Fashion sketch on a runway model template

 

This was part of my old ebook How to design using a Fashion Model template sheet - now edited to be easier to use.

It was my first time writing an ebook and my writing was a pain to read. But sketching over a template is a no-brainer, so download my templates and give them a try even if you can't be bothered to read anything first.

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Despite what you might have see around in books or over the internet, Contemporary Fashion Design has nothing to do with Fashion Illustrations of 9-foot tall women in awkward poses and overly stylized features.

Stick thin in the 20s, then over-the-top posing in the 80s/90s.

Stick thin in the 20s, then over-the-top posing in the 80s/90s.

Though the top Fashion schools insists on their students developing a signature style for their illustrations, on a typical day at a top-notch creative studio there is no time for making beautiful, stylish drawings.

Draping and testing details or silhouettes on a mannequin, making collages and drawing over your research pictures are all very effective techniques, but at some point it's important to think of a whole look...

Rough sketches using my template sheet.

Rough sketches using my template sheet.

So why a runway model?

1.To keep the proportions real and human

Look at my illustration for a design I made in 2009, while studying at Bunka Fashion College, and compare it to the picture of a 1.88 m professional model: my little paper dolly is absurdely long and lean, and therefore completely out of proportion!

An old Fashion Illustration by moi: Unrealistic standards much?

An old Fashion Illustration by moi: Unrealistic standards much?

Even worse: back in the day, all the girls had to make clothes for their sizes. And since I'm very petite, I could never expect my garment to come out like the drawing that took me a few hours to make.

There has to be a smarter way to work!

2. Easy to find and easy to make it your own

Instead of wasting time making that silly stick figure, I could have just drawn over my own picture - since I was designing for myself (added bonus: I would already have a pretty good idea of the measurements for my final garment).

Having that in mind, you can decide who your muse or final consumer is, draw over their picture and borrow their coolness to bring your style to life.

Runway pictures are my first suggestion as there's no shortage of options all over Google images, Vogue Runway and Instagram, and it's very easy to find full body, simple Front and Back pictures.


Online stores are also a great source, but many times the head will be cropped over the chin - so you have a faceless, anonymous human mannequin.

Pictures from online stores are also very useful: I prefer to use them for flat sketches instead of drawing over a dummy template.

Pictures from online stores are also very useful: I prefer to use them for flat sketches instead of drawing over a dummy template.

These pictures are still a very good option and I personally prefer to use them for my technical flat drawings rather than drawing over a dressmaker's dummy-like template.

Lazy? I call it smart.

I don't want to waste time figuring out proportions and fit when there's no shortage of styles all over the internet.

Which brings us to the last reason…

3. F A S T

Do you love expressing your ideas via sketching? Great!

Many directors and clients love seeing hand drawings, so over time you can come up with your own templates and figure out ways to use them to your advantage: mirror some of the models, so they look a bit different, fade out the hair so you can draw a different hairstyle on each model, keep the shoes from the original runway shot...

And most importantly: you don't need Photoshop or Illustrator to do any of these.

Print out your new muse, draw the outline of her body, scan it and keep for posterity. Now you just need to print your own custom template and start from there every time.

It may be a lot of work on the first time, but now you know how to do it, in case you want to create a new template.

Use the template sheets to sketch all your ideas as they come to you, without much judgement or over editing, and leave the careful designing, tracing and colouring to the end, after you've selected the best pieces and are ready to present a lineup.

One of my template sheets as is…

One of my template sheets as is…

Lineup done using my template, after sketching and colouring.

Lineup done using my template, after sketching and colouring.

Ready to give it a try?

Download my templates here.