Fashion Design: Combining Aesthetics with the Environment

Whilst brainstorming for ideas for my fashion design project, I wanted to create a collection that both represented my design philosophy as well as being related to the environment that the clothing would be placed in. Henceforth, a dynamic creative explosion of ideas emerged and it marked the start of an exciting design journey ahead.

To enable a flow of creative energy, I decided to set an ambiguous platform on the environment which I would like the clothing of the model to be inspired from. I finalised on three scenes – land, air and sea. The models in each scene would adorn clothing that included elements from their respective environment, in addition to the concept of a dinosaur inspired fashion design collection.

To better draw a focus for this design project, I did sketches of dinosaurs and narrowed down to the usage of the unique bone structure and armour-like coverings as part of the design element of the models’ clothing.

Next, I sketched the body language of the respective models, taking note of the form of the body contours so as to best complement with the flow and the lines of the clothing. Sketching is an integral part of the development of clothing ideas and I did roughly 50 sketches before settling on the best few clothing designs which best married the environment with dinosaur inspired elements.

Using the selected designs, I further improved on the sketches by stylization of form and elogating the proportions. I began to add colour onto it, taking note of the lighting and flow of the drapery, making sure that the clothing complements with the position and the expression of the model.

Using watercolour, I explored a range of colour combinations to bring out the mood and intensity of the model in the land, air and sea scenes. After drafting and sketching, I produced the final selection of designs which best combined the environment with the clothing. The style of the fashion design remains very personal – elegant yet assertive, rugged yet chic.

While my intial sketches were from pencil, subsequently to ink and progressively to watercolour, I decided to further enhance the quality of the design using Adobe Photoshop CS. I manipulated the contrast of colours and cleaned up the lines on the form to bring out the beauty of the clothing on the model.

The project was a success as these models formed the foundation of another exciting project which comprises of a 2-D graphic animation of these models in their environment, using After Effects 6.5 programme. I believe that while fashion design may be one design aspect, it can be corporated into different design programmes to produce another dimension away from pure drawing and illustration. Embracing Final Cut Pro, After Effects 6.5 and 3DMax would definitely differentiate one from the traditional concept of fashion design

About The Author

Alice Wu is a freelance graphic designer, painter, fine artist, music junkie and a fashion fanatic. Her works are hosted on , and she divulges much of her time in her pursuit for the excellence in the arts.