Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Craft in Fashion

“Craft has never been more important than now, as an antidote to mass production and as a practice in which the very time it takes to produce an object becomes part of its value in a world that often moves too fast.”
Caroline Roux, Acting editor, Crafts magazine

When I visited the Valentino exhibition last year my favourite part of the exhibition was downstairs, where you could look in detail at samples of the different construction techniques used to create certain elements of Valentino's dresses. The workers in the atelier sew everything by hand, spending hundreds of hours on a single piece. So many hours, so many women and they never use a sewing machine, they hand sew everything. Apparently the women were bought  a sewing machine once and it sat in a corner, unused!

Fashion is often seen as frivolous, and with the fast and cheap fashion that is on offer to consumers today, it is easy to forget the huge amount of work that often goes into the couture collections  that march down the runways at the fashion weeks.

The article 'Craft Works' in Vogue, Oct '13, highlights the astonishing amount of work that goes in to producing individual detailing on the garments designed by the likes of Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Erdem.

Vuitton F/W '13-'14- feathers trimmed with 
scissors and hand-sewn onto tulle 
image via

Botegga Veneta F/W '13-'14 - Silk and wool 
bonded onto day dress to create watercolour-like patterns
image via

Erdem F/W '13-'14 - Window pane tweed woven with neon PVC 
and ostrich feathers attached to thread narrow enough to go
 through a loom.
image via

I am 'guilty' myself of buying cheap fashion, and I believe there is a place for it, as I think that fashion should be accessible for all walks, not just the elite. However, I do place great importance on craft in fashion - luxurious fabrics and beautiful artisanal details elevate a garment into the realms of a piece of art, not just to treasure but to showcase on oneself.

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