Fashion Design: Basics for Creating a Fashionable Clothing Collection

by Ethan More

For many people who sew, knit, or felts clothes, sooner or later one of the steps on the creative path is to create their own collection. Why? Because a collection is solid, it can be shown at some contest, it can become a pearl of your portfolio, and simply because sometimes one thing is not enough to fully reveal an idea.

Your way of creating the collection will look something like this:

  1. Idea;
  2. Targeting;
  3. Concept;
  4. Color;
  5. Assortment.


The first and most important thing for creating a collection is an Idea. It’s quite difficult to make a whole collection without vision, without an idea, without inspiration. It’s true for any field: nature, architecture, and history. There can be several sources of creativity, and they have to be specific. That is, not just “Italian style,” but “the national costume of Italy.” Just note that one or more of your choice of sources should be traceable in the entire collection. You can’t do one model in a modern style and another in a cyberpunk style.


The second thing to do is to decide who and on what occasion your collection can be worn. In other words, Targeting is important for the collection – who it is intended for. Is it a collection of luxury clothing? Evening gowns for the prom? Or maybe it is a theatrical costume and its purpose – only a catwalk or a stage? Pretty bad if you wanted to make a collection of casual wear, and it looks like “not quite couture,” too theatrical for life, and too simple for the theater. Okay, if your collection is layered, and as a whole creates a pretty interesting, even theatrical image, but if you break it down into its parts – everything is easy to wear.


After analyzing the first two points, you can deduce the Concept of the collection. What do you want your collection to be? What impression to make? For example, you have chosen as inspiration the Art Nouveau era. It is characterized by smooth, fluid lines, soft forms, and floral ornamentation. And let’s say you have outerwear. This all influences the creation of forms and silhouettes of the collection and, of course, the choice of fabric. At this stage, you have to decide practically everything – what fabrics, what finishes, what shapes, and what features will be in the collection. And at the same time not to overdo, to give up some tricks.


Of course, Color is important. It’s difficult to combine more than 3-4 colors at the same time. But if you still do it, try to make some colors dominant, and let other colors serve as a background. It’s all about the proportions, how much you have in your masterpiece of one color in relation to another. Think of the collection as a whole, not as a separate piece.


You should also think about the Assortment. It depends on the purpose of your work, of course. You can have your emerging designer clothing collection consisting only of evening dresses, or mainly coats. But if the purpose allows, it is more interesting to diversify the assortment. Let there be dresses, and skirts, and pants, let there be layering, jackets, vests… And don’t forget about details like pockets if the clothes are casual.

Putting together

One more thing to consider. If you are preparing your collection for a contest, make sure you choose a category you’ll be participating in and don’t go beyond it. It also makes sense to sew for an XS-S size, because that is what professional models at contests wear.

Developing a fashionable clothing collection is never a quick deal, the eye can get lost, so if you trust anybody like your family or friends – ask them for an opinion. Sometimes it is useful to abstract from the fact that it is your creativity, to look at it as if it is somebody else’s work. And then, looking at it with fresh eyes, you can make a decision – did I really do something worthy?


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