Clothes as Art

Whilst in London I saw this. If you haven’t braved the queues already, it is well worth it, and if  you can’t get there, maybe consider the book . I bought the paperback, £25.

The show was a stunning cornucopia of exuberant invention, tinged for me with the sense of our too soon loss of such talent. Decoration and totemism probably motivated first humans to start making clothing, Alexander McQueen’s work was infused with these elements,  magically contained within his own sense of discipline, and tied to a respect for form and materials . Yes, atelier staff at Givenchy initially worried about his habit of rapid cutting into precious cloth, but the tailoring background shines through the creations.  Grab the opportunity to see the clothes, (rather than photos of them), if you can.

I’m still plodding along the pedestrian route, making tried and tested patterns from my collected fabric , here’s a couple just finished.

An A line mini skirt in a printed cotton. The print fabric feels quite light, so I lined it with a cotton to give it some body. I didn’t mount the fabric on the cotton in case they launder differently.

Skate Skirt

Skate Skirt

A flared skirt in a chiffon decorated with a satin ribbon effect, same pattern as the Fuschia Skirt in the previous post.

Chiffon Skirt

Chiffon Skirt

I’m calling this chiffon, but it’s an anyone’s guess fabric from Whitechapel Market – could even be intended for furnishing. I lined this with a lightweight poly crepe.

Lining Essential§

Lining Essential

I’ve used french seams on both the chiffon and the lining, keeping the lining seams on the inside. My french seams are about 5mm in width, the narrowest I thought would stand up to the washing machine.

French Seams

French Seams

My last impulse purchase of fabric was made just after Christmas. I bought this 1.5 m piece from Joel & Sons in the Jan. sale.

Yellow Bouclé

Yellow Bouclé

Its here purely for the drool factor, plans for it are not finalised, suggestions welcome. The colours are bright,  the yellow of gorse flowers, not the pale washout my camera and monitor seem to be dishing up. It’s woven with yarns with some bouclé loops, giving it an interesting texture. Quite a change from my usual market stall hauls.

I’m cutting out a wrap dress next, in this cream fabric printed with tiny black hearts (you guessed it, East London market).

Tiny Hearts

Tiny Hearts

Ending a week when we learn that austerity plans in the UK are to include having young people work for a very small fraction of the minimum wage (their social security benefit), I find it poignant that the McQueen studio got off the ground in a collaborative effort between talented people with no money, who of necessity ‘signed on’ in the early stages. Not all talent comes via Eton.



About jay

I design and draft patterns
This entry was posted in Designed by me, Fabric, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Clothes as Art

  1. fabrickated says:

    The skate skirt is lovely. The yellow boucle is lovely. I think I would do a cape with it, perhaps with a purple collar and “cuffs”.


  2. mrsmole says:

    Gorgeous yellow fabric…isn’t it screaming, “use me on bias”…ok…maybe it is just me? Love the skate skirt fabric and don’t we find some of the most beautiful fabrics in the home dec section of the store? The tiny black hearts are just darling and so summery! It is a such a shame that McQueen was taken from us so soon but what a genius!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s