Chalayan, AW13, Paris.
The recent collection from Hussein Chalayan for Autumn-Winter 2013 used different techniques and details to frame the silhouette and create layered garments that at times had the ability to transform on the catwalk. The overall effect was to combine both the sensational with the understated to create garments that were ultimately completely wearable.
In any designer collection, when attempting to completely come to grips with how exactly a garment has been formed and shaped you are best to concentrate on the location of the seam lines and the grainlines.
By locating the seam lines you can begin to work out where one pattern piece ends and another begins and by looking at the grainline you can begin to see how the fabric falls and to see what shaping is contained within the pattern. In the Chalayan collection this was evident across the circle skirts and in the bias cut denim pieces where you can follow the grainline to better visualise the volume used in the pattern.
The thoughtful placement of seam lines was also often used within the collection to create an hourglass line within the silhouette of the actual body. Seams such as these sometimes need to be supported by the correct internal structure such as fusing, horsehair or canvas to work correctly without collapsing. Details such as these are sometimes so understated that you only really notice them when they are done incorrectly so be aware that seemingly simple panel shaping can take time to get just right.
There was also a play on alternately framing and then revealing the silhouette of the body within the collection, with trousers that had additional side panels and incredible dresses that peeled back on the catwalk to reveal underlayers in contrasting colours and textures.
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