Fendi, AW15, Milan.
Although bar tacks are mostly used to reinforce sections of a garment, they can also be used to secure fabric in just a couple of places. In the Fendi Autumn-Winter 2015 collection bar tacks were used to hold blocky leather panels in position so that they hung around the models hips. These bar tacks allowed the panels to appear suspended with minimal interference to the surface of the material.
The technique of using bar tacks to secure the panels worked particularly well in this case since by its very nature leather has enough stability to support its own weight with only a few anchor points. Had the fabric been more fluid, this would have produced a different effect entirely with the fabric draping between the anchor points.
The placement of the bar tacks is critical in order to ensure that the panels hang correctly. When viewed from the front, the leather side panels appear to be fixed to short, square panels that hang from the waistband. These short panels seem to hang freely from the waistband, which may allow the front and side panels to move slightly when the models walk to give the garment more movement. At the back, bar tacks appear to be applied directly to the base skirt shapes, which may help to anchor the side panels and prevent them from swinging too far.
While the leather side panels of the collection seemed to reference thick leather aprons, other utilitarian elements appeared throughout the collection in the form of straps, pockets and front “bib” sections. These elements seemed to represent pared back versions of smocks or overalls and are often seen paired with crisp white shirts. Occasionally the “bib” section was even panelled into the yoke of the shirt, creating a contrast between the leather section and the cotton body of the shirt.
The streamlined, functional details were often offset by the furry textures used throughout the collection in both the garments and the accessories. A few garments in oversized quilting also acted as a curved and puffy counterpoint to break the clean lines of the leather garments.
Aside from being used for the side panels, the stability of the leather was also used as an advantage in creating the structure around the hems of some of the coats and dresses. For example, in one dress the upper skirt section is cut out of a soft fabric to encourage the fabric to gather nicely around the waistline, but the hem panel is cut from leather. This leather panel helps to hold the silhouette of the garment, and the weight of this hem section would also help the garment to hang correctly.
In garments made up of blocky panels, issues can arise when the wearer moves since the staggered layers may swing and flap in different directions. In one garment from the Fendi collection, this movement appears to be controlled by adding weights to the hem. There is only a hint of this, but the back view of one garment seems to show rectangular weights tucked into the back corners of the garment.
Images from Vogue.co.uk»