I was flipping through fashion plate after fashion plate and feeling rather despondent about my design process, when I suddenly remembered a design that I’d absolutely loved! It’s from the science fiction TV series Babylon 5, and it’s the ambassadorial robes worn by Delenn, the Minbari ambassador to Babylon 5:
Let me start by saying that I adore Delenn. She’s smart (both in IQ and street-smarts), she’s empathetic, she’s got the courage of her convictions, and she totally kicks ass when she feels like it. And she’s the best-dressed person in the entire show. What’s not to like?
I’d describe her outfit as a split tabard integrated into a fitted, flowing robe. This design has some major advantages for what I’m doing:
- It’s mostly flat fabric, which shows off handwoven patterns very well
- It’s a layered garment, so I can weave/show off several different fabrics in the same garment
- It’s simple, which means the focus will be on the fabric and the wearer, not the construction
- It’s also probably not that hard to draft the pattern for – important since I don’t have much experience in pattern drafting
- And, of course, it’s beautiful!
(I will also admit, cheerfully, that I’ve fantasized about wearing something like Delenn’s outfit for ages. As good a reason to do it as any, I suppose!)
I do want to make some alterations to the design – mostly so nobody says, “Didn’t I see that outfit at the Minbari embassy’s tea party last week?” – but haven’t figured out what yet. I seem to have a severe lack of imagination when it comes to fashion design – I know what I like and don’t like, but don’t seem to be able to visualize changes in a design. I’m going to correct that by studying the basics of fashion illustration – if I can draw it, I can visualize it!