Monday, April 4, 2011

Design Inspiration: History

("Rhianna" by Handmaden Designs)
For me, one of the greatest sources of inspiration is history.  A great many of my designs are Celtic, Renaissance, or Medieval inspired.  I also find a great deal of inspiration in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Things to consider when looking to history for inspiration are:

-what period of history interests you?
-is there a particular fashion style that interests you? If so, what period is it from?
-are you or your target audience involved in re-enactments? Again, if so, what time period?

-What period of history interests you?

Having a hard time identifying what period of history you seem to have an interest in?  A pretty good indication is by examining the books you read and the films/TV shows that you watch.  What time period are they set in? If you find a recurring theme in what time period(s) those books/films/TV shows are set then try doing some research on that(those) time periods(s) for inspirational ideas.  What styles were in fashion?  What important event(s) were going on?  What materials or themes were popular?  All of these questions can help you find historical inspiration.

For example, if you have an interest in the 1930's-1940's you could design a piece based on the popular styles of that day, or even use a military theme using old medals.  Or, if you like the up-cycled style and assemblage, you could incorporate old daguerreotypes into your work. 

-Is there a particular fashion style that interests you?

Like a particular fashion style? Well, find out when it was from and what other things from that period interest you.  Use that fashion style as a design inspiration.

-Are you or your target audience involved in re-enactments?

This is a particularly important way in history can provide inspiration.  If you or your target audience (in many cases, both) are involved in some form of historical re-enactments, then that provides a starting point for your designs.

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