In line with the basic body measurements I have come up with some assignment that I would like to add to my educational material. If you are interested you can do these and maybe even publish them on your own page? Please let me know how you have experienced them.
INTRODUCTION ASSIGNMENTS BASIC BODY
When working in the industry of fashion it is very important to get an idea of what your customer looks like and what size he/she has. Working towards the real size of your customers will help the Design department to design styles that are suitable for the body type of your customers and use fabrics that suit style and body types. Having knowledge of the customers will help Development, Quality assurance and Fitting with their specific processes. Trying to find a fitting model for a size 6 while your average customer is a size 12 is….. illogical but not at al uncommon in the industry.
Obviously (?) Design, Marketing and Sales will mention that for ‘esthetic reasons’ the company does not work with women of a size 12 in advertising – but from a fitting point of view it is very logical to fit in the size you sell the most. In the end all comes down to taste, ethics, marketing and responsiblity. And… I am thinking we live in an interesting time where discussions about anorexic models are finally being held within and without the industry. More needs to change though; I just Googled ‘beautiful woman’ and the first hit for somebody of African descent is at place 155. For ‘beautiful girl’ that is place 355. And these are just some figures showing how strange and out of balance internet and…. I am guessing, or, I fear, that our perception is.
And now the funny thing is, that everybody realises that there is something wrong with our perceptions when we come to make such comparison in race. However…. in the whole list of beautiful women or girls there is not one who is above a size 8 or above the age of 30. Obviously this blog is not about politics but I do want to, with some examples, point out that our perception is skewed. I have experienced that not seeing things as they are, does not help at all while making patterns and fitting clothing.
So, on you go! Here are some assignments to help you improve your ability to really see and understand bodies.
BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 1
Set up a photo gallery, Pinterest board, PowerPoint presentation or what have you to gather material on the following subjects on the internet and / or in books.
– ideal female body
– ideal male body
– ideal kids body (notice that you will mostly see measurement tables here)
– body proportions
– drawing a female body
– drawing a male body
– body perception
Objective: to get an idea of how the media show bodies and to get an idea of the discussions going in the media concerning body perception.
BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 2
Draw a male or female body from on paper. Make sure the figurines are at least 20 cm (8 inch) high. Draw a front view, side view and back view. Do so out of the top of your head. Spend at least 15 minutes on the assignment but no more than 30.
Possibly this is a frustrating experience, it does however directly confront you with what details of the human body you have no concept of in your head. It is important to develop at least a sense of proportion when working with patterns and fitting.
BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 3
Now do the same excercise as above but keep the tutorials that you browsed for earlier at hand. This will teach you how to look at a body and teach you about the proportions of a body.
BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 4
When you are, or want to be in kids clothing, do the assignments 1 to 3 for children.
BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 5
When you like you can scan the drawings of the assignments and save them. Following that, import the scans in a digital vector drawing program and copy them using vector lines.
If you have not worked with digital drawing programs before you might want to check out my blog post ‘Digital drawing’ (currently not available). Digital drawing is mainly not a requirement in positions where fitting is the main objective but it can be very handy when you do have these skills. Start developing them from early on and you will have learned a lot by the time you have finished the assignments on this blog.
Hope you enjoy!
Best regards, Martine