5 PERSPECTIVES TO TRANSFORM THE READY-TO-WEAR DESIGN PROCESS
Different from the elaborate outfits showcased, Ready-to-wear, although simple, demands meticulous attention from designers in selecting materials, colors, and even in shaping the garment to create a complete ensemble.
IDENTIFYING NON-TARGET AUDIENCES
Traditionally, the focus lies on researching and seeking potential customers for a collection/brand. However, occasionally, shifting the perspective and determining who our NOT customers are can help eliminate unnecessary details or elements that don't align. The clearer the portrait of the target audience, the more specific consideration should be given to those that do not 'match,' creating a two-way perspective and limiting the collection from straying off the initial course.
“FASHION IS DRIVEN BY INSIGHTS"
In Ready-to-wear fashion, the designer's ego does not dictate everything. A successful collection is crafted based on a profound empathy with the customers or rooted in insights that align with the context of life, society, art, and the environment.
The 1970s-80s marked the first time in history when women could choose their own styles, asserting a new position in society. Giorgio Armani's elegant and comfortable Power Suits, Chanel Suits, and YSL's Le Smoking emerged, paving the way for the 'casual Friday' concept in the West. Before becoming a fashion trend, Grunge was a rebellious movement among young people, defying conventional standards. Similarly, Athleisure, a fusion of 'athlete' and 'leisure,' was born as people started dedicating more leisure time to exercise. These trends reflect a shift in societal norms, shaping the landscape of Ready-to-wear fashion.
TWO INSEPARABLE ASPECTS: MATERIAL SELECTION & COLOR CHOICE
Material and color are two factors that always go hand in hand and influence each other. The right color, but the wrong material, or vice versa, can make a design less appealing. For Ready-to-wear, when the silhouette becomes simpler, the choice of material and color plays a crucial role in conveying the essence of the collection.
For instance, neutral tones like white/black might not stand out significantly until paired with specific materials (crisp white linen - sharp against creamy wool - soft; or the luxurious silky pink of haute couture compared to the alluring, vibrant spandex pink). These combinations define the spirit of the Ready-to-wear collection.
DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN FASHION AND COSTUME
The term 'Risky Gray Area' is used to describe the challenging boundary between fashion and costume. A design that is intricate and extravagant might be seen as resembling a performance costume rather than everyday attire. While fashion should accurately reflect an individual's personality, costumes play the role of disguises, transforming individuals into different characters. Sometimes, the presence of this boundary depends on varying perspectives and aesthetic tastes. Therefore, those intending to venture into Ready-to-wear fashion should be mindful of and consider this factor.
WHEN SKETCHING, IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO SEW, IT'S NOT REALLY 'DESIGN'
Even if one isn't proficient in sewing, it's essential to envision how a garment will be constructed. Especially in designing Ready-to-wear, functionality and practicality are key considerations. Without careful planning and restraint in the garment's structure, it becomes challenging to illustrate a Ready-to-wear design or work within a well-established brand in the market. For those transitioning from unrelated fields into design, acquiring some knowledge about sewing techniques and pattern-making, even at a basic level, is undoubtedly necessary.