Simulated Patchwork Details at Preen

Simulated Patchwork Details at Preen | The Cutting Class. Preen, SS14, Image 1.

Preen, SS14, London.

The Preen collection for Spring-Summer 2014 featured geometric textiles created in sheer, foil and opaque textures, and sometimes layered with delicate florals. While the textiles often invoked the feeling of patchwork, the effect sometimes appeared to actually be created through printing and quilting rather than through individually patchworked pieces.

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Accessories at Céline

Accessories at Céline | The Cutting Class. Céline, SS14, Image 1.

Céline, SS14, Paris.

For some of the collections, the accessories seem less like a styling decision and more like an integrated part of the collection. As a follow on to the post Graffiti Inspired Textiles at Céline» the following is a collection of some of the accessories that were showed as part of the Spring-Summer 2014 collection.

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Graffiti Inspired Textiles at Céline

Graffiti Inspired Textiles at Céline | The Cutting Class. Céline, SS14.

Céline, SS14, Paris.

In contrast to some of the more subdued minimalism that Céline has become known for, Phoebe Philo’s collection for Spring-Summer 2014 felt altogether more guttural, drawing on the photography of Brassaï as a reference to create textiles dripping with thread and marked by bold woven and printed brushstrokes.

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Contemporary Smocking Techniques

Contemporary Smocking Techniques | The Cutting Class. Vertical Smocking.

Tightly pulled vertical smocking. Image via»

Smocking is a fabric manipulation technique that is generally created by using hand stitching to create areas of tension and release in the fabric. This results in very sculptural effects that can sometimes appear far more complex then they actually are.

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Simple Details at Helmut Lang

Simple Details at Helmut Lang | The Cutting Class

Helmut Lang, SS14, New York.

With some of the simpler and more minimal catwalk collections it is worth spending the time to drill down on the elements at play, and move beyond just “I like it because it’s so simple” to “It works because they’ve refined this particular detail”. The Helmut Lang collection for Spring-Summer 2014 was filled with simple details that take time and consideration to refine and execute correctly.

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How To Work Out Patterns for Complex Details

How To Work Out Patterns for Complex Details | The Cutting Class. Images from Valentino, SS08, Couture Collection.

Valentino, Couture, SS08.

The Cutting Class recently received a query about how the skirt folds had been constructed on two dresses from Valentino’s final Couture show in Spring-Summer 2008. This seemed like a good opportunity to talk through some strategies for working out these sorts of details yourself.

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Bra Cups and Sequins the Prada Way

Bra Cups and Sequins the Prada Way | The Cutting Class

Prada, SS14, Milan.

Miuccia Prada is one of the few designers who can make sequins read like a feminist statement and make beading and bra cups feel robust and gutsy. The Spring-Summer 2014 collection at Prada felt like Miuccia was reclaiming some of the garments and embellishments normally segregated to women’s clothing (such as bra cups and beading), and reframing them as “feminine” in the strongest sense of the word, instead of “feminine” in the most delicate sense of the word.

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Inspiration Images for Subtraction Pattern Cutting

Inspiration Images for Subtraction Pattern Cutting | The Cutting Class. Comme des Garçons from Jane Magazine August 1998

Comme des Garçons. Image from Jane Magazine August 1998 via iiiinspired»

Following on from the previous post on Subtraction Pattern Cutting with Julian Roberts» it seemed fitting to collect together some images of garments that could possibly have been created using this pattern cutting technique, or which could inspire you to experiment with this technique yourself. If you haven’t already downloaded the "Free Cutting" PDF by Julian Roberts», then download the book now and then be inspired by the following images.

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Subtraction Pattern Cutting with Julian Roberts

Subtraction Pattern Cutting with Julian Roberts | The Cutting Class

Image from “Free Cutting” by Julian Roberts.

Many garments are created from flat pattern making methods, or from drape methods, but a method of “hollow construction” has been created by fashion designer Julian Roberts». This pattern cutting technique known as “Subtraction Cutting” makes the most of the negative spaces that can be opened up in fabric and falls somewhere between traditional pattern making and drape resulting in experimental garments that break the boundaries of the usual garment shapes.

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Sheer Styling at Comme des Garçons

Sheer Styling at Comme des Garçons from SS04 | The Cutting Class

Comme des Garçons, SS04, Paris.

At times it can be good to consider how different designers use similar methods for focusing the viewers’ attention during catwalk shows. In the previous post we discussed how the catwalk show for J.W. Anderson’s collection» balanced innovations in textiles and cut with the use of sheer fabrics and very lean garments . A similar approach can be seen in the catwalk presentation of a Comme des Garçons collection from a decade earlier.

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Compression and Release at J.W.Anderson

Compression and Release at J. W. Anderson | The Cutting Class

J. W. Anderson, SS14, London.

With a restricted colour palette and beautiful fabrics, the J.W. Anderson collection for Spring-Summer 2014 seemed to simultaneously explore fabric intensive pleating techniques and barely there sheer garments.

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Suspended Shoulders and Colour Clash at Yohji Yamamoto


Yohji Yamamoto, SS14, Paris.

It was an array of disjointed experiments that came together to create the Yohji Yamamoto show for Spring-Summer 2014. Some of the experiments involved careful reworkings of the sleeve head area while other garments played with clashing neon colours.

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Vivid Textiles at Fendi


Fendi, SS14, Milan.

In an era where designer collections are increasingly copied, textile innovation and signature textile designs become an important way for designers to separate their own work from the imitations. 

At the Fendi collection for Spring-Summer 2014 a wide variety of textiles were on display with beautiful examples of laser cut layering, intricate fur appliqués, and brocades woven with custom designs. These textile ideas were worked into a variety of silhouettes and fabrications using a vibrant colour palette of scarlet and cobalt over graphic black, white and a soft grey.

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Laser Cut Layering at Threeasfour


Threeasfour, SS14, New York.

As designers become more comfortable using laser cutting and 3D printing technology, it is going to become ever more important that designers push the limits of what is possible with these technologies. Once the press and consumers get over the wow value it is going to be essential that the technology serves the design, and that the design has not merely been shaped to fit in with the technology.

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