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The Fashion Resource Book

Research for Design

Robert Leach


The essential resource for visual research in fashion design


This book shows students and professional designers how to use visual research to develop a personal aesthetic as a fashion designer in a global industry.

Fashion design is a process of investigating, researching and constantly questioning what you are doing and why. The first section of this comprehensive guide demonstrates the research process underpinning the work of design icons from Coco Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier to Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. It reveals the many different areas of inspiration upon which they draw, from historical precursors such as Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ to traditional textiles from around the world.

The second section introduces a wide range of themes that often inform fashion design research, including vintage and retro, the use of archives and the influence of art movements such as op art and surrealism. Finally, a series of detailed case studies investigates the research process in the work of designers such as Paul Smith, Comme des Garçons and Anna Sui, among others. Many visual examples are included and the influences on their work are analysed.

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'A great reference book for anyone interested in design … sure to be an invaluable asset for fashion and design enthusiasts alike'
Irish Tatler

'A mine of information'
Design Addict

'This is an invaluable resource for students and designers with a focus on the importance of primary research in forming designs'
Making Jewellery

'A fantastic book to give method to your creativity'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 23.0 x 17.5 cm

Extent: 208 pp

Illustrations: 440

Publication date: 6 August 2012

ISBN: 9780500290354

Contents List

The Research Process • Maison Martin Margiela • Paul Smith • Anna Sui • Stephen Jones • Studio M • Maria Cornejo • Hand & Lock • Basso & Brooke • Hannah Marshall • Stylesight • Rei Kawakubo • Research and Inspiration: Historical • Art as Inspiration • Heritage • World • Architecture and Fashion • Nature and Science • Denim and Workwear • Sportswear • Zeitgeist • Film Style Icons • Street Style • Concept-led Design • Fabric Manipulation • Colour • Structure • Designer Cast Studies: Visual Reviews Burberry • Hussein Chayalan • Chanel • Commes des Garçons • Christian Dior • John Galliano • John Paul Gaultier • Marc Jacobs • Ralph Lauren • Alexander McQueen • Prada • Viktor & Rolf • Junya Watanabe • Vivienne Westwood • Yohji Yamamoto

About the Author

Robert Leach teaches fashion at the University of Westminster and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

List of Contributors

Shelley Fox