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Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Lesson 3 of 10

Student Mood Boards

 

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin

Lesson 3 of 10

Student Mood Boards

 

Lesson Info

Student Mood Boards

So McKenzie brought these really great samples. She brought images, ah let me pull this, but she also brought, ah there we go, but she also brought actual trims and notions. In other words, some really great stuff. So Jay, can you talk a little bit about what the instructions were for Kenzie? Well we gave students a similar checklist, and it was to basically go hunting for these representations of each of these areas. And one of the easiest things to do is to go to magazines or do printouts from online, and start to focus in on what you like in those areas. Right, and before we get too much further, can we just introduce Kenzie? Can you talk to us a little bit about who you are and what your sort of level within fashion design is? Have you created a mood board before? Sort of where's your baseline for this project? Yeah, I guess this is my first like super intentional mood board. I'm definitely one of those typical people that's like obsessed with looking on Pinterest and like ...

going through for, I don't know, different fashion inspiration. I've always been interested in fashion, and styling, that kind of aspect of it. And recently I've been helping more working at, I'm a production coordinator at Creative Live, so I have a lot of photographer friends, and just kind of like getting more involved with helping make a lot of dresses and interesting pieces for photo shoots. And I found like a lot of the stuff I do is a little more like unconventional, like materials and things like that, so I per se haven't been like super involved in just making street wear or anything like that, but I'm stoked to kind of create this for the first time intentionally. Great, well I think a lot of people can relate to being at that point, right Jay? The people that are new students that come to you? Definitely, and the key word that McKenzie used was intentionally. I think that's the real key, because a lot of times we can get, here we got the, we can get, feel like we're waiting for the muse, right. But in fashion design, we really need to kind of start working before the muse shows up. We need to kind of start to put some stuff down so we can decide what's relevant and what's not to the way we're going with an idea. So all right, so we can, just gonna put up a couple more things, and then we can get to playing. So this, this whole way of approaching it, I'm gonna leave that there, is just getting everything on the table. You could do it on a table, you could do up on a wall, on a board like this, and I like working with cork board because you can kinda move things around, but you can very easily do it in front of you. And I would invite our other students in the class to kind of pull out their materials. And you have a cork board in front of you, you can start to just lay things out, so you can kinda see some of the relationships that form for you, as well as our, any students online who might want to start playing, they could very easily do that, maybe with their Pinterest boards, start to see what kind of images they've been collecting. Let's go to our board. So McKenzie, what are some things that you recognize that are popping out at you when you see all this together that are hitting these points? So let's start with color, what do you see for color here? Yeah, so color I'm definitely drawn to the more darker stuff, a lot of black and white I think is a key element with splashes of deep colors like burgundys or dark greens or purples. I like, this kinda like goes into the texture and fabric and all that, but I like the mixture of really soft and hard, so I think that's why I like the splash of light colors or bright metallic colors against the contrast of the black, or like the lacy and leather, stuff like that. Well I mean it sounds like when you think about black and white, especially when you're introducing color into it as well, a lot of times that's sort of a base when you work with neutrals. So you know thinking of black and white as a neutral, they become a baseline that you can build off of. And you also mentioned about sort of hard and soft, and that could again be represented that way. So let's play with the color a little bit. I'm just gonna move some things around because this whole process just keeps evolving. So a couple of the things that I see right away, because you mentioned sort of the layering, you can actually mix, combine swatches, and start to play with what they're doing. And here, this is a really good example. This is a real pretty color combination, and we can ooh, and we can also play with an actual little bit of metallic there. So right there, that starts to feel like a collection. We're seeing golds, but we're seeing it in different ways. We're seeing color represented with a pattern as well as with a solid. We're seeing some layering to change the color, because all of a sudden when you put the lace over the burgundy, that's another kind of feeling. So that's a great place to start for a collection. And it kinda represents what you've been talking about. So the next one here is texture. We're definitely getting texture in the lame and this great crinkle, sort of like it looks really great. And is there any other texture that you think you could pull in? 'Cause I'm seeing some other things too that could be kinda cool to pull in. Yeah, I kinda like the look, not in the color scheme, but the look of like the tattered feather. I can't tell what material that is, it looks like almost a sheer fabric made for that. And you actually brought feathers. Yeah. I don't wanna ruin them, so I don't want to put them on. Oh no, it's fine, they can be. But I mean this is gorgeous, and this again ties in, for something that maybe we saw in a black and white, but again we're bringing in the color for it. So that can be, that's a beautiful. Is it okay to pin through? Oh yeah, totally. Okay, 'cause I think it really tells a beautiful story. And that's really at the heart of all this, which is thinking about the story that you're telling in terms of all this. So next on here, so we have details. Is there any particular, I mean here you have definitely the pearls, but is there any other kind of detail that you're seeing? Yeah, I was looking more towards just the super, like kind of ornate, like the beadwork and the embellishment. I don't know, kind of I like the idea of making the lacy look out of other things, like up here it's done with boning, and all that. I think that was my biggest draw. And you have this great little. Yeah, and like yeah, a lot of just little embroideries. 'Cause this is definitely hardware. And I'm just gonna hold this up, actually I'll put it right here. This is a great example. That can take the place of not only decoration, but for instance this could be a designer's inspiration for a button or a closure, and it becomes a hardware actual functioning detail. After that, we have silhouettes. Now from all of your image, your fashion images, which ones do you think would best represent the type of woman and how she'd like to, what shapes she'd like to wear? There's a lot going on. (laughs) I kinda like the, the idea of a fairly basic silhouette with the little details, like sharp shoulders, so like a little more structured, not necessarily flowy or anything. This is kinda hard to see, 'cause it's all black but it's just very angles. The silhouette, that's actually a great example. So let's move up those two. What was the other one? This one. And this starts to bring in what you mentioned earlier, which is the black and white. This becomes the foundation, and becomes very graphic. All right, so the heart of this mood board, we've started to edit, you know we're not necessarily gonna use everything, but this starts to look like a collection. What about the look of the model? The look of the model, I was kinda, I was liking the fairly naked look, except for the lip, like a dark lip, and kinda like sleeked back hair. Okay, so very clean and dramatic. Yeah, and I like the strong brow, yeah strong brow, bold lip, and just slicked back hair. And then any accessories? Accessories kinda not, I like the idea of playing more with the structure of the dress, like the high necklines, strong shoulders. Maybe like simple earrings, I didn't. Yeah, no, no, whoop, not having it on there is probably an indication of it's not part of the mix. And then finally theme-wise, is there anything here that gives you a sense of a theme? Or do you see anything when you see everything all together? Yeah, I kinda like this image a lot. She popped out to me right away. Dolce and Gabbana stuff, where it's just very like broke and almost gothic, I like that look. Yeah, so I mean I think we're telling a really incredible story, it's very rich, very opulent, dark, and I think that's a great beginning to a collection. Cool. Very cool. Awesome. Awesome, thank you. Thanks. So let's kinda turn to our other students in class, and find out what they brought and from having it in front of you, is there anything that jumps out at you in terms of these areas that we discussed here for color, it could be any one of them? We'll do a couple of examples. Yeah, my name is Margo and. And if you could hold that mic just a bit. And I have done a lot of personal sewing, but also costume stuff and for some local theaters, the high school theater, and things like that. So I'm predominantly interested in costume. I also like the history of fashion and fabrics and things. So actually what I did was I brought in this piece of fabric that (clears throat) excuse me, I've actually had for a couple of years and have not done anything with it, but it's a Japanese motif. Beautiful colors. What I'm trying to do, which I can't figure out quite how to do it, is I also like the Art Nouveau period. I know that they have taken some inspiration, Art Nouveau does take some inspiration from the East, but I want to use some modern fabrics for that. And actually one thing, which I wasn't able to bring a piece of, I wanted to do something with burlap and some of these finer fabrics. I like that. As I said, I don't have a piece of burlap that I could bring, but I just thought that would be a very interesting combination, something very basic and crude, if you will, and then some very fine materials. So that's kind of what I'm going for. No that sounds really interesting. And one of the two things that kind of came out of what you said that I think are really important, bringing in the burlap is a great example of the formula I mentioned earlier because you're kinda shaking it up by having things sort of collide. But also the fact that you talked about costume, when we talk about coming up with a mood board and inspiration for a collection, often in costume, and just let me know if you agree, in costume you're often doing that for characters. You're basically coming up with what colors would that character wear, what fabrics would they wear, do they need to look flowy, do they need to look stiff, and those are the same issues we need to think about in terms of a collection, as we do for theater or for film. We're creating this character that's telling a story, so we need to think about what they would and wouldn't wear. I think as far as my years of sewing and creating things is I'm at the point in my life where I really am looking at what I'm making as more of a work of art than as something that I just throw on to wear. So that's kind of where I'm coming from with all this stuff. It sounds beautiful. Thank you. So Jay I just wanted to jump in, we have a great question that came in from the folks at home. And the question is on the first mood board that we were looking at, the fabrics were fall and winter fabrics, structured tweed, but also shown with a flowy summery dress. Was the color there the only thing being explored? I think this actually was before when you were showing. Can you talk a little bit about the seasons and how those play into a particular mood board? Are you changing them up within a season say? Well initially the mood board, it doesn't really have any rules. A lot of people feel like it has to stay within the season, or stay within the theme. And sometimes, a good example with the mood board we have here is that McKenzie has this image of the feathers, you know the feathery kind of look, but this might not be the way it's interpreted. It might be interpreted in another color. So sometimes it's a silhouette or shape, or like in that first slide with the tweed, and then something very summery, a lot of times that can bring ideas together. And honestly in fashion, with the exception of outerwear, I think there are less and less rules about what's for spring, what's for fall, you can have a lot of crossover. Thank you. So Emily, what did you, what jumps out at you on your board? Which category would you think is strongest for you right now? I definitely end up with a lot of like pastel and spring colors, which I didn't realize when I brought them in, but they kinda jumped out and wanted to go together here. And then on the top of my board, I ended up with a lot of like heavier blacks and metallics and like bright gold. And I have like a chiffon and a black stretch pleather that I had together, so yeah. Well it sounds like they're again, you have those two strong areas that can work together. And just to kinda riff off what we talked about with seasons you mentioned pastels and you said spring, but there's no reason we can't think of a way to interpret pastels for fall, if that happens to be the collection you're working on. So if you're working for a design house and you're working on a fall collection, pastels are just what you're attracted to that season, there are ways to introduce that. Very cool, all right. Great. Hi. I'm Patti Robison and I'm a specialist in bridal and formal wear. But I like to get away from the white and so apparently I like color. But I'm daunted by it, and I tend to get just, I just step away, go right to black and white always. So I thought it'd be fun to play with color and get some sense of how it can work in an overall design. So what I see in front of me is a lot of color. And also very 3D, it looks like you're very tactile and want to feel enough of the fabric, not just a little swatch, but see how it flows, how it drapes. That's another great thing because again, some of my students, when they're doing mood boards, their mood boards have to go into a portfolio, so they need to take photographs of how that drapes kind of thing. So this is really nice if you had a physical mood board up on a wall where you can kinda play and get inspired by it. When it comes to the colors, do you see any, you know because you talked about having maybe some difficulty with what to put together, instinctually, what are some things on the board that you think work together? And not necessarily, the other thing that I worry about is now don't worry about matching. Everybody always thinks match, and it doesn't always have to be a match, it has to be what happens when you look at those two things together, it's very personal. So I see a lot of texture, and I do like texture. I like the tactile quality of fabric. I also do a lot of bias garments, and so the drape is terribly important. So I spend a lot of time working with fabric on the dress form and seeing how it molds to the body. Another thing here is a lot of these fabrics are very stiff and don't drape at all. So I like them, but I can't, I don't know how to work with them exactly. I don't know how to make them into something that pleases me because I like the drapey, but I also like the texture and the loft of a fabric that has a little more crispness to it. More body. Yes, body, so you know, it's just a little overwhelming. But I also collect a lot of vintage findings, buttons, buckles, just stuff to go on, and again I've a little trouble with editing, throwing out. We're gonna be talking more about that in a minute. So then the focus stays on the specific, unique, one-of-a-kind element in the garment, in the design. That brings up a really important point. Especially when we're using a formula where we're mixing a lot of things, it doesn't have to be for the whole collection, but often thinking, every specific outfit, thinking about center of interest. You may have a lot of things going on, but what about that outfit, the ensemble, or that garment, is really the focal point? So is it that little buckle? It could be the tiniest little thing, but on a simple little dress, then just having a tiny little buckle, it's what really draws your eye. So you want to think about how can you emphasize, because a lot of times you'll want to include all your ideas let's say in a garment, and it starts to get overwhelming and there's a lack of focus. When we talk about fashion design, we're often talking about collections. So we can take a single idea like that little buckle, and reinterpret it differently in each garment. And even if you don't end up making all those garments, being able to consider the variations is going to give you more choices and it's gonna give your customer more choices too. Because if she doesn't like to emphasize her waist, maybe it's on the straps, two little buckles, rather than on the belt, it could be on her shoes, on an accessory. So there's different ways you can bring that out, but all working from that simple original idea, so cool. Hi Bryan. I'm Bryan, I do mainly corsetry, but I also like big, I like super stiff upper parts, very structured, but with giant bottoms, I don't know why, but they're always like huge on the bottom. I love chiffon and brocades and lace. But yeah, I like very, very structured around the waist and the hips. Control. Really big on the bottom. I did this one that was like silk on the top, and then like five layers of chiffon. (chuckles) No, it sounds beautiful. Lot of French seams, that was fun. But yeah, I didn't really bring to, it like doesn't relate, my mood board. Well, I mean what jumps out, they don't have to. When you do this, when you do this creative process, and you start mining for things, it's important to just let yourself, wherever you are at that moment, because creatively you could be at a different moment next week, I mean a different place next week. So what jumps out at you as probably the strongest thing about the things you brought in? On this list of things, is it detail, is it color, is it pattern? I would say, I don't know, I would say like the textures. I like texture a lot. I'm actually doing a show based on elements. So like I should have brought things related to that. Well let's talk about that for a second. It's like when you think about the elements, right, so with the elements, what might you associate with, in terms of let's say for fall and for, I mean for fire or water or Earth, like what might be some textures, 'cause you mentioned textures, that you would go with for those? Surprisingly, this was gonna be for my fire, this black sequin material. I don't know why, I was gonna do like red with it, I just thought that that would be really, really fun to do. And then like for Earth, I actually did this like purple, but it has like leaves. And then this, I only brought my silhouettes. Sorry, I didn't know I was supposed to bring magazines. Well I mean the two that you mentioned are really key, 'cause I mean when we think of fire, we might go very representational and say red, and orange, and gold, but you're bringing in the black as well, and the texture and the reflectiveness of the sequins is giving you that sparkle of light. And then for your Earth, thinking of the purple, again unexpected, like that probably wouldn't be the first place most people go, but then I immediately thought of sort of like the richness of flora and just like how opulent Yeah, exactly. and beautiful, you know what the Earth produces kind of thing. Exactly, yeah. So you can go those play, and what's great about this, is that those two swatches, we can give to everyone in the room, and they're gonna interpret them in a completely different way. Oh yeah, I also think of like air, not just like white, but how it is, like fun and flowy and big you know. I also think of the models themselves. Like I have certain people and I kind of go with their personality too. Yeah I mean in that plays to the look, you want whoever's out there representing the creation you've made to be an extension of it. Actually it should be more an extension of the person often, but in the design process, you want someone that's gonna represent it well. Yeah. Similarly Ryan, we have Fashion Time who had said, "Can you use unusual things, like food pictures?" Oh yes. Or nature, just as you were talking about. The more unusual the better. So that unexpected, like you said. The more unusual the better. I mean I have had, I've given assignments that are design collections based on candy. And again, I'm surprised because I normally associate candy with bright, fun colors, and I had someone do all these shades of licorice, you know so it was like dark, deep red and black, and the whole thing was all about the spirals wrapping around the body. And if you looked at the dress, the design, you would not think candy, but that's where it came from. So the more unusual, and the more meaningful, I think it has to be if you love food, you know and the vibrancy of colors, or even recipes. I've had students actually put the ingredients for something instead of you know, if you think cakes, don't put cakes on there, but put all the ingredients, and all of a sudden you have the texture of the flour, and the shininess of that egg, or whatever it is. And that could be a great source for inspiration for a mood board. I love that, just that thinking really outside the box, or of these atypical things that you might be encountering in daily life, but not thinking that they actually apply to a collection Definitely. or your fashion. Yeah, all bets are off. Yeah, I love it, it's like it's very freeing, right. It's very freeing. Definitely.

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

Reviews

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.