Art deco is defined as “The predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors, and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.”
In my product sketching class, we were assigned for our midterm to create a mock clothing line, including thumbnails, swatches, illustrations, style numbers, and information on market competition, pricing, etc. Since we were esstentially allowed to do anything we wanted, I went with a 20’s art-deco inspired womenswear line. I was inspired by the All Saints Pipali dress that I saw in stores last year… it still makes me shiver just looking at pictures of it, its so pretty (below)
the 20’s were such an interesting time for fashion, the beginning of the 20th century brought the relaxation of the silhouette- women were no longer expected to squeeze into corsets and restrictive under garmets, instead they were “hanging loose” in shift dresses. Here’s an excerpt from wiki that tells us more.
“After World War I, the United States entered a prosperous era and, as a result of its role in the war, came out onto the world stage. Social customs and morals were relaxed in the optimism brought on by the end of the war and the booming of the stock market. Women were entering the workforce in record numbers. The nationwide prohibition on alcohol was ignored by many. There was a revolution in almost every sphere of human activity. Fashion was no exception: as women entered the workforce and earned the right to vote, fashion trends became more accessible, masculine, and practical. Flappers were a popular name given to women of this time because of what they wore. The constrictive corset, an essential undergarment to make the waist thinner, became a thing of the past”
After some inspiration, I’ll include my sketches from my line. Keep in mind, they aren’t finished. This project’s still in progress, and I’m NOT A DESIGN STUDENT (very important- I’m in marketing, so I don’t have much skill in this regard) I just thought it would be fun to show you guys what I’m working on.
And now for the goods- These are my rough croquis sketches for some of my dresses, separates, and outerwear. I have 16 total pieces in my line, but only illustrations for a number of them. the technical drawings are really boring, they look like patterns, so I’m just showing the croquis because they look more interesting. I began color illustrations on a couple of them today as well.
dress & color illustration. I like the b&w’s better.
top and pant separate. together it looks like a jumper, i know. plus color illustration.
top and skirt. this is my least favorite, i think. it just looks like a stereotypical “beginning fashion student” design drawing. like they use in pamphlets trying to coax high schoolers to come to their school.
now this one i’m proud of. just picture it in a sage green satin with lace and chiffon. yum.
And there you have it. that’s what i’ve been working on this morning. this aspect of design is so much fun- just the dreaming and drawing. its the technical things like pattern making and draping that keep me in the marketing track. i tried my hand at sewing freshman year and never again. i want to give my sketches to one of my friends in the design program, just for fun, to see what they look like manifested, and because i often look at the design students drawings and wonder whyyyyy they want to be designers. that is so mean, i know. but unless your passion for sewing and construction comes hand in hand with a breadth of fashion knowledge, current styles, plain and simple good taste, and a little more maturity and creativity than most, you’re sort of wasting your time. thats so harsh, i know. but its frustrating when i see these girls wanting to be the next stella mccartney and their favorite store is pac sun. good taste begins with tearing yourself away from what you’re TOLD is good, and finding out what looks good on YOU. also look at fashion in a more broad way, referring to other decades, as current styles are not always the most flattering or even the best looking. knowledge is power here, the more you expose yourself to, the more discerning you learn to be, which allows you to develop a unique, tasteful sense of personal style that draws from your pool of knowledge as well as current trends so you still have that element of “now-ness.”
Whats also VERY important, is that is doesn’t require a lot of money to accumulate good taste/educate yourself. A vast knowledge of designers, collections, etc can be gained from magazines, the internet (women’s wear daily has become my bible, i check it every morning) television, and walking around observing street style. My personal favorite ways of staying in touch are style blogs, and now that i live in the city, walking around and people watching. and as for what you wear- money doesn’t have to be an issue either. if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll remember that while i lived on the island, almost EVERYTHING i bought came from the thrift store. a couple bucks can look like something from Nordstrom if you know how to- dun dun da dun! (word of the century, word of my life) STYLE! knowing how to put an outfit together, what outfit is appropriate for what occasion, and what you can do with what you already have, is a skill that i wish was more encouraged.
That’s why i’ve gained a new appreciation for minimalism in fashion. the idea of having, say, less than two dozen garments total, in simple clean classic designs, and being able to mix and match for days or weeks. the emphasis being on a very high quality accessory or your makeup or jewelry. and lots of neutral tones too, again using color for emphasis, not as a staple on every quadrant of your body. i sound really snobbish and overreaching here, and i’m sorry. but this IS my personal place to vent. and like i said last post, nothing gets me riled up quite like clothes!
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