know, an ensemble of one pair of pants, either you need to add ...

more pants or you need to get rid of them. Because there's not, you're not sending a cohesive message for the collection. Fashion equations. How we figure out the, the balance of the collection, and then the shuffle. I always, when designers are especially are doing separates, and, you know, that you can mix and match, I always have them cut their designs in half so that they can shuffle and go, how would that top look with that skirt? Even though you showed it with a pair a pant. And really play with it, because it's another exercise for kind of exploring the choices you have available to you. Can you talk a little bit more about why that, why editing is so important? I think people will, need, need more focus work to get their attention. I think when ideas have too much information it can be a little overwhelming. And when you're talking about garments, you know, you want to tune into that garment at for what it's providing you. So the designer has to do that step first. Because I think that we all have moments where we have lots of great ideas and we'll try to include them all in the same outfit or all in the same collection. But I think, like we spoke earlier about doing variations of an idea, I think that allows you to reach more customers as well. So when you say, I'm gonna do a V neckline but for, just to use this as a quick example. If I do this for my V neckline, there's gonna be a woman who doesn't want that V neckline, who doesn't want a dress cutting in here. So you want that edit, so to speak, of that other variation to ask yourself, well maybe if I put the V in the back, right? Because that might give her a sense of feeling comfortable, she's covered up, but a little drama and still your design detail. And those things you figure out through the editing process. You can ask yourself, does everything I have have a deep opening in the front? Because that's only one woman who's going to respond to that particular design detail. But how can I take that plunging look and put it elsewhere? Like put it in the back, put in the, have the sleeves open. You know, like a great example is Donna Karan, her little cold shoulder, what they call the cold shoulder, where a woman is completely covered up, so like turtle neck, completely long sleeves, but there's a cutout on the cap of the sleeve so to show the shoulder and it's, the reason is, she says, no mater what age you are it's smooth and pretty and soft and sensual part of the body so all of a sudden it gives that, that woman that choice, where as another design in her collection might have cutouts, a cutout here, or a cutout in the skirt, but this gives another woman a choice to have that design detail but in a fresh way. And that all comes from the editing process. Thank you. Sure. So some starter questions. These are a little bit more personal and I encourage designers to ask themselves these questions. Some of them might seem kind of self explanatory but they're really not, you need to delve a little deeper. So why do I want to be a designer? What is your definition of success as a designer? You know, it's like why do you want to do it? You love being in that work room, you love the possibility of fame, right, that fair. You want, you know, love the idea of making lots of money. You know those are fair things. But you know, you might want to go deeper and say, what gonna keep you coming back? And these by the way are in the bonus materials, I just pulled a couple of them. What training do I have? And by virtue of that also, what training do I need? What have I committed, have I committed to a professional career path? Because some of us might be just having some fun. And make it more of a hobby and that's perfectly valid. Some incredible things come out of people who are just having some fun with it. Don't forget that if you're thinking of a career and you know professionally, you want to think about what are my business skills? And am I good with people? This is very key because I know at events, I'm a little more reserved and shy, and I need to have people on my team who are more outgoing and gregarious to keep that balance, you know, so I'm taking care of things. And then who are my industry role models? Because their career path and their choices could help you make yours. Here we're talking about equations. This, going back to Donna Karan, these are drawings of her system dressing, where she says, if you have one of each of these essentials, you can mix and match for the whole season, that's all you need. So you wanna ask yourself, you know, body suit, shirt, jacket, jeans, leggings, pants, skirt, dress, you can do anything you need to do with these. So you can come up with your own interpretation of, what your system for that season or just in general. And then learning to edit. By the numbers, by restrictions, by attitude and utility. By the numbers, it just means actual numbers. Like how many outfits can you actually do and produce that make sense? So you want to cut that down to a manageable number. By restrictions you want to ask yourself when it comes to the client, do they have restrictions? We talked about professional wear earlier, there are still rules on employee handbooks that say you can't wear pants, for a woman, or you can't wear open-toed shoes, or you'll have to wear hosiery even in the dead of summer. And so there are restrictions as to, those are extreme by today's standards, but there are restrictions for people as to what they can and can't wear. For a man, you know, there are certain jobs where you can only take off your jacket in your office when the door is closed. So you wanna remember that attitude, like what the attitude behind the clothes, how does that play a factor into your editing, does it feel, like you were talking about those outfits felt strong, but you immediately cut the other ones out, 'cause they were soft. So your focus was on the strong. And then utility. A lot of people forget about, you know, does my customer want a pocket in her pants? Some people actually cut the pockets out of pants because they want a smooth silouette, where as in ball gowns we might hide a pocket, so that they don't have to carry a purse. And a great quote from Cristobal Balenciaga, elegance is elimination. I wanted to talk to the students here that we have I our studio audience. And we've talked about mood boards and we've talked about sort of finding a path and all these different options that there might be. Can you talk a little but if you have experience with sort of getting to where you are now or the challenges that have come within that. And we just have a couple of minutes, but if you want to touch on that, that would be great. Well, he was talking about earlier about how you're shy in front of people and you have other people that help you with that, I was just thinking to myself, it's so important to have a good team around you. Like I have a business partner, and she's brilliant and she's completely opposite of me and it really helps. And then I have amazing photographers that have got us published. Like because of them. So I just think it's so important to have a good team. Well I'm just, I just work on my own. I don't have a team at all. Though it's very appealing to think about having such a thing. I think it's just narrowing the focus, narrowing the focus, narrowing the focus, and not getting pulled in too many different directions by, you know, somebody wants this, somebody wants that. Well, you have to learn to say no. Yes. I just starting doing costuming and cosplay just as a hobby a couple years ago and had really only made things for myself and some friends. And seeing the explosion of popularity of that culture and the growth that it's gone through in the last couple years. And seeing other people, other peers, in that community turning their passions into a career was really inspiring for me and, you know, led me to think I could also be on that path and actually enjoy what I do for a living. So, that's where I'm at. I think what I'm getting out of this class, which is really good for me, is that when I'm making costumes, you know, there are very definite, very definitive things that I need to do. I need to make, you know, this kind or this, whatever, for the actors, the actor in the scenes, and whatever. But the thing that's always baffled me, when I do stuff on my own, is I just, I always would look around and think, oh god, everybody else has these great bursts of inspiration and now, thanks to you, I realize, it's a lot of hard work. You know, and people don't just get those bolts out of the blue. I think that mood board is a very good example of that, so actually I feel a lot better now. (laughs) So thank you. Right. I think, I think the editing just comes in handy a lot, because I think if anything more than, than making the things that I have made, it comes in handy with styling. Just because there's always tons of ideas and just, kind of, taking that idea that you can, it doesn't have to all go into one garment. And I have definitely had issues with that before, where I just like, I go and I make 'em and when I put it together, I'm just like this is not at all what I'm envisioning in my head. And like trying to translate that from like, from what you're seeing in your head and on paper to like real life is good. Thank you all for sharing. As we round out, like I said earlier, this particular class, do you have any, any final words for us about the mood boards, about narrowing your path? It's been really, really awesome. Well I think when it comes to the mood boards and, you know, we're talking about those people that we feel are like always inspired, is that those people are usually immersed, you know every day, it's part of their, their every day process, to immerse themselves in something that is inspiring. And then for the editing, I think a lot of people are scared of editing because they feel like it's discarding things, but I say it's, you're not throwing it out you're just putting it aside. So that might be a great source of inspiration later on. So it's just again narrowing it down, because I know it can be hard when, to edit when you have so many great choices. But focusing on one thing at a time is a great way to approach it.

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.