Design and Construction
The Basis of Fashion

Friday, January 16, 2015


What is fashion to you? Today we look at 3 brands: Vionnet, Chalayan, and Richard Nicoll.

The hype of owning a designer fashion item has always been on the cards of every fashion consumer. It represents a certain social standing that a consumer has reached, to those who can afford it. Consumers recognise this, but do they truly know what they are buying into? In an industry where bags and accessories take up a majority stake in the designer fashion market, the ready-to-wear sector is left secondary in comparison.

Before the craze of the it bags, fashion of the 20th century was in its element. Fashion as we know it, is all about the clothes – it always has been. We could go as far back as Charles Frederick Worth – considered by many as the father of high fashion – just before the dawn of the 20th century. But let’s start with the house of Vionnet, who reintroduced the bias-cut technique in the 1920s that appeared in free-flowing silhouettes that embraced a woman’s curves. It was revolutionary to say the least.
In today’s day and age where what you see on the street is a copy of a copy of a copy, it is where designer labels are noticed. There is a certain eminence about them. They attract attention. Blame it on celebrities or even more relevant, social media. However, it is the inconspicuous designers that intrigue. Their designs venture past the fabrics or even the dress silhouette. It all boils down to the construction of the garment – the most essential part of fashion design.
Fashion design goes beyond the usual play on fabrics, prints, and what-not. Granted, those elements can ultimately enhance a garment, but construction is often the key. It is the starting block of what a garment could be. Creativity comes right down to the patterns and the behind-the-scenes pattern manipulation to achieve a desire look. A look, which at once looks average, but on closer inspection, reveals so much more. This, to the trained eye, is what makes a designer. This is creativity. This is fashion.
Chalayan is one perfect example. Often obscured by the more popular fashion houses of the now, he is one designer that is severely underrated and does not receive enough recognition. Avant-garde in his own clever ways, he is one that does not conform to trends but rather, he delves into the depths of his gifted mind to conjure up garments that will no doubt stand the test of time.
In more recent times, Richard Nicoll is another one to watch. It has almost been 9 years since his debut runway show for London Fashion Week and now he is finally coming into his own. Of late, there is an evident and unquestionable style about him – a signature sports-luxe sensibility with a feminine edge where sharp tailoring and unexpected melding of materials come together in a culmination of urban and desk-to-dinner versatility. For Richard Nicoll, it is apparent that the cut of a garment is important. The result is a summation of easy and flattering silhouettes for the female urbanite.

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