I think it was the blues singer Corey Harris who said, “in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been”. Last week I spent some time re-visiting an old friend with a view to making a new one.
This knee length dress in wool crepe was commissioned last year. It came from the first client via our TfW blog who wanted a simple elegant piece to make an impact during a special viewing at Christies; the international auctioneers of fine art.
As an inspiration she suggested looking at the French designer André Courrèges, famous for producing immaculately tailored sporting clothes in the mid 60’s. He became known as the socialites’ couturier, and his clients included the Begum Aga Khan, Princess Lee Radziwill, and the Duchess of Windsor. His signature silhouette for a dress was an “A” shape that bypassed and concealed the waist.
This rich red dress is made from double wool crepe selected at Joel & Sons. The fabric has a deep texture that can be indented by topstitching, a technique similar to quilting that was favoured by Courrèges.
Wool crepe has a characteristic crinkled granular appearance produced both by the special type of yarn used, and the distinctive way in which it is woven. It also dyes well in any range of deep jewel or soft pastel colours, with the texture of the fabric enhancing its hue.
This cloth has many attractive properties for a tailor or couturier. From a design and construction perspective the relaxed weave allows a slight “give” in all directions, making it possible to shape and mold the cloth into sculptural lines that follow the contours of the body. Newly developed stretch linings are compatable with an outer crepe layer to accommodate any movement.
For the wearer it creates a garment that is comforatable all year round. It will also be durable, perfect for travel, easy to care for, and equally suitable for boardroom, day or evening wear.
There is a re-emerging trend for dresses as they seem to offer the ideal solution as an alternative to the more conventional skirt and jacket combination. They are easy to accesorize and to wear with other separates.
Returning to our crimson friend above, in a short while it will return to the closet with a new companion to share the rail.