Fashion design: learn how to draw clothes

You want to work in fashion, become a fashion designer, and work with a team of designers, but you're still a beginner at making illustrations for haute couture or women's or men's ready-to-wear. Drawing your ideas is the basis for creating new collections, and with a few tools and a few tricks, fashion enthusiasts can quickly reveal a creative idea to the world.

Prepare the appropriate equipment.

Pencils, markers... Be prepared with the essentials.

For the making of fashion sketches, the textile designer, as well as the casual fashion enthusiast, won't need a large arsenal of tools to draw relatively realistic clothing models, which can give a good idea of the pattern to be made later for the fashion designer. As a general rule, a pencil, a felt-tip pen for inking and a set of colored pencils provide a good basis for making convincing fashion designs. A simple sketchbook is then sufficient to have a working area on which to draw.

Digital technology at the service of high fashion.

Even if the basic tools allow to work efficiently, and that many people in the fashion world remain bound to them, the young fashion designers appreciate more and more the use of digital tools to improve their sketches and work more rapidly. The latter have indeed many advantages. Thanks to software such as Photoshop or Illustrator, the fashion designer will appreciate the use of layers for their textile creation, and thus be able to create and assemble each garment without risking to ruin the whole drawing. In the haute-couture houses or simply in the professional world of styling and clothing, computers also allow the fashion designer to transfer his/her ideas more quickly to the model makers so that they can work on them, and create technical files for the dressmakers.

The simplicity of pencil and paper, the power of a graphic tablet

If digital technology has many advantages for the production of prototypes, the challenge for stylists and designers remains to conserve the sensation of pure drawing, so as not to lose quality on the sketches. The drawing tablet becomes essential to realize fashion creations, and the graphic tablet like the Repaper by ISKN is a real added value in the ready-to-wear design. Thanks to its technology that allows you to work directly on paper, and to use your favorite drawing tools thanks to a magnetic ring to be placed on them, it gives you the opportunity to sketch as you would on a drawing book, without having to look at the screen, which would require a particular hand-eye coordination. Thanks to tools like these, fashion design is becoming much more efficient, and this is confirmed by the fact that textile fashion professionals no longer hesitate to use them to make their sketches and patterns.

How to draw a fashion sketch?

Draw the model.

The first step in order to be able to realize a haute couture fashion illustration is to draw models, in poses that you could find during a fashion show, in order to realize the rendering of the clothes in real situation. If some people will tell you that you absolutely have to go to a fashion school or a design school, which are certainly the pathways that make it easier to enter the fashion industry, in reality there is no need for a beginner to go through advanced drawing courses, such as those offered in applied arts, in order to make his or her first fashion drawings. Different techniques help the fashion designer to be creative and to put on paper what he or she has in mind. The important thing, when you sketch a model, is not the details that you will bring to it, but only to make appear the silhouettes that will highlight your textile creations. The simple technique is to make, along a straight line segmented into ten parts, each element of the body: head, bust, hips, legs, and finally the arms and extremities. By doing this, you will have simple models, in different poses, but allowing the fashion designer to highlight his or her clothing creations, in a more attractive way, later on.

Design clothes and accessories.

When one wishes to become a stylist, or fashion designer, it is above all to present clothes that meet the current fashion trends. Therefore, one should not hesitate to have a confident style at this stage of the drawing. If you use a graphic software, it is advisable to use a new layer over the models, to avoid the risk of having to redo everything and conduct many time-consuming retouching in case of error. The only thing left for the fashion designer to do is to create a collection of original, creative and trendy clothes, whose only rule will be to respect the proportions of his/her mannequins. It is then more than advisable to move on to the details to obtain a professional result, worthy of the greatest stylists. Don't forget that representing the texture of the materials is essential for the model maker to be able to make the patterns accordingly, and thus give the right elements to the dressmaker, who will make the finished product. The haute-couture sketch is first and foremost a technical drawing, and one must be able to see the folds on soft materials, and the texture details on a textile like fur or wool for example. You can also add decorative prints at this stage. A prototype for a summer skirt, for example, should have a light feel to it, which should be felt in the design. So don't forget this important detail if you want to bring your creations to life later on.

Ink and color your fashion design.

In order to finalize his or her fashion sketch, the illustrator will have to go through some final adjustments. These are required to be able to visualize the important elements of the drawing, and imagine the garment as if it were already in his or her wardrobe. Inking with a felt pen allows you to emphasize the main lines of the clothes, and in the same way, it is advisable to use a new layer to make it, as it is final and does not leave room for error. You can then move on to the colorization of the design, and the shading, very important to reflect the pleats and textures of the garment or accessory. This element of graphic design is not to be neglected for Fashion Art illustrators, in order to obtain a realistic rendering ready to be presented.

All that's left to do is make your clothes.

Once your sketch is done, and that it represents properly your initial idea, improvise yourself as a pattern designer, or send it to someone whose specialty it is, before sending it to a sewing workshop, unless you are not afraid to make the said sewings by yourself. Fashion design is open to everyone, and why not, with practice, or after training to become a great designer, you can be part of tomorrow's designers in a fashion house, or even imagine organizing your own fashion shows and dress a maximum of people with your own brand.

The simplicity of pencil and paper, the power of a graphic tablet
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