Zoot Magazine

  | Dec 20, 2010



Text by Anna Battista

Writers have their notebooks on which they can jot down their thoughts, artists can indulge their creative passion by drawing on practical sketchbooks, but what happens if you are a fashion designer suddenly struck by inspiration in the street, on a train or on a bus? Fashion and graphic designer Penter Yip provided a quick and functional answer to this dilemma, eliminating traditional templates and semi-transparent papers and coming up with a simple concept, the Fashionary (http://www.fashionary.org)

The notebook is filled with join the dot-like templates that allow designers to brainstorm and quickly sketch their ideas. The previous edition of the Fashionary also included body measurement and unit system tables, helpful lists of sites and brands, a calendar highlighting the dates for the main fashion weeks and quick explanations on colours, screen print methods, laundry symbols and textiles. This section has been expanded in the second edition of the Fashionary, including also underwear and accessories, fabric patterns and names of seams and stitches. Yip also launched a menswear edition of the acclaimed notebook with extra pages dedicated to jackets, trousers, neckties, shoes and boots. Though mainly aimed at designers since it helps them eliminating traditional templates and semi- transparent papers, other fashion professionals – journalists and stylists included – are finding the sketchbooks useful, while passionate fashion fans enjoy filling their pages with their own sketches, mood boards, clippings and collages.

Zoot Magazine: Can you introduce us the new edition of the Fashionary?
Penter Yip:
The new Fashionary includes further information than the previous version. The first version was a sort of experiment to test the concept of a sketchbook tailor-made for fashion designers. We found out that a lot of people liked the concept, especially professionals, so we decided to take the idea further and update nearly all the information, including some highly technical notions. We added about 35-40 per cent further information compared to the previous version.

Zoot Magazine: You also launched a menswear edition: did you find it more challenging or easier to come up with an edition for men?
Penter Yip:
The part regarding the information wasn’t really that different or difficult compared to the womenswear edition, also thanks to the menswear designers in our team, Karmuel and Ronnie who provided a lot of input. But the templates were more challenging since the menswear sketches depend more on the proportions, so we had to carry out quite a few tests.

Zoot Magazine: Which are the most important differences between the men and womenswear editions?
Penter Yip:
The former focuses mainly on menswear information with emphasis on measurements, patterns and style samples, and includes a dedicated shirting and suiting section since we think details play an important role in menswear design.

Zoot Magazine: Which will be the next phase of the Fashionary books?
Penter Yip:
At the moment we are developing different tools for fashion designers to make the design process smoother so we will focus on the tools rather than on books.

Zoot Magazine: Would you like to release a special edition of the Fashionary in collaboration with a fashion designer, maybe covered in special fabric like silk, cashmere or designer fabric?
Penter Yip:
That’s a really nice suggestion. In fact we are discussing some projects with fashion designers. If things go smoothly, we will see them coming out in the second half of 2011. So stay tuned!

Zoot Magazine: Artist Vikki Yau did some illustrations for the postcards that accompanied the first edition of the Fashionary, did she work on further illustrations for the new edition?
Penter Yip:
Vikki does most of the drawings for the Fashionary. We want to keep the Fashionary as minimal as possible but I guess Vikki’s more arty drawings will appear occasionally for us.

Zoot Magazine: What kind of feedback did you get since you first launched the Fashionary?
Penter Yip:
The feedback we got so far is great. Designers think the books are useful and really improve their speed of sketching and brainstorming and we are very happy that design teams from big companies and well-known brands use our sketchbooks on a daily basis. We put everything we thought of in the new edition and we will keep working hard and listen to all feedback and suggestions our users will provide to improve the Fashionary and turn it into the very best tool for fashion designers.

You can keep updated on the latest Fashionary news through its site (www.fashionary.org), blog (blog.fashionary.org), Twitter page (www.twitter.com/fashionarybook) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fashionary)

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