Design Drills, First Round

Do you remember when I said in order to prepare for Passion for Fashion I would do 30 minute ‘designs drills?’ Funny enough, so do I. This past weekend marked the first round. In order to create the same surprise I will get when I hear the inspiration for the first time at the Expo, I asked my Facebook followers to throw out some ideas. I wrote them all down, and drew them randomly from a bin. These are the four I drew.

Michigan in the Fall, as suggested by Sue P.

Maybe it’s because it was the first one, but this one had me stumped for the first few minutes. I roughly sketched a few things out, but I really wasn’t feeling any of the ideas. I think I was trying to implement leaves as a design element a bit too literally. I image searched ‘Michigan in Fall,’ and found this:

Photo credit: Abhi Ganju

The Rorschach test quality of the photograph really struck me. The forest’s reflection in the water creates such an interesting bilateral symmetry. So I flipped the image and tried to reproduce the splash of warm colors mingling with the grey-neutral of the tree trunks. I imagine the center front and back of the dress is rouched, to mimic the rippling of a stream. As a final design element, I opted for a jagged sleeve hem and neckline to imitate the silhouette of leaves.


Mother Goose, suggested by @darwinsdaughtercouture

Admittedly, this one also had me stumped for the first few minutes of the challenge. When I pulled this, I kept thinking that I had to make a look out of a goose. I leave waterfowl dresses to Bjork (#tbt). After image searching it, I found photos of women in mid to late 17th century country garb. With that period in mind, I had an easier go of it. I sketched something out, but wan’t wholly satisfied with it:

MGsketchI was trying to work a peplum into a contemporary suit jacket, as well as a 17th century corset into a vest. All this, and trying to legitimize a neck frill as well. Ugh. Too much. The second attempt is much better, me thinks.

One of my favorite aspects of women’s dress in the 17th century is the how the dress was put on and fastened. The dress was more like a robe. The vertical front edges only reached to the bust. The dress edges were then sewn into an elaborately decorated corset front, called a stomacher. Hand sewn. Every day. (If you want to see what I’m talking about, watch the opening credits of Dangerous Liasons. But really, if you haven’t seen that movie, just watch the whole thing.)

I wanted to incorporate the stomacher and robe-dress idea into a fitted jacket. Adding the peplum only solidified that time period’s silhouette. To make it a little more fun, I added the front fall shorts. Throw on some tights, knee socks and Victorian style ankle boots, and there you have it.

The Great Pumpkin, suggested by Becky O.

Linus is my favorite Peanuts character. So when I pulled this, I felt like I wanted to focus on him, rather than trying to make an outfit out of a pumpkin. After all, The Great Pumpkin represents the existential dilemma Linus faces of continuing to believe in something he cannot prove and that no one else believes in.

Other then The Great Pumpkin, I associate the infamous blue blanket with Linus. Then I quandaried: what would a dress look like if a child wrapped a beloved blanket around itself? Something like this I hope.

I added Linus’ signature colors to the belt to drive the idea home. It’s okay, but I felt like I was missing the point. I had a few minutes left in the half hour, so I played around.

This look just came together. It’s very 90s, which is great in my book. An orange ‘puffy coat’ with vertical segments, and an A-line sundress. The green to yellow fade is meant to look like a pumpkin flower blossom. Throw on some green combat boots to add to the 90s-ness.

Gaia, suggested by Jenny R.

I cannot say this enough – this was my favorite one to do!! I was initially very intimidated by it. It is the Earth Mother, after all. I started by looking at photos of flowers, and trying to come up with a way to incorporate them without making a petal skirt or a tulip skirt.

Just playing around, waiting for something to stick, I drew a petal around the shoulder. It made me think of shoulder spaulders on suits of armor. With that in mind, I started approaching this character like a warrior instead of a traditional, beautiful goddess type. There are few things as scary and tenacious as Mother Nature.

After looking at different styles of Medieval armor, I used petal shapes to create tunic plate armor. At this point, fauna needed to be represented. I drew in a neck guard, gauntlets and shin guards, imagining them to be made of tooled leather, and adorned with the bright bird feathers you see in the sketch.


I guess I did end up with a petal skirt…

Expect to see more of these soon. I still have five hours worth of unused suggestions.

Listening to: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim OST





One thought on “Design Drills, First Round

  1. Pingback: Riddler costume, contruction | sceneripper

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