Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Givenchy Dress - 1955


Hubert de Givenchy created this haute couture black silk taffeta dress for Spring 1955.  Having learned pattern drafting many years ago, I view this dress from a sewer's standpoint.  I can't look at this photo without wondering how in the world Givenchy made the fabric do what it does here and what do the pattern pieces for that skirt look like?  I'm sure the dress is built upon a stiff foundation so the skirt holds its bell shape.  There appear to be seams between the front buttoned panel and the draped side pieces.  That front panel probably falls straight to the hem and the side panels are pulled around to the front and sewn one on top of the other at the hem  And, even though you can't see them, I am sure those soft folds are held in place with hundreds of tiny invisible hand-worked stitches.  In the end, what looks like a dress with lots of movement and softness is actually just the opposite.  And that is one example of the art of couture.

5 comments:

Jen O said...

This dress is amazing! I have a class of students who are exploring 'slash and spread' pattern techniques today and I am going to have to share this photo with them, along with the question you posed. Thanks for this post!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Jen, please let me know what your students come up with!

HandMade Gifts and Souvenirs said...

The perfect dress!

Lauriana said...

I've been drafting patterns for a few years and I'm always looking at (vintage) dresses in pictures with that analysing technical eye. I think you have to be right about this dress, I don't see how else this effect could be achieved. It is a wonderful dress though...

Katryna said...

That is quite a dress! I could maybe imagine a dress like that, but I wouldn't know how to draft a pattern for it... wow...

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