At last we are ready to assemble our well-drawn fashion “body parts” into visually exciting fashion figures. Like models on a runway, our poses will complement our designs with their beautiful look, cool attitude, and fashionable “accoutrement” (all the details of hair, make-up, accessories, and so on). There are, of course, step-by-step methods for creating good poses, and an effective pose can be adapted to many different uses and essentially last a lifetime. Practice makes perfect, so gather your tear sheets and let’s draw.
These gestures serve two primary purposes in developing figures. The first is to work out any structural issues with a pose, making sure that your anatomy is correct and that the natural flow of the pose is intact. The second purpose is to add structure lines to your drawing that mimic the tape lines on a draping mannequin. These lines will help you position your clothing correctly on the figure, and they also define the planes of the body.
Refined gestures can really function as completed figures. The face and hair are carefully drawn, and the anatomy problems have been worked out. Leaving the structure lines in place makes good sense when you use these poses in the design process. The shoulder and hip lines have been added to the figure at right to emphasize the classic ribcage–pelvis opposition. They tilt in opposite ways, which means the high shoulder (HS) and high hip (HH) are almost always on opposite sides.
A lot of the problems in refined poses come from poorly conceived hands and feet. Although they are smaller elements, the position and shape of these appendages are key to both the look and attitude of the fashion figure. Putting hands in pockets is a great device to create a relaxed attitude, but it will not work for every pose.