Basics of clothing design, the main stages of design

Designing clothes – the process of creating a new model of clothing with prescribed properties, including research, creating sketches, models and models, calculations and construction drawings of products, production of prototypes. On the basis of the pre-project research and analogues analysis a creative concept is born, which is first of all embodied in the image. The image is born either on paper when you create a sketch and then embodied in the layout, then in the model, or when you work directly with the material in the process of prototyping, and the layout is embodied in the model.

The main stages of design

Design activity is focused on the design of new things, new qualities and new functions of the object environment, so it is undoubtedly an innovative activity.

In the process of designing it is necessary to apply both the data of science (sociology, forecasting), and image-associative methods, allowing to fill the form with meaning and socio-cultural content.

The basis of designer’s design is a comprehensive consideration of social needs.

The main stages of clothing design are:

  • – analysis of the pre-project situation;
  • – synthesis of the analysis results in certain types of shaping;
  • – development of a creative concept related both to specific design tasks and to the main trends in the development of design culture as a whole;
  • – definition of the main tasks;
  • – application of various design methods in search of the best options for solving the design problem.

Pre-project situation analysis. At the pre-project analysis (pre-project studies) conducted at the initial stage of design, comparing data on the desired functions of the thing, a set of things or the environment, the appearance of the designed product and the environment, the method of manufacture, the presence of analogues of the intended object (analogue – a product similar to the designed by function, operating principle, conditions of use). Pre-project analysis reveals the shortcomings of existing products, the wishes of consumers.

Pre-project analysis includes socio-economic analysis, functional analysis (research ways to use the product), functional-cost analysis (research needs structure of different groups and the most cost-effective ways to meet them), process analysis (research materials and possible ways to manufacture products), shape analysis (research the structure of the product and its analogues, the search options composition, design and plastic solutions).

Synthesis of the results of pre-project analysis in certain types of shaping. After the pre-project analysis, the results are synthesized by object object objectification (structurization) and harmonization (composition).

Synthesis in design is the process of mentally ordering the design information selected in the design analysis, and connecting them into a single whole – the design image. The structure formation of single objects is called form formation. The methods of synthesis may be either systemic (combinatorial, analogue), or spontaneous and intuitive (associative). In the process of synthesis, the results of conducted research are implemented in specific methods of shaping: combinatorial, analog, figurative-associative. Combinatorial and analog methods of costume shaping are well enough studied.

Development of a creative concept. In the process of synthesis, a creative concept is formed – the most important link in the solution of a design problem. A conception in design is the main idea, the semantic orientation of goals, tasks and means of design. This topic is discussed in more detail in paragraph 5.2.

The definition of the main tasks of the design project. Work on the design project begins with the definition of the main tasks to be solved in the process of design. First of all, the purpose and function of the designed thing, design and technological requirements are defined. Thus the purpose of design can be both modernization of an existing product, i.e. giving it a more modern look (design by prototypes, or styling), and development of a completely new product on the basis of a fundamentally new problem statement or previously unknown technological principle.

Design methods. In the search for the best options for solving the design problem, the designer applies such methods of clothing design as modeling and prototyping.

Modeling in design is a process of representation, presentation or description of a whole object (system of objects), situation or functional process. There is art and graphic modeling, design and graphic modeling (creation of a sketch), retrospective, constructive, perspective, technical and computer modeling.

Design and graphic modeling helps to form and express the design intent.

Project-graphic modeling implies:

  • – correspondence of the graphic form to the content of the design problem;
  • – variant search and experimental nature of the draft design;
  • – the logical sequence of design search and a systematic approach to solving the problem.

The designer creates first a sketch of the future object in his imagination, taking into account existing design ideas, technology, economics of production, the achievements of artistic culture (architecture, painting, sculpture) and performs its preliminary graphic image (search sketch, form-sketch). The search for new solutions and selection of optimal variants is carried out on paper. The graphic image is then supplemented with three-dimensional models, a description of the appearance and mode of practical use of the product. As a result, it is necessary to give a full idea of artistic and stylistic and color-texture solution of the designed product or group of products (finished graphic sketch – conceptual design) and design, proportions and silhouette model (technical sketch).

The most common way of modeling in design is retrospective modeling, based on the analysis of prototypes and analogues and the formulation of the design problem based on this analysis. However, this method does not allow to fulfill the main task of design – the creation of new things, and is aimed at improving the existing ones.

Another way of modeling in design is constructive modeling – modification of functions and morphology of a thing (morphology is the material form of a thing, organized according to its functions). Constructive modeling can be: corrective, when functions and form of a thing are improved; transitive, when functions and morphology are subjected to rethinking for giving the object new qualities (as an example we can give a direction of deconstructivism in clothes design); projective, when functions and form of a thing are created again (the work of Japanese clothes designer I. Miyake).

The most innovative way of modeling in design can be considered perspective modeling, or projection, which is engaged in the study of the desired prospects of society and develops projects that can contribute to the achievement of this ideal.

The fashion designer works together with a technologist and a designer, first developing an experimental model (prototype), which is tested, including on a control group of consumers. Then, after selection, correction of defects and approbation, an industrial design (working draft) is developed, which is transferred to production for subsequent replication. The working draft includes the following documentation: design drawings, product assembly cards, color and texture solutions cards.

Technical modeling – the process of developing drawings and a garment pattern based on the basic model or its graphic representation. The developed sample serves as a standard of form and design for mass production.

Computer modeling, probably the most perspective in terms of the development of the newest technologies, has recently become increasingly important in modern design. Computer design has become an independent direction in design based on working with visual information (computer graphics, WEB-page design). Computer processing of photo and video materials, the spread of digital media of visual information (for example, fashion photographers have practically abandoned the traditional retouching, processing photos on the computer, which allows not only to remove defects, but also to change the color of the eyes, hair and skin model) in the future will probably lead to the rejection of live photos and top models. Computer design aims to create illusory reality and virtual images.

In 2001, France already had its first virtual photo model, Eva Solal, who began her career as a mannequin on the cover of Madame Figaro magazine. Her creators were M. Mianet, F. Levy and A. Ley- ronne, who founded the world’s first company specializing in the creation of virtual characters.

Computer graphics, based on programming forms and serial, makes it possible to develop multiple versions of the forms, to simulate the object with the smallest detail. Three-dimensional computer graphics allows you to create three-dimensional images of non-existent objects. Computer programs are used by stylists (selection of makeup and hairstyles, clothing designs for a particular person), textile and knitwear designers (development of ornaments, color options), fashion designers (creating sketches of models), designers and technologists. The development of computer modeling is closely connected with new production technologies, for example, in printing and advertising. In the production of clothing is also becoming more widespread computer programs that can significantly reduce costs for the introduction of new models and increase flexibility and mobility of production: computer-aided design system (CAD), design programs that not only build a basic framework based on standard and individual measures, make it model features, but also simulate three-dimensional image of nonexistent model.

However, impressive perspectives of computer modeling application in design do not mean reduction of designer’s role in creation of new objects and object-spatial environment. The computer is not capable to replace the designer, remaining only a tool (the same as a pencil or a brush) in hands of the creator, allowing only to facilitate and accelerate some stages of designing. Most importantly, the computer is not capable (at least for now) of creating new ideas, new concepts that constitute the essence and value content of design activity.

One of the methods of design is prototyping – the creation of three-dimensional images of projected objects in the subject environment.

Modeling in design is making mock-ups of items from various materials in full size or to the required scale. A model is a material spatial reproduction of the item being designed. Volumetric models give an idea of the spatial structure, size and proportions of the object. Model fabric (cotton calico, percale, muslin, etc.), paper, nonwoven materials (fleece), films and artificial leather (when modeling clothes made of leather) are used as materials for modeling clothes, plasticine is sometimes used for modeling shoes and accessories.

In modern fashion design, design and graphic modeling and layout are used most often in combination.

A clothes designer, in principle, is able to independently design and produce a product without the participation of other specialists, as he has all the necessary skills. But when it comes to industrial design, other specialists – primarily the designer and technologist – are also involved in the various stages of design.