Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's Talk About: Mood Boards

It looks like summer is winding down. Not that the weather is changing, but September is almost here, and those leisure free days are at a premium. It's time to start thinking about dressing again: wearing more than a brief dress and flip-flops.

This wonderful photo of the 1940's "New Look" is so inspiring. It's a "Vogue" cover from 1948, and so much of what we see here is on trend for the coming year. The overtones of gray, the slightly Victorian air to her look, the vintage mirror and cool men's hat, gloves and umbrella all tie this theme together.

Why not make a mood board showing a current fashion trend you like. Start by gathering up photos of inspirations, colors, fabrics and trims to create a design direction for your own 'look' or wardrobe. It's fun to start with a photo you like, then bring in elements that support the look you are going for.

Here is the original 1948 photo with my fashion inspiration from it. I used current color and style trends to put this together. I found the coat design at Butterick 5824 This coat is a new retro style designed by blogger Gertie. The wonderful soft orange-red tea rose is from FairytailFlower on Etsy. The jewelry photos are of vintage pearls, necklaces and other accessories that helped me to visualize this 'look'. I also included a velveteen swatch in black to complete the design direction.

Mood boards are an important part of the design room. They help to show everyone involved the 'story' or 'concept' for a single item or a whole line. This is a perfect example of non-verbal communication. Originally these were created from magazines and newspapers, but as digital media has grown, so has the available image pool. More designers are using digital technologies to create their mood boards. The added bonus is that these can be easily sent by email or text, and can be printed up when several copies are needed.

While Adobe Photoshop is more commonly known, other technologies such as PowerPoint can be used to compile a mood board. To use PowerPoint, simple create your collage on a single slide. You can even add print. Save this image as a jpg, rather than a PowerPoint presentation and you can use this in your own work, blogs and other media.

This original article on mood boards is part 5 of a series on fashion design that are posted here at Pintucks. The contents of this article are the intellectual property of this blog. Please do not copy any content to another blog or digital media without contacting me first. I will ask that you link back to this article and give reference to this source within your feature. If you are using content for a research paper or project, please link back to this page in the traditional academic format, thank you!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Broadway Melody of 1929

Flappers in full motion! The great talking movie and early musical "Broadway Melody of 1929" is a fantastic way to see flapper fashions as they were worn that year. This black and white film was an Oscar award winning movie in its day. Now it seems quaint at times, but the overall peak into the past is well worth it.

Here is a short bit from the beginning of this film. Catch the two flappers who are featured in this segment. They are fun to watch.

If this teaser makes you want to see more, Netflix has a copy to rent, or if you are lucky, maybe your local library has a copy too. My VHS copy turned up on the sale shelf at my favorite thrift store.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

COLOURlovers: Playing with color

Have you seen COLOURlovers? If you love color, you'll want to add this website to your list. In fact, subscribe to their emails and you won't miss a thing. You can even participate by creating your own color palette like this one by using their tools.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Talk About: Color Trends

Once we have a line on what fashion influences will be used for style inspirations, it’s important to turn to color selection. You have probably noticed that nearly every designer and brand shows a color group each season that seems very controlled and carefully edited. A quick look at the Elie Saab illustrations shows examples of this color control. There are times when one color or group seems to be popping up in every line, store and brand. How does that happen? How can a designer find colors that will become popular?

In fashion, color is usually arranged in groups that may have from six to a dozen or more colors. Usually these colors are all related in brilliance, shade from light to dark, and clarity. This means that they will all look great together. When looking at a color group, it is usually possible to find each basic color represented: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. These may not appear clear or bright, but usually they are all present in a color group. This slide of Pantone colors from 2010 shows how each color can be part of a color group.

Color groups also reflect traditional color selections for each season. While it is possible to show new directional color for a season, it is important to provide colors that the customer wants to wear during that season. Most consumers have expectations for each season of the year, and often won’t venture into new color territory until they have seen that color worn and are comfortable with it. Most often, nature influences what the customer wants to wear. Generally spring colors relate to new floral and nature tones. Summer colors can be bleached out or very bright and pure. Fall colors also call on nature with many autumn leaf tones and darker colors. Winter has the darkest colors, but jewel tones are also present for color clarity.

Color trend prediction can be found through major global resources such as “Pantone”, “Premiere Vision”, “Lenzing”, and “TFL”. They evaluate new found color groups and make selections for future trends in apparel, home d├ęcor and other industries. Usually color trends can be found about two years in advance. Because this information is costly, the general consumer has to wait until about one or two seasons ahead when that information is no longer ‘new’ to find it cost free.

Probably the first place for us to look for new color trends is to check out a few websites. FashionTrendsetter.com has a great overview each season of the color trends that have been predicted. Pantone is an American color service that originally determined how to label colors so they could be co-ordinate internationally without error. When you do color research, you will often notice that each color has a Pantone reference number. Each major season they predict a color group. Pantone also recommends one strong color each year.

For 2012, the color is Tangerine Tango.

By noticing color when you shop the market and collecting information on color trends, you will start to notice how color comes and goes in fashion as well as styles. Try looking back to colors from a year or two ago. Are these colors still for sale? What price bracket sells which colors? High end apparel often has color choices that are rare at the lower price brackets. Often these colors are expensive to produce, so they never make it to the budget level fashion product. Seeing fashion in person will help you to learn more about color selection, since the computer monitor does distort and betray color information.

Color Trend Resources:
Pantone Fashion color report
Lenzing color trends

This original article on spotting fashion trends is part 4 of a series on fashion design that are posted weekly here at Pintucks. The contents of this article are the intellectual property of this blog. Please do not copy any content to another blog or digital media without contacting me first. I will ask that you link back to this article and give reference to this source within your feature. If you are using content for a research paper or project, please link back to this page in the traditional academic format, thank you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Elie Saab: COUTURE, F/W 2012-2013

The current Fall Winter couture collection from Elie Saab is worth a mention. The texture, drape and fabric quality speak of a level of couture we seldom see. Rich and luxe, the silhouettes are so elegant and refined.

A trip to his website is a treat. The couture show has a "detail" view for each garment, giving us a rare chance to see each gown closely. That is where these wonderful fashion illustrations can be found.

The illustrations are so much fun to see. It seems like we seldom get an opportunity to see both sketch and gown at the same time, but here we have both! I have included a few for you to enjoy--but you'll want to catch the rest HERE

Elie Saab: Home, and opening video

Elie Saab: biography

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sewing on Trend: Loose Ties

The 1970's are really coming on strong this fall. It seems nearly every major brand has a silky dress or blouse with a loose tie at the neckline. You can sew up your own from the original patterns and fabric for a fraction of the cost a new 'retro' copy will cost.

Both of these patterns are from the 1970's. The upper design is from 1974: Simplicity 6758. This has a nicely fitted silhouette. There is a shoulder yoke and slightly puffed shoulders on the sleeves. We have it here in a hard to find size 16.

The black polka dot dress is by French designer Pierre Balmain. It is Vogue 1857, and dates from the later 1970's. He also shows shoulder yokes and a gathered sleeve in the bodice. This is a dress, but it could easily be cut with length to become a blouse. Our pattern is a size 10.

Fabric suggestions here are from the shop's vintage fabric collection. All are silky and wouldn't they drape nicely in the style of these loosely tied tops? Don't you think that these styles are perfect with casual jeans or dressed up for work? I am putting a blouse like this on my 'to do' list for this month.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let's Talk About: Sources of Inspiration

Sources of Inspiration

For several centuries, women’s fashion has borrowed ideas from existing sources to inspire new design ideas. While some of these style influences are obvious, other examples are very subtle and may go unnoticed. Understanding where inspirations can be found, and how they affect new styles will help to create a strong designer. Inspirations provide fresh, new design ideas that may include, silhouettes, trims, textiles and other details for the design process. The most common areas where fashion designers look for ideas are:

Historical Costume: Men’s and Women’s fashion from Egypt to the 1990’s create a huge range of styles to choose from. The practice of going back in time to find fashion ideas has been occurring for centuries. One recent trend influenced by historical costume is the “Goddess” look that is inspired by Greek and Roman gowns.
Regional or Ethnic Costume and Textiles: Apparel, fabric, embroidery and trims from a country or culture can give new life to classic or popular silhouettes. Sarong wrapped skirts in fashion are inspired by the wrapped garments worn in South East Asia, India, Africa and other regions.
Men’s Wear and Military Uniforms: Suits, coats, buttons and braid from the history of men’s fashion and military uniforms provide tailored details, silhouette and textile ideas for both current women’s and men’s fashion. Military styles vary from the fitted jackets of the Victorian era to current camo looks.
Active and Team Sportswear: Apparel for activities and sports such as football, tennis, cycling, swimming and yoga can provide new looks in fashion. The Olympics can help to jump start a trend in color blocking and fitted knit garments.

Review current trends to locate examples that are derived from the styles listed above. What seems to be popular now? Find one popular inspiration and locate a image or photo of the original style that is is a good match to the current fashion trend. The original style might be found in a painting, photo, book illustration or other source. Both garments should have obvious similarities that depict how the original source inspired the current fashion.

The slide for this article is an example of “Sailor Inspiration” in fashion design during the 20th century. Try creating your own collage or digital group. Some current examples might be Scottish tartans, Silk Road Ikat fabric, English riding costume, 1920’s flapper dresses. Collages such as these are often called “inspiration boards” and are used in design rooms to show in what direction a collection is going. It helps to give the group a theme that will identify the brand or designer’s new line.

Now that we can see where fashion trends get their inspiration from, next week we’ll look at how to create original inspiration mood boards that you can use for your own designs or blog.

This original article on spotting fashion trends is part 3 of a series on fashion design that are posted weekly here at Pintucks. The contents of this article are the intellectual property of this blog. Please do not copy any content to another blog or digital media without contacting me first. I will ask that you link back to this article and give reference to this source within your feature. If you are using content for a research paper or project, please link back to this page in the traditional academic format, thank you!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer of 1906: The Candid Street photos of Edward Linley Sambourne

These telling photos from the streets of London were taken in 1906 by Edward Linley Sambourne. There is a full collection posted online at the Kensington and Chelsea library. Just viewing these amazingly candid shots brings a sense of humanity to fashion and society from over a hundred years ago. Viewing the collection is a time machine moment.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Easy to Sew: Make your own Dress

Do you want to try sewing a dress that is easy to sew and looks great, but don't know where to start? Here's a few ideas to start with. The first two patterns are vintage, and the third is a modern take on vintage styles. All are easy to sew up in this gorgeous pink cotton floral print. All are available in the shop this week.

On the first pattern, the "A" line shaping just skims over the figure. This pink dress with the bias cut collar is a silhouette that is very flattering on figures with curvey hips. It is a vintage pattern by Simplicity 7625 from 1968. When finding patterns, look for "A" line shift styles like this that have simple darts and 2 main pattern pieces.

Hate to sew zippers? This second pattern is a super straight shift style that has only side bust darts. Chances are you may be able to get away without sewing in a back zipper if the dress slips on over your head! Look for vintage pattern Simplicity 4471 from 1964.

For a modern fit, I like this third pattern, a discontinued McCall's 4768. Although it has only 2 main pattern pieces, the upper body is shaped by princess seam lines. Princess seams are the best way to fit a curvey bustline because you can make adjustments for a perfect look. The flutter hem detail is optional, so this pattern is perfect for a slender sheath dress project.

When it comes to sewing, this pink floral fabric is an easy to sew cotton sateen that has a smooth finish. This is a recent textile with a vintage look, and it would be perfect for sewing any of these dresses.

You may have noticed that I selected sleeveless styles for this group. That will save you time and energy spent sewing in sleeves. When fall arrives, just throw on a cardigan and tights, and you'll wear your dress into the cooler weather.


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