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PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Balance in fashion design can be achieved with the
use of features, such as seams, hemlines, and
Symmetrical applications of balance (for example, a
straight hemline) are the norm, but asymmetrical
balance can be effective too.
In the past several years, asymmetrical necklines
have achieved popularity. Asymmetrical balance is
more complex and trickier to achieve than
For example, a one-shoulder gown might look
interesting with its asymmetrical neckline, but a
jacket with one lapel larger than the other would just
In symmetrical or formal balance one side of
garment is exact copy or mirror image of the other
side. In symmetrical balance the garment can be
divided into two similar parts by means of a
imaginary line and identical objects are placed on
both sides of garment. This is the commonly used
feature in the garment and it provides simplicity and
sophistication to the garment there is no creativity
needed to make this type of garment therefore the
designer needs to be emphasis on color, texture and
accessories to give it more dramatic look
The example of symmetrical garments are trousers,
cardigans, straight skirt and princess-line dress.
The radial type of balance can be created when the
design details of a garment emerge or radiate from a
central focus point. This is a complicated design and
is used for novelty effect in evening gowns.
The asymmetrical or informal balance
provides more excitement to the garment.
In this case the design composition of the
garment on either side is different from
each other but one part of the garment
equalizes the other part in weight. The
more creativity can be showed on these
types of garments and
body irregularities can be hidden by this
factor. The example of this type of balance
can be shown in formal wears.
Asymmetrical—(balance) balanced, but each side is different
Symmetrical—(formal balance) exactly same on both sides
• Rhythm is created by repetition of lines, patterns, shapes or colors.
• By use of gathers, pleats, buttons and tucks we can make a rhythmic
effect in the garment.
• Printed suit fabrics are a wonderful example of rhythm on fabric.
Example: collection of vases displayed on a shelf, row of buttons on garment
What type of balance does this garment have?
Where is the rhythm in this garment?
When the principle of unity in fashion design is applied well, a garment or fashion
accessory should look good overall.
It should look as though it goes together, and it should look as though all the design
elements are contributing to make a harmonious whole.
In an effective application of the principle of unity, each element enhances the others,
rather than distracting from the design.
* Unity + Variety = Harmony
* Unity-everything works together
* Variety-design is not boring, several
elements used to hold viewers attention
Harmony in a garment relates to the overall look of the garment, in
which garment, hairdo, accessories all makes the whole look.
Principles of Harmony
Silhouette of the garment should be in a good relation to the body
shape of the garment.
Style lines should be consistent on every area of the garment.
All areas of the garment should reflect the same shapes so that
the continuity of the design is not broken.
Similar or contrasting textures should be used in a pleasing way.
Unity in the color combination should be there to provide harmony.
Small differences in the hem lengths of sleeves and garment ends
should be avoided as they interfere with the horizontal movement of
Discuss the design of this room
Are all of the elements harmonious?
Why or why not?
There are a number of techniques that a fashion designer may use to place emphasis on a
feature of a garment or a fashion accessory.
Such techniques may include the addition of embellishment, cut-outs, ruffles, peplums, and so
Use of color and its placement is another way to create emphasis, making some areas stand out
more than others.
Exaggerated or unusual designs, such as the leg-o-mutton sleeves that were popular on 1980s
wedding gowns, also create emphasis, highlighting a particular area.
Knowing about emphasis, which can be part of the design itself or emphasis on the body
because of the way a garment is designed, can help any woman when she is selecting a garment
or fashion accessory.
For example, if a woman wants to showcase her shoulders, she may select a strapless top or
dress. If she wants to highlight her cleavage, she may select a gown with a deep V-neckline.
•Points of attention in a
•The feature in a design that
attracts one’s eye.
•The focal point.
•Emphasis can be achieved
through size, placement, color
and use of lines.
•The most personal aspect of a
Emphasis is the center of interest, which
draws and holds the attention more than
any other part.
Every garment has a area of emphasis on
it which makes the center of attraction of
the garment. Emphasis can be achieved
by means ofContrasting Colors
Bold and unusual shapes
Eye catching patterns
Attractive Design Details
There are some details
which emphasis on face with the use of
collars in contrasting colors, a bright
coloured scarf or necktie, jewellery and
Example: fire place, vase of flowers, artwork piece of jewelry,
scarf, hair clip
What area of this room is your eye drawn to?
Why do you think this has become the focal point?
Proportion in fashion design is the principle that holds
that the size of various components of a garment or
fashion accessory must look good together.
Proportion is one of the most important principles of
fashion design for the petite woman because when she
selects garments, their proportion (or size/scale of the
garment or various components of a garment or
fashion accessory) should be relative to her small
For example, a tea-length, full skirt would have so
much volume that it would be overwhelming on a
Proportion can be defined as a pleasing relationship between the garment and its different
parts. In garment its silhouette has to be in proportion with the different parts of the garment.
The basic law or the golden law that is provided by the Egyptians is 3:5:8 and 5:8:13. A
proportionate garment design needs to be synchronized with the motifs, the placement of the
motifs and the desirability of the garment to the wearer. The colors in a garment also provide
proportion to the garment. The best examples of this are Indian ladies suits which follow an
inverted proportion system. Although miniskirts are designed in poor proportion as the shorter
length of the garment proportionate the longer legs of the wearer.
Proportion And Body Shape
The body size can be divided into three categories which are as followsSmall
The person who is of small body size should not wear garments which have big patterns on it ,
excess of jewellery also do not look good on small statured people.
The person who is of medium body size can wear a wide variety of garments and different types
of fabrics according to their body size.
The person who has large body size can wear garments which have small motifs on it which
can accentuate the body shape of the person.
Is this area well-proportioned or disproportioned?
Compare the size and scale of the objects in the room to one