How Inspiration Works

I have always felt that Inspiration is the key to any good design. Obviously, you need good design and practicality and colors and fabrics, but without a good source of inspiration a design couldn’t tell a story. Design can come from any source: Nature, architecture, other people’s designs, photographs, or memories. Big things can inspire one to do big things.

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A seemingly normal stairway that can inspire you for shapes and color blocking.

Little things can inspire one to do little things. But then little and big get mixed and suddenly you don’t really know where this idea came from, but you like it and know how to achieve it. That’s what Inspiration is.

My particular method of collecting Inspiration is extensive. I start with written stories.

Obviously I want to tell my own story but reading a little fairy tale can give me an idea for a particular aesthetic. After I decide what I want to portray, I go on extensive searches using various corners of the internet. I love using the primary colors in a photograph to inspire me for the fabrics I’ll be using. If I find a picture that has gold lighting I will want to use a warm, shiny fabric.

Once I have chosen my color scheme and found picture of fabrics I would like to use, I start collecting silhouettes and details. I will use magazines, old runway shows, new runway shows, and Tumblr to collect a wide variety of silhouettes and detail. Then, once I have a basic sketch based off my collection of images, I will make a yard count. Then I’ll finally get to go fabric shopping.


A skirt-shirt combination I’m currently draping

Once I come home, I will start to look for more detailed images of higher fashion and then I’ll start draping. I like to buy the fabric before I finish the sketch, that way I have more freedom to experiment with the fabrics I bought. Because I don’t exactly have a high budget – I buy what I can get, and because of this sometimes a sketch will look nothing like itself on the dress form. Then I’ll sew and finish it.

The one thing that stays the same throughout all these steps is the aesthetic.

My aesthetic could be described as fairytale Avant Garde. I love weird silhouettes and shapes, with a more soft and romantic feel. My Inspiration usually comes from a mixture of the greats, like Alexander McQueen, and old styles from the 90s and the 50s. I love the silhouettes and textures from these two decades. So whenever I’m searching for some basic Inspiration, not just for a specific line or design, I’ll go through old designs from then.

My favorite part about Inspiration is that it doesn’t need to make sense. A random collection of completely unrelated photographs from the seventies can be the key to a fashion designer’s career. As artists, it’s our job to use Inspiration, not just let it use us. It’s so easy to get caught in a wave of perfect pictures, even if those perfect pictures have nothing to do with what you want to make. Inspiration is literally an artist’s best friend. Because no matter how talented you are in your field, Inspiration shows you what you want to do. What’s your favorite stage when you create something?



Inspiration. It’s essential to any type of artist. We all have something that excites us, motivates us to create, and reminds us why we love our craft. For me, it’s magazines. When I slide my hand across a cover and flip through the glossy pages, I feel like I’ve stepped out of my ordinary high school life and into a glamorous, high fashion world. As I read on, my mind starts buzzing with ideas like, “I love how that [insert designer item here] was styled by [insert genius fashion director here]… and if I recreate the look it’d be perfect for [insert occasion here].” Seeing how different magazines interpret designers’ work is what really excites me and fuels my passion for clothes. Ten years into the future, I see myself on the road to becoming an editor at an influential publication. But until that time comes, I’m attempting to get my hands on every magazine possible and develop my voice as a writer through my personal blog, The Style Child (

And now, I give you my all-time favorite magazine covers, plus how they’re inspiring my work at FIT:

I love when young, successful girls are featured on magazine covers rather than the same recycled mega-stars. Just as their careers were taking off, models Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, and Ali Michael covered TeenVogue’s February ’08 issue.
For my magazine project, I wanted to feature someone who, like these three girls, posses both beauty and intelligence. I chose Elle Fanning, and picked a quirky photo of her shot by Terry Richardson.

Another one of my favorites is the premiere issue of the Harper’s Bazaar “New Look,” which dropped this past March. The strong type pops out against the simple white background, a look I’m trying to emulate for my cover.

I love the color scheme of Leighton Meester’s Nylon cover. I’m using similar tones of red, orange, and yellow to create a warm, vibrant feel in my magazine.

Until Next Time,


Inspiration: It’s Everywhere!

Is it just me, or did this semester fly by? After this week, there are only two session left of Precollege Spring 2012! Today, I will be telling all of you about where I get my inspiration! To me, inspiration is things that you absolutely love or things that you stop to look at 3 or 4 times. Overall, Inspiration is something that is supposed to motivate you to do better!

One of the biggest things that gives me inspiration is Tumblr! I absolutely love to re-blog fashion pictures for outfit ideas and such! Also, by looking at the styles on the streets of NYC give you so many ideas!

I absolutely love Fashion Magazines. They give me tons of ideas on how to incorporate trends into my everyday style. To transition all these things, sometimes I like to use boards for each season to display my ideas and favorite things for each season. Last semester in Fabric Styling, the class created an all about me board! I put tons of my favorite trends of winter and places i love!

Inspiration can come for everything! Where do you get your inspiration? Comment below!

Until next time,

xoxo Tori

Inspiration? Where do I begin…

How could I describe how I find inspiration? Some people can’t seem to find any, so I suppose I’m lucky.

In my opinion, the first thing to do if you’re having trouble being inspired is creating a good atmosphere. Walking from Grand Central to the Garment district daily usually does this for me, because walking by Bryant Park is always so beautiful. I always have a million things going on at once, so it helps for me to be very organized before I start sketching. After that, comes everything.

Even though I love watching fashion shows and reading magazines and online shopping for trends, when it comes to my own design aesthetic, I turn to the less obvious. I love using nature and inanimate objects for inspiration. As someone who loves a challenge, it’s always fun to create clothing from the unordinary.

I also love looking for fabrics. Going swatching and finding whatever catches my eye usually inspires more flowing, aesthetically pleasing garments.


Inspired by broken glass. Modeled by a friend.

Inspired by broken glass. Modeled by a friend.

What Sums Up Myself – My Inspiration

Growing up, I have always been the oddball in the family. From my style, interests, habits, and so much more, I always seemed to be much different than many other people of my surroundings. But,  I don’t take it as a bad thing, but much more of originality. All of the inspiration of who I am has come from so many different things. Especially my fashion and art.

visual kei clothing store in Japan

visual kei store in Japan


X Japan

My Fashion taste has come from many different genres. Most of my inspiration comes from many sub genres in Japan. One of them being Visual Kei. If you’ve never heard of Visual Kei, here’s a brief description:

Visual Kei stand for “visual system.” Mostly dressed by Rock/metal bands, it started to emerge in the mid 1980s by many bands such as (one of my favorite heavy metal bands) X Japan!

Much of the style has some vibrant colors, chains, and layers. It’s also very popular for its choices of shoes- which mostly consist of platforms (which I totally love)! Even though this genre of fashion is very much out there and very different, I find it so interesting and just awesome!

Creepers (both used in Visual Kei and Pastel Goth)

Another Fashion genre that I’m so truly interested in is Pastel Goth. Pastel Goth is more girlier than regular Goth, I should say. Pastel Goth is not entirely an official genre of fashion, but more of a sub genre of Nu Goth. But, I think it has grown and emerged from Japan, and I think it will continue to be shown and worn later on in the future. Pastel Goth consists of Pastel colors, the color black, crosses, chains, cute studs, and also platform shoes!

Two more genres of clothing that inspires me are Retro and Indie fashion. They are both very laid-back, and it’s something I’d like to wear on a everyday basis.

Camilla D’Errico Sanrio Collaboration

Caia Koopman- Escape

Art is so very dynamic to me. One person that inspires me is Camilla D’Errico. Camilla is a Canadian comic book illustrator, painter, and visual artist. Her art to me is so very unique. Each peace can indicate a different type of art and a different feel.  She has come so far with her art and that is why she inspires me.

Another artist that inspires me is Caia Koopman. She also has her very own unique art that captures my eye every time!


sleep party people

Sleep Party People

Music brings so many ideas and new perspectives to my life. I listen to wide range of artists and genres of music. A few artists in particular that has brought such wonderful thoughts and happiness to myself is Emancipator. Doug Appling, but better known as Emancipator, is a trip hop artist that’s from Portland, Oregon. His music can bring so many things to mind. It inspires me to create, build, and also feel satisfied with anything I do. Sleep Party People also has the same affect on me. Although, some of their music can be a bit chilling, it really all depends on your mood!

Another artist that inspires me is Hammock, a two member rock band from Tennessee. Their music really opens up to many different feelings and such for me. Which I can take advantage of for when i want to draw and be creative.

Books and magazines also inspires me as well! Some of my favorite book series are The Mortal Instrument series, Blue is for Nightmares , and Ghostgirl (Tonya Hurley has to be my favorite writer, ever). Most magazines I read are Teen Vogue, Vogue, seventeen magazine, and KERA (japanese magazine)!

As you can see, there is a lot that inspires me. I always take notice in many things and it all plays a part in my mind (which is possibly filled with ninjas, mermaids, and unicorns covered in glitter). All of this sums up for who I am, and who I’m planning to be. All I have to do is make it fall into place!

Until next week, Sayonara Minna (さようならみんな)!