Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Analysing the Dior jacket

I have discovered the teaching sample of a woman's Dior/"New Look" style jacket made by Katerina, which has been left half-completed. The lining of one half is un-done and un-finished, allowing me to glimpse inside to look at the construction techniques. I have been analysing the construction of the jacket in relation to what I learnt about male bespoke tailoring. Katerina has researched couture sewing and women's tailoring techniques thoroughly for this jacket, and has recommended a few books on couture sewing techniques.

The outfits of 1930s Hollywood and the couture houses of 1930s Paris were very closely linked. It's therefore going to be extremely informative to study couture techniques in making the suit (and dress).


Hip frills, couture-style.

The jacket has a very exaggerated hourglass silhouette which is created with boning, padding the wearer's bust, and finally, having small hip pads worn invisibly under the jacket. The narrow waist is so tight that an attached petersham belt is fastened underneath the jacket to take the strain, so that the strain is not placed on the buttonholes (which would weaken and soon disintegrate). It has padding at the shoulders and sleeve head.

The suit's silhouette is like an extreme version of the Crawford suit. Neither waist boning nor hip frills will be necessary in order to create the Crawford suit; they are specific to the Dior look. I may create more pronounced, squarer shoulders, which I will build up with shoulder pads bespoke to the model's padded mannequin. The Dior suit is fully canvased and pad stitched, with a rolled lapel - just like on male tailoring.  The treatment of outer edges and seam allowances is slightly different. I am going to research couture techniques dealing with specific areas, as well as copying what Katerina has done, in order to achieve the couture effect on my finished suit.

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