Fashion Design: Start to Finish


Fashion Design: Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Craft a Collection

So now to the collection now we're going to start designing so we this is very similar to the process we went through with the mood board it's a lot of the same issues we're going to talk I think it's important in reviewing because we did this sort of organically and reform and here we're applying it to and we're trying to imagine it within the context of actually designing a collection so we're going to talk about color stories um the texture mix and I particularly used the word mix very intentionally because I want you to think about having a mix a lot of times designers will start off designing and everything is flat, you know, when smooth and that's not necessarily the way a lot of people dress silhouette and style lines so the framework and how to break it up patterns and prince and embellishments so this dive right in um I have the color swatches on the right but I created this image with fabric because we want teo have a sense of how that color is going to translate so it's very...

important to think about how will it flow? How will it reflect light? You know, earlier we mentioned the look of velvet and how it kind of just very deep and rich whereas a satin would be reflective and, you know, have lots of light play and um then we move from color and then we see those translations into fabric and these air a few examples of using similar colors that really are interpreted in different ways with the textile. And this is a good example. So we have sort of ah crinkly lammy we have sort of a raw silk or sort of shan tung and then we have the denham faux fur and I sort of felt and a satin and a tweed and the quilt so technically, you know, smooth and rough and and even introducing really subtle colors, like here in the tweed, you see this little sort of speckles of other colors, and this could be the foundation for a collection. And yet all the rest of the colors in the collection are found in here, the different shades of blue, the white, the brown so you can really delve into one fabric could be an inspiration, and yet it not look like the whole collection is tweet. Okay, so now we have way have color, we have texture. Now we get to the whole point of the whole process of designing the shapes. So we're going to talk about silhouettes, the h, the o and the y actually names of collections that christian dior did, and but they are the basic shapes we work with when it comes to designing, so the h the h it has a very straight look it's a boxy look and from a fashion perspective we can think about sort of that flapper dress or we can think of a chanel suit like a box a chanel suit but the idea is that this shape skims over the body it does not contour it creates this it's either flowy or stiff but it's this h frame the next one the a easily kind of tying into some of the a line skirt but there's more to that you can have sort of a tent dress that starts at the shoulder so basically you want to ask yourself where do you start off narrow and where do you go to wide uh like I said so you could start at the very top, started her waist wherever you want and then inverting that that strategy you have the why where you would definitely exaggerate the shoulders in some way and play down to a very narrow silhouette at the base so this is pretty much what you got to work with. It seems really simple, but the first one I think is a great example because when you say a boxy chanel suit from the fifties and you say a flapper dress they seem completely different but they're basically the same shape. So even though it seems limiting you have a whole a whole myriad of ways to interpret it and then we have two more these are kind of the basic ones but then we have two more one we're very familiar with the hourglass or the x frame and this is where you might exaggerate the top and the bottom but just have that control at the center kind of like what you mentioned with corsets I kind of think this silhouette really speaks to having a belt or course it or something that kind of brings you in and then you have some play in the bottom and some strength at the top now this one's a little more unusual because we might think, well, I don't want to be around right this shape but but here I was using the example of this beautiful sort of cocoon coat from the twenties that would, you know, go to the floor and it would have this roundness to it so never shy away from from what you might think oh, I would never wear that, you know? And we're talking about your you know, the new look the look actually padded women's hips they're actually pads in the skirt but when we think about that we go, why would anyone want to do that? It actually emphasizes the waist it makes the waist look tiny, so we want to remember that we want to move past sort of conventions and things that we kind of stereo typically attached to certain shapes from libera ci in our charity what a mermaid gown be in terms of those letters is an a and upside would be I think it would be yeah, I mean it definitely plays to a because it flares out at the bottom but it's kind of an inverted why? I mean, those are just guidelines and it's just basically saying where do you want that emphasis? Where do you want that little explosion? Do you want teo explode at the top or do you want it to explode bottom so I would say definitely more than a frame so thank you so now we have these shapes and the shapes are are are great to start with but then we can take those shapes and break them up in a lot of different ways so I was going to bring over our dress form and pull out some bias tape where are you there we go okay, so when we design something, so for the purpose of this we're going to say this is a faded little dress we're going to imagine that we completely contoured this this dress form, but now we want to figure out what style lines are going to be important in this design so I'm going to take sort of twelve tape just black tulle tape and say how can we cut this up? How can we change the look of it? So I'm sorry so something as simple as you've had the design, you have the fit that you want, this dress is going to be perfect. But then you want to modify this design a little bit and you want to ask yourself, how can I visually break up thiss design. So the minute you were to put a style line right underneath her bust, you're breaking her up horizontally at a certain point, and that is probably the highest you can go on a waistline, right underneath the bus toe appear or empire, and you've broken up the dress into a third and two thirds, right, so that makes a big difference. But then breaking up the dress with a waistline that's at the natural or true waste, which, by the way, for new pattern makers and draper's, remember that the natural in true waste is actually pretty much in line with your elbow. If you bring your elbow across, you're going to run into your belly button, and that is the true waste that is not where most of us where our pants today, so I've had students designed a hole. You know, skirt or or pant and they're like it's up here and it's because they use the natural way so a lot of times it's somewhere halfway between the hip and the waist where we wear our clothes today but this cuts a woman right in half, you know? So there's a seam right here and if you're doing something like like an a frame, you can have a very small top and then go very big because you mentioned with your course that's you like to have these big skirts and big shapes that is a way you a place where you can cut off because if you did that fullness here whole different feeling and if you did that fullness, which actually is something I prefer I always like to drop the waist a little bit because then you get the curve of the waste and it looks like it's a just a natural extension and the other thing that I do is I will let the ways dip down a little bit, actually gonna go a little higher and I think this is so flattering to create this line rather than going straight across tohave it sort of flattened out a little bit and then go full and these are the little nuances that make all the difference because to do this all of a sudden you've made her look longer in the torso and you've accentuated her waist because coming in a little bit and then you can do anything down here it could be the same little straight dress but this curve will create a whole whole look that's totally different from another variation now it isn't the only way those are the horizontal places but this is also where you can explore necklines percent so the original dress might have ah jule nicklin but you might want to do plunging be okay and you might want to play even with variations on that v so you might position where you wanted to start but then you can say I wanted to be a symmetrical and you're taking this dress into the simple little shape you know the fitted dress on figure into so many different places and I think that's a really valuable thing to consider breaking up the dress it's really fun to see you just start o play around with those I'm I'm wondering we've got somebody asking if we're going to be covering men's fashion and can you maybe just talk a little bit about how that's probably its own specialty and what are some of the considerations when you're going into that specialty? Well we're probably not going to be delving into fashion men's fashion will probably pulling from men's fashion a little bit and how it influences when women's wear for this particular class but but I think the world of men's fashion is expanding and including a lot of the processes that we're going through here, but it's a little bit slower to adopt things that are not traditional. I was tell, you know, my students about sort of in a jacket, it ah, woman might wear a jacket that opens on the woman's side or the man side and there's not a big deal, but the minute a man puts on a jacket and it closes on the wrong side, he knows there's something wrong and it's just, you know, it's where it's beat into us, you know, it's like this is a guy's jacket. This is how long it should be. This is how the sleeves should hit so there's a beauty in that I think in the tradition of those kinds of things, andi, I think it's changing and expanding to include a lot more things, you know, the first, the first line of defense is always color and texture, you know? We'll see isa and pattern. We'll see people, you know, exploring playing with that inter ties and shirts and socks and accessories, but the core of most men's wear, it almost needs to remain comfortable, inaccessible for men until we start to grow a little bit, I'm also wondering if you could very curious to know what is in your kit there. I wonder who that could take two hours about but maybe some highlights that we could actually show people so let's, take a look at what's in. All right? So I have this sort of combined I have a little bit of everything here. I have things like like the twill so that I can play with designing you don't know where to start let's see their basic things like pins thread measuring always important tape measure, even even with marking pencils, one of the things that when we get later on to the draping phase, we want to create almost a code for ourselves. So having ah, blue pencil, a red pencil, black pencil, you know, designers will tell you that, you know, this is the system, you know, because it's their system but every designer kind has their little formula of what things mean to them. So, you know, having a set of color, we never want to use a marker when we're when we're correct, you know, putting marks on a dress form because it'll ruin the dress form. So just a little sidebar there, um, let's. See, I think you know, bob in cases for the machine, uh, masking tape for pattern work oh, er a little note about scissors I have two pairs of scissors here, and I have my fabric shears and my paper scissors. Please have separate ones it's so, so important you want tohave the dedicated ones for each one on dh you you'll see designers totally freak out if you use their, you know, their fabric shears for for cutting paper. Um, and then also not not quite in the kit. We'll have a little in here, little tiny ruler, but kind of talk about some of the other pieces, all manner of measuring tools. So you know, the tools that will help us create great curves, the seed through ruler is great for adding seam allowance, where you can adjust the pattern metal ruler, more of a really great straight edge, so and we'll get into more detail, and you'll see me use different things. Oh, and this is very, very important, the seam ripper, ok? And and I think there are two things I want to say and that I hadn't planned on saying, but this is really key when we're sewing and putting things together later on, we want to remember to baste things, which means a temporary stitch to hold things in place. Most of my students over the years have wanted to avoid that step because it seems like extra it actually ends up saving time because there's less of a chance of making mistakes but when you do, you want to delicately and diligently be able to take things apart and willing to do it again and also just a quick note on that only because I had just had this flash back from when I was in high school. Um I remember you also want to make sure and test if you could do that if you can actually take something apart and still put it back together again. I had a swim suit that I had to do for a class assignment and I must have made it no exaggeration ten, eleven, twelve times because when I took it apart the fabric, the holes wouldn't go away, you know? They were just completely, you know, ruin the fabric, so test your fabrics beforehand so that you can see can I take this apart or does it mean going back to scratch, you know, back to square one, all right? So style lines on dh then way have pattern that we need to figure out how how ah intricate or how bold we want it to be, um polka dot you know, they're just a couple of different examples, but you can see how they're interpreted and I love this is a scot see dress I mean, I love how the polka dot is really fun but it's paired with this jacket that kind of anchors it so thank you know pulling a color from the polka dot and making that a part of the design um and florals we all kind of just a floral as a you know all encompassing term but there are so many different types there representational abstract you know, really really different style so remember it's an art form in itself when it comes to prince like what is the style of the floral that you want to work in um here we have um you can use chex pattern I mean checks up lads and a little note on plans uh we want for those of you who might be familiar with the word tartan we want to remember that all tartans aarp lads but not all plants or tartans the key to a tartan sort of in the scottish kilt family is that the pattern goes the same way in every direction so it's reflective both left or right and top to bottom and that sort of you know uh actual tartan and here we have a really great combination this is a designer sarah mahama who incorporated this little brocade with a floral and with a plaid which is really and it's as as ah as strong as it is with color and impact it actually just works you know it just it doesn't look uh theatrical and then just abstract. A couple people mentioned original fabrics, and there are a lot of different ways you can do that. Today you can paint your own fabrics, and those are definitely one of a kind. They're canvases that you're going to use for the close. But there are a lot of service is out there now, like spoon flower that our students use where there's a range of fabrics and you can upload your prints that you create and what's really interesting about their services, that it automatically repeats the pattern in the way that you wanted to be in the scale. That's a key thing with that tartan, for instance, that we just saw that could be a very large tartan, or it could be scaled down. So it's tiny, tiny, tiny, and it just becomes a sort of vibrant little pattern. But it's the same premise, so scale is important. And the repeat all right. So here we move in to embellishment. I love the stress. This is a former student of mine, eddie phillips. And and I love how he incorporated a lot of different things the flowers, the beating, the ribbon and I particularly love just this one little accent because all the real center of interest is down here. But he brings in just a little accent of the color, just one of my favorites. And then this is just a great picture, I think it's from the forties of beating, because that can be an incredible way to transform something with embellishment. And these are other, some other different types of embellishment. Here we still have the beads, the bugle beads creating sort of a little section and it's almost. You think this whole concept of the style lines, because that shape of the shoulder strap is a triangular shape, but then she cut it off, cut it into a shape, and then built that pattern of of bugle beads to create that shape. And here this is actually a zipper that's sewn into the spiral as a decoration as a focal point for a little tent dress. It was very simple little dress, but that made it everything. And then you hear here we have sort of a grow green ribbon actually crafted into flowers and in, uh, into a pattern that's another way that you can actually make your own fabric by embellishing it in those ways. And here a couple of details of, uh, that are important. I'm here most of us think of ties and ribbons and lacing up as more cord and here it's flat, so it has a whole different feeling then sort of that that corridor wrote the feeling and then here, you know, when we think of buttons, a lot of times you forget that we could do covered buttons to have them become, you know, apart an extension of the fabric. So it's just another little shape, but it's still using the same fabric, and that could be a really strong detail. And then we have really embellishment. And I picked these two. This one just wow. I mean, that is some glove, but I picked them the military uniform because a lot of times there are areas that we forget that we can make the focal point. So it's not always about putting everything here, right? So it could be the sleeves. It could be the back of something could be justice dramatic to have someone come in and wearing a simple gown and then walking away is the ah ha. All right, uh, talking about, uh uh, different patterns of the same color seemed to work, but when you mix similar patterns with different sizes, that literature, he says any suggestions for mixing patterns that seems to be popular now. And you see that within sort of the concept of collections as well, experiment. There's no way the other way around it then to experience like we mentioned with the mood board is a great place to start but getting fabrics and also thinking of where you're going to put things like the sleeve we saw earlier let me just run back for one second the sleeve that we saw earlier with the tartan um it was about scale and where you're hiding this this plaid you only see a little tiny hint of but that's a special detail for the user as well as when they want to do the reveal like if they want to show it but really it's about these two fabrics are primary, so you want to think also a proportion like what's the primary fabric what's the accent fabric? What is the detail fabric and if you think about that way, then you're not so overwhelmed by seeing like I'm sure when you saw these fabrics together you couldn't imagine them necessarily in the same outfit so you want to find you know how you want to distribute that? Oh, in a great designer who does that is retro they do menswear that's a real mix of incredible kind of kendall patterns into color all right, so crafting a collection the other side of this is thinking about other issues besides the surface you know the color of the pattern, the texture body types and body image one of the things we want to concern ourselves with is the fact that there are different body types they're different distribution of measurements as well like a woman can have the same measurements as another woman but if she's a little taller or her waistline is higher or lower makes a huge difference so you know, you want to think how high uh I mean, what are the proportions between her measurements as well as her measure is going around same thing with, for instance, with the bus line um she two women could have the same measurement around the bust, but one has a larger cup size and a smaller back versus the opposite. So think about the variations on that and how it plays into your design um and then also there's a strategy behind body image because a designer you'll come across women who have very specific things that they just feel they need to hide or things that they want to accentuate and it may not make any sense to you as an objective observer, but we have to realize that people come to the table with that, uh, lifestyle in role play. So what are you trying to project, you know, a casual feeling ah, professional feeling, styling customization and d I y doing it yourself and then costuming for theater and film so I'm going to show you a couple of examples as we go through these are examples of uh, bathing suits that would be now I hate to use the word appropriate but that might be a solution for someone who feels a certain way about her body type so here with an apple it's usually a shape that's bigger on the top so sort of stronger shoulders in a narrow hip and this might be a way of accentuating the hip right because we have a triangle going on here so with a pear shape focusing on the top and making that the focal point and letting the suit on the bottom b aah minor detail you know sort of be a base but the focus is on the torso and here we have the for the ruler for the girl who's a little her measurements are a little closer together and not as much of isn't in at the waist you khun drape fabric so that it's creating emphasis around the rounder parts of her body so accentuating her hip or her bustline and creating that focus to break it up so that you seymour of a division shapes and in the hour glass where you know it's nipping in at the waist the top and the bottom are fairly evenly distributed in certain incense of wide and by no means do I mean to imply that these air rules because in fashion it's all subject you know someone might want to accentuate rather than camouflage and that's really what I'm trying to emphasize is figure out who you think your customer is and it doesn't mean you have to cater to everyone but figure out who you want to cater to. All right? So this is about these air cem I'm really proud of these these air former launch designers, new designers that we launch during fashion week a few years ago and one of the things I love about the composite of this image is thinking about the attitude and the lifestyle and what role they're playing because each of the designers were so distinctive, so I'm kind of curious does anyone have any opinions about what says what like which one feels strong or sweet or does anybody have any reactions to any of them? I'm super drawn to the two closest teo and I were apart yeah part of it my be it just looks like a power post that they're talking, but yeah, I like the way the way the patterns are on the on the one closest to you with the peple um like I think what you're saying earlier like people putting patting on the hips that almost makes it look a little more strong and just like and even the military esque yeah, yeah it's just like very bold and defined shapes and I feel like a supposed to when things are like a little more flow here like loose like the opposite end right? It just looks a little more like just really soft and comfortable I mean yeah, that last one almost cozy because she's all wrapped up you know? And then it so no and everyone's gonna have a different interpretation but the key is to think with all your choices, what kind of lifestyle a role play can you imagine with those garments you're designing and then, um accessorizing? I picked two extremes here but the idea of asking yourself how you're going to be enhancing it so is your outfit that you're designing your ensemble feel very baroque and pearl like already? Or is this sort of juxtaposing is it just a simple white dress with these pearls right the capri and and the soft white or is it in the realm of that? Does it feel kind of like like with your mood board when we came up with that feeling and we said, well, what's our theme here and you pick the girl with the crown? You know, I immediately thought very baroque and very romantic and that kind of stuff so you want to ask yourself what kind of accessories you're that will offset what you're designing or punctuate it d I y do it yourself more and more designers are offering that, so if you're working probably most smaller companies can't do this but if you're doing ah larger company especially where is a great example nowadays being able to do it yourself and pick the colors you want still working with framework of what the product is is a really popular new thing so ask yourself is that something you want to offer like for instance you know including corsets you know, offering it can you customize it? Can you say I want this fabric on the side so when this fabric in the front door I want this color trim and almost making it letting the customer make the choices but still working with that core item that we know fitz and it has quite quality but letting them make it their own and this is an example of a kind of a neutral pair these air actually ones I had for myself done s o this very neutral pair as opposed to these and they're both the same exact shoe but against a whole different feeling and then uh the theater and costume like thinking about how that plays a part this is a particularly ornate uh, selection but this place is also a big part in figuring out who you are how you edit down to who you are as a designer all right, so uh this is my quote um it's important to remember that everything has been done before but it hasn't been done by you and this is I can't say this enough because, like I mentioned earlier, pretty much everything's been done, we have two arms, we have two legs, we have a torso, but it's, every choice that we've gone over today is what makes it uniquely yours. So if you all did a white shirt as a project and I said, just create a white shirt, all ofyou would interpret that in a different way, and each of those white shirts would speak to a different audience because of the choices you made and that's why you don't want to just design a white shirt, it can't be and you know where if you design an ordinary white shirt in your collection, why would someone buy it when they can buy it from someone who really put some thought into that white shirt? We have this issue come a lot come up a lot with denham ah lot of our students will want to design an outfit and have genes as the base, and I'm great that's fine what's special about those jeans, because if they look like all other jeans, why wouldn't you go to someone who specializes in those engines? Means so we want to remember that it's your choices that make the difference a cz part of all this.

Class Description

Interested in the world of fashion? Even if you're not an aspiring fashion designer, you’ll enjoy this class. Jay Calderin is the Director of Creative Marketing and an instructor at the School of Fashion Design. He is the author of three top-selling books on Fashion Design, and the founder and executive director of Boston Fashion Week. 

In Fashion Design: Start to Finish, Jay Calderin will get you started through hands-on demonstrations and step-by-step guidelines. 
Learn to navigate through the design process, from conceiving a garment to marketing it.

The various phases of fashion design will be covered, including:
  • research and mood boards, collections and trends
  • sketching, draping, pattern making, construction 
  • branding, marketing, and industry positioning
Fashion doesn’t have to be intimidating. This class is a beginners guide to the world of fashion design, led by an industry professional.


1Intro to Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin
2Why Create a Moodboard?
3Student Mood Boards
4Fashion Inspiration Resources
5Learn from the Masters of Fashion
6Explore New Fashion Frontiers
7Why Narrow Your Focus?
8Find a Fashion Specialty
9Craft a Collection
10Learn to Edit
1Intro to Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew
2Why Start with a Sketch?
3Drawing: Draw Your Muse
4Drawing: Sketch a Figure and Define a Silhouette
5Drawing: Render Color
6Drawing: Add Texture, Patterns, and Details
7Pattern Draping: Working with Muslin
8Pattern Draping: Drape a Basic Form
9Pattern Draping: Drape Folds
10Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines
11Pattern Flat: Create and True a Pattern
12Draping and Patterning Recap
13Constructing Clothes: Put it Together
14Constructing Clothes: Make it Special and Finish Well
1Intro to Fashion Marketing and Branding
2Explore Your Audience
3Display, Data and Design
4Share Your Work
5Find Your Following
6Inform Your Brand
7Build Your Business Model
8Why Tell Your Fashion Story?
9Establish Relationships
10Be Ready for Change
1Intro to Produce a Fashion Show
2The Fashion Show: Why? When? How?
3Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept
4Pre-Show: Build a Team
5Pre-Show: Create a Timeline and Checklist
6Day of Show: Backstage Strategy
7Show: Working with Front of House
8Show: Scheduling Run of Show
9Show: Breaking Down the Event
10Post-Show: Increasing Your Audience
11Post-Show: PR for Fashion Shows
12Post-Show: Dealing with Downtime
13Fashion Design: Start to Finish - Wrap Up