Fine art and graphics

An important area for the fashion student to explore is print design, and one of the best sources of inspiration for this is the world of fine art. A print designer should be able to imitate the structure and style of a painting, and keep true to its color palette. Twentieth-century modernist painting provides especially rich material, as the fresh brushwork and bright colors lend themselves very well to print designs. Painters favored by textile designers include Dufy (who was himself also a print designer), Mondrian, Kandinsky, Miro, Matisse, and Picasso.

An alternative source is public domain graphic material. This is easily accessible as, for example, books or as clip-art images, available free through the Internet. Great results can be achieved by adapting and coloring these illustrations.

There are no rules about which motifs can be best repeated—in fashion print anything goes! However, if designing a print for a specific garment, you need to consider the cut of the fabric. Prints follow the fabric's grain, so cutting fabric on the bias (diagonally to the grain) will reorient the print. Also, a "one-way" print, where motifs are aligned in one direction, has less cutting flexibility than an "all-ways" print.

the project

Choose either fine art or graphic material as your source. For the first approach, try to imitate the style of a painting that you like and design five textile print patterns. For the second, rework your source material by photocopying, enlarging, and adding marks to create a square design for a headscarf. Try at least three colorways (i.e. make three versions of the design in different combinations of colors).

the objective

• Observe in detail the source material, noting colors, brushstrokes, and textures.

• Experiment with scale and coordination. • If you choose the scarf option, discover how a change of colorway can alter the dynamic of a design.

Graphic Fashion Design Idea

the process

If you decide to design the print patterns, research some postcards of paintings that you think may be suitable to convert into a repeatable print idea. Choose one picture, and observe its various sections and details. Then design at least five prints. Try to work in the style of the artist, taking care to use the same density of color and similar handling of paint or crayon. It can be interesting to experiment with different scales of shape and also to make two or more designs coordinate (because the designs come from the same source, there is a good chance that they will coordinate automatically). Try designing both "oneway" and "all-ways" prints. You will be pleasantly surprised at

< Creating art from art

The strong shapes and colors in the work of painters such as Mondrian lend themselves very readily to print design. Here, key aspects of the original painting were abstracted to achieve a design that refers recognizably to its source yet is itself a unique and beautiful creation.

SEE ALSO

• Investigating architecture, p. 20

• Illustrating bold print, p. 76

how many great print ideas can come from just one painting.

For the scarf project, select your graphics and make creative use of a photocopier. You can blow images right up so that the edges begin to fragment, giving an interesting texture. Then

SELF-CRITIQUE

• Could you imitate the style of your chosen painter?

• Did you make the painting or graphic your own by using it in an unexpected way?

• Did you experiment with scale and coordination?

• Are your colorways balanced?

Fashion Design Prints

< Salable designs

"All-ways" prints are usually more salable than "one-way" designs (which are less economical to use for garments, as more fabric is required to align the print correctly).

▼ Rearranging motifs

Here, motifs were borrowed from the work of Miro and rearranged to form a loose, repeatable original print.

< Salable designs

"All-ways" prints are usually more salable than "one-way" designs (which are less economical to use for garments, as more fabric is required to align the print correctly).

cutout shapes and arrange them in several ways, differing the scale. These images can be juxtaposed with fine lines or other markings. Also experiment with color combinations. When you are satisfied, commit yourself to a design. Stick down the black-and-white images, and photocopy them several times to work on your chosen

colorways. You can then work Into the designs with paint, crayon, and ink. It is often best not to use too many colors; by restricting yourself you simplify the process of balancing colors. You will see that making different colorways of the same design can achieve very diverse results.

▼ Rearranging motifs

Here, motifs were borrowed from the work of Miro and rearranged to form a loose, repeatable original print.

-4 Building a design

These illustrations demonstrate a progression from graphic material to rough print design. The motifs were selected and sketches were made to test the design and the color scheme. The motifs were then arranged in the chosen design, which was photocopied to allow for the use of different colorways.

FINE ART AND GRAPHICS 35

MCriOft

The lines, shapes, and patterns of existing works of art and graphics can provide great inspiration for fashion designers. There isn't a painting In the world that couldn't be made to yield ten print designs, and the potential for manipulating graphic material is endless. The key to success in the first part of the project—using fine art to create print design—is to observe the works In great detail and imitate closely the style and techniques of the painter. In their bold geometric lines, the print patterns shown here have a clearly recognizable source in paintings by Duty and Mondrlan, while being at the same time original designs.

The different colorways of the scarf designs demonstrate how dramatically a new color palette changes the look of a piece. It is often best not to use too many colors; restricting the color palette simplifies the process of balancing colors and makes it easier to achieve a strong statement.

Here, the work of Duty and Mondrlan has been used to create a collection of print designs. Just by taking one small part of a painting and replicating It around the page, a familiar artwork can be reinterpreted into a fresh and striking dress print design.

Here, the work of Duty and Mondrlan has been used to

Fashion Print Design

create a collection of print designs. Just by taking one small part of a painting and replicating It around the page, a familiar artwork can be reinterpreted into a fresh and striking dress print design.

Motiffs That Used Print DesignsScarf Prints

▲ Different colorways

The scarf prints were made in different combinations of colors, demonstrating how much a simple alteration in coloring can change the look of a design.

A An integrated design

The final scarf print has been slightly altered in minor details but still reflects clearly its journey from individual graphic motifs to integrated design. The individual components have been blown up or reduced in scale, using a photocopier, to produce an interesting divergence in line strength.

Sheer Clothing Drawing Art

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Responses

  • gina
    Who designer of dresses think that fashion is an art in ny?
    7 years ago

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