Fashion Design, according to Wikipedia, is the
art of the application of design and aesthetics to clothing and
accessories. What this means in laymenís English is that fashion design is
creatively putting together ideas for the creation of clothing and
accessories. Fashion designers take inspiration from history, culture, and
art to inform concepts for clothing collections.
The basic process of fashion design begins with fashion illustration.
First, the designer sketches ideas for the clothing. Elite designers,
unless designing a specific commission piece for say, a celebrity going to
the Oscars, do not usually make stand-alone garments. They come up with a
concept for a cohesive collection that contains a of looks. These looks
are supposed to be understood within context of one another.
After the concept
and sketches have are finished, fabric is then either made or bought to
accommodate and create the looks.
Clothing can be made from either drafting patterns or a process called
draping. Patterns are thin paper templates which are used to mark the
different shapes of the pieces of fabric that will later be cut and put
together to make a garment. A pattern has markings on it to show where and
how the fabric being cut out will connect to the other pieces of fabric,
as well as how that piece of fabric will be altered to create a
three-dimensional garment. Information printed on a pattern can tell a
seamstress how many pieces of the pattern should be cut, where darts are
to be made, which area is to be gathered, where the fabric should be
folded, where pockets will fall, and much more.
Draping, on the other hand, is a method of
creating a garment without a pattern. Instead, a mannequin or live model
is used and fabric is draped over. The designer then manipulates the
fabric and shapes it as desired. Both techniques are very difficult and
require an understanding of math, proportion, construction, and various
sewing techniques. Not all designers make their own clothes.
Oftentimes--and this is especially true with already established
designers--designers create the initial concept or idea and other people
work on the construction of the garment. However, designers do need to
know a good deal about construction in order to create ideas that will
work in three dimensional forms.