The Fashion Croquis: Muse and Model, source of inspiration!


The fashion croquis is meant to represent a stylized version of the dressmaker’s or designer’s muse. The form does not have to be realistic. The purpose is to use a representation that enables the imagination to become inspired. The croquis is a means upon which to bring an idea to life in it’s very first stages.

Sources of Inspiration

The appearance given to the croquis is meant to be dramatic. It should tell the story of the creator’s vision and the aesthetic upon which the designs are based. In the initial stages proportions, colors and poses can all be exaggerated. The key word is inspiration.

Realism of the figure and the proportions of the garment details are worked out later, once the draping or patternmaking begins.

My personal choice is the 10 or 12 heads croquis that represents a tall, willowy and slender woman. My inspiration is rooted in the artwork of Erte. As well, I take inspiration from the illustrations in the stylebooks of Marfy Studio. My reasons for choosing this style of croquis is that I find great enjoyment in the sketching as well as the sources from which I derive that inspiration.

IMy sketches always have a cartoon-like quality to them. Again, it is to give the finished sketch a sense of light-heartedness. When it comes to sketching a design it is up to the individual to choose the kind of croquis they use. Nobody can dictate which one is right or wrong. Go with what best expresses your creative vision and move forward from there.

My 3/4 Croquis which you may copy, distribute and use

My sketches using the 3/4 croquis

The above sketch was made using the 3/4 10-heads croquis. Notice how it is filled out. The croquis because it represents the bone structure of the figure will always be slimmer than the final sketch. I like my sketches to look old, as if they came from a vintage sketch book, comic book or series of drafts from long ago. To get that look I use colored pencils and color from the wrong side of the sketch. I also use crayon on the wrong side and then smudge with a Q-tip.

Published by EmilyAnn Frances

I was born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York. I attended Hunter College where I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Language Arts. After graduation I worked in various industries such as publishing, fashion, financial services, investment banking, and for government. My passion for fashion was nurtured at the French Fashion Academy where I learned dressmaking, patternmaking, sketching and draping. My enjoyment of dressmaking and family history find a wonderful home here at WordPress. I hope you enjoy both of my blogs.