J. W. Anderson, SS14, London.
With a restricted colour palette and beautiful fabrics, the J.W. Anderson collection for Spring-Summer 2014 seemed to simultaneously explore fabric intensive pleating techniques and barely there sheer garments.
There was a sense that some of the textile work had required much thought and precision. In particular there was an array of different ways to work with intricate multi-directional pleating, as well as fabrics encrusted in vibrant sequins. Pleating by its very nature gives a sense of compression, because you are essentially reducing volumes of fabric down into a much smaller area and this helped to give the collection weight.
In contrast to these fabric intensive textile elements there was also some very light whispers of garments that barely covered the body and appeared in sheer fabrics or in origami like folds that sat high around the neck and shoulders.
In a way, when designers balance garments with skin like this on the catwalk, it creates a great way of focusing the eye on the innovations in cut and textiles that are going on. Obviously no one is expected to walk around with a sheer square as a top, but it works as a visual clue to the fabric ideas or pattern shapes that have been cut into the garments.
It is always interesting to look at how designers work with pleating as pleated fabric creates forms in a very different way to normal woven fabric. In particular it is always important to think about how you finish pleated fabric, or if you can adopt a “less is more” approach and leave edges unfinished.
Sometimes with pleating, you just need to respect the fabric enough to know that if try to do too much to finish the edges then it’s only going to end up looking terrible. Ensure that you test your fabric finishing techniques before your fabric is pleated, or test to see if it looks better with a raw edge.
Images from Vogue.co.uk»