Tag: Fashion

The Pattern Cutter

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ehind the creations of any designer lurk individuals who get little recognition for the essential and vital work they contribute to the fashion industry – the pattern cutters! These are the hard working, behind the scenes, an invisible team of people, who inhabit the design department of a manufacturing company. Their skill and ability will ultimately bring into existence the finished clothes worn by the buying public, from the simple skirt, the trousers, the casual shirt, the sheath dress to the prom dress or the sharp man’s suit.

Sweetheart Long Prom Dress on Pennzer
Sweetheart Long Prom Dress.

The designer produces the original illustrations, but these usually give little indication of how the pieces of a garment fit together, if at all, and may even be unworkable. The pattern cutter must then work his or her magic and translate a ‘pretty sketch’ into workable pattern pieces or templates. These are cut in calico, sewn up to create a toile and fitted over a tailors dummy to give an idea of what the garment will look like.

A pattern cutter will work closely with an expert machinist so together they can do the necessary alterations needed to the toile, before machining the final sample clothes. Only then will the fashion designer analyze the samples before deciding what pieces are wanted for the collection or should be put into production.

Other methods used by the pattern cutter include (1) draping pieces of material over a dummy, shaping and pinning them around this ‘body’ until they fit correctly (termed as draping), then cutting out a pattern from the pieces.

(2) Taking a flat standard pattern block and altering and shaping it to the desired style (3) Using an existing pattern base from a company’s pattern bank, and then modifying it as is necessary. Alternately, some pattern cutters will use computer-generated models, CAD, to get a sense of how the patterns will look or importantly see how the different shapes can best be laid on a width of fabric to make an outfit cost effective.

A pattern cutter will work with a diverse selection of fabrics, from cotton, linens, silks, wovens, jersey, knitwear and synthetics, which will be used in the manufacture of tailored garments, lingerie, casual wear across the broad spectrum of womenswear, menswear or childrenswear.

The designer may achieve fame and recognition, but the pattern cutters have the necessary talents to produce wearable, beautiful or functional garments out of a ‘sketchy’ idea. Their vital talents will encompass an interest in fashion and trends, the ability to interpret a designer’s drawing, team-working skills and be able to work quickly and accurately. Additionally, math’s skills are needed for measurements and calculations, and a good eye for detail, shape, and proportion. Finally, technical drawing skills, either those of computer or hand are needed.

The pattern cutter certainly is a person of great talent and someone to be lauded!

Camo Camo Camoleon

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f the latest Fashion Trends are anything to go by, then Camouflage is just going to be one of trends that is going to rule fashion in 2018. From Camouflage on the Runway to Camouflage on the Street. As usual, with fashion trends you have to expect the unexpected. We should all expect the unexpected.

Expect to see lots of Camo print coats, jackets, T-shirts, bags and lots more styles and items. It’s no surprise that Camouflage print is one of fashion’s perennial trends and it’s about how to keep it simple such as wearing just one Camo piece per outfit.

Oversized Camo Jacket Pennzer Blog
Oversized Camo Jacket with an all-black look that completes the ensemble.
Camo Puffer Pennzer
A Camo Puffer. The puffer may very likely be the easiest—and coziest—trend to snag right now.

Make the case for Camo inside and outside the gym with leggings that can add a touch of style. The popularity of Athleisure is on the increase and leggings are outselling jeans and that includes everything from Lululemon yoga leggings to plain leggings and haute couture leggings. Accessories have also gone Camo, everything from totes to Hammock bags and crossbody bags, although crossbody bags debuted as far back as AW16.

Army Fashion has long captured the fashion imagination and connoted different silhouettes throughout fashion history and fashion trends. Rather than concealing yourself with Camouflage, the look is about standing out in the crowd without reconceptualizing the fashionable standards of modesty. Take the Army of you to the world of street style.

For men and women the future is looking bright and Camouflaged. Or at least in 2018 anyway. Camouflage trend is set to remain a popular must have across the coming seasons.

If Fashion be the Food of Love

It’s not unusual for designers to get inspiration from food and other unexpected sources. British designer Mary Quant’s miniskirts were named after her favorite car the Mini – Mary Quant and Parisian courtier André Courrèges have both been accredited with the miniskirt’s invention. Gianni Versace’s major influence was Greek mythology and the Versace logo is the head of Medusa which is thought to symbolize the empowerment of women. As for food influences, the designer Franc Fernandez, the man behind Lady Gaga’s controversial Meat Dress (made from 40 pounds of flank steak ) from the 2010 MTV VMAs, used food as an inspiration for his craft.

Lady-Gaga-Meat-Dress
Lady Gaga and the Meat Dress, at the 2010 MTV VMAs.
1921 Gucci Cafe
1921 Gucci Cafe, the world’s first Gucci restaurant in Shanghai.

Now it seems that well-known fashion houses are getting into fine dining and hoping to bridge the gap between food and fashion, boost their branding and diversify their revenue. Luxury fashion houses like Burberry, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, and Gucci have already opened cafés, restaurants and food outlets providing a fashionable dining experience for clothes and food aficionados alike. Burberry launched their first cafe in 2016 – named Thomas’s, after the brand’s founder Thomas Burberry. It is located at their London flagship store at 121 Regent Street. The Gucci Garden due to open on January 10, 2018 inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia is a collaboration between Chef Massimo Bottura and Gucci. The 1921 Gucci (named after the year of the label’s foundation) in Shanghai which opened in 2015, is a full-service branded restaurant which can be reached by an elevator in the Gucci store, serves Italian food in a stylish setting.

Ralph Lauren Polo Bar
Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar, Midtown New York.
Dolce-and-Gabbana-Gold-Restaurant
Dolce & Gabbana’s Gold Restaurant in Milan.

Then there is Ralph Lauren’s Polo bar in midtown New York which normally draws celebrities to it’s subterranean space like moths drawn to a light. Dolce & Gabbana proves that all that glitters is gold with their fashionable Milanese restaurant named Gold, where the surfaces are embellished with glitter and sparkle. There is a formal upstairs restaurant that is only open for dinner and a downstairs bar and a bistro area which is open all day. Armani have restaurants, bars and cafés throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, offering the perfect combination of fashion and food, such as the Armani Nobu in Milan.

The transition from haute couture to haute cuisine is not without its risks and the restaurants of luxury fashion houses and the food that they serve should only be as good as their products, otherwise they risk diminishing their brand image and reputation. Now if only they could figure out what makes a place the place where everyone wants to go.

Architects to Fashion Designers

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he connection between fashion and architecture is not particularly an oblique one, where crafters of each design consider elements of structure, shape and form. There aren’t too many designers who can do both – but some have made the successful transition from dressing buildings to dressing the body.

TOM FORD

The talented, bright and charming American influential designer and film director Tom Ford born Thomas Carlyle Ford studied architecture at New York’s Parsons School of Design The New School before launching his iconic self-brand name. He spent a portion of his degree studying at the school’s Paris campus, where he landed an internship at the Chloé press office and discovered French architecture and design simultaneously, and where some of these influences can be seen in his film A Single Man (2009). It was in his last year at the school that he realized his true calling and pursued fashion. Tom Ford actually only had a tiny bit of fashion training and no formal training as a film director.

Tom Ford
Tom Ford

PIERRE CARDIN

The Italian-born, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin best known for his geometric avant-garde designs, structured silhouettes and his famed avant-garde Bubble House on the Cote d’Azur. Pierre Cardin briefly studied architecture and in the beginning worked with historic French ateliers like Jeanne Paquin and Schiaparelli. He did try to return to practice, working his nephew (an actual architect) in 2012 to create a building in Venice but the building was cancelled a year later. At 95, he still continues to design, currently resides in Paris and continues to own his own company.

Pierre Cardin
Pierre Cardin

MARY KATRANZOU

The Greek fashion designer Mary Katranzou studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in America and graduated with a BA in Textile design and an MA at the Central Saint Martins where she earned her success due to her research on shapes and designs, that replicated on her pieces of clothing and her structured dresses are her trademarks as are her visionary another-level prints and ultra-modern silhouettes. Mary Katranzou has gone way beyond her signature digital prints and expanded into many other creative aspects.

Designer Mary Katrantzou
Mary Katrantzou

VIRGIL ABLOH

The designer and D.J. Virgil Abloh has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an MA in Architecture and is creative director of the clothing brand OFF-WHITE and consultant to Kanye West. He is the mix-master of streetwear fashion making t-shirts and hoodies in luxury houses and building a luxury brand from social media. His clothes come out at different times and are posted on Instagram – virgilabloh where consumers can buy them and his fashion ideology is where haute couture meets street.

VIRGIL ABLOH
Virgil Abloh

 

Plaid Skirt Trend Alert

If you already own some plaid skirts don’t put them back in your closet just yet. With the unusual ‘Hotumn’ weather we are experiencing you might think winter/fall hasn’t really arrived and almost feels like the mild weather is some sort of uninvited party guest that hasn’t taken the hint. Getting back to plaid skirts – they appear to semi-trending on the street. Although it seems like the world is always mad for plaid no matter what the weather is like and grungy plaid styles are versatile, endless and trusty go-to items to wear. You might complete the look with a leather jacket, an oversized plaid shirt, a touch of red lipstick and a slap of black eyeliner.