Whose creative expression is it anyway? A conceptual framework proposed to facilitate an authentic creation process of fashion design mood boards



Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design


  • assessment, accountability, ethics

Repurposing images has become an integral part of the ideation phase of fashion design processes. The use of online images presents both a challenge and an opportunity for fashion design students who use images of others to communicate a design concept through mood boards. The challenge pertains to the authenticity of their design concepts.

Although the authors of this paper acknowledge the importance of referencing of visual material as a strategy to prevent plagiarism, the argument is made that compilation of mood boards with existing images can be further explored, especially with regard to the accountability of an individual in relation to the concept authenticity.

The purpose of this  paper  is  therefore  to  contribute  to  fashion  design  education,  by  proposing  a  conceptual framework that supports the creation of authentic (as in own) mood boards by students, as opposed to a process of combining several images that is cohesive on a visual sensory level only.

In this paper, it is argued that repurposing images should involve the reflective process of a student during the design process when he/she creates mood boards. The concept of authenticity is explored as it links to accountability with principles that could be aligned to appropriate conduct when images are repurposed during the process of mood board creation. Since authenticity is also linked to creative expression, a framework is presented that guides the process of mood board creation on different levels of visual analysis. The information on the proposed process is then consolidated into a diagrammatical form as a means to illustrate how the concepts in the process relate. The framework can guide the activities of mood board creation to enhance reflection during the process so that a mood board is not only visually coherent, but also communicates the student’s symbolic intention and consequently evoke emotion in a viewer.

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