From My Mind to the Illustration...
Now that I have a clear inspiration to help guide my silhouettes and colors along with a range of fabrics in different textures and weights; it’s time to start sketching the collection.
I sketch hundreds of different ideas for each collection. I start by laying out my inspiration and fabrics. Then I just start drawing different shapes and silhouettes in my sketchbook. I think about the season I’m designing for, as well as past designs I’ve made. I think about how the fabric will look best and in what ways to incorporate each different texture into the collection.
The image below shows some of my pre-illustrations from the upcoming holiday collection coming out in mid October. I make notes on what fabrics I would use and what would go into making the garment.
This next image shows how I take shapes from my inspiration images. (This is an old family photo from one of the Holley + Sage team members!)
Now it’s time to edit. I make a list of the items I want to have in the collection. For example, for holiday I need to have dresses, rompers, tops and pants that can be layered for the cold winter days. I want to make sure I have enough variety so the items can be mixed and matched and so that nothing is too similar.
After I have an idea of the number of pieces I want in the collection, I move on to my favorite part! I move from my sketchbook to Photoshop where I create the final illustrations. For each collection I draw one croquis that I use for all the designs. Croquis is a term used in fashion design to describe the sketch of the model on which you are putting the clothes.
Below is the croquis I am using for my Holiday and Rifle Paper Co. collections. I styled her to match the frontier/Navajo inspiration.
After I have my croquis, I draw the garments. This is when I can fill in the sketches with fabrics to see if the vision in my head will actually look good. Working in Photoshop also allows me to add and take away details easily. The image below shows some of my Photoshop process for designing one of the Rifle Paper Co dresses.
Another thing I do is test the different silhouettes. For these next collections I want to be able to offer each dress in a romper version as well. Below you can see how I tested different romper designs. Which one is your favorite?
After hours and days of illustrating, I eventually decide on a final illustrated collection. These are not always the final designs, as you will see in my next step, Sample Making, coming next week :)