From a Blank Canvas…

July 24, 2017 by NJPainter

The number one question I get when people sift through the rack of my jackets is: “How do you come up with these designs?”

My answer is simple: Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open and bank your ideas for the right canvas.

Take the popularity of the palm leaf design, for instance.
It’s all over the summer fashion lines and design blogs. Hitting every note from couture to mundane accessories.
palm leaf collage.jpg

But it’s certainly not a new pattern…

It’s just been reinterpreted.

Copying would be finding a work of art and reproducing it so exactly that when you saw it, it’s original form or artist would instantly come to mind.

Stealing is reinventing. Transforming something that already exists to inspire new and different work. Building off of it.¬†¬†Tweaking it. Reapplying it in a way that hasn’t been done before.

For example, both of these items are Dolce & Gabbana…

dolce & gabbanaBut what do you see here?

I see an Italian fresco and the stockings of a Storyville prostitue.
fresco & belloq

Go ahead and google image search “botanical tattoos” or “70s concert posters” or “Rome” and tell me you don’t find SOMETHING that you can use to inspire you. For me it’s the way flowers can be bunched or draped or collected together. A color combination that I would have never thought of, a unique arrangement, or even something as simple as the structure of a single letter.

Keep your eyes open to these things and they start to add up in your brain as a design idea. That’s half of the creative process.

The other component is letting the jacket speak for itself. I instantly saw something tropical when I spotted this leather blazer. It doesn’t have any zipper or button closures — so it’s meant to be worn open and over something — structured but breezy, well-made but with a cool factor, and white leather! Rare.

That’s when all the ideas of what’s trendy or interesting that have been banked in your brain bubble to the surface. And voila:
Palm leaves.


Photo Credit: Hannah Pickle / Venue: Race + Religious



Photo Credit: Hannah Pickle / Venue: Race + Religious


Photo credit: Hannah Pickle / Venue: Race + Religious