My first trip to the Caribbean was last January when a friend of mine and I went to Jamaica. Have you ever been? It is just a lovely place to visit - for the people, for the water, for the forests ... We stayed at two locations (a retreat place in the mountains and a seaside cottage) and got around the island on day trips or walks. We took pictures; we ate good food; we listened to local music.
But when we came back home (to a rather chilly Washington D.C.), some of the memories faded. And those that stuck around are documented below in my photos. I like taking photos to capture snippets of time and experiences.
I treasure these moments and adventures as they enrich my life. What moments most resonate with you? What do you take away from your travels?
I am a huge fan of denim. I like jeans and denim tops and jackets. I read about the companies that solely focus on denim and innovative design in this area.
I own several pairs of jeans and very much enjoy their cut and finish. There was, however, a color (navy blue) pair that I just could not incorporate into my wardrobe. So ... I decided to buy bleach and have some fun! Bleaching clothing is a great way to update the look - to just change the overall feel of the garment or to completely change its look.
For my jeans, as you can see in the photo below, I achieved a rather "painterly" look - it just looks like I spilled some paint on them. Don't let the first sight trick you though! I sketched on paper where the bleach drops would fall so that the final look about we appealing and visually interesting. I also incorporated little treats - there is a "picture" of a dream catcher and petals of a flower. Well, I like when clothes are special so I added these little things only I would know about ... until now ...
If you do a search for bleached denim online, you will come across so many great ideas and designs! I am sharing one design by Alexander McQueen and one by Ralph Lauren. Take a look for yourself and see if bleach could make some magic in your own wardrobe!
One of my favorite stages of creating a fashion collection is the stage when all of my work is done and I start editing the garments down to create complete looks to include in a collection line up.
I mention when work is 'done' but it never really is. During the editing stage, I keep redesigning smaller details, adding or removing elements, and changing the color scheme.
This 12-look collection is an example of the final stages of my work - this is when I have narrowed down the looks and am working with the best fabric setup.
During the editing process, I ensure that I have a balanced set of garments that the customer can mix-and-match and that the fabrics are used evenly to create a pleasant color story.
This is a Spring/Summer collection so I include dresses, skirts, and tops. There are also several pants and jackets to ensure the customer can layer garments if need be.
Having an understanding of the collection and the customer is crucial to balancing the design elements and achieving a lovely collection.
#fashion #collectionlineup #balanceindesign
Details in fashion design are important in setting ideas apart and making innovative advances in the industry. I am fascinated by fashion design's need to match creativity and functionality. We are moving objects and each part of our body, when clothed, calls for specific technical solutions.
An example of a complex piece is the sleeve. Our arms do so much in a day - they are rarely still and the shoulder and elbow make it even more intricate when it comes to design. On paper, the pattern for a sleeve looks pretty straightforward but once it is cut in fabric and sewn together and inserted into the main body (e.g., of a jacket or a dress), it is a completely different matter.
I enjoy researching fashion and works by other designers. Here is a sampling of intriguing ideas I came across on Pinterest. So many great ideas and shapes and textures!
Most of my design work is from scratch. I come up with an idea for a garment, I sketch it, and then I sew it. But ... I never say no to an exciting challenge. A friend asked that I 'update' her existing t-shirts - what a fun project! The t-shirts below got an overhaul and a new life.
Rock chick ...
A demure light pink tank top lost the sparkly rhinestones and got ripped up. I also colored it black but retained some of the original pink ... Definitely a new attitude in this one!
Strings attached ...
My friend does not really like sleeves so this number lost hem and got a brand new frame. I weaved a think ribbon (made out of another t-shirts scraps) around the bottom, the arm seams, and the neckline. And a little surprise never hurts! So, I cut up the back and linked the strings to imitate the look of a spine.
Two makes one ...
A brown print t-shirt (front) and a grey t-shirt (back) united into a brand new tank top. New neckline and no sleeves make this a perfect hot summer day garment!
There is a little jewel of an exhibition in town!
Well, I should say, rather, there are some major jewels on display in town ... The Hillwood Museum and Estate is, until the end of 2014, showing "Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post's Dazzling Gems."
Post's love affair with Cartier's jewelry spanned a long time and is famous. She both bought the latest designs available at the time and ordered custom-made pieces. On display, you will see various precious stones as well as the inspiration that generated these spectacular designs. Post appreciated great workmanship; she had plenty an occasion to show off her beautiful pieces during various social events.
There was also a real treat for the fashion designer in me. Post's passion for jewelry was enhanced by her love of fashion. Though the exhibition is just a one-room setup, there are three dresses she owned and wore. And they are, of course, by wonderful designers. Take a look below at a green gown by the Callot Soeurs (1929) or a black satin piece by Jeanne Lanvin (1929). Orry Kelly, a designer to the Hollywood stars in 1930s, also has a piece in the show.
So, while the Hillwood Museum and Estate is certainly known for its collections and gardens, this exhibition adds another reason to go and visit. Reserve an afternoon and spend lovely time looking at amazing sparklers!
I like to think that anything that surrounds me or comes up in my life can be an inspiration for creative endeavor. In my case, my eyes devour objects, colors, and textures around me and my mind then go to work. Objects found in our everyday lives turn into fashion!
Here are several examples of designs I sketched based on random snippets from magazines and advertisements. I used each object to influence my decisions regarding design silhouette and color scheme. Each sketch took just a couple of minutes - I was interested in the very initial idea and feeling I had upon taking a look at the item. No lengthy development was needed.
A simple clutch inspired a dress with color blocking, fabric overlays, and imitation leather closure. A vacuum influenced a shape of a skirt. Glass skyscraper could be a wonderful fabric pattern. Lipstick turned out to be a great inspiration for winter coat sleeves.
Click through the gallery and let me know which one you enjoy the best!
Fashion design is exciting. I am fascinated by the notion that I can turn an idea into a garment and that this garment works on a moving 3D object ... the human body! The 3D element of our bodies is crucial to good design; it challenges me and pushes me to get better. A lazy idea does not work out well; a good idea means functionality and joy from the final product.
As I learn about fashion design and develop my style as a designer, I consistently test my design ideas. I can put the wildest ideas on paper and then easily find out that technically it is impossible to create them in fabric or to incorporate them into a garment. I believe a good design about combining the creative side with the functional/technical side.
For a collection inspired by African tribal wear, I came up with the idea of layering neck covers on top of dresses and tops. The tribal lifestyle calls for layering to easily adjust to changing weather and temperatures from day to night. A piece like the one below would allow the wearer to add a layer, spruce up the color of the outfit, and a bring in a "jeweled" look to their neck/head area. I sketched the idea and then got to work on the dress form. I ended up changing the original design - I moved the seams around; folds became less frequent, the proportion changed. Several hours later, I had a sample, which I ended up using in my final collection.
Do you ever work on something and test out your original ideas to get to the best result?
My 3-dimensional design classes focus on precise sewing skills - I am learning how to create correct patterns, to cut the fabric precisely, and to sew each garment with care and attention.
However, fashion design is also about being able to step away from the intricate instructions and look at a piece of fabric with a fresh eye. And this is where the anti-fit theory comes into play. Below is an example of a top I created using this theory.
It is very important to understand how fabric behaves on the body (in this case on the dress form), how it moves and drapes. Anti-fit theory tests a piece of fabric (e.g., in this case a rectangle with a hole for the head and the neckline shifted) that is not cut in the standard body silhouette and looks at how to works on the body. You can see that once the rectangle is folded and the sides are matched in length, a lovely effect of pleating and fluid draping occurs.
Fun fun times!
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
Check back often, as creativity never sleeps (well, almost never) and surround yourself with joy!