Saturday, February 21, 2009

Haute couture sewing, "pret-a-porter"

In the spring of 2006, during the second half of my schooling at the Chambre Syndicale in the Formation Continue, I took the "stages" called "Vetements au volume" and "Pret-a-porter." The "Vetements au volume" course was the continuation of the "Moulage," or draping course, but now we were working on draping, as the name suggests, garments with more volume. For instance:
It generally took a couple of full eight hour days to drape a garment like these, although a good chunk of time was taken by Mme Saget demonstrating what we were supposed to do.

The rest of my time was spent in "Pret-a-porter," which was the sewing class. We spent two days a week doing machine sewing, learning the basics of how to sew everything from a beeson pocket to a jacket on the machine. Industrial machines run really fast and a lot of the challenge was just being able to control the machine. Our teacher, Mme Albert, was an expert. She could control the machine so well that she could get it to do one individual stitch at a time -- no mean feat.

Fridays were my favorite as they were spent with Mme Rybak, who was in her last year before retiring. She showed us mostly haute couture techniques, involving a lot of hand sewing. Before teaching at the Chambre Syndicale, she had spent around 20 years at Lanvin before they closed the haute couture studio there. In between little personal and professional anecdotes, she taught us many cool techniques although one stood out to me. She taught us how to embroider a piece of lace onto fabric both by hand and using the zigzag machine, and then cut out the fabric underneath.

Apologies - Graey Fall 2009

Apologies for going so long without updating. I have been busy the past couple of months planning a presentation for my Fall 2009 line. It got mixed reviews on WWD but the photos by Pasha Antonov look great:

Despite the economy, I'm hoping someone will pick up the line. May do a trunk show as well.