This month I focus on the theme FLOWERS IN FASHION . And without pretending to know or say everything about it, you’ll probably at least agree with me that flowers have been a great source of inspiration for fashion designers over the years.
It doesn’t matter which year you look at, but flowers always come up as a theme. In the simplest form as a print on fabric (ready-to-wear); but in haute couture collections, this theme mainly translates into richly worked fabrics, lace and embroidery.
Flowers in fashion: prints ready-to-wear
As you can see, the application of flowers in fashion in these examples is fairly simple: you choose a fabric with a floral print and make a garment out of it. Et voilà! This way is so simple that even the most simple designs get a floral twist. The quality of the print design and the quality of the fabric make or break the idea.
The print can be a true representation of a flower, or an artistic or graphic impression. An all-over print or a large flower.
How do you get original fabrics? How do you make sure you don’t make clothes that you then find all around you? Or worse: where a celebrity shows up on the red carpet and you discover that someone else is wearing a creation made of the same fabric … painful.
Fortunately, there are still good addresses for special flower fabrics in the Netherlands and beyond! My favorites include Nanucci Tessuti in Amsterdam, and Janssens & Janssens in Paris: the ultimate collections of printed silks! At the time this blogpost is published, I am about to go to Paris to visit Première Vision, the fair for fabrics and haberdashery! I mainly get inspiration from this, and combine it with a few days strolling through Paris … as my friend in France would say: génial!
But even if you’re creating unique designs or small runs, you can easily have your own print printed with the flower-theme. One of the websites that makes this possible is Spoonflower . For more options in terms of fabric choice (including a rich variety of environmentally friendly fabrics), you can also opt for House Of U , a Dutch company with a worldwide reputation in the field of digital printing on fabric. The quality of this is very good.
Design your own flower(print)
During my holiday in January I took a number of courses to become more familiar with the use of the iPad App PROCREATE , which among other things allows you to draw and process prints yourself in a continuous pattern. With this I hope to soon apply what I am sharing with you here. How fun would it be to design your own lining fabric for a Chanel-inspired jacket, for example?
Yes but… I can’t draw!
And now I hear some of you thinking, “Yeah, but I can’t draw!” I’ve got you covered! This is exactly what I am: I am not a natural at drawing. But still I draw every day now! Of anything and everything. It’s a nice way to put your thoughts on paper, even if only in rough form.
By searching Google for for example ‘draw a rose ‘, you get to see a world of examples. Especially the step-by-step explanation of how to draw a rose is very enlightening. Really! Give it a try. You will be amazed at your first try and how good it already looks.
I myself recently came across a booklet in the local bookstore ‘Drawing FLOWERS in 10 steps’ . Immediately I have bought it of course. Again a simple representation of the process. This gives you confidence in your own abilities.
Use tracing paper to discover patterns
Do you remember what tracing paper is? Translucent paper you can use to trace a picture? This is another way to parse shapes in photos. By experimenting with this and omitting more and more lines, you can slowly get to the heart of what makes a flower a flower. Then you can use it to create your own variations. Don’t think you have to take days off for this. You will be amazed at what you can achieve in a defined period. Just set a timer for an hour and go!
Print or embroidery?
What you have done to develop your own print, you can also apply to embroidery. Designing your own embroidery also starts with 1) unravel what you like in others and 2) make a variation (or even several!) on that.
I think a good example of this are the designs that students make during the broderie d’art training , in which they fill in the same design at their own discretion. Apparently you think it will all look the same, but it doesn’t. Everyone puts something different in it. And not only the use of color is different here. By doing this assignment, they discover which materials work well in smaller and larger surfaces.
Are you crazy about flowers? And are you looking for more depth as a result of this short introduction? Then keep an eye on the newsletter. Soon the completely renewed course will be launched around five different ways to make 3D flowers from fabric. You do not need any specific previous education for this. Being handy with a needle and thread is enough. Simple stitching on the sewing machine is helpful. This is truly a course that can boost a shift from making daily garmens to creating unique couture pieces. So make sure you stay informed and sign up for the newsletter ( see homepage ).
The program of workshops, masterclasses and training at Saskia ter Welle is aimed at (prospective) professionals in the fashion industry who are looking for an opportunity to specialize in couture techniques. Enthusiastic, ambitious amateurs are also welcome! In the courses, a balance is sought between technique and inspiration, between knowledge and skill and artistic expression. Discovering one’s own handwriting is seen as crucial in the distinctive craftsmanship of each student.