PATTERNS FOR SPRING 23'
CHALLENGE: Project with an apparel company in mind. Create a mood-board and patterns with two color ways each that feature upcoming fashion trends for Spring 2023.
TOOLS USED: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
When researching fashion trends for the upcoming spring 23’ season, I found some common overarching themes and styles among runway designs.
-Inspiration from history and readapting historical styles to present trends (Zimmerman, Dior, Stella McCartney, Erdem, Salvatore Ferragamo)
-New technologies (Miu Miu, Chloé),
-Large bold florals (Loewe, Dries Van Noten, Carolina Herrera, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane).
- A common color theme of bright greens and limes.
When considering my concept, I decided I wanted to adapt pattern styles from further back in history. I have noticed that media such as television and film can influence evolving fashion trends. I decided to work with the trends from a historical television show that has become popular in the last couple of years, with a new season coming out this spring; Bridgerton. The show’s costuming and decor display numerous florals and detailed patterns based on themes from the Regency design era (1811-1820).
In addition to historical and media influences, I wanted to incorporate technological advancements into my patterns. I was inspired by advancements in Bio design and Biotechnology. I have a book (Bio Design: Nature, Science, Creativity by William Myers) that showcases the many methods that biology is being applied to fashion, architecture, industrial design, artwork, and more. I became inspired by projects such as guiding bees to form hives into specific object shapes, bacteria used to grow art and sculpture, and the many uses of algae. I also became fascinated by the beautiful images of organisms under a microscope. I spent a lot of time going through the images and colors of nature under the microscope and analyzed how similar many of these microscopic photos were to flowers.
When deciding on a color palette, I began by working with Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2023 New York Fashion Week Color Palette and compared them to the colors I saw on the runway.
I knew I would include several bright greens in my palette and softer blues to contrast the bright tones. I decided to borrow Blue Perennial, Empire Yellow, and Persimmon from the Pantone color palette and add more colors down the road.
To keep the tones of bright spring and greener biotechnology, I leaned towards a palette where I could create contrasting tones and monochromatic schemes.
I was drawn to this photo of algae cells and decided that structure would be used as my main floral image. I created smaller spiraling shapes in the background to make a pattern similar to the florals found in Regency Era fabrics. The structure for the spirals was taken from the form of the Chlorophyta/Green Algae.
I made the flowers large to match the bold floral trend of the season.
For my supporting print, I was initially inspired by how bacteria can form colonies that signal to each other and act as one. When these colonies grow, they can exhibit collective motility and develop scattering “arms” to look for sustenance (shown left - made visible with dye). The unique shapes reminded me of how trees grow together in a forest to share space and sunlight. For my print, I illustrated a pattern that followed the forms of bacteria grown in Petri dishes, sharing the space.
I decided on a four-color print for each colorway of the plaid. I continued my theme and saw the plaid as a simplified and abstract version of microscopic patterns in nature. My design concept was taken from Regency plaid dress styles and combined the larger patterns with bright spring colors. I felt that a thicker striped plaid followed the bold print trends of Spring 23’.
I imagined the eye-catching plaids to be made for pants or a skirt.
I noticed that damask was present in history long before the Regency Era and was amazed that this method of woven fabric stayed popular for centuries. I illustrated my damask-style pattern as a base for this embroidery pattern. I was inspired by the previously mentioned bio design project featuring bees guided to create hives in the form of a specific object, such as a vase. My pattern is an embroidered representation of a bee hive formed around the damask pattern.
When conceptualizing these patterns, I imagined the prints appealing to biologists, STEM students, nature enthusiasts, and children. I enjoyed the idea of combing old historic styles with newer work in biotechnology and bio design. The idea of altering nature to grow into something new and useful to humanity is not entirely a 21st-century idea. People have been experimenting with nature and its organisms for millennia - Living Tree Bridges, domesticated plants, insects, livestock, etc. Yet the advancements we are making today continue, making new technological discoveries and progress.