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Title - Toile; Work In Progress



 02  /  02  /  2016


This is an un-resolved, unfinished toile. A Work in Progress

A Toile is a prototype garment that explores Aesthetics through pattern Design. It acknowledges and encompasses a prior knowledge of the body; where articulation for movement is required, where drape can be isolated or achieved, where stiff fabrics can be seamed and stitched in new ways to mould around the human frame.

To this extent the designer uses visual spatial mathematics to plan alterations that improve the aesthetic of the garment and makes minor and major alterations to the pattern construction where necessary to achieve the look and feel required.

A toile encapsulates the designer’s vision for a garment and includes sampling to understand a material’s capabilities such as drape, flow, stiffness and rigidity. The sampling explores and pushes the boundaries of what a material can be cajoled into achieving with pattern design and construction that allows a designer to conceive of new possibilities. This process is comparable to mini science experiments. Mix A with X and get Q? Does Q work in this context with colour, texture and form?

A designer uses the term Pattern Cutting as a parlance, phraseology and common understanding to others that design, craft and create garments. It embodies a wide set of understanding and skills. To make a new creation a designer will contemplate a series of processes that include colour texture materials silhouette and proportion. The toile is created as an expression of all of these factors.

In exploring the archaeology of sheepskin as a fabrication  designers can decode the seams and construction used in past garments and artefacts. Sheepskin is a variable material and has little tolerance in some areas for stretch and abundance in other areas.  The thickness of the skin, the pile of the fleece, the softness of the wool, all play a part in understanding different weights of sheepskin that aid a designer’s appreciation of the fabrication. Through this comprehension the designer can start to push the boundaries of what the material can do and create new aesthetics in structural form.

In this collarless jacket it is the sleeve articulation that is the most taxing in creating a slim silhouette that still allows a body to articulate movement in raising, lowering and moving the arms. How to allow for the natural bend at the elbow, the extension of the arm to move forward and grasp an object or to reach back for a chair. Sleeves and hip or leg articulation are the most complex areas in creating patterns but are more difficult when the materials used have less flex and mobility. In this toile the sleeve head is darted to mould around the top of the arm, the great Tubercle area of the Humerus bone and Deltoid muscles. It is lightly darted at the elbow to give a graceful curve to the natural relaxed arm state. The body of the garment is loose but slim enough around the shoulder to create a neatly formed silhouette that is well defined and reflects the body. Exploring new topologies in pattern design is always a work in progress. Each individual occupies a different form. Each landscape requires new sensitivities to pattern design.

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