Yves Saint Laurent, AW11, Paris.
It seems to be an easy mistake to make to leave the garment fastenings until last when designing and sampling a collection. But there are so many benefits to working your closures and fastenings into the design right from the pattern stage. For a start, getting the closures right can have a large effect on the way that a garment drapes around the body and sometimes using something too flimsy or too bulky can make your work look unresolved if you don’t start the testing process early enough when you’re fitting a garment.
Also if you leave the decision about closures until the last minute then you are more likely to choose something safer or more generic. It can become a wasted opportunity since a well considered closure can be a detail that can used throughout the collection, and help to link garments to each other.
There was a very understated detail used in the recent Yves Saint Laurent collection which was a nice touch and very practical for a number of reasons. As you flick through the images you will see a tab of fabric and buttons used in a number of ways to secure sections of the garment. On the tailored jackets it is a brilliantly simple addition which changes the line of the jacket by drawing the eye lower, as opposed to if the jacket was belted on the waist. The tab and button detail is also used to secure the full sleeves on a houndstooth check dress and most ingeniously it is used on the trouser legs.
Where other designers this season have used invisible zips to create a lean tapered trouser leg, at YSL the shape is achieved by a small button and tab. This would need to be built in at the pattern stage, not as an after thought, as there is a small pleat or possibly an extra tab of fabric which is used to back the opening and make it more invisible, rather than showing a slit through to bare skin underneath. The opening allows the foot through to get the trousers on and then would neatly close to narrow the trouser silhouette at the ankle.
Images from Vogue.co.uk»