Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear · Nov 26, 2019

Have you started your fashion mood or inspiration board?

If your ultimate goal is to get into fashion design but you don’t know where to start, then you’re going to want to start creating an inspiration board (or moodboard as they are more commonly known as!).

When fashion designers start designing their next collection they all start in different ways BUT one thing that is universal is getting inspired at the start of the process. This can happen in many different ways and often from this inspiration they put together a moodboard which can be a collage of images and fabric swatches that have sparked some ideas.

Your board is a collection of things that are inspiring to you at that moment in time but as you design more collections you may find reoccurring themes and images. Your mood board could include a photograph, an image of a piece of art, a scrap of fabric etc… This board is for you and is supposed to inspire you and your designs, so there are no right or wrongs!

Sometimes your inspirational spark could come from one image and other times you might need to do a lot of research, collate a lot of things together and then sift through to create something cohesive.

Some images of Galiano’s inspiration in my John Galiano book by Colin McDowel
Nick Waplington photograph of a fabric board in the McQueen studio

Designer John Galliano and his team spent a lot of time researching at the start, before any designing took place. They then created research books, a visual storyboard that sparked the imagination of John.

Colin McDowell (in the book John Galliano) gives great insight into the way that John Galliano approaches his work. Every collection of his had a story. Galliano and his team spent a lot of time researching at the start, before any designing took place. They would visit many locations, absorb the culture, sub-cultures and see exhibitions. They then created research books, a visual storyboard. Things would start to connect and start sparking the imagination of Galliano.

Archive materials from Unlocking Stories at Alexander McQueen
© Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton compiled the boards for Alexander McQueen which included a mix of past and current inspirations. The image to the right is from the new exhibition space Alexander McQueen which is dedicated to the archives of its different collections over the years.

I personally like to start collating stuff physically’ vs virtually!

If I find something that inspires or interests me online I will print it out.

There are places online like Milanote or Sampleboard that you can create mood boards.

I’m sure you know of Pinterest where you can collect together inspirational images.

Getting your inspiration or mood board started will get you on the right track for getting your portfolio in progress.

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