A good place to start is the topic of inspiration. It is the beginning of all things pretty.
Where do people find inspiration for good design? How do they find it? What is considered inspiring? These are all questions that will have different answers depending on who you ask.
I find a lot of my inspiration comes from nature. You can’t beat the beautiful colors and incredible lines mother nature creates. I even based by senior line in college on the principal of flowers. Their rich and intoxicating colors and whimsical lines are still a constant source of ideas. My mind tends to draw dresses following the tailored shape of tulips and pictures fanciful creations with full, twirling skirts mimicking the happiness eluded from daisies and sunflowers. All of those flowers happen to be my favorites.
Literature has also been a big source of inspiration for me. The book I just finished, The Night Circus, was incredible. It painted romantic visions of 19th century tailoring and craftsmanship. Every aspect of the book focused on excellence and the unexpected. I really felt like I was living in this magical dream. I suddenly started seeing evening pieces that were subtle, but dramatic with contrasting features. They all had sparkles as well. As so many good things do.
My number one source of inspiration has to be the fabric it self. I love fabric. I could easily become one of those crazy hoarders you hear about, but everything I would be hoarding would be fabric. I already have my small collection started.
Really beautiful fabrics are just one of those things that dictate design. When I see something that has a beautiful print or interesting texture, suddenly my mind sparks with ideas. There should be a contrasting color to make it pop! The skirt should be pleated to show the structure detailing. It’s endless inspiration. And looking at fabric is one of those things I never, NEVER, get tired of doing. The days I get to meet with fabric reps are usually some of my favorite work days.
Below is one of my designs from college. It is still one of my favorite things I have made to this day. I had a sketch and set out to find the fabric I had envisioned, only to find it didn’t exist. At least not at any of the fabric stores in town. Instead I found the most delightful yellow eyelet. It was playful, cheery, and not what I had in mind. I bought it anyway because I loved it.
The design was in need of some tweaking to accommodate my new love. However, I think the final product came out great! It is years later and I still get excited seeing this baby hanging in my closet.
P.S. I loved the fabric so much, I even made a shirt out of it. See bio pic 😉