(Under the direction of Trevor Little.) The apparel design process involves gathering and analyzing information on fashion trends, markets, past line sales and editing ideas for successful combinations of fabric, style and price. These ideas are the result of creativity. Creativity is most often the modeled as a problem solving process involving complex chaotic systems. In the fields of architecture and software design, pattern languages have been developed to help understand the various fundamental components and dynamics of complex systems by using a series of related generic problem-solving patterns empirically proven to be successful in a specified context of forces. Patterns record existing knowledge to make it rapidly and easily accessible and communicated between different users. The research objective of this dissertation was to develop a pattern language describing the initial creative phase of the apparel design process. First, an archetype of the initial creative process in apparel design was constructed based on the literature reviewed to integrate the intervening marketing and design components, and suggest a set of links between these components and the various stages of the process. Second, pattern
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