Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Design Elements: looking for design inspiration


When I attended FIDM in the fashion design program I learned to draft patterns using two different methods (draping and flat pattern), I learned how to make a color wheel in color theory class, I learned to sketch design ideas on an anorexic croquis, I learned about different fabrics (weaves, fiber, construction, use), and theoretically I learned how to grade patterns (but didn't because back then I couldn't do math worth a damn and it's quite mathematical). But one thing they didn't teach me in design school was how to find inspiration for new designs. Perhaps they assumed that if I was in fashion school I was already full of inspiration and ideas. That was true, of course, but judging by the general lack of ingenuity in fashion design out there I would like to make the argument that classes on where to find inspiration and how to translate that into design would churn out some designers with a lot more fresh ideas to give. A lot of design out there is derivative of other design rather than from influences outside the general flow of fashion trends.

The cool thing about doing custom design work for people is that there is often a more interesting conversation about inspiration and ideas and lots of opportunity to step over the sludge of mediocrity to arrive at something truly different and beautiful. Carla Gonazalez was inspired to have a corset made with elements of a tea set she saw in a photograph. That inspiration was translated by the Dark Garden team into a beautiful combination of color and embroidery work that reflected elements of the tea set but unless she told you what her inspiration originally was, you'd never guess.

Design is a combination of many elements: texture, color, drape, fit, shape, sound (yes), function, and emotion.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Customer Highlight: Carla Gonzalez





all photos of Carla were taken by Kristin Argue for Dark Garden

This was Carla's inspiration for her corset:


Martin Brigdale photographer
Workman Publishing Co.
The Collectible Teapot and Tea Calendar for 2011



Carla Gonzalez is a make up artist and emerging corset model.


What is your earliest corset memory?
I was in high school and someone showed me a picture of Betty Page in a corset and I thought "I want to look like that!"


Describe the first corset you ever wore.
It was from Fredrick's, and it was an over-bust. It was black and I think it had a floral design. It was pretty simple.

What is your favorite style of corset?
The Under-bust Victorian because it's super comfortable and I like the waist reduction I can get in it.


What do you like about wearing corsets?
I like how it feels, like it almost hugs you and makes you feel supported... and how it looks. (She says with a big smile).


What is the greatest style influence in your life?
Dita Von Teese. She has such a classic style. The first time I came in here (Dark Garden) the woman helping me said "you just ordered the same corset as Dita Von Teese" and I didn't even know she got her corsets here! (Dita gets some of her corsets here)


The customer highlight is a new feature on the Dark Garden blog where we find out and share more about the style influences of our customers and why they love to wear corsets.
Read More

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Design Elements: looking for design inspiration


When I attended FIDM in the fashion design program I learned to draft patterns using two different methods (draping and flat pattern), I learned how to make a color wheel in color theory class, I learned to sketch design ideas on an anorexic croquis, I learned about different fabrics (weaves, fiber, construction, use), and theoretically I learned how to grade patterns (but didn't because back then I couldn't do math worth a damn and it's quite mathematical). But one thing they didn't teach me in design school was how to find inspiration for new designs. Perhaps they assumed that if I was in fashion school I was already full of inspiration and ideas. That was true, of course, but judging by the general lack of ingenuity in fashion design out there I would like to make the argument that classes on where to find inspiration and how to translate that into design would churn out some designers with a lot more fresh ideas to give. A lot of design out there is derivative of other design rather than from influences outside the general flow of fashion trends.

The cool thing about doing custom design work for people is that there is often a more interesting conversation about inspiration and ideas and lots of opportunity to step over the sludge of mediocrity to arrive at something truly different and beautiful. Carla Gonazalez was inspired to have a corset made with elements of a tea set she saw in a photograph. That inspiration was translated by the Dark Garden team into a beautiful combination of color and embroidery work that reflected elements of the tea set but unless she told you what her inspiration originally was, you'd never guess.

Design is a combination of many elements: texture, color, drape, fit, shape, sound (yes), function, and emotion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Customer Highlight: Carla Gonzalez





all photos of Carla were taken by Kristin Argue for Dark Garden

This was Carla's inspiration for her corset:


Martin Brigdale photographer
Workman Publishing Co.
The Collectible Teapot and Tea Calendar for 2011



Carla Gonzalez is a make up artist and emerging corset model.


What is your earliest corset memory?
I was in high school and someone showed me a picture of Betty Page in a corset and I thought "I want to look like that!"


Describe the first corset you ever wore.
It was from Fredrick's, and it was an over-bust. It was black and I think it had a floral design. It was pretty simple.

What is your favorite style of corset?
The Under-bust Victorian because it's super comfortable and I like the waist reduction I can get in it.


What do you like about wearing corsets?
I like how it feels, like it almost hugs you and makes you feel supported... and how it looks. (She says with a big smile).


What is the greatest style influence in your life?
Dita Von Teese. She has such a classic style. The first time I came in here (Dark Garden) the woman helping me said "you just ordered the same corset as Dita Von Teese" and I didn't even know she got her corsets here! (Dita gets some of her corsets here)


The customer highlight is a new feature on the Dark Garden blog where we find out and share more about the style influences of our customers and why they love to wear corsets.