Design Roughs And Range Building

Becoming a Professional Fashion Designer

Become a Professional Fashion Designer

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Fashion designers produce a series of connected ideas that are later realized in their clothing range. While garments work as part of individual outfits, they share linking elements such as colour, fabric, shape and styling so that, when viewed together, they create a cohesive collection. When a collection is shown on the catwalk it is easy to wonder how fashion designers produce so many new garments. How do their ideas get from paper to the bright lights of the fashion show, and how many designs do they complete to present a full range? Also, how do they create the story of their collection? The simple answer to all these questions is "careful planning".

The first stages of planning should include a thorough breakdown of the design brief. Gain an understanding of who you are designing for, identifying your target market and customer profile. Ask questions such as who will be wearing the clothes you design—how old are they, and are they male or female? Pinpoint the budgets and price points you are aiming for. Is it a couture clothing range or a collection for a high-street store? Are you producing a casual range or occasionwear? What season is the collection destined for? It is only when you are clear on all these points that you can begin to design.

Remember the lessons from previous chapters when planning your fashion range. From discovery of sources of inspiration, and the exploration of ideas in your sketchbooks, will often spring the theme for your collection. This foundation work provides a starting point for experimental fashion sketches, known in the industry as "design roughs" When representing your thought processes on paper, forget about perfection and let your ideas flow freely. Have the confidence at this stage to draw rough sketches without worrying about mistakes and bad designs, although do keep in mind correct body proportions. In this way, you are most likely to commit unique ideas to paper.

Some designers draw ideas onto the figure using a template (below) while others prefer to design Hat (facing page), drawing garments directly onto the page. Find the method that best suits your personal design style, again always using correct body proportions.

Male Fashion Figure TemplatesMale Figure Templates For Fashion DesignPlan Garments Design

To produce your own design roughs, plan the fabrics and trims from which your garments will be made. This design rough clearly shows the differences between the fabrics In both outfits.

A design rough does not have to be well executed or a perfect piece of art. Faces and figure details are not important when designing at this stage. Do not worry about creating beautifully finished sheets—the purpose of design roughs is to assist you on your design journey. As your skills continue to improve, your presentation style will develop.

When producing design roughs, decide which fabrics and trims your garments will be made from. Source fabrics by visiting shops and contacting factories that supply via mail order. For specific fabrics, look on the Internet. Always ask to see a sample and check that you like the way the fabric handles before buying. Attach small pieces of your chosen fabrics to your designs as you draw, to enable you to see which fabrics and designs complement each other. When designing, avoid portraying flat, lifeless fabric. Instead, see it as three-dimensional, considering how ji will drape and hang on the body. Take into account any embellishments you might add. For example, if you intend to embroider or manipulate the fabrics, add experimental samples to your design roughs.

The design rough (facing page) shows the differences between the fabrics in both outfits clearly. This student has drawn the texture of the knit using many close, wavy lines in direct contrast to the smooth fabric of the other garments, which only have paint applied in the areas of shadow.

To develop your designs, use a layout pad. This is a pad of thin paper that allows you to trace ideas easily. Place a template underneath a page and design over the top, adapting the original design but keeping the related template outlines. This method of working not only saves you time, but allows you to see the range developing. Repeating this process of designing over a template encourages a cohesive collection of designs.

At the rough-design stage, start making decisions about colour. Designers often tise a limited palette when building a range so that colours harmonize and outfits can be co-ordinated. The design roughs (below) have been painted using subtle watercolour shades of creams and browns, with greens and pinks acting as highlights. As you produce design roughs your ideas will flow like these, and your designs should be linked by colour and shape. Importance should be placed on the clothes themselves, rather than on the figure. At this stage you should not aim to produce a polished fashion illustration, rather an image that focuses all attention on your designs.

The next step is to build your designs into a range. As you select outfits, you will notice common design themes running through your choices. Repetition is an important tool in creating a cohesive collection. The designs overleaf show how variations of a similar garment have been tried. Sleeve lengths vary, and the necklines change with each design. To encourage your ideas to flow like this, try

These designs are all drawn onto fairly unrealistic figures. However, the small proportions of the heads help to emphasize the exaggerated size of the padded garments in the collection. Watercolour has been used to add detail to the designs and to suggest a colour palette for the range. The paint runs and splashes but it doesn't seem to matter. This student did not spend hours meticulously perfecting the figures or a painting style, yet In the design roughs captures the character of the collection.

Frill Garment Sketch

sketching about six garments on one theme. For example, incorporate frills into a series of garments, changing one feature with each new design. Repeat this process of design experimentation until you have a store of fashion designs from which you can build your range. The easiest way to make a selection for your range is to lay out all your design roughs and choose the outfits that look good in their own right, but which also sit well with others when mixed and matched. You may need to include a selection of balanced separates such as skirts, tops, trousers, dresses and outerwear. A complete, interchangeable wardrobe such as that shown below, in which garments work in harmony with each other, is often the ideal.

When you have built your range, draw it onto one page so that it can be easily viewed as a complete collection. Depending on the size of your range, you may need to reduce your designs on a photocopier or scanner to fit them onto a single page. Think creatively about how to present your collection at this stage because it is the first time you are telling its story. The images on the facing page show various

Split Pin Body Template


These design developments have been presented In an unusual style: joined in the centre by a split pin, the outfits can be fanned out and rearranged to discover which look good together.


These design roughs show the benefit of repetitive design in exploring different detail options. Note how the basic shape of the top Is the same throughout, yet small elements such as the neckline or sleeves change with each new design.


These design developments have been presented In an unusual style: joined in the centre by a split pin, the outfits can be fanned out and rearranged to discover which look good together.


These design roughs show the benefit of repetitive design in exploring different detail options. Note how the basic shape of the top Is the same throughout, yet small elements such as the neckline or sleeves change with each new design.

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  • Steffen Adler
    What is range building in fashion?
    9 years ago
  • cleo
    How to build a fashion range?
    9 years ago
  • ralph
    What are Roughs i n design?
    9 years ago
  • delmina
    How to draw fashion roughs?
    9 years ago
  • gracie clark
    How do design a fashion range?
    9 years ago
  • jaakko
    How many designs are in a fashion collection?
    8 years ago
  • j
    How to make a fullsize garment ILLUSTRATION TEMPLATE?
    8 years ago
  • amanda hildreth
    How rough should illustration roughs be?
    7 years ago
  • jason
    What are roughs for illustrators?
    6 years ago
  • ortensia
    How polished should roughs be illustration?
    1 year ago

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