verbal croquis


Posted in events,my work,side projects by verbalcroquis on March 24, 2006

It’s 2am and I’m wired as all hell. Pardon the random vulgarities, but like I said, it’s 2am. I’m done. I’m going to the post office tomorrow. And then we wait.

Hold on, did I tell you guys what I was working on? I don’t remember. Basically Gen Art holds these fashion competitons every year and this year I’ve had the means to enter. You submit some sketches, they pick 5 finalists. You go to New York, they announce the winner at some Big Hullabaloo Fashiony Event ™ and if you win, you get $10,000 and 8 weeks to make one of your designs for Another Big Hullabaloo Fashiony Event ™ in Miami. That’s what I’ve been slaving away at for the past few weeks when I wasn’t slaving away at things related to my day job.

This year’s theme is “Sparkle”. Um, I’m not really a “sparkly” designer, but hey, gotta love a challenge, right? Here’s that blurb I had such a hard time writing before.

There’s a current wave of designers that are so caught up in concept that they forget the basics of clothes: people want to wear nice things. Most don’t care whether or not they’re wearing Darwin’s theory of evolution interpreted in fabric. Researched themes and stories is one thing, convoluted theory is another. The intrigue of this year’s theme “Sparkle,? is that it almost begs the upcoming generation of designers to drop the contrived themes and just make something gorgeous.

The word “sparkle? conveys light and all things pretty; it’s a playful word. It conjures up images of a young girl’s joy in rummaging through her mother’s closet and playing dress-up, images of girls in frilly dresses, shiny baubles, feather boas, and tiaras. Of course, few women dress this way, but that same joyous desire for pretty things exists in every woman, whether they’re the ladylike sophisticate or the edgy urbanite. My interpretation of “sparkle? is what happens when the edgy urbanite indulges in her nostalgic romanticism; the clothes here are cocktail and evening attire that have that rock and roll glamour softened with a sprinkle of “sparkle.? Menswear influences, unusual fabric treatments/layering and unexpected color combinations are my trademarks and make this collection feminine without it being too girly.

Let’s return to the basics of fashion design: creating really beautiful, covetable clothes. For all the soap-box antics some designers pull to gain publicity, nothing is more captivating than a collection of beautifully designed, perfectly constructed clothes.

So, here are the promised pics. Keep in mind, I’m a fashion designer, not a photographer. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’ll write up a proper post about my design process this weekend.

The storyboard (the text is the blurb above):


I got mad Photoshop skills, baby! There used to text across some these photos.

The designs:


Sparkly enough for ya?

The fabrics:


Wow, these photos really suck. Gah.

The flats:


Okay, I’m going to bed.  Please leave me comments saying you love it all you’re SO SURE I’m going to win.  No, seriously, I always welcome constructive criticism.  Can’t really learn any other way, ya know?


11 Responses to 'sparkle'

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  1. Danielle said,

    Wow, those are some HOT storyboards VC! Love the technical sketches, looks like they’re done freehand? Amazing. I particularly like the outfit in the middle. Which one would you choose to make? I’m guessing the dress on the right, that’s just the one I think has a little more stage value than the puff dress. I would wear that puff dress, which is funny because I’ve never thought of wearing a puff dress before! Once again you’ve set a high bar, I’ve got no doubt you’ll be sewing up one of these shortly.

  2. Danielle said,

    I guess if you want a little constructive criticism, I would have shown the back of the skirt in the illustration on the right like you did in the technical, but I guess you were trying to make it clear what the front looks like without mucking up the back. Does that help?

  3. henri-v said,

    Whoa! Spicy! Your drawings are beautiful, Zoe. What Danielle said about the bubble dress: it’s more rock-chick than sweet. Nice. And the pleaty-layered dress — I think that could be amazing if constructed! Are the fabrics swatches your final fabrics? Are the sparkly embellishments pre-applied, or will you hand apply them (maybe that’s a stupid question)? It’s hard for me to tell from the picture if the “sparkles” on the gold-tone fabric are beads, sequin/bead combos, little crystals, or adhered mirrored bits. Are those pockets or details on the gold dress? (My browser at work is wanky.) I’m picky about jewelry bits incorporated into garments — they have to look really luxe, so don’t skimp on the glass pearls and nice chains!

    Love love the pants and the narrow skirt – very wearable. And mixable.

    What are your retail price points?

  4. Danielle: I really wanted to do a multiple view illustrations, but also wanted to make the outfits as big as possible. The boards are already 14×17?—I didn’t want to get much bigger and I think you lose some of the impact if you separate the designs into separate pages. I worked with Bob Mackie once (while in school) and most the designs I did for his project had all 4 views so the girls looked liked they were dancing across the page. I really love that effect.

    Yes, the flats are hand-drawn. In this super-subjective field, I’ve always been proud of and universally praised for my pristine flats.

    I’m not quite sure which one I want to make, but yeah, I’m leaning towards the dissolving bow dress. I’ll prolly ask y’all to vote, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

    Henri-v the groupie: Yes, these are the final fabrics and all embellishments, fabric treatments, distressing, knotting, mock-plaid stitches, all me. All the fabrics were bought plain. If I actually get to the point where I have to make one of these, I know this girl, from Iowa, who’s picky about jewelry bits incorporated into garments, who will conveniently be in town when I will need to be purchasing materials, if it gets to that point. 😉

    Oh, and I have yet to do my costsheets. I’ll get back to you on that.

  5. Danielle said,

    Oh, I didn’t mean a full back view.

    What I was trying to say was seeing the inside of the back of the train of the skirt in the illustration looks different from the technical.

  6. Oh, I guess you couldn’t really see from my sucky photos, but i illustrated the back of the dress, but since it has a train, you wouldn’t see the pleating like the flat i drew as if it was hanging. Did that make any sense?

  7. roxy said,


    i entered the same competition and I wanna tell you your stuff’s really good : ). How old are you anyways?

  8. Hi roxy

    Thanks for dropping by and the compliment. Good luck to you as well. I’m 26.

  9. roxy said,

    hey verbal croquis we find out the winners today…excited? I have a good feeling about yours – like i said its amazing! Good luck to u for sure!

  10. roxy said,

    Hey Virbal Croquis…my name is Rhea aka ‘roxy’ and i’m just writing to tell you that I was picked as one of the 5 finalists for the Perrier Bubbling Under Award! I just thought it would be cool to tell you – were you? I mean do you go by another name cause honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if you were picked too – ur stuff’s amazing…write back ASAP!

  11. lLeyla said,

    Hello, i know this post is old but i had looked at the winners on the gen art site and googled the Bubbling Under Competition and found your blog. I love your inspiration and fabric boards but your completed board with sketches is a little plain. Have you ever considered using backgrounds with your sketches?

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