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Art Lessons

Style Under Construction: Fashion Design Workshop

Figure Proportions

"Fashion is architecture: It is a matter of proportions." ~ Coco Chanel

When supermodels sashay down the runway showcasing a designer's glamorous collection, it's hard to believe each gorgeous garment began as a mere sketch in a notebook. Just as architects spend countless hours perfecting a skyscraper's sharp angles and modern edges, so fashion designers carefully craft their vision. Every tuft of tulle or swath of chiffon—like every beam, column, and window—must have its place. The Fashion Design Workshop Drawing Book & Kit by Stephanie Corfee provides a way for budding designers to construct their own sensational styles from the ground, up.

All fashion illustrations start by determining the structure of figure proportions. 

fashion design figure sketch

Unlike traditional figure drawing, however, fashion illustrations tend to display the human form with much longer legs, tinier waists, and broader shoulders to better showcase their apparel. Once designers master a basic "frame," they might want to practice a variety of figure poses to show off a model from different angles. According to Corfee, the figure you draw is really only there as a "hanger" for the clothes, so you want to choose the poses that best serve the garments.

coffee fashion figure drawing

"The figure you draw is really only there as a 'hanger' for the clothes. Choose the poses that best serve the garments."

With a better foundation in figure form, the next sections of the workbook detail a number of classic, trendy, bohemian, and iconic fashions from start to finish. Each style features specific instructions about fabric pattern and texture, hairstyles, make-up, and accessories to customize the look.

fashion sketching kit

Whether you're ready to build your fashion empire, construct a clothing line, or simply love expressing your artistic ability through apparel, this book is a fantastic cornerstone for teens to get started in fashion design.

Have you ever considered the parallels between fashion design and architecture?

Beth Bauer

Beth is a freelance writer residing in Fishers, Indiana with a background in print journalism. Her full time job as a stay at home mom allows her to explore the beauty of art and life through her two young daughters' eyesone finger painting at a time.

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An empty canvas is a living wonder, far lovelier than certain pictures.


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