Sketching Designs for Fairytale Fashion

Craft & Design

I am getting ready for my first NYC runway show, the Fairytale Fashion Show on Feb. 24th at Eyebeam. Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about some of the preparations on CRAFT and Make: Online. This show will be of the technology fashion collection developed at where technology is used to turn make-believe into reality.
All designs start with sketches. Here is the sketch of twinkle cardigan and twinkle dress created with the twinkling effect of LEDs. The twinkle action reacts to sound, and as you can see the twinkling parts are located towards the top of the garments. The sensors will focus on speech so that the garments twinkle in reaction to what the wearer says. The twinkling parts will be removable for washing.
FiarytaleFashionoutfitsketch.jpgYou can see Twinkle Pad on the far right sewn into a test swatch. Twinkle Pad is a special board that I’ve developed with Dave Clausen specifically for sewing with LEDs (see more information in the Twinkle Pad Make: Online post). Before sketching, I played with Twinkle Pad swatch, and gathered some inspiration from magazines and the runway. Then like most designers, I grabbed a figure that I had pre-sketched, and put it under tracing paper. On tracing paper I sketched out the design using the figure as a guide underneath. If you are sketching lots of different ideas, you want to focus on your new idea, not the figure you are sketching. A lot of designers find this method quickest.
I used pencil, to give the drawing a more whimsical feel. I use a classic pencil so that the lines I sketch have varied thickness (this gives the sketch more depth). Then I use a mechanical pencil to draw in the details. It is difficult to erase pencil from tracing paper because the pencil smudges really easily. If there is only a little erasing that needs to be done, I use a brush to wipe away the extra eraser bits. If there is a lot of erasing, I use this Japanese whiteout brush pen made by Pentel.
Next, I photocopy or scan and print the sketch onto white bond paper (a heavier paper is better for coloring). Then I color with Copic, Prismacolor, or Tria markers. I’ve found that these types of markers aren’t as blotchy. I scan the sketch once more, and use Photoshop to draw in the LED lights.
To create your own designs you can trace this fashion figure from Or use one of the professional fashion figures found on Designers Nexus.
More from me tomorrow!

4 thoughts on “Sketching Designs for Fairytale Fashion

  1. angie:) says:

    lovely cardigan <3
    love your LEDs!! :)

  2. says:

    I really can’t wait to see how all these beautiful clothes turn out. Good luck!

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Fashion + Technology Diana was a contestant on Project Runway season 2, graduated from RISD, and currently lives in New York City.

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