Saturday, 29 January 2011

So what exactly does a fashion designer do?

Fashion is in a constant state of change. This change is driven by what the consumers what, which is in turn driven by the economy, news, pop culture, media, and weather. If the consumer's expectations change, then fashion will have to change as well. There are fashion forecasters who study these changes, take to the streets in search of new fashions, and make educated guesses as to what will be popular the following year. Fashion designers take this information, determine what will sell the best for their target market, and design accordingly. But what exactly do they do?

Usually, fashion designers will work on a design team. This team is usually headed by a lead designer. Sometimes, they will work together and determine what the colours of the season are whilst other times, they will use various fashion forecasting companies' outlook to determine what collection of colors to go with for a particular line. This collection of colors is known as a "color story". Based on their target market, styles will be designed. There should be an appropriate mix of basics (things like boot-cut and skinny jeans, solid-colored tees and camisoles) with trendy and fashion forward items (such as uggs). Creating a good balance of these depends on who you are designing for. In other words, are you designing for a store like Zara, the Gap, or a department store like Kohl's or M&S? Chances are, as a designer you will be working with a team on a specific area of the market your company serves. As a designer, it is a good idea to learn more about your specific target market, what they are like, and what they want. As much as you may want to design something amazing and one-of-a-kind, you are limited by your budget and what styles will ultimately sell. For instance, as much as you might want to design a gorgeous tube-top, mid-thigh length dress with leggings to match, it may not sell as well if your target demographic is professional attire for women in their mid-40s to mid-60s.

A designer not only comes up with ideas, but must do things like purchasing trims, organizing  materials, and yes -that evil word- paperwork! It is necessary to document all the steps in the process, to include what has been ordered, what styles have been created, whether or not a particular style has made it past a design review, and what colors the style will be created in. If a particular color or style didn't sell well the previous season, this should be noted. If it is a basic style, then it may need to be updated. If it is a trend that was popular for a while already, it could be that the trend is no longer popular. Maybe changes in fit need to be made (in which case, the patternmaking and technical design teams should make necessary changes).

Once a particular idea has made it past the first review, a sample of the garment will be constructed by part of a team of highly-educated sewing team. After a set number of samples have been constructed, they will go through an additional design meeting. Eventually, the designs for a particular season will be chosen and then the design will begin on the next season. Throughout the entire process, the design team is constantly working with other areas of production, whether inside or outside the company. Therefore, teamwork, cooperation, and compromise is incredibly important throughout the whole process.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Why Is Fashion Important?

The ways in which people have behaved and dressed has changed throughout history and differs from place to place around the world. It is not only influenced by the society and culture of a given place, but also by weather, environment, and the personal experiences, beliefs, and values of an individual. By looking at the way an individual or group of people dresses, we can learn something about who they are and the society they live in.

Sometimes, what people wear is controlled by government regulations. Throughout history around the world, there have been various sumptuary laws that have controlled who is allowed to wear what. In western Europe, such laws were once practiced in order to prevent the rising middle class (bourgeoise) from dressing like royalty. In China, dragons were once symbolic of the emperor and others were not allowed to wear such a symbol. Sumptuary laws are not the only laws that have controlled what people wear. For instance, during World War II in the United States, the length and yardage of fabric for women's skirts was controlled due to fabric rations. Currently, there are laws in most countries worldwide regarding how modest men's and women's dress must be.

Weather can also be a major influence on what people wear. In some countries, layers are necessary in order to protect the body from the sun and/or cold. Additionally, certain natural fibres are better intended for hot weather rather than cold weather, and vice versa. For instance, while wool is a great insulator of heat (even increasing in warmth when first dampened), linen is a comparably worse insulator of heat. This means that wool is better intended for cold climates and times of year whilst linen is better suited for hot climates and times of year. Tights are great to wear in winter because they feel warmer due to their compressive qualities while loose clothing is much preferred in hot climates as it allows for better air circulation.

Fashion can also be used as a form of self-expression and adornment. People may dress to identify with a specific group of people, or with a particular performing artist they adore. Alternately, some people deliberately stray from mainstream fashion because they want to be seen as unique and one-of-a-kind. Others may choose not to follow mainstream fashion simply because it isn't important to them. If the way in which an individual dresses is not accepted by the culture and society in which the person wants to be accepted into, then the way in which the individual chooses to dress may change.

Fashion is ultimately important because it is a form of communication. You are communicating to others who you are and what is important to you, whether or not you realize it. The same way of dressing could be viewed completely different in two or more areas of the world. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what is acceptable and what is not in a given society. 

What influences the way you dress?

Friday, 21 January 2011

What is fashion?

What is fashion? According to, fashion can be defined as "a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc." and also as "conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., esp. of polite society, or conformity to it". According to this definition, it is what is perceived to be acceptable and seemingly normal way of conducting oneself in society. If one wants to be seen as being "in fashion", then one must not only dress a certain way, but also behave in a manner that is deemed acceptable by other members of the society. It can be influenced by politics, culture, law, society, and individual preference. Although behavior will be addressed from time to time, this blog endeavors to focus on how fashion relates to prevailing means of dressing, influences of dress, and fashions around the world. What does fashion mean to you?

Welcome to Global Fashions!

I would like to take this time to welcome everyone to my blog. I really hope you enjoy it! This blog is intended to discuss fashion around the world to include business news related to fashion, fashion trends, industry jobs, and relevant travel subjects. Currently, the blog will have semi-weekly posts, with plans to expand into daily posts by February. For this month, the focus will be related to the question, "What is fashion?" Why is fashion important? How does it differ from place to place? And perhaps most importantly, what role does it play in our lives? Stay tuned for February's posts where these topics and many more will be discussed in detail!

Everyone is welcome to comment here as much as they'd like, but please keep it appropriate and respectful. If you have any special blog requests, do not hesitate to mention it to me. I would love to hear feedback from any and all of my blog viewers.

Once again, welcome and enjoy!

Yours truly,
    Miss Lori.