18th century clothing, 19th century clothing, alterations, Balenciaga, Charles James, CoBloWriMo, projects
Why have just one dream project when you can have more than you can possibly achieve? Here, in no particular order, are things I’d like to make or achieve but probably never will:
Charles James: American master of draping fabric. I have nowhere and no reason to make or wear this coat, but the lines and fabric appeal to me. This skill level is currently beyond me, but I recognize that I have enough historical clothing that I could get out of the 18th and 19th centuries to concentrate on learning the couture techniques of the 20th century. Many muslins went into making this, and a deep understanding of fabric. One of the best things about the Met’s Charles James collection is the large number of muslins. Costume and clothing designers’ sketches, muslins give us a good sense of how a designer thought, and what steps went into a garment.
Balenciaga is another favorite. Evening gowns, suits, and coats, all deliciously draped.
Lest you think I only like coats, the “Tulip” dress is equally interesting.
Thanks to the V&A, there are digital animations of the construction of the tulip dress, which has deceptively simple pattern pieces. The video was created in support of teh V&A’s Balenciaga exhibition, which I am sorry not to be able to see.
Equally out of reach is this: a remodeled silk lampas gown. The idea is to make the first gown– that is, the gown suitable for the fabric’s earliest date (which is probably not 1790, but closer to 1740-1750) and then alter that gown to the late 18th century style.
This last “dream” project is more achievable, though somewhat academic. Silk lampas fabric can be found, and there’s a simpler alteration project in lampas at the V&A
Ooooh lovely lovely! The Balenciaga often don’t appeal to me much as finished items, but they fascinate as gorgeous complex cleverness.
It’s all about the drape! I really like the feel of heavy wool, and I think those shaped coats appeal to me from a sculptural standpoint.