I came to this conclusion while trying to work out some dresses for the Amy doll I made before Christmas. I was futzing with skirts and overskirts and draping and sleeves and basically cobbling bits and pieces of various outfits from various fashion plates (trying to come up with something "new" rather than just reproducing the images), and guess what? It was hard! This may seem like a "no duh" sort of thing for many people (especially if you are a designer), but it had never occurred to me for some reason that there's this whole art of fashion design and however much enthusiasm I have for the clothing of the era, I haven't much of a sensibility as to how to begin to design for it.
To make matters worse, the problem of color still haunts me. If you look at the two scribbled designs I have posted here (click to see them in more detail), you'll immediately notice that I used all of three colors to create them: a mahoganyish orange-brown, an ochre yellow-gold, and a deeper brown for some of the detailing on the second dress. Not exactly bold choices. I feel pretty safe in these almost sepia-like tones. The thought of venturing into blue or green or purple (ack!) scares the beejeebies out of me. But I can't make Amy wear nothing but these colors. Much as I would like the various parts of her outfits to coordinate, it's not as though her entire wardrobe was built out of the same two bolts of cloth. Not even in the 19th century where that was sometimes the case!
So I'll be doing a lot of experimenting with colors and fabrics and designs here. I have no dearth of resources for this sort of thing. If I can copy other color schemes with my own designs, that might be a solid way of learning something like color theory in a way that will actually stick. It's worth a shot!
|19th Century Paper Dolls||