Developing an Aesthetic 2

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Pre-workshop Assignment: Make a Pinterest Account! Create an inspiration folder in your Pinterest and start populating it with the looks that call to you, anything, art, history, fashion, abstract, kink, etc... anything goes!

Analyzing your Inspiration

  1. Today you’ll be sharing your Pinterest inspiration boards and analyzing any themes that come through.
  2. First you’ll be sharing your board and a little bit about what attracted you to that particular pin.
  3. Then we’ll analyze what parts of each element of visual communication resonates with you. That is where you find authenticity and our goal is to communicate our authentic selves.
  4. Authenticity is the continuous process of communicating your true values, intentions, and internal state to the world.

The Balance of your Aesthetic

  • As we analyze each element of this aesthetic you’ll share what you like about it and then what is communicated by it.
  • The goal is to have a happy medium because you have to wear this every day. If you hate what you're wearing, that might feel like failing at life. On the other hand, if what you're wearing everyday feels comfortable but completely miscommunicates the authentic you, that's going to create a subconscious friction everywhere and that is also not optimal. 
  • So the goal for everyday wear is to find a happy medium. For special occasions, you can buck the trends a bit and allow more of your personality to shine through despite the social convention.

How to Analyze these Photos

We will be analyzing these images for color, pattern, and theme. Material and fit will be in a later workshop when we're focusing not just on general aesthetic but particularly clothing. You could also look into the composition of the photo and the geometry, and if your analysis leads there don't be afraid to explore it.


  • Describe why you like each photo and which colors stick out to you.
  • Then your group will share what they read out of it, then consult the color chart below for the common meaning of those colors.
  • Then look at the second chart and determine whether the outfit is “warm” or ''cool'' based on the colors then determine the season. 
  • This exercise is to help you begin to develop the sense of the “vibes” communicated by certain looks.


  • Patterns are harder to describe.
  • The image below has some common patterns that you can use to at least get a language for some of the patterns you will see.
  • Being completely honest, this is much harder to pin down compared to colors.
  • Similar to colors, you’ll share the patterns you like in the photos and why you like them.
  • Then your group will explain what those patterns communicate to them.

Theming Continued

  • Another way this works is by filling in archetypes but with a flair! Being an archetype is to be a stereotype. And that's ok sometimes, but do you think you are so one-dimensional that this authentically communicates your inner depth? Of course not! 
  • Using an archetype you resonate with as a basis to build on you can try and combine it with your own sense of style by remixing it with another “archetype” you resonate with. For Example: you may really resonate with a rustic Cowboy look but also want to communicate a resonance with punk rock. This may manifest as black cowboy boots, a cowboy button down with skulls on it, or a punk rock inspired leather jacket with a 10 gallon hat.
  • Go here and generate a random theme for your group.
  • Find images on that theme on Pinterest or the internet. Paste them into a shared document or share them with your group in Discord.
  • Combine some elements (one or two pieces of each image) from these into an outfit to give off this theme.
  • If this feels hard, imagine you are the director of a film and you're costuming someone who's supposed to fill this role.


Over the next week, find photos of your favorite outfits, especially the celebrities, fashion icons. They’re a great jumping-off point for creating new outfits and experimenting, thanks to their paid stylist and years building their own aesthetic. Try to find an outfit by one of your fashion inspirations that you might be able to mimic at a reasonable price. The goal here is to start gaining the fashionista's eye to deconstruct an outfit and see how you can make it yours by finding similar articles of clothing, in both its look and what it communicates.

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