Sonia from grade 7 delta and Maria, Avenor alumnus, Class of 2020, both love fashion design. Whilst for Sonia is just a passion at the moment, Maria decided to choose this field as her future career and she is now studying it at Istituto Marangoni in London.

As we carry on with our series of articles written by the Math-Ly editorial team, in which we discover the implications of mathematics in different domains, we invite you to read the article below and to learn more about fashion design and about how skills like drawing, creative thinking, pattern making and visualization need a strong mathematical background.

Sonia: We first see the use of math in our sketches, this is how designers throw their ideas into the world. Sketches don’t have to be extremely detailed, however proportions must be taken into account. This is where geometry comes into play, we need to be able to use all kinds of different measuring devices so we can make the sketch accurate. We may use protractors to measure angles on collars, or we may use a ruler to create a line of symmetry, this may come in handy when trying to show different patterns.

In order to bring the sketch to life we create a prototype. After measuring the person the garment is being created for we must start making our patterns based on those measurements. In fashion, patterns are templates from which the parts of a garment are traced onto fabric, or even easier it’s when we deconstruct a 3d shape and turn it into a 2d shape. In order to create accurate, well fighting patterns we need to measure correctly, but also be able to apply those measurements to our patterns. After creating the patterns we must use them on our final piece of fabric to create the final garment.

Maria: Fashion Design involves many different skills and there is a huge variety of jobs you could have in the fashion field including: creative director, garment technologist, textile designer, pattern cutter, illustrator, stylist, and many more. All these professions include a different set of skills and passions. However, there is a base that anyone in this field needs to have.

I tried to pick out my A Level subjects based on the career path I wanted to follow. I started my sixth form studying these four subjects: Arts & Design, Media Studies, Mathematics and Psychology. Eventually I was forced to drop one of them because the workload became too much to manage and decided to drop maths, even though my amazing teacher made me completely fall in love with it.

I thought ”When will I have to use maths in fashion anyway?”, but I was proven wrong.

Even if you do not need to be at the highest level of mathematical knowledge, the use of maths is essential for any successful fashion designer. It is used for a number of tasks, the most important ones being the business side of fashion and pattern making.

Read the whole article in the latest issue of Math-Ly here.