Drawing from the Wells of Inspiration


You’ve got to wonder how designers get their ideas, what makes them complete whole collections based on architecture, a movie, a skyline or a color from deep within a forest.

What makes one stick out more than another? How can one be so inspired to create?

I caught up with four designers.

Where Do You Draw Inspiration From?

Nature Vs. Future/Designer Nina Valenti:

I just love to draw. I love playing with line, balance & texture. I get inspired by fabric, shapes and form. I love architecture, interior and furniture design. Living in New York City, there are so many buildings around me and I always love to look up and notice the way the shapes cut into the sky and  look so different from every angle. I get inspired on my Brooklyn bike rides under the Verrazano bridge. I just absorb my surroundings, then sit down and draw most of my collections on the subway.

Allison Parris:

Because my mom is an interior designer, I have so much exposure to old architecture and interior details that I do tend to take from that (even when it’s subconsciously!). Having an eco-friendly brand, however, a lot of what I like to do is play up the great textures that you can find in some of these raw materials. I think it gives another dimension to the clothing and really gives the garment a life of its own.

Moda Spia/Designer Ursula Dean:

My inspiration comes from film, travel, the playground. I love the billowy clothes of children in old fairy tale illustrations as much as Brigit Bardot’s care-free glamour.

Jackson, Johnston & Roe:

We draw inspiration from where we’ve grown up, the cities and surroundings we live in currently and from the endless archive of fashion of the past… both in history and within our families. Lately we have been inspired by traveling – not just the destination, but what you take for your trip. We think of our collections as everything you’ll need to have with you on your travels, and we consider packaging and versatility as well as the longevity and wear of the clothes. We are inspired by the quality of construction in garments from the past and we strive to bring that quality to our line.\

Image: Digital Sophia Photography

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.