This unit has grown out of the need to improve the image of home economics, by upgrading the skills a student would need to succeed in a home economics related career. Students need to know how to write and they need to be familiar with the background of their field, especially as skills have moved out of the home and into the commercial world. Success in a home economics course is made up of three things: home economics skills, writing skills, and a formal knowledge of the specific field.
Our focus in on one particular area, that of sewing. The lesson in background of design and designers will combine with actual sewing skills to form part of the program. As students progress through these two areas, they will begin to study the kind of writing that is needed in the commercial world of sewing and design. They will learn to keep a journal of design; to record ideas from which to write commercials and slogans; and to write a brief news release.
The unit will emphasize the necessary coordination of the three different skills: sewing, reading and writing.
Principles of Color and Elements of Design The fashion industry has a great deal to do with the principles of color and the elements of design. In this first section, we will look at these two subjects.
A presentation and discussion of color will entail color and its properties, mood association, use in clothing and its selection. Discussions in design will cover the elements of design. These elements would be harmony, value, hue intensity, and thus would link design and color. Lessons involving the students’ own ideas about color and design will follow these discussions. In these lessons, students will learn to recognize their ideas and record them in a journal.
Color is one of the most important design elements. It can make a fabric product dull or exciting. It can make you seem warmer or colder, larger or smaller. Color in garments can emphasize your good features. It can make poor features less noticeable. Color also offers a wonderful way to express yourself.
Color can set a mood. What color garment would you wear to a beach party? You might choose a sunny yellow, rousing red, relaxing blue, or bright green. At a funeral you might wear black or a dark nag. Bright, happy colors would seem out of place. What colors would you choose to create moods in your home? You might consider such ideas as these:
Warm sunny for the kitchen curtains.
Dark green for the living room carpet.
Cool blue bedspread and curtains for the bedroom.
Designers must think about color and mood. A color they expose and choose must create the right mood for a design. Their choices must be attractive to consumers. Designing a black sunsuit would result in poor sales. Choosing blank for a business suit or formal wear, however, would serve people’s needs better.
Color can trick the eye. It can make a fabric product seem smaller and farther away. These are the colors with blue in them. They are called cool colors. They seem to move away, making the object look smaller. Dark or grayed colors absorb light. This also makes an Object look smaller. Designers use cool, dark, or grayed colors in home furnishings.
Color can call attention to a fabric product. Bright primary colors of red, blue, and yellow are attention-getters. Designers often use bright colors in party clothes to call attention to the wearer. Colors across from each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. Such completation is used in design to create harmony.
Harmony is the goal of all design. We sense that a design has harmony when there is a feeling of similarity between the lines, shapes, colors, textures + and ideas that are used together. Harmony of idea is based on appropriateness to use and to the individual. The idea of luxury or durability, of youthfulness or maturity, the time, the place, and the person, should all contribute to the total picture of harmony. Inconsistency of idea would be evident in the use of rhinestone buttons on a casual cotton dress, while traditional brass buttons on a navy flannel blazer pleasingly confirm the feeling of casual elegance.
Harmony of line in design is easily recognizable in a costume. A dominance of either curved or straight lines in both the silhouette and the lines within the costume is desirable, but exclusive use of one type of line may prove to be monotonous. Notching the edge of a collar may produce just enough variation to relieve an otherwise tiresome repetition of curved lines in a suit, just as the introduction of a restrained curve, used as a fitting line, will soften the severe effect of a straight-line costume. Restrained curves, because of their dual character, may be used harmoniously with either straight clothing or full clothing.
Combinations of similar or appropriate textures and unity of color add to the total harmony of the costume. Repetition of one element, particularly color, will permit greater variation of textures. Both line and color should be closely coordinated if great variation of texture is desired, while similarity of line and texture is desirable if colors are to introduce the variation.
Anyone beginning a study of design may demand too much uniformity and find it difficult to recognize or appreciate the subtle variations that are pleasing to the trained eye. Simple basic designs do not offend the sense of order and are certainly to be preferred to the confusion of lines and textures found in very poor design.
The elements as the basic ingredients of any design, are the designer’s resources. To use these elements effectively one needs to study their characteristics individually. The design principles are broad general truths or laws of relationships that can guide a designer, either consciously or unconsciously, toward the goal of harmony and beauty. The principles provide a plan for organizing the elements as well as a yardstick for judging the desirability or quality of any design. The basic purpose of design principles is to provide guidelines that help to determine the more pleasing ways to combine different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures to achieve the desired effect; one that will be harmonious and acceptable for a particular situation.
The type of line found in a dress design is not entirely dependent on the structural cut. It may also be the direct result of the weight, pliability, and texture of the fabric used. The design, the fabric, and the construction all go hand in hand to determine the character and beauty of the line in any garment.