Friday, February 5, 2016

How to Select Themes for Fashion Show-Design Collection

The most common question what we are facing in every day life :-  what is theme? what is inspiration? How we take theme for the fashion design collection? What all themes are suggested by the leading fashion forecasting agencies? What is the top fashion show theme for the coming season? How designers take themes? What are the categories of themes? 
If you are a Design student or a Fashion Designer and these types of questions  keep coming in your mind, don't worry it's normal. As being a fashion fraternity it's natural to think  these points, before you start your collection.
We all know themes plays  very important role in fashion show and any kind of design ( some scholar term it concept and inspiration but in my point of view these words are completely different from each other) One who  knows Sabyasachi Mukherjee also knows his famous theme for design collection named "Prostitute" . Same way Samant Chauhan known for his Rajputana theme. Alexander Mcqeen known for "Savage Beauty". So, in short, for being a successful designer you need to work on a specific theme which can match the sensibility of the targeted market and most importantly which match your design sensibility and gives you creative satisfaction.
Themes in fashion shows, create drama on the ramp, stick the audience to the walk and it connect to the target customer and compel them to purchase the ensembles in long run. Theme of a fashion show should be interesting and captivating for the audience.
Following are some themes categories (from which you can derive your own unique theme), which can be used in a fashion shows or in any kind of design collection (in print, graphics, art/architecture...etc) Some of the themes can be taken as an inspiration:
Art Decade - Sub-Culture , Trends of different decades-
You can have a theme related to subcultures of the world (common what you have already read in fashion studies) Goth, Punk theme, Hippies, Cubism, minimalism etc.
This is one of the most popular themes and is as evergreen as the eras gone by. Clothes inspired from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s can be showcased in this theme. As we all know fashion cycle moves and we use to see same kind of product after 50 years (definitely with some changes/improvement)  Some examples of these costumes/product, are bright colored skintight clothes from 1980’s, and bell bottom pants of 1970’s.
Seasonal theme
Again a very popular theme, as fashion shows are generally showcased as fall/winter collection or summer/spring collection. So many designers derive themes from the season and name it accordingly. For an example I have decided to make a collection for bridal wear and it will be used in March. So I can think of a catchy theme “monsoon wedding” (Hey I am not talking about a Bollywood movie, its seasonal theme please!!)
forecasting magazines suggest theme categories, designers take these category as an inspiration and take themes based on the main themes (usually keywords work as a guideline)

Burning Social Issues-
The current issues and event can be also a theme. You need to keep your eyes open, You should always take a note in terms of  the current events/ issues of the world, changes in the buying behaviour of the targeted segment, likes and dislikes of your clients. Some good example of themes from this category can be- Female Foeticide, child labour, dowry..etc  

Craft &Culture - Theme Inspired by Handcraft or Traditional Textile and culture 
Most of the countries has their own prestigious art/craft and culture, Selecting themes from this section is always facinating. In India - we are known for the traditional work and hand crafted products. We have many crafts as Bandhani, Madhubani art, Phulkari, Kalamkari, sanganeri, Dabu, Ajrakh etc. 
Different religion has different practice/ culture we can choose themes from the culture of a specific religion or social groups.
We can also take themes from the festivals of different geographical location. For eg- Halloween, Ice bucket challenge, Indian Festivals  (deepawali,holi) ..etc
Form of dance can be also an inspiration for certain type of collection/design.

Bollywood/Hollywood theme 
Bollywood sets trends in India and internationally, so this is an ideal theme for a fashion show. The show can have glamorous, colorful, Indian ethnic clothes (maybe from some of the hit Bollywood movies). The way models catwalk can have some drama or it can be choreographed like a musical extravaganza, just like Bollywood movies.
Proper Noun (famous personalities) - Historical events Classic books theme-
Classics are a great source of inspiration for designers. Theme of the show can be inspired by classics like, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Gone with the wind’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, etc.
 Creative theme- 

Under this theme designer usually take a design process to the next level, and choose theme from unconventional thought process. 
For example - Manish Arora's work is associated with theme "Psychedelic"
You can easily see few designers working on Recycling ideas, Eco-friendly concept, Sustainable Fashion/Fabric..etc
-professionals from the industries and from established Designer Label- they always come-up with innovative ideas (though all theme categories have been  mentioned above) but they  follow Fashion Forecast, There are many Fashion Forecast companies working on the niche. The most famous agencies are
Promostyl- (Very popular expensive magazine- Trend,graphics,color, silhouette )
WGSN- ( website- subscription based Fashion forecasting agency, they allow very basic for guest visitors)
Pantone- (color reference and forecasting)
Lenging-  Magazine , only small export/design house follow it is not that costly.

To conclude, a nice well thought theme, can take the designs being presented at a fashion show, to the next level. Hope these ideas are helpful in getting better insight about themes. All the best!


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