The prevailing opinion is that to become a clothing designer, one must know how to draw very well. Because we all know more or less that clothing designers first design and draw the image of the clothes they want to create. Of course, there were also great designers who were able to influence the world of fashion without drawing and painting. Gabriel Chanel or Coco Chanel, the founder of luxury brand Chanel, was an example of those designers.
Of course, if Coco Chanel were alive today and wanted to do fashion illustration, she wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to draw on paper. He could easily design clothes with software like Illustrator. If you are interested in the world of fashion and clothing design, but you can’t draw on paper, don’t worry. This cannot stop you. Because you live in a world where digital fashion illustration exists. What is fashion illustration and digital fashion illustration? Why is it important in clothing design? What software is used for fashion illustration and clothing design? In the following, I will answer these questions and discuss more about fashion illustration.
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What is fashion illustration?
Fashion Illustration or Fashion Sketching, which is called fashion illustration or clothing design, is the first step in fashion and clothing design. First of all, the designer draws his ideas on paper. The first designer draws his design with all the details, including color, type of fabric, hair and face makeup, jewelry, shoes, and clothing ornaments to bring his mental idea to life. It can be claimed that fashion illustration is as old as fashion design. Of course, fashion illustration and clothing design have evolved over time.
In the past, the designer could use anything for illustration: canvas and oil paint, pastel, watercolor or gouache, and even ink. The illustrations were so detailed and had so much feeling and color that the fashion illustrations themselves, especially those in the form of painting on canvas, were considered independent works of art and fashion illustration. Therefore, fashion illustration has become a form of art.
Why is illustration important in fashion design?
Clothing design is not just clothing design, it is a part of the production process of commercial goods. Clothing design must be successful. It means that the dress must be sewn and the market will accept it. If no one buys the designer clothing, the design has failed. Therefore, fashion design is not just an art. Fashion designers work in the fashion industry. Maybe 100 years ago, only Paris had something to say in terms of fashion and clothing design.
“But today, the fashion industry is a global industry and its turnover is close to 3 trillion dollars a year. Fashion and the export of clothes and other similar products have become an important part of countries’ economies.”
For this reason, everything must be calculated so that the plans do not fail (commercially). Designers of famous brands consider all the details in the illustration. Then they consult with their team about that plan and, if necessary, they make changes to it. In fact, illustrations become essential to critiquing clothes before the stage of production and release onto the market.
Sometimes, the clothes are designed to the order of very special customers (such as celebrities) for important events (such as the Oscar ceremony). The customer must like the dress. When the designer draws the design of the dress, he shows it to the customer to get his opinion and make the necessary changes. So, it is not an exaggeration if it is said that fashion illustration is the most important stage in clothing design.
What is digital fashion illustration?
Little by little, photography entered the field, and there was no longer a need for imagery to record fashionable clothes. But fashion designers still had to draw their designs. When everything became digital and there were software and applications for it, why shouldn’t design and illustration software be used for fashion illustration? When designers saw the power of fashion illustration with software like Illustrator, they replaced traditional methods of illustration.
Of course, there are still designers who draw their designs on paper. It can be said that the most important disadvantage of digitization of illustrations is that some designers cannot communicate with them and do not have the same feeling when working with software that they have when drawing by hand and on paper. There is no obstacle to integrating traditional and new ways. This means that designers can get help from software when necessary.
Digital fashion illustration has its advantages. The most important advantage is that patterns and colors (because each color in the software has its own code) can be seen more clearly and clearly. In many cases, the dress designer also designs the fabric and, for example, specifies what patterns or patterns should be on the fabric. This advantage also makes it easier and faster to print the design on the fabric.
In addition to that, printing, transferring and publishing digital images is more convenient and higher quality. Another very important advantage that some software provides to designers is that they can design a 3D image of clothes. So, fashion digital illustrations may be designed in two dimensions or three dimensions.
What are the best software for designing clothes?
Which software can designers and enthusiasts use to draw their digital fashion illustrations? Which software is the best choice? The truth is, there aren’t many free choices! Most of the software that is special for designing clothes is not free and you have to buy a monthly subscription to use it. There is also some special software. In order to buy their subscription, you have to send a request to the company that owns that software. Therefore, only two free and powerful choices remain for enthusiasts:
1. Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is software for vector designs. This software has broad applications and is almost the first choice of illustrators and designers around the world. Because Illustrator has many useful and versatile tools and can be used to design anything, it is the first choice of clothing designers and also the most popular in fashion schools for teaching clothing design.
Illustrator software creates two-dimensional designs. If a clothing designer wants to have a 3D fashion illustration, the best option for him is the powerful Blender software. Like Illustrator, Blender has many features and tools that make it possible to design anything.
Learning to design clothes with Illustrator
However, fashion illustration has also become digital. The existence of different software makes it easier for enthusiasts who just want to enter the clothing design market. They can share their designs with others and be seen on virtual networks and get ideas from others’ designs.
So, what path should a person interested in designing clothes take? Should he definitely study and get a degree in fashion design? The truth is no! It is true that there are very prestigious fashion schools in the world, which accept students at the undergraduate and graduate level in textile and clothing design, but you do not need a university to become a clothing designer. Remember that fashion design is an art. So, the determining factor is creativity.
If clothing design and the world of fashion are really your passion, you can achieve it in several ways. The point is that all paths will eventually lead you to Illustrator:
- Academic education (If you want to have a place for yourself in this glamorous world, you can’t be satisfied with the headlines and things that are taught at the university. So, you need to master one of the fashion illustration types of software.),
- Taking a clothing design course in educational institutions (you must pay close attention to the title of these courses and also the validity of their degree. Unfortunately, the teaching methods in some of these institutions are very old. If working with Illustrator software is not included among the titles, you must learn it separately. Get.),
- Illustrator training (Yes, you can first go for the software that is the main tool of your future career. When you are very good at working with Illustrator, you can focus on designing clothes with Illustrator using free and online resources or take a clothing design course.)