[Module 2] Capsule Design | 4. Inspiration

There are many a blog on how to go about designing a capsule wardrobe so feel free to browse the internet and use up a few hours thinking about how culture, history, religion, aesthetics, and style may affect what you like to wear. We have touched on aesthetics and style, the other areas could have us going on for days so I have to edit somewhere.

Clothes are really personal we define what we like or don’t like in but also this can change according to the situations, some outfits we would never be seen dead in may have us fighting for purchase in the right environment like when on holiday or in a sale.


​​Your inspiration can literally come from anywhere, it could be a place you have visited, architecture you have seen, nature, cultural ideas, political concepts, or from the viewpoint of just wanting to be individual. You will need to pull together ideas and then settle on one main focus that will gel everything together. There are obviously many ways to do this but typically in fashion a Mood Board is created to outline a particular concept and allow a visual representation of what a collection will look like, it helps to convey the idea rather than using words. These days what better way to do this than in Pinterest, lots of us are already creating multiple boards that link a particular theme and sharing them with others. You can create Boards on any subject, using pictures that are already on Pinterest or using your own photos to convey the impression of what you saw or felt when taking the photo. It is a fun process so if you have not done so already I recommend setting up an account and get ready to fall down a rabbit hole of creative inspiration.

I make my boards on Pinterest and I create seasonal boards that suit my climate but you don’t have to make the boards seasonal you’re the designer it is up to you and if you prefer you can mark them as private so no one else can see them. Once you have set them up they are always available to add to as time moves on.

Here are some ideas of boards you could prepare, try to limit to 15-10 of your favourite pictures to save time;

  1. Pictures that show the colours that you are attracted to,

  2. Pictures that show shapes or textures that you like,

  3. Pictures about a particular topic you feel may inspire you,

  4. Pictures of fabric types or patterns that you are attracted to,

  5. Pictures that show clothing on people you aspire to or lifestyles you aspire to,

  6. Although it is good to try to be unique you can still get inspiration from other designers, consider if you have a preference for a certain type of clothing, say dresses for example. Look at silhouettes that you like - mixing and matching these items together. You could create multiple mood boards for each type of favourite garment option, e.g. Skirts, dresses, trousers etc.

Here is an example of a collection of photos that have been placed together as a mood board. The overall impression I get from these photos is winter and texture. Words that come to mind for me are Thread, Reflective, Glossy, Matt, Smooth, Silky, Metallic, Crunchy. There are some repetitive colours in here also that could be used as a basis for a collection with cool colours as a foundation with a hint of complementary warm colours thrown into the mix.


Now sit on the boards for a while, print them out, cut them up, and look at them over a few days. Tweak and play with them a little until you are happy with what you have, discard some photos. Enjoy the process, take time with it and allow yourself to get creative. Also think about details that are out of the box, push yourself a little choose something different to what you usually wear and different from what you have made before that would not be out of your comfort zone and that you are confident that you could wear.

For me the trouble with the process of sewing itself is that sometimes the process can be procedural and can deaden the creativity, but designing can get you thinking of new ways to sew this garment or that style. Personally I have guilt associated with any time spent creatively (I have never really worked out why that is perhaps that comes from being a mum of so many children) so I have to fight this and allow myself to play and dream a little every now and again. This is one of those times so give yourself permission to play while you have your favourite coffee and cake! You can always keep adding to these boards as you go through time.


The next step is consolidation of all your thoughts into one place because you need to focus on what you want to create for your overall theme. You can simply do this on Pinterest as your photos can be placed on more than one board or you could print off your photos to make a card and stick them on, this way if you wanted to you could add other items such as beads or fabric swatches you might have in mind. All of this will form the basis of your design collection. You are aiming to create designs for one person, so it needs to look cohesive and this can get you started down a path but this is not the end of the process what we have here is just the beginning. Because of the time we are spending doing this we can be sure that what we are doing is not on a whim.

Before you start designing you should have a quick look at Colour Theory, Personal Colour and Body Shapes in the next Units. © 2017 Threadelicious. All Rights Reserved.

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