Roles, Tools and Techniques of Optical Illusion in Fashion Designing

Roles, Tools and Techniques of Optical Illusion in Fashion Designing

Tushar Soliwal
IE Supervisor at Pratibha Syntex Ltd.
Pithampur, Indore


In today’s world fashion and fashion technology plays and significant roles in day to day life fashion create various trends in today’s global market. As I graduated from fashion technology background so, I know about how fashion technology creates a boom in the textile industries up to retailing stores. Fashion means be updated with today’s worlds and upcoming trends. Fashion creates unique clothing style and it always a self expression. But today optical illusion comes in a picture which is a element and a distinguisher in fashion designing. Optical illusion and its various techniques create mind bending visual tricks which enhance overall aesthetic appearance of a garment and also flatter the wearer body or body shape into a powerful statement. The style, prints, fashion elements, and silhouettes of the garment are easily characterized by the use of optical illusion. Fashion designing playing on the relationship between the transparent fabrics and the color of the skin body [1]. So in this article we will study about how optical illusion and its role influences the fashion designing in the  garment industry.

What is Optical Illusion?
In previous days and optical art is termed as mathematically themed form of abstract of art, color, design, fashion and various things. It uses repetition of various patterns and designs which includes color effect foreground, backgrounds, vibrating effects, and moiré patterns and different visual effects. But nowadays optical illusion and its various techniques are used for fashion designing purpose, pattern engineering, pattern making, garment aesthetics, silhouettes designing and silhouettes, understanding and many more in order to understand contrast textures, lines, and curves and designing elements. An illusion makes an observer blind in its shape of design. So there were many retailers and retail designers which use the various application of optical illusion in their clothing and designing.  There are some of the illusions are well executed and created a flattering effects. And some illusions are simply do not work well with body shape of the wearer. So Optical illusion has become an essential tool in the arsenal of fashion designers worldwide. Its ability to manipulate perceptions, flatter figures, and create striking style statements makes it a game changer in the apparel industry. So you lay eyes on a mesmerizing fashion piece, remember to appreciate the magic behind optical illusion, where reality is transformed into a masterpiece walking down the runway.

Optical illusion in dress

Tools and Techniques of Optical Illusions in Fashion Designing:
Now let’s discuss how optical illusions are used in fashion designing in the field of garment industry to create an interesting and visually striking garment. In today’s world in today’s world optical illusion achieving variety of applications within including selection of fabric, pattern designing, pattern making, color blocking techniques and may more. So optical illusion place and very important role in apparel industry. They are used to achieve the power which attracts the public into visual trance [1]. Here I mention some different tools and techniques through which and fashion designer can create an optical illusions into the garment.

1. Lines and Optical illusion:
By use of lines or combining different lines which is other we can create various optical illusions on the garments or dress. As we know line plays a physiological role to make our eyes twist and they control our brain in such a way that our eyes automatically follow and fix on the design of the garment. When two or more lies which collapse on each other or intersect on each other than our eyes will strict on the point of intersection so the point become a focal point which emphasize the design. This point creates an illusion in the mean of that point, and then it automatically appears that part of the body smaller. In similar way if lines are wider and moving in opposite direction to each other than that part of the body which look or appear like a wider part as compared to the other parts of the body. If you talk about the thickness of the lines then for the thick lines they conveys to the observer about strength and the alertness in the mind of observer. And similarly the thin lines which conveys stability and firmness to that character. So as per the convenience, type of line, design of lines and type of style you want to adopt in your garment you can create or purchase the garment as for your choice. But the use of line and combination of different line characteristics we can hide and emphasize the silhouettes and weight of the body by adding different types of line while garment (Fashion) designing [2].

line in dress

Here I mention some types of lines which are:

  • Structural- Provide outline of the garment.
  • Designer- Emphasize beauty and details of the garment.
  • Printed- Referred to the prints of fabric

This printed type of lines are further classified into different categories which include:

  • Vertical lines
  • Horizontal lines
  • Zigzag lines
  • Diagonal lines
  • Curve lines

2. Patterns and optical illusion:
After the lines patterns are the most widely used optical illusions in the fashion industries to create various types of patterns. In fashion designer and fashion artist use patterns to create a aesthetic look into the garment which properly suits to the wearer body and provide the confidence to them. Similarly the pattern plays an essential role in fashion designing to create illusion like depth, texture, and the moment. When we observe a fashion models who wear the garment having vertical stripes and another fashion model which where the garments which have horizontal lines then in the both cases dress with vertical stripes create and illusion and make wearer appear taller.  And in the second case wearer appear more heavy and appear more wider when he or she wear the garment having horizontal stripes. In the similar case when a model wear the diagonal striped a pattern dress then he or she create the movement of sense. This phenomenal is called as Helmholtz illusion.

3. Color and optical illusion:
After the line and the patterns in the garments another most widely used optical illusion to create a fashionable clothing is color in fashion designing process. As we aware about the color and various properties of colors. Colors are used to create contrast or highlight the areas. So in garmenting we can use colors to emphasize a particular body part or we can create a contrast look into it. Different colors have different aspect of design, so fashion designer has to consider and use proper color template while creating a fashionable garment.

Role of Optical Illusion in Fashion Designing:
Optical illusion creates different wider range of application in the garment industries and also for the fashion designer to create a beautiful and decorative style of garments to sustain into the competitive marketplace. Optical illusion is not only a technique that is used in fashion designing but it also involves creation of patterns or designs that trick the eyes of the observer. This can be done in a number of ways, such as using contrasting colors and the combination of colors, by using asymmetrical patterns, or strategic placement of lines and shapes. There are different benefits of the use of optical illusion which includes:

  • We can create more flattering silhouette in fashion designing.
  • Optical religion create and visual effect and also create a visual interest towards the garment
  • The use of differentiates textures Colors patterns lines and various design elements provide eye catching appearance.
  • We can also use optical illusion techniques for designing the jewelries, accessories, handbags and other non textile materials.

So, overall, the role of optical illusion in fashion design is to enhance the wearer’s appearance and create a visually appealing garment and add the fashionable values into them [3].

In conclusion, optical illusion plays a crucial role in the field of fashion designing. It has the power to create mind-bending visual tricks that enhance the overall aesthetic appearance of a garment and flatter the wearer’s body shape. By using techniques such as lines, patterns, and colors, fashion designers can manipulate perceptions and create striking style statements. Optical illusion has become an essential tool for designers worldwide, allowing them to create garments that are visually appealing and make a powerful statement. It is a game changer in the apparel industry, transforming reality into mesmerizing masterpieces on the runway. The use of optical illusion in fashion design offers a wide range of benefits, including creating flattering silhouettes, adding visual interest to garments, and providing an eye-catching appearance. It is not limited to clothing but can also be applied to accessories and non-textile materials. Overall, optical illusion enhances the wearer’s appearance and adds value to the fashion industry.


  1. Rony, “Role of Optical Illusions in Fashion Designing” (Assessed on 14 July, 2023).
  2. Vaishally Verma and Prerna Kapila, “Lines: As Optical Illusion on Dress” for line part (Assessed on 14 July, 2023).
  3. “An Eye for Fashion: Researcher Finds Optical Illusion Garments Can Improve Body Image”, (Assessed on 15 July, 2023).

You may also like:

  1. The Role of Colour in Fashionable Dressing
  2. Principles and Examples of Fashion Design
  3. Elements of Design in Fashion and Textiles

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