Research for self-made Fashion Designers


For this week I’ve decided to talk about how research is important to be part of a fashion designer’s life. This is a fundamental principle to start any business, product or service. Without research there is limitation, lack of concept, individualism, and creativity.

My goal is to challenge and support self-made fashion designers to empower their skills to an all new level, such as how to create ideas and collections without having to copy what is already out there in the market.

Research involves observing the world in your own perspective gathering, collecting, recording images, objects and ideas that inspire you. Primary Research is created by you, per example if you are attracted to details of urban life and would love to translate into wearable details on a garment, accessories or any other object, you would select the details you like the most take picture, or scan them of a book found in library or news paper and add them onto your journal. (A journal is a visual diary where you write about your inspirations, fabric swatches, sketches, pictures etc).

“Fashion does not come from fashion”
Carolyn Massey

Fashion research is like an investigation that results in ideas, which inspire and lead to design development. Allow yourself to scan through the layers of your research, mix all the information and material that you have collected, scan them in different proportions, mix media, freehand designs, etc. Once you have explored every detail of the research you should now be able to define the concept and the creative direction to start editing.

The fashion industry is changing faster than ever before and research plays an important part of does changes. Fashion designers are constantly absorbing the environment around them to find inspiration to create constantly. Designers are the forefront and creative endeavours and this responsibility makes them engage to cultural, social moods, or technological advances in fabrics.

Primary research is the first investigation, of all the material you have gathered such as pictures, fabric samples, photographs, postcards, freehand sketches from museums or anything you wanted to highlight. If you have sketched ideas of garments from an art gallery or been researching about fashion history your focus should be on understanding texture, fabrics and silhouettes.


Playing with the fabrics on a tailor’s dummy allows you to explore the form, proportion, how the fabric drapes and the silhouette. All this visual information enables you to create your two-dimensional sketches and designs in three dimensions.

Second Research can be related to someone else’s work that you can find on galleries, Internet, books for example.

Research can be tailored to your needs, try to enjoy while rather than stressing yourself over it; there are great opportunities when you start linking ideas.