Monday, November 30, 2009


Disco is a genre of dance music that had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, psychedelic and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. While disco was a form of black commercial pop music and a craze among black gay men especially, it did not catch mainstream attention until it was picked up by the predominantly white gay clubs of New York. Latinos and women embraced disco as well, and the music eventually expanded to several other popular groups of the time.

Musical influences include funk and soul music. The disco sound has soaring, often reverberated vocals over a steady "four-on-the-floor" beat, an eighth note (quaver) or sixteenth note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a prominent, syncopated electric bass line sometimes consisting of octaves. Strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars create a lush background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often used for solo melodies, and unlike in rock, lead guitar is rarely used.


Motown Soul

Motown shaped the culture and did all the things that made the 1960s what they were. So if you don’t understand Motown and the influence it had on a generation of black and white young people, then you can’t understand the United States, you can’t understand America.

—Julian Bond, N.A.A.C.P. chairman of the board.

The Birth of Rock n' Roll

Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll or rock ’n’ roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s,[1][2] primarily from a combination of the blues, country music[3] and gospel music.[4] Though elements of rock and roll can be heard in country records of the 1930s,[3] and in blues records from the 1920s,[5] rock and roll did not acquire its name until the 1950s.[6][7] An early form of rock and roll was rockabilly,[8] which combined country and jazz with influences from traditional Appalachian folk music and gospel.


The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age describes the period after the end of World War I, through the Roaring Twenties, ending with the onset of the Great Depression. Traditional values of the previous period declined while the American stock market soared.

The age takes its name from jazz music, which saw a tremendous surge in popularity. Among the prominent concerns and trends of the period are the public embrace of technological developments typically seen as progress — cars, air travel and the telephone - as well as new modernist trends in social behavior, the arts, and culture. Central developments included Art Deco design and architecture.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It is well said that leather never ages. It adds to its quality with time. Leather fabric is weather friendly, gives comfort in both the weather, hot as well as cold. It is firm, soft and elastic. It retains to the original shape when stretched and absorbs water vapour without losing the dryness.

Leather fabric carries natural textures. Some has
scars where as others show a grainy surface. Few of them have velvety appearance and some marbled or creased look. Many of them are given textures artificially, such as embossed leather.


Linen, symbolizing comfort and elegance is also widely known for its antibacterial and antifungi properties. It is one of the most luxurious fabric, carrying tensile strength with high durability. It is completely biodegradable and is waste-less. It do not cause irritation or allergies when worn and gives protection against UV radiation.

Linen fabric textures are not of wide variety but only known for Venice, Damask and Butcher's linen.


Wool fabric is known for its warmth. It is soft, strong and very durable. One of the important quality of wool fabric is that it wicks away perspiration from the body and keep the wearer dry. It do not wrinkle easily and is resistant to dirt and wear and tear. Wool never burns over a flame, instead it only smoulders.

Whatever be the source of wool, such as sheep, lamb, alpaca, camel, etc., the fabric of each can be given a different texture to make it more purposeful. For example Chellis is used to make women's and children's dresses and blouses where as Loden is shaped into capes and sportswear. Houndstooth Check is also used in sportswear, specially sportcoats but suits goes well with it. To make tailored suits for men and women, Gabardine is the best.


Silk fabric, one of the higher grade fabric known for its softness, luster, beauty and luxurious look. It gives comfort in all types of weather and is the strongest natural fabric in the world. Indian silk is popular worlwide because of its sheer variety of designs, weaving and quality. The most valued is the Thai silk.

Different textures are created with silk fabric according to the use. Summer textures are different from that which is worn in cold climates. In menswear, the fabrics are light with subtle textures.


"Cotton fabric is a very versatile natural fabric. It gives immense comfort to wearer and is very durable. Suitable for all kinds of weather, it traps air within the fabric structure and help for a thermal insulation process. For its strength, absorbency and washable property, cotton has become the principal clothing fabric of the world.

With its versatility, a number of textures are created with cotton fabric. Each texture contribute to the final quality of the cotton. The following are some of the cotton fabric textures."

Fashionable Adjectives

Sometimes designers must communicate their ideas through words first, so it's important to be familiar with a full range of possibilities.  Fluffy, dense, shimmery, light, heavy, course, or flowy- the words yous select should be an accurate representation of what you imagine.  Listed below are a few suggestions to get you started...

  • Aesthetic (also esthetic or esthetic) – [circa 1815-25] cosmetically appealing
  • Bedizen – [circa 1655-65] gaudy or showy adornment or dress
  • Blousy – loose, frilly manner of (shirt) dressing
  • Braw – [circa 1555-65] (Scot & North England) (pronounced "brah") excellent, fine-looking, dressed in a fine or gaudy manner
  • Diaphanous – light filmy material, often sheer
  • Delicate, Elegant, Fine, Finespun, Gauzy, Gossamer, Insubstantial
  • Esthetic (also esthetic or aesthetic) – [circa 1815-25] cosmetically appealing
  • Jaunty – [circa 1655-65] easy and spritely (springy) manner; smartly trimmed, as in clothing
  • Habiliment – [circa 1375-1425] clothes or clothing worn in a particular profession; accouterments, trappings (i.e. wizard's garb, a nun's habit, a monk's or clerical attire, a baker's outfit with toque (chef's hat))
  • Full
  • Matte – a flat, non-shiny finish
  • Opaque – solid, non-transparent
  • Ornamented (ornamentation) – adorned, decorated
  • Puffy (sometimes colloquially "poofy") – full, stuffed or filled as to provide voluminous shape or appear greater than reality
  • Refined
  • Regalia
  • Ribboned – to decorate with ribbons; to wind around as a meandering path
  • Semi-sheer – translucent fabric
  • Sheer – transparent fabric
  • Snug – form-fitting
  • Stout – stiff
  • Stuffed – full, puffy
  • Turgid – [circa 1660-70] swollen, distended (as of the stomach filled with gas); tumid; inflated, overblown, pompous, bombastic; excessively ornate, grandiloquent, ostentatiously lofty in style
  • Unsavory – [circa 1175-1225] tasteless, insipid, unpleasant in taste or smell; unappealing, disagreeable; socially or morally objectionable or offensive
  • Veneer – [circa 1695-1705] superficially valuable or pleasing; to conceal something of lesser or common quality with a deceptively outward show
  • Vitiate – [circa 1525-35] make faulty, spoil, impair the quality of, reduce the value of
  • Voluminous – of great size, amply full, large in volume or bulk, having many coils (winding)

Can you feel it?

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Rainbow Connection: Working with Color

Primary Colors: Colors at their basic essence; those colors that cannot be created by mixing others.




Secondary Colors: Those colors achieved by a mixture of two primaries.



Monochromatic means one color. This scheme is easiest to understand and the simplest to work with. It consists of one color and its different values.





The analogous color scheme is similar in feeling to the monochromatic where you choose a color and the two colors adjacent to it on either side. Stay within similar values on either end of the color you have selected.






A complementary scheme uses two colors directly across from each other on the color wheel, such as, green and red. This scheme creates a contrast that can be vibrant and exciting or soothing and relaxing depending on what value of the colors you use. With this scheme it works best to allow one color to be the dominant so that the colors don’t compete with each other. 


Split Complement:

These are colors one step either way of the complement’s own analogous colors. It’s strength is in the low-contrast beauty of analogous colors, plus the added accent of an opposite color.



Check these video for a creative expression of color...

Color In Motion
Kuler: Color Scheme Creation
Color Calculator
Color Scheme Designer

Videos and LINKS

Hello Designers,
Check this page for video updates and LINKS from our class meetings. Feel free to leave comments with suggestions and your thoughts about your creative process.

Project Runway Season 6 Cast from Angelique Sims on Vimeo.

Fashion Diary

The Budget Fashionista

African Inspired Kimono


Duro Olowu : Official Site

Duro Olowu: Spring 2010

Black Fashion Designers

What do you think about this look?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I have established this space as a resource for my Brownsville Prep Fashion Design Enrichment Class. We will be making clothing collages as our final project, but in the meantime we'll be in engaged as trend reporters/ inspiration hunters. Let's begin our investigation with COLOR...

PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2010 features the top 10 colors for women's fashion for spring 2010, along with designer sketches, quotes and headshots, and is available free-of-charge. The release of the PANTONE Fashion Color Report coincides with the beginning of New York Fashion Week.

"Now more than ever, women are vigilant when it comes to spending," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "Instead of reinventing their wardrobe at the start of each season, consumers want pieces to complement what they already own. Pairing a bold color with a basic piece or freshening up their look with bright accents addresses the need for practicality, as well as fun." In addition to designer contributions, this season's report also features commentary from fashion insiders and retail standouts regarding the current consumer consciousness toward fashion. ndustry gurus highlighted in the report include Nina Garcia, fashion director at Marie Claire and judge on Lifetime's "Project Runway," Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC's "What Not to Wear," and India Hicks, creative partner at Crabtree & Evelyn. Contributors from Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's and Links of London also weigh in from a retailer's perspective.

According to this season's report, vibrant brights add a sense of excitement to the palette, especially when set against practical neutrals that provide a safety net for cautious consumers.

Spring and summer naturally evoke feelings of calm ocean waters and tranquil beach vacations in cool, vibrant, tropical Turquoise. This soothing hue from the blue-green family conjures feelings of escape, especially when paired with Amparo Blue. With more warmth than the typical spring navy, this particular shade of blue is extremely appealing because of its brighter, more energetic attitude. Like the scent of a blossoming flower, Violet lends a romantic air to the warm-weather palette. This intriguing purplish hue is a distinctive addition to any wardrobe.