Saturday, October 24, 2009

Montesquieu and Design?

Design is a process of checks and balances. A designer must check and recheck their work through critique. A designer must also make sure that their design has balance, especially if there is one strong focal point to the design that could throw this off. This was the problem in Louise Black’s losing design on Project Runway. Louise created a short blue shift dress with two big ruffles intersecting in a V on the chest of the dress. The ruffles completely overwhelm the model wearing the dress because they are out of proportion with the small dress. They are too wide in relation to the base dress and stick out too far in front. They also do not follow the important Gestalt rule of continuity. Their abrupt intersection in the middle of the dress does not match any of the other vertical lines of the dress or the human body. Their disproportion may not have been so noticeable if the ruffles were designed vertically instead of in a V shape.
Ruffles have been very popular on the fashion runways recently, but normally in a much more toned down way. For example, look at these shoes by Elizabeth and James. The ruffles on the front are small, thinner than the width of the shoe and flattened down. They are also vertical down the front of the shoe, following the line of the leg. These ruffles give extension to the leg, a good design trait of any shoe. These shoes use ruffles in an effectively balanced way.
(pictures courtesy of and

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