On seeing : in fashion design

Abstract: In fashion design, the designer strives for the development of ideas in view of significant visual goals. The process of specifying and developing ideas is a highly visual process. Based on what has been ‘seen’ as for example in a reference material or in explorations, designers define possible tracks to follow, decide which ideas to deepen or which ones to reject. Their activities can thus be described as a process of seeing.There is nothing novel about the importance of seeing as an act in the design process; on the contrary, seeing, is usually an intuitive act that any designer explicates throughout the process of shaping his/her vision. However, the systematisation of seeing in the design process in order to advance ways of working in the field of fashion design is still very much an area that is open for further research.In this thesis, possible ways of seeing are explored through experiments in different stages of the design process. Based on an image serving as a point of departure, seen elements were derived and put in relation to a body in a two-dimensional photographic sketching stage, in accordance with different ideas of dress. Selected ideas were then further elaborated and explored in terms of their design possibilities.The results of the experiments are propositions of design ideas that have been ‘seen’ in a single sketch or a series of sketches. The contribution of this licentiate thesis are: 1) A thorough mapping of two design stages (point of departure and two-dimensional sketching stage), and how they provide a deeper understanding of the design process, leading to 2) an improved sensibility with regard to design possibilities, their value and developments, and finally 3) the establishing of a methodology with which to discern the composition of a visual language/vision in fashion design based on ‘seeing’.The act of seeing is presented as the fundamental tool of designing for shaping a vision. By delving into the systematisation of the notion of seeing in a fashion design process, a methodology of seeing is introduced, which aims to enhance the possible ways of visualisation when designing.