Put a Twist on Designer’s Block

Ever experience designer’s block? The struggle is real. Perhaps you have been staring at your dress form for a little bit too long trying to decide how to reinvent the jersey slip dress you love so much. Maybe your creative mind is wandering as the holidays approach. No matter what the reason, we have all been there and the U of F is happy to help you out of your design slump.

Here are a few tips for getting back on the creative track:

1. Try a new, unfamiliar technique. In our newest video dedicated to draping an Asymmetrical Twist, we teach you how to manipulate fabric into a twist at the neckline. However, you will also learn how to transfer excess fabric into ruching at the side seam. Immersing yourself in learning a brand new skill will not only give your brain a break, but will inspire you to use an asymmetrical twist and ruching in ways you had not thought of before.

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Imagine the inspiration from shifting this wrap skirt around the dress form.

2. Think upside down and backwards. Don’t worry, no one is watching. Try your draped garments on your dress form in unconventional ways. As you watch new silhouettes unfold, be sure to jot down your ideas in a sketchbook.

3. Walk away and refresh. Take a break, grab a coffee, chat with a fellow designer. Sometimes hashing out the struggle verbally really helps.

4. Give in. If you find yourself reviewing your holiday to-do list, go ahead and mark a few things off. Just like clearing some space in your studio can be a motivator, so can freeing up some creative mind space.

5. Remember the big picture and inspire someone else. Did your love of sewing come from your grandmother? What was the one dress that inspired you to design? Are you following in a certain designer’s footsteps? Passing along your skills and story can be very powerful. Consider passing along the University of Fashion to an emerging designer in your life this holiday season. Use the code HOLIDAYS2014 at checkout and receive more than 50% off the first month subscription price. By inspiring someone else, you will bring fresh energy to your own creative flow.

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.