Archive for March, 2011

I would like to get more consistent about posting here, so I will post photos of my successful muslins here each week after they have been graded.

In terms of design (not execution, unfortunately), this is my favorite so far: the “Solace” dropped shoulder jacket.


I aimed to gently “fade” a pleat on the body into a seam on the sleeve. It worked, but next time I’ll sew it differently. Note the collar transition.

I’ve been wanting to try something with subtle pleating for a while now. This project was my chance.

The back. Next time, I’ll put some interfacing in the collar to make it more structural.
The back of the shoulder. I’d like to make the curved seam going down the shoulder look more “intentional” next time.
Another view of the sculpted shoulder.
This garment looks much better worn. You can see the shaped wrist opening pretty well here. (Yay for discreet 3-sided mirror shots. :) )
A view of the neckline when worn. The curved stand effect is clearer here.

Perhaps I am being naive by highlighting all my mistakes here, “naming” my cuts (I’m not quite ready to start assigning style numbers), or by even posting it all here in the first place. But I like to share, I am proud of my work, and I love to document.

I do not seek inspirations. I seek information, references, skills, levels to aspire to. Again, this is design, not decoration. Nor marketing. Nor branding. Nor fashion shows with famous models. All that can come later. Right now, I need to absorb as much as I can from the greats (maybe I’ll ask for a day to look at the museum’s permanent collections…) and hone my own cutting and execution skills. I want to be a manufacturer who is capable of couture. I seek the level of Yamamoto, Galliano (yes, him too), Miyake, Rucci, Balenciaga, Toledo… with the philosophy of Margiela. Or Takahashi. Or Kawakubo. (Or even my own.) I wish to be like Steele, Simonton, Naoto, Richard and Michael… people for whom fashion keeps them young. Callused hands and laughing eyes…




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En Gris

New semester, new paradigm. I am shedding old habits that were holding me back, one by one. Since October, my design style has radically shifted — from baroque costumery to experimental, almost minimalistic garments. My new draping professor is incredible – he really *teaches* and motivates everyone in class to put their best into their projects. Here’s some of my work from the past month and a half…


First "creative" (i.e. self-directed) project for this semester's draping class. I'm trying a "cocoon" silhouette... really "getting away" from the body for the first time.

I combined several techniques that were new to me. After reading "Pattern Magic", I tried a "crater" effect for the outside of the cut-on pockets. (You can see the back of the garment in the mirror on the left of the photo.)

Funnel neckline with raglan sleeves. Proportions need some tweaking, but not bad for first try.

The back neck would have looked so cool if the "crater" didn't look more like a "growth". Le Sigh. v_v

This "Swoosh" jacket was for my patternmaking class. Going for more subtlety in this one. Needs shoulder pads, but I like the design.

The jacket hem and sleeves were designed to follow one continuous plane, angled up from front to back. The "princess kimono" seams were arched and exaggerated, and the neckline was subtly bubbled.

*swoosh* :)

I'd really like to try this concept again, perhaps with the "swoosh" going from left to right. This pattern was actually quite challenging to draft... perhaps I over-complicated it, but I loved the challenge.

Right now, I have two more similar projects going, both due next week. I can’t wait to get back to working on them… :D

Lately, I’ve been idealizing people like Buddhist monks and elegant old women, taking on elements of their styles and (mostly imagined) characters. As of yesterday, my hair is shorter than it’s ever been. I only really want to wear long wool  skirts and comfy old cardigans from the flea market. I bought my first “designer” piece (actually from a diffusion line but whatever)… and now I understand ready-to-wear. My Y’s/Yohji Yamamoto jacket is second-hand, it’s designed for a man, but the fit and quality are impeccable, and I wear it almost every day.

Good design makes you want to *earn* it. It makes you grin when people notice it. And I’m not talking about Louis Vuitton purses. I’m talking about execution, subtle detail, and quality materials that *mold* to the body when you use them. Objects that glow with inner warmth, not added sheen. Garments that are at once functional, elegant, versatile, and visionary. Fast-fashion is over. Cheap crap is done with. I want to create designs one-by-one and manufacture them with love and passion, instead of churning out 60 designs that look just like each-other (and just like the other guy’s) twice, thrice, even four times a season. I choose to create objects of value, not expensive status symbols. I choose design, not decoration.

I choose excellence.

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