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What's a Cohesive Collection?

Whilst waiting for hand data to come in, I've been working on designs for rave wear ... I wanted something for which I could create a modular pattern that you could mix the bits up to create several designs. It's not as easy as it sounds because in my concept I've got a few competing cut-outs that mess with each others tensions ... but I'm still playing with it.

I mention this because you might have heard me talking about the concept of "cohesive design" ... it's where all the different designs in a collection somehow seem to be like members of a single family, each a little different but with some kind of underlying similarity. It's a concept that big brands used to adhere to rigidly in the days when they set the fashion trends. Even different brands used to show some kind of similarity each season!

How you achieve that is up to you, of course. Some use mood boards containing certain design components (not that effective), some base a collection around a certain set of fabrics/prints (lesser brands), some around certain style lines/features (eg; waist heights, leg lines etc). Because I tend to think about designs and patterns simultaneously, I tend to sketch certain style lines right onto a working sketch type croquis that you've all seen me use. Then from that I can mix and match those lines, or parts of them, to create the actual designs that will become part of a cohesive collection. Looks dull, but it's very effective.

Does a seasonal collection of garments need to be cohesive? Well not at all, but it does look far more pleasing and professional to the viewer even if they don't know why. Below is the croquis I'm currently playing with ... it'll change a lot yet, but at the moment you can see how you could trace over the current lines in certain ways to create different styles. It's also a lot of fun!


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