Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DIY Fashion Project: Inspiration Board

"Fashion fades, only style remains the same." 
- Coco Chanel

     Before designers create their new collection for the upcoming season, most put together what is called a mood board. As you can probably tell, a mood board is a compilation of the designer's dreams and images for the new collection. It's what inspires them to create. The inspirations can range from images of people, places, things, and eras. It's no secret that fashion goes through cycles that repeats itself. Ever so often we see looks coming down the runway that are 1920s, 50s, 60s, and even 80s inspired. I remember a couple of seasons ago when the 90s was making a comeback with the combination of denim, lots of florals, and shoulder pads. 

     So how can you translate a designers mood board into your own that will be useful to you? Create what stylists, fashionistas, and fashion enthusiasts alike call an inspiration board. An inspiration board, like a mood board, is a compilation of everything that inspires you as individual. It's main purpose is to hone in your personal style and pin point your tastes in fashion. As with the quote above, Coco Chanel once said that personal style is much more important than current trends in fashion. The season's trends come and go but your personal style is what defines you as an individual forever. 

     So how can you translate your inspiration board into something useful? Well first of all, when you begin to put together your inspiration board there are certain rules you must follow.. Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, the founders and editors of the popular fashion blog, WHO WHAT WEAR, have these three suggestions for an inspiration from their book WHO WHAT WHERE: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life -- 

  1. Nothing is off limits -- inspiration can come from anything, be it fabric swatches, photos, magazine tears, or even personal mementos. 
  2. Follow your instinct -- pick things that spark an immediate reaction even if it is a color combination, pattern, or even something as ordinary as an image that you see in the streets just because you like the way it looks. 
  3. Embrace fantasy -- pretty self explanatory. just don't overanalyze what it is that you're selecting and putting on your board. 
     Above, you can see my very own inspiration board. The images on it range from my favorite television characters like Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen from Gossip Girl, my favorite runway looks, my style icons like Lauren Conrad, Zooey Deschanel, and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, my favorite designers like Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Joyce Azria, and Erin Fetherston. It even includes little snippets of my favorite fashion spreads like that of Emma Watson in the August 2009 Teen Vogue cover shoot styled by Havana Laffitte and even accessories like the classic Chanel quilted bag, Hermes stud bracelet, the iconic Missoni zig zag pattern, black suede Christian Louboutin pumps, and Christian Dior and Oscar de la Renta gowns I've seen worn on the red carpet. I even have images of this all girl band from France called the Plastiscines because I love their eclectic/street style and of course their music!  I have hair trends that I've seen on the big/small screen and runways, and not forgetting my favorite costume designers and stylists which range from Janie Bryant of Mad Men, Patricia Fields of Sex and the City, Eric Daman the costume designer for Gossip Girl and Stephanie Savage, the show's creator and executive producer, and of course celebrity stylist, Rachel Zoe

     So with this gigantic collage and glob of mess, what does it all mean?! The key word here is pattern. It's not going to be readily evident in some inspiration board compared to some, but over time, after lots of editing [my next key point], you will begin to see a clear pattern in what your personal style is. For example, by looking at my inspiration board, a person who knows nothing about me can infer that my style is very romantic, whimsical, eclectic, and classic at some times. I'm in love with sweetheart necklines, flowy chiffon dresses, colors and floral patterns. And at the same time I love classic pieces of accessories or garments but love to mix and match patterns and colors and layer jewelry. 

     Now that we've answered the question of what, it's time to talk about how this can useful. Well the obvious answer is that your inspiration board can serve as a tool when you're trying to put outfits together for a night out or even going to class on campus. The less obvious answer is that this will be a helpful guide when you go shopping.  If you've decided that the minimal style works better for you than that edgy flair, you don't have to think twice between purchasing a black, cropped leather jacket as opposed to a camel trench coat. But the beauty of this whole thing is that you don't have to stick to one definable or undefinable style. For instance, depending on my mood and the season, my style could easily be bohemian, classic, or even street/eclectic. Your style could be a mixture of things simultaneously and that's perfectly okay! 

     Finally, I would like to add one more final rule to assembling your very own inspiration board which is EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! You can definitely have more than one inspiration board, but for those of you who would like to stick to just one, the beauty of having an inspiration board is that just as seasons change, so do some inspiration(s). After having edited your board several times over, you will see that there are some images on there that will always stay and these are the images/pieces that are timeless and which remains consistent to our personal style. For example, my board will always have florals, tiered dresses, bows, and Chanel. Those are the accents, patterns, and pieces that I always seem to come back to which can be defined as a signature

Love, KB

1 comment:

  1. Found you on LC's forum! You board looks amazing, that will be nice to look at everyday! Really like your blog! xxx