by admin on April 16, 2012


unity of shape

unity is the fifth principle of fashion design.  esme’s text defines it like this:  “unity in design….is achieved when the fundamental elements–line, form, shape, space, color and texture–are used to express a single concept or theme”.  isn’t it interesting to think of an outfit as expressing a concept?

of course, a fashion concept can be something like “shades of red”, or “various triangles”—it resembles a repeated theme or leitmotif in music.  think bach.  think mozart.   think theme and variations!

this idea of unity has been a real revelation to esme.  indeed, she was quite pleased the other day when she paired her graphic print black and white blanque blouse with her swirly silver and black earrings (atop black skirt and boots).  the theme might have been described as “black and white geometric shapes”!

black and white geometric shapes

in the past, esme might have made a naive attempt at unity by wearing, say, all black.  but even this is tricky:  the shades of black, the textures, and the fabrics must all harmonize.  just try wearing a crinkly black linen shirt with, say, a heavy wool skirt—doesn’t work!

chances are, if you admire someone’s outfit, it will turn out to be composed of elements which all speak to each other (as well as having balance, proper proportion, emphasis, and rhythm).  who knew it was so hard to get dressed?

thinking of themes,



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