Generate design ideas using fashion collage

A collage is a piece of art made by sticking different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing. Designers have used fashion collages for years, and the technique can have a greater visual impact than a simple photograph or drawing.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating a collage for your design ideas.


Step 1

Source a figure from magazines. Try to select one that shows as much body as possible – swimwear or lingerie magazines have many images ideal for collage. Fig. A is a good example because you can see the shape of the figure, and the arms are bare.


Step 2

Cut around the shape of the figure you want to keep and discard the rest (see Fig. B).


Step 3

For the collage, select a fabric/texture connected with your research and inspiration. This example uses cream crepe silk (see Fig. C), reminiscent of the delicate sheer textures of the research undertaken for this design project.

“Ruching" fabric is easy and gives a great effect. Rip a square of the crepe silk, press it and then stitch a straight line of large stitches across the fabric.

You do not have to secure stitch this line of stitching. Then, stitch another straight line a little below this, parallel to the first line of stitching. The double line of stitching makes it easier to ruch, and the effect is more professional than just one line. 


Step 4

Start ruching the fabric to the level you think looks nice, and then secure the ruching by tying the threads at each end (see Fig. D and E.)


Step 5

The great thing about collage is that you can create a few different designs quite quickly, laying it over your cut-out image, pinning in place, photographing it, and then unpinning (see Fig. F and G).


When generating ideas, it is important to try a few different options and continue manipulating the ideas you develop.

As you experiment with design, keep a photographic log of your work as it develops, and within annotations to the side of the images, note down what you feel works and what does not work and why.


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Written by: Ines Tome

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