The eloquent line: Drawing for bespoke stagewear

Pamela Schenk, Theresa Mary Coburn

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The investigation described is based on an analysis of the drawings of one of the authors, a fashion designer for whom drawing plays an important part in design practice. Through the selection of seven of her drawings, her methods of seeking inspiration, creative thinking or ideation, and various types of communication, are all explored. As a designer for bespoke stagewear, she not only designs garments for artists in the music industry, she collaborates with them to create a stage presence or persona through this design, and drawing is a key part of the dialogue between client and designer for achieving this. While a full colour mixed media fashion illustration produced early in her career is discussed to elucidate early influences, concentration is focussed on current practice, which is characterized by line drawing and the use of a limited range of implements. Although apparently simple, the drawings are actually quite complex but, nevertheless, apposite to the role they play in the design process, particularly in their use as a language in various forms of communication by the designer, both with herself and clients. As academics, both authors are motivated by the need to convince today’s fashion and textile students to re-evaluate the special efficacy of paper-based drawing methods in creative design. While aware that they approach the drawn record of practice from different points of view, the practitioner reassessing her past work, the researcher extending her established research with in-depth analyses of forms of practice, both agree that as well as learning the prerequisites of their chosen profession, young designers should be encouraged to establish their own unique drawing practice to achieve more effective and appropriate communication throughout the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-282
Number of pages20
JournalDrawing: Research, Theory, Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Drawing for communication
  • the language of drawing
  • bespoke fashion design
  • stagewear
  • eloquent line drawing
  • drawing in design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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