Someone recently asked me "Why is a concept so important when designing a collection" and my answer was put simply "Because it makes it easier to create a cohesive collection". However, after thinking about it, I felt I probably should have ellaborated a little more on answering that question, so here it is...
A concept comes from doing research on a particular subject that interests the designer, the designer may be inspired by a texture, color, travel, history, or whatever the imagination can conjure. By doing the research on this subject it can result in discovering something new and then incorporating it into the designs of the collection. After enough information has been gathered the designer can then create a mood board or concept board. This visual reference helps to keep the vision clear and concise.
The book titled Research and Design by Simon Seivewright describes it like this- "Research is a way of showing the world how you see it and how you think. And this is extremely important in differentiating you from everyone else in the industry. Think of it as a personal diary of a moment in your creative lifetime and document it to show whoever is interested what has inspried you and had an effect on your life."
Well said Mr. Seivewright!
Below is the mood board and inspiration for this year's Bridal collection titled "Bewitching". The collection is inspired by the Victorian Era and then introduced to the mystics who worship the Sun, the Moon and Mother Earth. Together they create a soft and romantic feel in a more "moody" setting. I wanted this collection to feel light and airy by using soft fabrications such as silk chiffon and silk netting; each dress is adorned with touches of lace used in the Victorian fashion. I can't wait to show you the collection as it rolls out throughout the year! But I digress. The mood board tells the story of this collection, by doing research on both the Victorian Era and the dark side of "witchery" I then begin the search for images to support the vision I have floating around in my head (thank you Pinterest!). As I continue to design I take a step back, look at my mood board and ask myself- does this style fit in with these ladies? Are they friends? Do the colors feel like they flow well? If the answer is no to any of these questions I go back and adjust the design to have the same feel. This is the process I use to keep the collection cohesive.
Concepts and mood boards are useful in other creative fields as well such as photography, art, architecture, etc. I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject, let me know what you think of this concept and if you have any great concepts of your own that you find inspiring.