An Introduction to the Clothing Design Process
Fashion design is an art of applying aesthetics, design, clothing structure and functionality to clothes and its accompanying accessories. It is highly influenced by current trends and culture and varies in place and time. Some fashion designers explore the relationship between humans and clothing at a very basic level, whilst others go much deeper, exploring the psychology of dress.
One of the most important things to consider when studying fashion design is how a garment fits or doesn’t fit. The term ‘fit’ refers not only to how a garment looks but also to how it feels to the wearer. Clothing that is too tight squeezes and cramps the body, which may lead to back pain. Conversely, clothing that is too loose exposes areas that are less than flattering. The term ‘loose fit’ is used to describe a range of garment lengths, not just for women, but for men as well.
The study of clothing design tends to be grouped into two major areas: women’s and men’s clothing designers. While women’s clothing designers normally produce items for ladies’ evening wear such as cocktail dresses and evening gowns, men’s clothing designers may create work for work wear or casual clothing. However, some clothing designers may work with both sexes, particularly those who have specialized in either men’s or women’s clothing. For example, Jean Paul Gaultier is famous for creating unique and fashionable men’s clothing items.
Clothing styles change throughout time, as do social views about them. During the 19th century, for example, dresses were long and flowing and were meant to be worn over the waist. During the 1950s, the style for dress was more relaxed, emphasizing the legs and arms. Today, fashion clothing designers continue to experiment with new styles and to make previously unimaginable items available to consumers.
Designers learn about the various factors that influence consumer behavior and about the social attitudes toward clothing design. They apply these theories to the production of fashion items, particularly clothing designs. Fashionable clothes need to satisfy a number of criteria, including form, color, and proportion. Applying design concepts to clothing design enables designers to fulfill these criteria and to make fashionable clothes that look appropriate to particular age groups and social attitudes.
This article is an attempt to introduce you to the clothing design process. It is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of the concepts that are used by clothing manufacturers today. If you would like to further explore the subject, there is a wealth of literature at your disposal.