Style & Composition


I recently have been thinking a lot about personal style, wardrobe particularly. I have been thinking about what people decide to wear for the day and how that reflects their creative thinking process in a way which tells a deeper story than what they might tell you if they were asked to describe themselves.

These thoughts first came into my head when I visited a local design studio here in Denver, Colorado. The studio was nice and seemed to be very professional and successful. I enjoyed some of the work they had done recently but wasn’t sure if I really felt that the work being produced there was to my taste. We sat in a conference room and had a very insightful conversation about the creative process. One of the designers who had just been hired there contributed to the conversation. When I looked at her I noticed that her shirt had black and white horizontal stripes that were so close together that it began to appear as if the shirt was strobing. I quickly lost concentration on what she was saying and as I tried to look past the shirt it seemed to have and even more powerful effect of aggressive movement. The shirt was so “loud” it began to seem as if the entire room was moving. I politely sat through the visit and was grateful for such a wonderful opportunity. As I was leaving I thought about the striped shirt and began philosophizing about the way it had represented this young designer.

I thought about the way most people get dressed in the morning and what my process for doing so had been throughout my life. That’s when it hit me, the way we compose our clothing may be a deeper look into the way we make instinctive design decisions. For instance, if a designer were asked to create a poster or a website intended to represent themselves as a designer, they would more than likely do so in a fashion that showed off their greatest ability to compose color, typography, graphic elements, textures and so on. They would do this because they know that the work will end up representing them as a creative professional. What about when they are making subconscious decisions about their clothing? Could that be a deeper look into a designers most instinctual decision making process? I would say so, especially when they are representing something that means the most to them (in most cases) their physical being and how it is composed by their intelligent desicions. For this reason I have been intrigued by the though that when it comes to design, your first portfolio piece may your most important one, your wardrobe.