"A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to enhance the proportions of the female body"
In my own work I always strive, consciously and unconsciously it seems, to create a powerful and recognizably feminine silhouette. I imagine this may be a legacy from my 1960s childhood, where the female shape was very emphasized and defined in the clothing of the era, a post WWII trend that began with Dior's revolutionary "New Look" and which can still be seen overtly influencing fashion into the 80s. My mother was very glamorous with a fantastic figure and impeccable taste so I suppose my notion of what the ideal feminine garment should be started with her.
I would have to say that the above quote from Dior expresses the single most important idea that underpins what I find attractive and desirable in clothing, and what I try to achieve with my own sewing. Silhouette is everything. I want it to be strong, defined, feminine and alluring.
I love the drama of structure. I often joke to clients about "building" them their ideal figure, but that's exactly how it feels to me. If you got here via my etsy
shop you'll know that the pic to the right, is of my high-waist fishtail skirt. While it IS darted and somewhat structured, it's made of a stretch fabric so is forgiving and comfortable and doesn't really "control" the figure, and so can't at all be compared to the sort of garment (as in the first pic, above: the beautiful 1950 Dior Rubempre suit) that is highly tailored with padding and re-shaping of the body; still, my ideal silhouette is achieved through the shapes and proportions provided by the snug, deep waistband, the darted curved hips, the tapered thighs then the outward flare of the fishtail. The long, smooth narrowness of the length down the thigh helps to emphasize the contrast between the flare of the hips and the fishtail (or vice versa) - it's like buying yourself an instant hourglass!!
I'm going on a Dior binge at the moment so will be updating with more snippets of information and pictures as well from this amazing couturier. I'm almost caught up on my custom order back-log, and my neck is feeling somewhat improved, so I hope to be spending some time soon on some lovely new dresses especially dedicated to the celebration of Valentine's Day.
Please check out this lovely blog kept by fellow Etsian, DecadentDiamond:
She's very talented in many different areas!