The Row, PF20.
Quiet, minimal collections usually require slower viewing to appreciate the details because it is the small tweaks that make the difference. In the case of The Row’s Pre Fall 2020 collection, there was a very slightly dropped shoulder that looks carefully shaped to create a gently rounded silhouette.
Experimentation with shoulder silhouettes has been around a lot the last few years and the dropped shoulders usually fall into one of two camps. Either it is an all-round, oversized fit where the shoulder seam is extended as a straight line, and the sleeve simply drops off the end (like a set-in sleeve on an oversized jacket). Or the sleeve head is also adjusted so that the excess fullness of the sleeve head is removed, and the whole piece is cut so that the sleeve assembly is flatter and easier to sew (think an oversized shirt, where there is no excess ease in the sleeve head).
In The Row Pre Fall 2020 collection, it’s not really either of these. It’s more like a slipped shoulder that has fallen just off the shoulder point. To create this silhouette, the shoulder seam appears to taper off very slightly just as the shoulder seam crests over the apex of the shoulder, drawing slightly in towards the armhole before the set-in sleeve is applied. The result is that there is an awareness of fitting to the exact location of the shoulder point, which is more precise and leaves the wearer with a closer fit. Whereas the by-product of a dropped shoulder would traditionally be lots of excess volume around the shoulder and armhole for the wearer to wallow in. In a way, it’s as though the shoulder seam is slightly taking over the role of some of the usual sleeve head volume, so the ease in the top of the sleeve head itself might be backed off as well.
There are some other nice details at work, such as elongated necklines and pointed collars that sit lower on the décolletage to create an elegant line.
On one vest there is also evidence of a trade-off. The tailored, sleeveless vest uses a white lining, and at the front of the vest, the edge is supported by a facing that would flow down from the lapel and around the front hem edge.
However, the light lining does show through at the armhole. Here is where you sometimes need to make a trade-off. You could add an armhole facing to prevent the light lining showing at the armhole, but you do run the risk that this could add bulk over the shoulder, and possibly encourage scorch marks in the front of the vest every time the garment is pressed.
There are also a couple of examples of the dropped shoulder cut that uses the flatter sleeve assembly. In these examples, you can see how the armhole sleeve sits much further down the arm, and there is no fullness on the sleeve to be eased into the armhole.
Images of The Row Pre Fall 2020 from therow.com»