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Fashion design


Fashion design is the art of application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as bracelets and necklace. Because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes.

Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn. They have a wide range and combinations of materials to work with and a wide range of colors, patterns and styles to choose from. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses.

Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case of haute couture or bespoke tailoring. Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market, especially casual and every-day wear are called ready to wear.

Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion house, as 'in-house designers', which owns the designs. They may work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers. The garments bear the buyer's label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels, under which their designs are marketed. Some fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-end fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-end fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, and children's fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a 'name' as their brand such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, or Juicy are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a design director.



  • A fashion designer conceives garment combinations of line, proportion, color, and texture. While sewing and pattern-making skills are beneficial, they are not a pre-requisite of successful fashion design. Most fashion designers are formally trained or apprenticed.
  • A technical designer works with the design team and the factories overseas to ensure correct garment construction, appropriate fabric choices and a good fit. The technical designer fits the garment samples on a fit model, and decides which fit and construction changes to make before mass-producing the garment.
  • A pattern maker (or pattern cutter) drafts the shapes and sizes of a garment's pieces. This may be done manually with paper and measuring tools or by using a CAD computer software program. Another method is to drape fabric directly onto a dress form. The resulting pattern pieces can be constructed to produce the intended design of the garment and required size. Formal training is usually required for working as a pattern marker.
  • A tailor makes custom designed garments made to the client's measure; especially suits (coat and trousers, jacket and skirt, et cetera). Tailors usually undergo an apprenticeship or other formal training.
  • A textile designer designs fabric weaves and prints for clothes and furnishings. Most textile designers are formally trained as apprentices and in school.
  • A stylist co-ordinates the clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photography and catwalk presentations. A stylist may also work with an individual client to design a coordinated wardrobe of garments. Many stylists are trained in fashion design, the history of fashion, and historical costume, and have a high level of expertise in the current fashion market and future market trends. However, some simply have a strong aesthetic sense for pulling great looks together.
  • A fashion buyer selects and buys the mix of clothing available in retail shops, department stores, and chain stores. Most fashion buyers are trained in business and/or fashion studies.
  • A seamstress sews ready-to-wear or mass-produced clothing by hand or with a sewing machine, either in a garment shop or as a sewing machine operator in a factory. She (or he) may not have the skills to make (design and cut) the garments, or to fit them on a model.
  • A teacher of fashion design teaches the art and craft of fashion design in art or fashion school.
  • A custom clothier makes custom-made garments to order, for a given customer.
  • A dressmaker specializes in custom-made women's clothes: day, cocktail, and evening dresses, business clothes and suits, trousseaus, sports clothes, and lingerie.
  • An illustrator draws and paints clothing designs for commercial use.
  • A fashion forecaster predicts what colours, styles and shapes will be popular ("on-trend") before the garments are on sale in stores.
  • A model wears and displays clothes at fashion shows and in photographs.
  • A fit model aids the fashion designer by wearing and commenting on the fit of clothes during their design and pre-manufacture. Fit models need to be a particular size for this purpose.
  • A fashion journalist writes fashion articles describing the garments presented or fashion trends, for magazines or newspapers.
  • An alterations specialist (alterationist) adjusts the fit of completed garments, usually ready-to-wear, and sometimes re-styles them. NOTE: despite tailors altering garments to fit the client, not all alterationists are tailors.
  • An Image Consultant, wardrobe consultant or fashion advisor recommends styles and colors that are flattering to the client.
  • Breward, Christopher, The culture of fashion: a new history of fashionable dress, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003,
  • Hollander, Anne, Seeing through clothes, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993,
  • Hollander, Anne, Sex and suits: the evolution of modern dress, New York: Knopf, 1994,
  • Hollander, Anne, Feeding the eye: essays, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1999,
  • Hollander, Anne, Fabric of vision: dress and drapery in painting, London: National Gallery, 2002,
  • Kawamura, Yuniya, Fashion-ology: an introduction to Fashion Studies, Oxford and New York: Berg, 2005,
  • Lipovetsky, Gilles (translated by Catherine Porter), The empire of fashion: dressing modern democracy, Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 2002,
  • McDermott, Kathleen, Style for all: why fashion, invented by kings, now belongs to all of us (An illustrated history), 2010, — Many hand-drawn color illustrations, extensive annotated bibliography and reading guide
  • Perrot, Philippe (translated by Richard Bienvenu), Fashioning the bourgeoisie: a history of clothing in the nineteenth century, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994,
  • Steele, Valerie, Paris fashion: a cultural history, (2. ed., rev. and updated), Oxford: Berg, 1998,
  • Steele, Valerie, Fifty years of fashion: new look to now, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000,
  • Steele, Valerie, Encyclopedia of clothing and fashion, Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005
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Wikipedia

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