Various Sources of Inspiration for Fashion Designers

Various Sources of Inspiration for Fashion Designers

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India


Typically, fashion designers draw their inspiration from everything that captures their interest, including paintings, sculptures, architecture, furniture, flowers, and animals. Understanding the inspiration at the beginning of any creative process is crucial. The most crucial step in making clothing is definitely finding inspiration. It functions as the initial step in the overall design process. It might be intangible (something that cannot be touched or seen) or tangible (something that can be sensed and touched).

Different Sources of Inspiration for Fashion Designers:

1. Nature:
Nature is a terrific source of inspiration even though it’s probably hard to picture someone coming up with a clothing design by simply staring at a sunset or tree line. In particular, it offers a variety of colours in combinations you never would have thought of. It would be foolish for fashion designers not to use it, therefore they do.

nature fashion

2. The Streets:
Fashion frequently emerges from risk-taking improvisation or even a lack of resources. It’s difficult to determine who made the decision to combine items that had never been combined before, the designer or the client, first. All of those combinations—jeans and lace, fur and vibrant hues, chunky boots and summer dresses—came about through time and via experimentation. Take a look at how fashionable it is to collect rags and worn-out clothing. What do you suppose its origins were? One of the fashion designers presumably took a stroll down a bustling New York street and likely chose to incorporate it into the upcoming collection simply because she was out of inspiration and desperate. But the end outcome was better than anyone could have imagined.

street fashion

3. Art:
Various creative movements, paintings, and sculptures have inspired many fashion designers. Given that fashion and art have coexisted for centuries, this connection is also not unexpected. The most well-known designers frequently draw inspiration from the arts. They may find inspiration in a certain pattern, form, or color scheme, or they may desire to imitate the lighting or texture of a specific piece. It is also easy to find inspiration in the topics and symbolism presented in art.

Art fashion

4. Traditional Wear:
In some countries, like India, traditional clothing is still widely worn. Utilizing them in fashion collections is a natural choice in such nations. However, the wearing of traditional clothing has long since disappeared in other nations. It is not evident how to proceed in this situation to find inspiration in traditional clothing. Additionally, it requires more creativity and effort in more modern nations to include traditional components into collections.

Traditional Wear fashion

5. Movies and Books:
Film has been entangled with fashion since its inception. Design in general is essential to creating outstanding films, whether it be for costumes, sets, props, or lighting. Fashion designers have been known to work with filmmakers to create iconic looks and personalities. Many fashion designers are also inspired by avant-garde literature. They have integrated everything from unrequited love to time travel to political satire in their designs, whether they drew inspiration from current fashion trends or overarching themes from novels.

Movies and Books fashion

6. Emotions:
Emotion plays a significant role in the creative process in all forms of art. An emotion may be a powerful beginning point for a designer, whether it is positive or bad. Some fashion designers make it a point to visually depict the emotions they have gone through. Others produce designs in an effort to influence the audience or consumers’ emotions.

Emotions fashion

7. Culture:
Have you ever considered the appeal of Japanese designs in clothing lines? Designers are motivated by Japanese culture in general, which explains this. There is no denying that it is very interesting. The types of clothing, patterns, colours, and hair are so dissimilar from those in the West that it would be impossible to resist the temptation. For a Westerner, the atmosphere is enthralling overall.

Culture fashion

8. Narratives:
Fashion designers occasionally have a tale to tell. Telling their genesis story or the background of a significant event may inspire them. Additionally, they might create a creative narrative out of a number of inspirations, telling the tale through a whole collection. For instance, to create a story about a vampire over the years to honour Louis Vuitton’s creator, Ghesquière recently drew inspiration from a variety of ideas and sources.

Narratives fashion

In addition to books on costume history, there are numerous other resources that fashion designers and fashion historians should not be without. They contain forecasts of fashion and business trends, visual inspiration for artistic endeavours, and many types of historical proof. Forecasting services, trade journals, newspapers, advertisements, and fashion magazines are some of the places you can find information about fashion and industry trends. Paintings and visual imagery from theatre, film, and popular culture are among the sources the designer can draw inspiration from. Portrait paintings, fashion plates and periodicals, pictures, literary sources, pattern books, and trade catalogues are all examples of historical evidence.


  1. Inspiration and information: sources for the fashion designer and historian, Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 June 2016
  2. Fashion Designers And Their Source Of Inspiration, By Vibe Fabriclore, Sep 24, 2022
  3. How fashion designers inspire themselves?
  4. The Creative Role of Sources of Inspiration In Designing Clothes
  5. Where Do Fashion Designers Find Sources for Inspiration?, By JOANNA ELIZABETH, PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 24, 2017

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