Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Boiling of Elements

Dear Centine, I've been pondering the following questions you posed earlier:

"If we were to apply Mondrian's concept of boiling art or fashion down to its essential elements, what sort of dress would we get? What ARE the essential features of a dress? And perhaps more importantly, is a so-called 'elementary' dress able to be interesting and viable as a fashion statement?"

I seem to be struggling to come up with a non-ambiguous answer. You see, the problem for me is that all design, whether it be furniture, interior, fashion or other, is comprised of the basic elements of design (line, shape, direction, size, texture, colour, value). So what exactly can we call essential elements? To me all of the elements are essential. So, I'm going to redefine your question Centine. From a fashion design point of view, can garments be more/less "interesting" if the designer places self imposed restrictions on their work. For example, restrictions such as straight design lines, with a minimal colour - black & White, with minimal t0 no variation in texture throughout could result in this:
Narciso Rodriquez SS09

Pronza Schouler SS09

Gareth Pugh SS09
The Gareth Pugh is an excellent example to show that minimal elements does not equal a simple design. 

If we consider another emelent, say value, and add it into the equation the result may be something like:
Hervé Léger by Max Azria SS09

Pollini SS09

We can see that another element has come into play, but to say this makes the dresses more or less interesting would be pointless. 

So, the conclusion i have come up with is this: The number of elements is not proportional to the interest, viability or simplicity/complexity of a garment. Basically, fashion is not so cut and dry. It is subjective, and there is no guaranteed formular for success. 

-Love from a contemplative Kaylene

(all images from

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kaylene. I also feel that the number of elements does not define the quality of a garment. I would however, take your attention to growing importance of the hangtags, swing tickets and other packaging products, which are becoming the face of a product. While searching online, I came across Hang Tag Design ( which provides fashionable accessories. I placed an order for swing tickets recently and I am quite impressed by the quality. I would recommend them to all looking for fashionable accessories.