How to Sketch Fashion

How to Sketch Fashion

How to Sketch Fashion
How to Sketch Fashion, with super stock photography.

Learn how to sketch fashion designs with these five easy tips from Rain Blanken.

Fashion sketching is not only a great way to carry a concept from paper to runway, but it’s also fun for brainstorming. If you are interested in pursuing fashion design, it is important to keep sketching. Sketch meat dresses and Star Trek uniforms… sketching all kinds of fashion will help to keep your creative mind sharp.

How to Sketch Fashion
How to Sketch Fashion

1. Use ‘croquis’

Crochet? I love crochet! Croquet? They play that with flamingos on Alice in Wonderland, right? Nah, croquis are yet another word that is not ‘croissant’. Sadly, not everything can be a croissant. In my article on, learn how to use these pre-made models to get right to fashion sketching without having to draw hands (agh, they’re the worst!)

How to Sketch Fashion
Fashion Sketching Tools    Photo: Getty Images

2. Fashion sketching tools

Which tools work best for sketching your styles? Colored pencils can give a lot of detail, but sometimes lack to get bold ideas across. Let’s take a look at the advantages/disadvantages of various mediums.

How to Sketch Fashion
Fashion Flats   Photo: Getty Images

3. Fashion flats for details

Fashion flats are a lot like the technical drawings that you’ll see on sewing patterns. They give a lot of insight as to where seams and notions are placed to make a garment work right. Not the most flashy corner of the fashion world, but necessary if you want your pants to stay up.

How to Sketch Fashion
Add Fabric Swatches    Photo: Getty Images

4. Add fabric swatches

Sample swatches are the perfect excuse for my fabric hoarding. In this part of the article, I’ll explain how fabric swatches can give you a great deal of perspective on the finished garment.

How to Sketch Fashion
Fashion Sketch Inspiration Board     Photo: Getty Images

5. Make an inspiration board

Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto the wall may sounds like a redundant exercise, but this is actually a great way to collaborate your ideas with others, and just give your inspirations time to breathe and morph. Plus, if your designs are out on the wall, it makes you accountable for finishing that project when your buddy asks about it two weeks later.

How to Sketch Fashion
How to Sketch Fashion

6. From design to creation

Above is an example of taking a design concept from paper all the way to the finished costume. You can see a few changes made along the way, but the sketch and notes indicate the fall of the fabric, colors, and tone of the design. Don’t be afraid to mess up that notebook.

How to Sketch Fashion
How to Sketch Fashion      Photo: Getty Images

See the full article on for all of my tips on how to sketch your own designs.  I hope that my tips give you a bit of inspiration and the courage to just jump right in and start creating. Not every design is a winner, but they all contribute to the development of your skills!

Share your designs with me on Facebook.

Rain Blanken Vogue

NYFW: Vogue Runway Retreat at Bar Boulud

Rain Blanken Vogue
Rain Blanken at the Vogue offices.

I hadn’t expected to be in NYC this Spring to catch some inspiration for next fall, but luckily, I was able to get to the city with my mom for a few days of fashion craziness. This was a really fun trip for just my mom and me- we hadn’t yet been on a trip with just us.

Vogue Runway Retreat

Amid designer interviews, sightseeing, and a few runway events, we had an exciting evening on our schedule: the Vogue Runway Retreat VIP party! I met a lot of fashion bloggers, had a few drinks, and even found my way to the makeover chair.

Usually I’m the one face painting at parties, so this was a change of pace for me.

Rain Blanken at Bar Boulud
My first makeover in a bar!

See all of my photos and adventures inside the Vogue Runway Retreat in my article at…

Fashion is like Moonshine

Why High Fashion is Like Moonshine

Think of it this way: High fashion is like moonshine. While some of us prefer this potent folk drink from jar-to-mouth, others take just a bit in juice; garnished with fruits skewered on a fancy umbrella. The former is for the slightly insane (myself included), often with hilarious results. The latter is suitable for the happy hour masses.

While we were all tucked into our beds last night here in the states, James Long was doing this on a runway in London:
Fashion is like MoonshineThis is James Long’s offering at The London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2014, akin to 100-proof corn liquor. When it comes to fashion on the runways, we have to keep in mind that there is more going on than meets the eye. High-fashion runway styles are an art form; they are meant to inspire creativity and strike new chords in the fashion world.

Fashion is like Moonshine Fashion is like MoonshineEventually, elements of even the most un-wearable of high fashions translate into ‘ready-to-wear’ fashion (which is just what it sounds like). Styles like these strange jackets and weird shirts from James Long will be seen color and cut choices in our wardrobes next year. But they will look nothing like the concentrated grain alcohol of James Long’s imagination. The looks we see would be comparable a trendy Manhattan bar’s pink ‘Glamazon‘ cocktail, with notes of moonshine swimming in grapefruit juice.

Fashion is like MoonshineAn interesting fact about moonshine is that the purest of brews will never result in a hangover. Just like high fashion runway styles… they stay on the model and down the runway- no harm, no foul.

The same can’t be said for cocktails, though… once mixed with common ingredients, you’re in for a rough morning-after. Like when parachute pants made it into department stores. That’s a hard one to look back on, isn’t it?

So do you drink your high fashion from the jar, or blended in your Hairy Buffalo?

Funky DIY Jewelry:
Milk Tab Bracelet . Pop Tab Bracelet . Make Paper Jewelry . Toothbrush Bracelet . Microchip Earrings . Hemp Necklace . Pressed Penny Bracelet

Upcycled Tank Top

Celebrity DIY Divas Are at it Again!

This spring, the stars are flaunting a bright penchant for DIY flare! Even the fabulously wealthy need to stretch their crafty wings once in a while.

One of our favorite fashionista’s, Gwen Stefani, has struck up a deal with HP printers as their new spokeswoman. As part of the deal, HP has released lots of fun iron-ons designed by Gwen! Grab your iron and visit the HP website to download her fun designs! You can even configure your virtual style on the Harajuku paper dolls, customized to look like you.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are known for their successful line of girl’s clothing. The infamous twins started out with their own DIY creations, like making t-shirts into tank tops. The Olsen’s will be spending their spring working on a book to pay their respects to fashion designers who have inspired their creativity. Titled ‘Influence’, you can get your hands on it when it is released this fall.

Celebrity DIY Divas
Upcycled Tank Top Tutorial

Where do you get started with creating your own style like these celebrity DIY divas? Find out what you’ll need in your DIY toolbox.