Friday, 9 March 2012

Getting Started on the dress - research

I have wanted to make a bias-cut dress for a while as bias-cutting is a technique that I have read and heard so much about, and something that I have never really attempted. I have been warned many times about the difficulty of the technique, but rather than putting me off this has incensed my interest. I chose to make a bias-cut 1930s evening dress to round off my exploration into 1930s cut and construction: I am making a day and an evening outfit. This links to my research into 1930s/'Golden Age' Hollywood costume workrooms. Whilst Hollywood costume designers had an influence on fashion, at the same time they borrowed from fashion: many designers chose looks straight from Paris couture workrooms.

I researched a lot of 1930s evening dresses, looking at:  1930s film stills and star portraits; 1930s ready-to-wear catalogues; advertisements, society snapshots, and finally 1930s fashion illustrations. I was looking for something which a) would be a nice contrast to the suit in terms of making; b) wasn't too complicated; c) met my taste! This was so that I would make a balanced choice of something challenging but not unachievably difficult, and one which would give me a good, sound introduction into bias-cutting.

I found this image in Collectable Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s (Laubner, 2000).

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