Study this lesson carefully and apply its principles on original work. Keep a note-book handy in which jot down ideas as they present themselves.
The student should also read and study the fashion papers. He must become familiar with the names of principal designers and their work, as for example:
Callot, Jenny, Chéruit, Lavin, Paquin, Poiret, Drecoll, Premet, Redfern, Doeiul-let, Bulloz, Soulie, Douchet, Worth, Beer, Armand, Revillion, Renard, Reboux, Chanel, Callot, Soeurs, Monge, Lacroix, Ilallée, Talbot, Erte, Leon Bakst, Georgette, Lady Duff Gordon, (Lucile), etc.
He must visit the openings and French shops. The newspapers send artists to these shops to sketch the latest designs for their papers. Ideas for new designs may be taken from many things in which one not versed in this art would never dream that they existed.
The very first thing to know is what are the prevailing styles. A design must be simple and have good lines. Long lines running up and down tend to make a stout person look more slender, while lines running around the figure lend breadth to the slim figure. Long lines from the shoulders down are good, but these may be broken at intervals without destroying the lung line effect.
One great thing to be considered in costume designing is proper proportions. Have all proportions interesting. Do not divide up spaces into mechanical divisions.
For example, if you w ant to place very small tucks up and down on a waist, do not make the tucks the same size as the spaces between them, or any mechanical division of the same. This rule applies to cluster of tucks and to the space between the clusters.
Do not open a V neck one-quarter, one-half or one-third way down the front. Consider the proportion of cuffs to other dimensions, also of the size of the pockets to the distance down from the belt, length of over-skirt to under-skirt, etc.
Study Fig. 1. Note where the lines are omitted as indicated by dots. In Fig. A, lines 1 and 2 are continued to the bottom of the dress.
To obtain an idea for a design seems difficult for the beginner. The simplest way for the student to start, is to cut out of the fashion papers parts of different dresses that will accord, and that will make a good whole. Take one waist, another skirt, another sleeve, another collar, etc., all of which place on a nicely drawn figure. All parts of the costume must look as if they were meant to go together. This is good practice; but designs made this way are not original enough to be sold.
The next step in dress designing is to create a modern dress from a modern dress, using the main lines as a foundation. Fig. 1 is taken from Fig. A. See how lines 1, 2, 3 and 4 are preserved, while the design is entirely different. The belt in Fig. A suggests the piece over the shoulder in Fig. 1.
The idea for Fig. 2 was taken from a bird, a bobolink. The designs and colors of the plumage of the bird are carried out on the dress. The bird has a white (W) back with mottled (M) feathers near the head, which come next to the yellow (Y) on the head. The breast and wings are a greyish black (B) as also is the tail. The part where the mottled feathers are may be embroidered in many colors on the dress. Follow the shape used for the wings and the shape of the white back, which extends past the wing line.
Fig 3 is taken from a rug design. See how the shape of the figure repeated so often on the rug is used for the front of the waist and for the collar. The trimming is embroidered with the design taken from the outside edge of the rug. Color schemes may also be carried out.
Be particular about making the back of a dress correspond with the front.
If you can create a design from a modern dress, you w ill be able (if you keep in mind the present style) to create a design from an ancient dress. Obtain books from the library on ancient costumes.
Designers use costumes from all periods in i ¡story for their work. They take their ideas from both court and peasant life. Study the costumes worn by ancients in all countries. The museums are excellent places for inspirations.
Designers pay much attention to the general outline of the whole figure (when dressed), expressed most clearly by the silhouette. Study the silhouette as t appears in different centuries.
Things around you, such as flowers, vases, etc., all may suggest designs and color schemes. Manufacturers of costume materials .ike nicely drawn fashion figures dressed in their materials to advertise their goods. Select a sample of goods and design a suitable costume for that goods, rendering it in color.
Designs may be submitted in pencil only, on the lay figure, or they may be placed on the human figure. These are more pleasing, especially when they are colored. These should be rendered on water-color paper. They may be outlined in pencil, ink, or a different color from the gowns themselves. 'When placing flat washes of color over given surfaces, use the directions for French wrash but use color instead of lamp black. Try all color schemes on separate paper.
Tempera colors are often used. These come in tubes and are applied thick like oil paints. The student may mix white paint with ordinary colors to obtain this effecf, or he can use show-card colors. There are many good books on color; study them carefully.
The student may best decide which branch of " Fashion Drawing he wishes to pur«ue. If it is " Costume Design," he should use every effort to perfect .himself in that direction. If it is " Costume. Illustration," study every detail that applies to this line. He must study the work of successful artists in both branches and try for style. There are many ways of illustrating costumes, try for something clever, as it is the clever thing that counts. Lesson XXX suggests other ways to put in practice what has been learned from this book.
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