Idea begins with inspiration and inspiration begins with motivation.
From idea to realization there are several steps and they do not necessarily always follow the same scheme. Research is important at every beginning to understand the market, the competition and recent trends. Often, you also get inspired and get ideas about which direction you want to go.
In fact, in most projects designers are required to make a trend analysis, including color forecasting, first. Color is big, although it is also true that designers go out of the box. Some designers are known by the colors they use. For example, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger are known for patriotic colors. They will always have red, white, and dark blue in their collection, and often with the stripes. They also use bright colors and gold. Every designer uses black a lot, and no color has ever come close to it in the world of fashion. Black is a signature for fashion. Still, every season there is something very characteristic about the trends.
Trend research takes us to the mood board. Next is material choice and sketching. Sketching is usually very good brainstorming concept, but I personally like to see the material before creating the look. Style may be everything we see as the end result, but style is mainly the silhouette and has to do with the fit. Of course, this “fit” also makes the designer. In fact, weather you believe it or not, I knew how to sew all my life, but still chose to go to school of fashion to learn how to make a pattern! It involves more than we think. Once you find your silhouette, the rest is mainly up to fabric.
A long time ago, when I was working in the fabric store, they used to say it’s all about fabric. So many times it proved true to me. Fabric has its way of being made for certain looks, so you’re half way there when you know your fabric. For me, fabric makes its way to the garment, and it directs the style. Let’s not forget that most designers also design their own fabrics. Of course, for high fashion any type fabric is good for any style, and it is when we go against the odds, that we create something unusual and new.