ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Principles of Design in Fashion

Updated on May 27, 2017

Principles Of Design

Principles of design may seem complicated at first but their basic use is to serve as guidelines for combining elements of design to create attractive garments. They come to the rescue of designers when they realize something is wrong with a design. Designers are able to analyze the problem in terms of proportion, balance, repetition, emphasis or harmony.

1. Harmony

HARMONY can be described to exist when it looks like one thing belongs with another.

Harmony is created by equal division.

Harmony is a combination of Unity and Variety.

HARMONY= Unity+Variety

Unity: The viewer sees the design as a whole rather than seeing each element differently.

Achieved through

  • consistency in style
  • Matching and color-coordinated fabrics

Unity and variety in a garment

Variety is used to relieve monotony.

Can be created by using different shapes, textures, colors, or details in a garment.

The different components of the garment/interior must relate to one other and to the overall theme of the design.

2. Rhythm

RHYTHM is the repetition of visual movement of the elements.

It is created when a design element is repeated.

It is achieved by repeating patterns or using a variety of lines or textures.

Rhythm can sometimes lead to monotony, so a balance must be maintained.

The pattern repeats in the garment.


Gradation is a term often used under Rhythm.

It is a gradual change in either

1. Colours: value changes from dark to light

2. Pattern: same shape changes in size - from small to large

Gradation in colour: dark to light.


3. Balance

BALANCE is achieved when the visual weight is distributed equally throughout the composition.

Symmetrical Balance

  • When in a composition one side is a mirror image of the other.
  • It represents a state of rest and calmness.

Balance in a composition


Asymmetrical Balance

  • In a composition the objects on each side of the imaginary central line are different.
  • Gives a more exciting and dramatic look. It appeals to the eye more.

In terms of garments, uneven hem or one shoulder dresses are examples.


4. Emphasis

EMPHASIS is the area or object within the composition that draws attention. It becomes a focal point and stands out.

With emphasis, the feature is seen first and repeatedly draws the attention of the viewer.

Can be created by varying necklines, adding textures or trims to the garment.

Emphasis is often used to create an illusion by different body shapes to draw attention to their best feature.

Contrasting emphasis of black and white. Your eyes immediately go to the bodice.


5. Proportion

PROPORTION is the relationship between objects, or parts, of a whole. It involves shape, size, and visual weight of an object.

The various components in the composition look "right" when viewed by the eye.

A balanced 50:50 ratio looks boring and uninspiring while unequal amounts are more pleasing to the eye.

Balanced vs Uneven composition.

Principles of Design

The lines between each of these principles are blurring as they tend to be very similar to each other but with time and exposure to your surroundings, you will be able to notice each of these indepenedently. Keep these principles in mind while creating your design/composition!

Keep these principles in mind while creating your design/composition!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)