February 26, 2012

To be a fashion designer: Do fashion designers have to know how to sew?

For some reason, I've seen this question many times. And if you have the same question (as "Do fashion designers have to know how to sew?"), it can be caused by 2 situations:
  • you hope to go easy way;
  • you are afraid that you won't be able to learn how to sew;
In first case, better to forget about it. To follow the easy way is the best way to destroy self-development.
What about second case, it is completely normal to be afraid of something new and unfamiliar. But I want to calm you down, in a learning process of fashion, when you come to a successful decision in fashion design (by sketches, for example), you definitely would want to learn how to create these clothes as soon as possible. It can be very strong motivation, and once you will want it, nothing will stop you from start sewing.

For some conclusion: Yes, fashion designers have to know how to sew and it is important.

I want to list a few reasons besides the obvious and the most often used.
1. The ability to sew and create clothes by yourself it is a great advantage compare to other designers.

2. You can objectively look at your design only after you turned your sketches  into a physical object.

3. The last and the most important
I am convinced that only by creating and sewing clothing, you can understand the plasticity of the material and its behavior, how the fabric covers shapes and metamorphoses while moving.

February 24, 2012

To be a fashion designer: for those who want to, but doubts it.

With this post I start a new series of articles for the beginners and even for people who just thinking about joining fashion.
There are so many small details that seem obvious for experienced designers, but can be a stumbling block for beginners and I want to share these details. So, my goal is to inspire and give confidence to people, who want to join this industry.

Very often for some reason, if young men ask "can I become a fashion designer? how to become a fashion designer?", they receive the same answer.

But before we point this out, I want to tell you short story:
I wanted to get a dog, it necessarily had to be a Husky. I dreamed about these wolf-like dogs so much! So, I started to looking for any information about dogs, dogs training, breeds. And once I learned it all, I found local forum of breeders and owners of the Huskies. Already somebody created topic like "can you give me some advices on getting Husky?", I opened it...and instead of advices, any information or encouragement, I saw:
- "We have the feeling that you like these dogs just because of their popularity in the movies. We don't  think you can grow up them, it's hard work."
Aw, wow. Later on, I noticed the same attitude of the owners of other rare or interesting breeds.
Maybe it makes them feel special. 

So, the same story with fashion design. Probably, you would hear answers like "It's a tough competitive business. There is no place for the weak. It's all about connections and relationships."
Ok, it is. But it does not matter you have no place in this industry. And don't forget: everyone sees what he wants. And where one person sees tough business, other would see dynamic creative activity

For those who want to become a fashion designer, but doubts it, I want to tell a few things: 
  1. Fashion designer is a creative profession, but it requires a lot of work. The result may not come immediately.
  2. In real life, it's not as shown on TV. Glamour, parties and pictures with the celebrities - this is not something that should be your motivation.
  3. But if you want to give something to the world, if you want to create a piece of an art or just express yourself - it is definitely your place
  4. To be a fashion designer is a really creative and interesting way to develop yourself, and spend your lifetime.   
Versace A/W '12 at Milan fashion week, fashionising.com.


February 21, 2012

Archetypes in Branding (Part 2).

"Branding.. umm, it something about big companies and definitely not about my small clothes collection",- may be you are thinking while reading title. But what is brand?
Brand is a feature that identifies one seller from another. Name, colors, symbols and other features are working together. But I'm convinced that the most important is the creation of some story around your brand. This story  does not necessarily have to be truthful or to have the  traditional structure (the beginning and the end).
When I'm saying "story" I mean image:
  •     who is your character? why did she choose your clothes?
  •     what her personality traits? what set of values she has?
  •     what her favorite things, places, books? 
Archetypes will help you to create story, that would be familiar to many people.
In my previous post I showed you picture with 12 archetypes with 4 main "personal trait" or some "will" that cooperate each 3 types of 12. 

First time I found out that a lot of people of art professions use archetypes, when I visited master class of famous russian brilliant stylist and hairdresser Denis Osipov. He has a school for stylists, and most of their lessons are based on archetypes. For my list of archetypes (below), I took examples of people with different hairstyles. 
So, archetypes divided into groups by desire

Change: people who want to change something
  1. Hero - change the world, "everything is possible", to be strong.

  2. Magician - move the progress, to make dreams come true, futuristic

  3. Outlaw - "rules are made to be broken", revolution, rebel

Group Belonging: people who want to feel part of a group
  4. Jester - to live in the moment with full enjoyment, play, joke

  5. Lover - to be surrounded by love, to be attractive (by the way it's the favorite archetype of magazines)

  6. Everyman - the regular guy/girl, to connect with other people, to belong

Order: people who want to feel the stability and order
  7. Caregiver - to protect and care, to help others, altruist

  8. Ruler - the boss, leader, to control, responsibility

  9. Creator - to realize a vision, creativity and imagination, artistic, perfectionism

Self-knowledge: people who want to be free to explore the world and themselves
  10. Innocent - romantic, dreamer, to do things right, to be happy

  11. Sage - to understand the world, intelligence, thinker, philosopher,

  12. Explorer - " the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world", journey, the seeker

Of course, people can't be divided into groups exactly, a lot of them will find themselves in 2-3 or more groups at the same time, but the foundation can be found.

Archetypes. Intro (Part 1).

The most important thing is the details. Oh, I love to repeat it for myself like a mantra. And for being a professional, you should not only be able to analyze a complex picture, but also to know as many details as possible.

Knowledge of archetypes can become necessary details or just give you an advantage.

You may be familiar with the archetypes from works of Carl Jung. He believed that archetypes are “ancient or archaic images that derive from the collective unconscious”. Archetypes symbolize fundamental human desires, motivation and emotions. There are 12 archetypes in our modern marketing, which are 12 different types of people with its own set of values and personality traits.
I'll show you the list of these archetypes:

The picture by Bianca Cawthorne.

All this information above means that you can divide all people into groups (at least approximately) and find the key to everyone. One of the main aim of art, in some sense, is to find keys to the people, so we can use this as an instrument.

February 19, 2012

Does fashion designer have to be a good make-up artist?

Fashion designers and makeup artists are used to work together. Every picture in fashion magazine is the result of hard work of a team of professionals : designers, make-up artists, stylists, photographers and so on.

But what should you do if you don't have this amazing professional team?
I suggest you to learn more about the make-up! For sure, it will help you in the future.

Reason 1: You will be able to create the whole image by youself. Clothes, style, make-up.
If you are just a begginer without business connections with good make-up artists, you would feel free to experiment by yourself.

Reason 2: If you are working with some professional make-up artist, you need to explain your view and style. You need to speak their language!

And returning to the title of this article, of course fashion designer doesn't have to be make-up artist, but should be able to orientate in this area, evaluate the result and offer ideas.

Make-up is a self-contained extensive part of the beauty industry. It has its own trends and fashion, famous masters and events. I'm going to write posts about types of appearance, structure of face and how to develop  make-up scheme according on that structure. But before, I want to list the main directions of make-up, that you can find interesting:
  • holiday make-up (evening, a wedding)
  • catwalk make-up 
  • make-up for lookbook 
  • make-up for stylized photoshoots (I wrote about this type of photophoots before)
Each of these directions has own details, I hope you would find it interesting!) And for the end of this post, I found something for your entertainment, Estée Lauder's Virtual Make-up Tool (not for PR!): http://www.esteelauder.com

February 14, 2012

Is it possible to develop your sense of style?

So many times I heard something like this: "I have no sense of style..if it had been, I could become cool fashion designer/illustrator/make-up artist..". It is fair to everyone else "if".
if  I had enough free time
if  I had enough money
if  I had talant and luck
forget about it.

It is absolutely possible to develop sense of style and to be honest, it's possible to achieve almost everything you want, except travel in outer space may be.
I do not want to sound like hundreds of books on motivation, but believe in yourself is very important in such a competitive industry like fashion
So when it comes to learning, you should not doubt. Sense of style can be just learned. 

As I seen before in other media, there are many advices like "read a lot of glossy magazines, try to copy their style and later on you will be able to create good looks by yourself". I'm totally disagree. It looks like a simple way, but it won't give you the full picture.

So, this is my advices how to develop sense of style:

1. Expand your horizons. It is best to start with books: classics and books on art.
In addition to general education, it gives you some sense of beauty. Now, this feeling is largely distorted and suppressed by the modern culture, so that an understanding of the sources is essential.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml - nice list by BBC, including authors like Jane Austen, JD Salinger, Lewis Carroll and many others.

2. Pay attention to painting and art. It can be great source of inspiration and also you will get used to harmonious combination of colors and the laws of perspective.

3. Analyze works of the great designers. History of fashion is a very eloquent. And try to note the difference in the works of masters and understand their own style.
4. And only here it's time to read and draw some conclusions from magazines. 

If you really would follow these easy advices and go deeper into classic books (including modern literature, but worthwhile), learn history and evolution of art - while looking on pictures in magazines you won't see "cool clothes", but finished composition of lines, shapes, colors and fashion.

Good luck and waiting for you comments to discuss.

February 12, 2012

Tip: review and try all color trends 2012. Photoshop tutorial.

This is a little trick, that will help you to choose the colors for the collection or just try some color trends on your own models. Easy, but very helpful!

The main aim of it:
  • choosing color scheme;
  • compare color with each other;
Sometimes I use it to make final decision before buying fabric or submit project.

1.  Take original file and open in Photoshop. Choose bright photo with sharp picture.

2. Prepare color scheme. I took color trends Spring 2012 for this example. Create new layer (Layer->New->Layer) and paste this palette. Make it invisible for further work.

3. Take the Polygonal Lasso Tool(L), zoom in and select the garment that you want to change, right click on it and select Layer via Copy to duplicate that part.

 And after copying selection on separate layer, you have something like this:

4. Make visible palette and hold layer with your garment selected. Use Eyedropper Tool on needed color. Take Brush and paint all over the selection.

After all these actions we have:

5. Important: Make sure, that selection of your garment is still exist! Select your main layer (background, your photo) and press CTRL+Shift+U.

6. Right-click on layer with selected garment and choose "Blending options". Choose Blend mode "Overlay". That's it!:)

You can control saturation of cover by 2 methods: 
1) Opacity in "Blending Options" 
2) With selected garment, select your main background layer. Press Image->Adjustments->Brightness/Contrast.

If you have any questions write to me on Google+ or e-mail.