14 Apr 2011
Garments bound in Grosgrain and Leather

Thom Browne, AW11, New York. One of the ways that a sewing machinist can finish the edge of a garment, is by “binding” it with a stripe of fabric or trim. As the term suggests, the edge of the fabric is then encased inside the binding or trim, preventing the...

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13 Apr 2011
Placement and Repeat Prints at Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, AW11, Paris. When it comes to print designs they generally fall into one of two categories. The first is what is known as a placement print. These are prints which are a stand alone designs such as a single image or block of text. This is what...

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12 Apr 2011
Technical Drawings: The Missing Link between Vision and Reality

Fashion Illustrations by René Gruau. When designers are profiled there are two classic settings in which we usually find them. The first is with sketch pad and ink in hand, translating ephemeral ideas onto paper for the first time. The second classic setting is in the atelier where a designer...

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11 Apr 2011
Variations on a theme: Styling Autumn Winter 2011

Meadham Kirchhoff Back Stage, AW11, London. When it comes to the hair, make-up and accessories styling for catwalk shows there seem to be two opposing approaches that can be taken.

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08 Apr 2011
Layered Tulle at Dior Couture

Christian Dior, Haute Couture, SS11, Paris. Considering all the controversy surrounding Galliano’s exit from Dior it is worth returning the focus back to the clothes of this great house. Returning to the fabrics from the Spring-Summer 2011 haute couture show, there is an incredible process of layering in the fabrics.

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07 Apr 2011
Metal Hardware at Lanvin

Lanvin, AW11, Paris. There was a beautiful little metal detail in the recent Lanvin collection which I thought was worth drawing attention to. There were strips of metal used as edging and pocket trims that helped to give the draped softness of Lanvin a harder edge.

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06 Apr 2011
Pleats: McCartney, Miyake and Fortuny

Stella McCartney, AW11, Paris. In the recent Stella McCartney collection, there were some beautifully pleated garments that were reminiscent of the work of two very different designers, from two very different eras. The first was Mario Fortuny and the second was Issey Miyake.

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05 Apr 2011
Fabrics and Textiles: The Connotations of Fur

Céline, AW11, Paris. Of all the fabrics that are used for fashion collections, animal fur is surely the most politicised of them all. Despite this fact, fur was used in the recent Autumn Winter collections in a number of ways.

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04 Apr 2011
Leatherwork at Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe, AW11, Paris. In the recent Junya Watanabe collection there was some great details in the leatherwork which are worthy of closer inspection. There is some incredible dart work in the leather that creates corset-like structures around the models waists, possibly reinforced with boning.

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01 Apr 2011
Shaping Seam Allowance for Corners and Curves

Hermès, AW11, Paris. Constructing a garment is a complex process which goes back and forth between cutting the fabric and stitching the fabric, more cutting, more stitching, more pressing until eventually you get the fabric to sit the way you want, engineered into the desired shape.

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31 Mar 2011
Menswear Details at Raf Simons

Raf Simons, Menswear, AW11, Paris. A wonderful teacher once told me that menswear was a careful balancing act between different elements such as colour, silhouette, prints and materials. Unlike womenswear where there are designers who can push the dial up to 11 on all the of these elements at once,...

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30 Mar 2011
Gender Buttons

Victorian Dress: Men in Morning Dress from 1840 and Two Women in Visiting Dresses from 1852.  There are some rules in the construction of fashion which are simply accepted and never questioned. Some are long lost traditions that have ingrained themselves in the way that clothes are made, for reasons...

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