is the display of the various patterns (that is, the shapes or designs of garments), and a full range of tones. The aim should be to contrast in an interesting manner one pattern with another, and one silhouette with another. By silhouette is meant the line of a frock, as opposed to its pattern or nature. In effect this means putting white against black (light against dark), plain against check, curve against straight, and so on.1 A good composer subconsciously sees the fashion job, not as a series of human figures of separate interest, but as one interesting pattern, self-contained and complete.


In practice, composition is divided roughly into two different kinds: (i) the "squared-up," and (2) the vignetted or open, or

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partly open. By squared-up is meant where the figure or garment is arranged in a given space marked out by a border or some sort of background. In this form, not only has the figure itself to be composed, but also it has to be placed in relation to the space it

occupies. This placing introduces an element of composition not present in the second form, the vignetted or partly-open style, which has no set limit to the background of the picture, no "frame" as

it were, and the figure or garment is complete in itself.

Composition is again divided into single-dimension compositions, and two- and three-dimension compositions. In three-dimension composition perspective must be faithfully observed. The scene must be as real as an illustration drawn not for fashion, but at the same time the fashion artist must know how to suppress the unwanted and bring up the wanted. It is possible in a composition of this kind to suggest the background with just one or two simple lines; but even so they must be in perspective.

Two- and one-dimensional composition is not very involved, and need cause no serious difficulty, especially since the rough positions of the figures are generally determined by the studio manager, the lay-out man, or the client. Observe that one figure does not overlap another at an important part, so hiding some essential detail. Avoid also the appearance of one figure standing on the head of another. Endeavour to get a swing into a series of figures so that the design runs through pleasingly and not in an awkward line; at the same time vary the poses as much as possible. In this type of composition the arrangement of arms and legs becomes more vital, because, in order to get it into the space available, such a drawing is often squared up

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after the artist has finished, and jutting-out arms and legs are likely to be amputated in the process, which operation may completely spoil the composition.


Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4