VIONNET INTRODUCED draping on the bias to the world of couture. This practice has been influential to many couturier up to modern day. She consumes voluminous amount of fabric for the drape to create garments with a fluidity that echoed the movements of a body. Although the drape creates beautiful cuts, like the classical circle skirt — it forces the ‘circular’ shape to be cut out diagonally on the fabric to get the bias drape, creating excessive waste.
My design philosophy contradicts with Vionnet’s practice as I aim to produce my garments with minimal waste possible. methods of gathering will be explored to create ‘fullness’ in my collection to emphasize the feminine couture aesthetic using voluminous fabrics, and the idea to maximize the use of fabric, rather consuming fabric in a more sustainable approach which will not include trimming off unnecessary fabric. Although this maximizes the amount of fabric, no scraps will be produced in the MANUFACTURING PROCESS.
In the process of experimenting with gathering, i had incorporated elements of draping technique from couture designs. ‘ruching’ is a way of gathering fabric to add embellishment to the garment design; Stretching elastic follows the idea of ‘free sizing’ or adjustable measurements as seen in Fast Fashion garments, I incorporated both concepts of adjustability and the high-end aesthetic in this technique by attaching the elastic to the wrong side of fabric and stitched underneath each panels to create a seamless effect and enhancing the high-end touch.
gathering is common in traditional couture gowns. It is not as commonly seen in Fast Fashion garments as it takes up a lot of materials which adds to the production cost, although it is experimented to create contemporary shapes to translate the concept of mass fabric consumption, but also retaining the feminine silhouette at the same time.
Dior was one of the designers to introduce the idea of mass consuming layers of fabrics in his “New Look”. Following WWII, he introduced a design which used an extravagant 20 yards of fabrics in his long, voluminous skirts. With the restrictions of resources in that era, the refreshing look gained its global recognition and was favored by many. The ‘New Look’ emphasized the feminine figure, the silhouette of Modern women was characterized by tiny waist and full skirt falling below mid-calf length, emphasizing the bust and hips by excess layering of materials to bring back the hourglass figure which was once rid of since the introduction of the masculine and athletic uniforms in the 20s.
The look brought an outrage to some as the traditional silhouette had brought back the impractical nature of this fashion, discouraging women from being active and from work. Dior claimed that he wanted to bring back beauty, feminine clothing, soft rounded shapes and full flowing skirts. In my practice, I aim to maximize the use of material to create volume in garments but to execute this practice with zero-waste, translating the concept of couture garments having excessive fabric, but the consumption of material will be evident and completely used up in my garments, leaving no waste. The classical feminine silhouette which was considered impractical will be made functional with a contemporary twist, which will be sewing details and design incorporated from retail garments, such as stretching elastic — to allow movement and adjustments; pockets, for utility; technical material, for durability.
RAW GARMENTS / DECONSTRUCTED
My attempt in exploring sustainability will be through a collection that addresses the subjects within Fast Fashion and Couture in the same context. As a response towards the Fast Fashion movement, my interpretation of Fast Fashion is evident through the mass production process which lay-plans the pattern template pieces in a cost effective manner, to also allow the garments to be produced with speed by minimizing cutting and using Fast Fashion finishings, and to address that garments could be made with excessive materials, but not necessarily wasteful if it serves a long-term purpose to the consumer. While Fast Fashion garments are designed to fall apart, they cannot be repaired, recycled, or given away — the collection will redefine apparel through a more sustainable practice using zero-waste production (as seen in above), and to develop a long-lasting durable, non-disposable wardrobe and to promote a timeless ‘trend’, as ‘trend’ is what encourages renewing seasonal fast fashion sales.
“Once fashion trends move on, the aesthetic value of a garment declines. It becomes waste.”
Since a lot of the Fast Fashion garments are cheaper duplicates of the most runway looks or celebrity styles, this can be described as the same logic behind a ‘fake designer purse’,This manifests through ‘wasteful’ consumer behavior, where clothes are discarded not necessarily because they are worn out but rather because they are outdated and no longer desirable.” Fast Fashion companies retain their sales from creating a constant drive for up-to-date products, this is executed through creating disposable garments will not have a purpose after its short-term lifecycle.
flat plan of look 2. : ultra heavy down / DOUDOUNE ULTRA LOURDE / 特級極重 羽絨外套
the garments will consume materials in a way which will be apparent on the designs — by using up all the fabrics rather than having scraps, and draping on the regular straight grain instead of cutting on a bias, and having the ‘fullness’ through gathering to creating designs through the drapes of fabric. This, although is an oxymoron of resource consumption, the ultimate goal is to minimize excessive waste that are produced in the process of production and disposal of garments by creating a collection of long-lasting designs. The idea of sustainability is not only demonstrated in my zero-waste practice, it has been explored through out the project.