I am always in awe of people who can make clothing or do actual DIYs because I have no notable skill in that arena. But Yenwithadragon takes it to a whole new level: he’s a fashion designer! Here he is to talk about his inspirations from his most recent designs (while I sob in the corner at my lack of mad skillz)
I come from a fine-arts background, which has greatly affected my work as an aspiring fashion designer — particularly with regard to finer details. For menswear, I believe smaller details are one of the factors that catch people’s eye the most. Unlike womenswear, the majority of menswear tends to have more restrictions, so I really enjoy creating interesting details to distinguish my work from others.
Another important element I pay close attention to is fit, especially at the shoulders and the waist — the shoulder lines must be exactly where your shoulders are, otherwise I think it looks sloppy, and a cinched waistline gives more definition to your body. (I’m sure lots of contemporary-minded men know what I’m talking about.)
Like many other designers, I started designing for myself. I love the idea of making a special piece just for me, and having total control over how it will look. I always start out thinking about who I want to dress — who would be the muse for me? Everyday people with great style really inspire me to create something that is functional and wearable, yet sophisticated. If pressed, I would describe my personal style as subtle, elegant, and fun, but never boring.
Here are a few looks I put together for this special Chictopia post. (Yes, I made all the clothing you see here.) With these four looks, I hope you’ll get a sense of my design philosophy.
This mint-stripe, pleated-bib shirt has one of my favourite details: studded epaulettes. The grey herringbone trousers reflect my desire for an elegant look, but the subtle details — the epaulettes, the bib, and the unconventional colour of the stripes — hopefully give it an unconventional edge.
This summery shirt, with tiny yellow polka-dots and a pink collar, is paired with pastel-blue cuffed shorts — what I call the male version of bubble shorts. You can see the belt loops on both sides, and the studs on the cuffs. These shorts move great when you walk in them, too.
As you’ve probably noticed, I cut my shirts shorter than usual. I do this because I’m not particularly tall, so too long of a shirt hanging out would not be flattering on me. (Also, I get paranoid about my tucked-in shirts popping out after I’ve moved around.) This is a blue-striped shirt (with the stripes going in three different directions) with a white rounded collar. These fitted black pants are perfect with a patterned shirt because they don’t distract focus.
This cropped jacket is my favourite piece from my last school collection. I’ve always liked the little short jackets girls wear, so I decided to make a male version of it. I found this rich-looking, black cashmere-blend material to go with the black satin — the two tones of black look awesome together, I think. Instead of just a single button closure, I put a buckle on it to give it a fun twist.
I’ve received great responses to my creations from Chictopians over the past year, and I’m really honoured to have this opportunity to share my work with so many people. Please stay tuned for my grand graduation collection in mid-2010. Wish me luck, Chictopians!