First encounters with a fashion designer’s creations rarely happen before they hit the catwalk. But Fashion Designers’ Sketchbooks by Hywel Davies offers a chance to witness the design process behind the end product, through interviews with designers, mood boards, sketches, photographs and other inspirational material. Here we choose some extracts from Davies’ chats with some of the big guns of fashion, which show the creative journey as a personal and fluid experience, without set rules or boundaries.
[My sources of inspiration] are very English. They are a combination of moods, muses and moments. It is high-tech romance with a twist. It could be literature, art or music. I love street culture, uniforms, Savile Row. I love it all. Men or women. Dead or alive.
Often the research I undertake while traveling results in absorbing elements of an area’s local culture. For example, we took the Asian- and African-rooted tie-dye process, which traditionally uses natural dyes on cotton, but applied it in vivid neon to a luxurious silk.
[My design process is] fast-paced with lots of thought. It’s a challenge to make things modern, and I am always trying to simplify things. The formula is: concept in head, fabric, sketch, pronto, fit, show. [My ideas] come from everywhere. Anything can inspire or trigger the concept.
I’m completely 3D. My first attempt is 3D as I drape immediately on the mannequin. For me, 2D doesn’t give a sense of the item as it appears on the body, whereas in 3D the piece is present in front of you and you can work on it directly to make it fit.
Dries Van Noten
One of a multitude of different ways I begin a collection is to take something I do not find immediately alluring and transform it into something beautiful or challenging. Mauve has never been my favorite colour, yet my disdain for the tone forced me to create a collection mainly in mauve.