Mixing and matching different ideas and design inspirations with a healthy dose of femininity
(published in Metro magazine)
I’ve recently found myself fascinated with the concept of femininity and how it translates to design in modern times. So much of everything we see around us now is an amalgamation of different ideas and aspects of what’s feminine, from our beauty ideals to our fashion trends. This season a woman’s strength comes from showing her softer side, and as I love mixing design inspirations, I noticed that it’s the contrast of feminine and masculine elements together that I personally like more than ambiguous androgyny.
Color is a design element that is very important to me, and I love the impact that the right use of color or the combinations of colors, has on even the simplest design. I don’t really go for a lot of brash, in-your-face colors but I do love rich, saturated hues and jewel tones that I sometimes mix together. I also like the surprise of contrasting a soft, feminine color with a strong, masculine shape, and vice-versa.
Touches of Nature
Nature has long been one of my favorite sources of inspiration, and flowers and vegetables (strangely enough) fascinate me with their variety of shapes, colors, textures, and even smells. I think ‘modern’ design is often thought of to be hard-edged and sci-fi futuristic, but I am drawn to modern design that is more organic, where shapes and textures mimic what’s familiar to us but distilled or exaggerated almost to abstraction.
Attention to Details
Details are where God is said to reside, and who are we to argue? More than theatrical impact, I’ve always been fascinated with a garment’s details, those often over-looked minutiae of fashion that spell all the difference. So when designing a piece, I don’t only imagine how it will look, I often think of how it will feel. And I love subtle elements of surprise like the peek of a frothy petticoat from under a dark skirt.
Balance and proportion are what give any outfit—no matter how avant garde or deconstructed —a sense of elegance. It’s knowing all the fashion rules, and how to break them the right way. It’s choosing the right mix of elements that make a statement while making the wearer look good. And most importantly it’s understanding how to walk that fine line between prim and trashy, boring and over-the-top, restrained and ridiculous. Femininity is finding that balance, and doing it with aplomb.
*Illustration from “Not By the Book: Fashioning Design” available through order here 🙂