When you completed your fashion design degree, did you step into the industry world with the same question that plagues all our creatives: what now? Fashion school taught you about pattern grading, sewing, drawing and draping. You could tell everything about fit; your education, however it didnt’ prepare you to actually start a successful clothing line! Week after week, the No Name Design experts, will guide you into the journey of creating your own fashion collection. Today you’ll learn how to find inspiration, for your new clothing line.

Where to find inspiration and how to get inspired

Inspiration is everywhere: from an old photo to what your Gran wore on her wedding day to your favorite film. Inspiration comes in many guises and forms: some designers have taken inspiration from a single colour, a single flower or even a quote from a book! Be open to what you can discover for yourself when being creative, as this will open the door to really discovering something ingenious that says a lot about you.

But what is it, that truly inspires you?

What excites you about yo that you can tell the world? Have a look at where your passions truly lie. How can you make this the focus of a full collection, that will engage and inspire others to buy your clothes?
Are there any aspects of your childhood memories, you have a strong affinity to that says a lot about who you are as a person? People ultimately buy from people, so the most authentic story you tell through your clothing will be the most successful.

Looking at trends

There are many resources to look for an indication of current and future trends, for upcoming seasons. Some of these includes:

International Catwalk Collections: The main collections are in London, New York, Paris and Milan, twice yearly. These catwalk collections by high-end fashion designers are seen as the crème de la crème of the fashion world. Large coverage is given by the world’s international media, so it’s an incredible important fixture in the fashion calendar. The key trends of any given season are set here.

As these collections are produced by high end designers, the other markets in the fashion sector such as the high street market look at the international catwalk collections, as a key source of inspiration and creativity. The trends taken from the international collections are then filtered down to produce a more “pared down” silhouette and style, suitable for their own customer base.

Trend Books and Publications/Online Trend Services: These are trend prediction services for the current and upcoming seasons. The beauty of using such services, is that the research and filtering of the trends from the international collections is “done for you”.

Many of the prediction services whether physical book or online e-book will produce an analysis, sometimes 18 months- 2 years ahead. This can include fabrics, colour palettes, key silhouettes, print and graphics and represent what the key trend stories will be for that particular season. If you’re interested in receiving this kind of services, have a look at our “Fashion Design Consultancy” section on the website.

Street Fashion and Culture: One aspect of looking at trends which is often overlooked is to consider the style being perpetuated “on the street”. Often this is a good indicator of current micro trends happening in the culture linked to it at the time, (such as films and books) or celebrity style.

When observing street style it’s clear to see that people often have a way of dressing that is highly individualistic and “one of a kind”. This is a great way of finding inspiration for the creative, looking for new ideas in fashion design.

Picking the best trends for your collection

Once your research has been fully completed, have a close study to see which areas you would like to focus on, that would further the conversation for the next stage-the design process. The key is adapting trends to your brands, personalizing them and making them work for your customer.

We will never really know what will happen in 18 months-2 years as fashion is constantly changing, but if you have collated enough trends from different sources, you will gain a good insight into what will look right for the season you are going to be designing for, in terms of key silhouettes, fabrics and colours to choose.

Bonus Tip from the No Name Design Team

Devour fashion blogs and designers’ biographies, follow the top street style Instagrammers, and subscribe to fashion newsletters to stay inspired and catch trends before they emerge. And be social: if you know how to use social media to your advantage, it can become an excellent tool that will help your brand entering into the business world.

Did you find this useful? Feel free to bookmark or to post to your timeline for reference later! In the next lesson, we’ll discover how to nail branding for your own label.