One of the coolest things about creating garments, making it unique in design fields, is the fundamental necessity that it relate to the body underneath. No matter who the designer is, what their origins may be, or what material they are using, the starting point and most basic end goal remain the same. This provides a common point of reference that for most other design disciplines rests solely on purpose, but does not put constraints on the structural elements. (Think architects who make structures in which people will live or work, or designers who create vehicles with motors and wheels)
The body is often referred to as a blank canvas, and the dress as a sculpture. But both are inaccurate, or insufficient, as analogies. The first is two dimensional, and the second ignores the all important form around which the 'sculpture' must conform. It is more the body as a bare foundation, and the garment as a form of sculpture that is molded and modeled and draped and tailored in direct relation to this unchanging starting point (that has mass, two arms, two legs, and a head).
Materials are limitless, as long as they can be manipulated relative to the form of the body. Soft, Hard, Sheer, Opaque, Woven, Melded, Synthetic, Organic...

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