Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Me and DPC

DPC probably means nothing to most people, but those three initials should be just as important to the home sewer as YSL is to the fashion world. D. P. C. David. Page. Coffin. He wrote a little book called Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing, another called Making Trousers for Men and Women, and a booklet called Custom Making Neckties at Home (which is only available in PDF). I used all three to complete all of the garments for my fashion show, and I recommend all of them. Yes, it was me and DPC night after lonely night at my studio for two whole months so I could present this:

Sometimes, when doing this type of thing where the amount of time spent making the work is exponential compared to the amount of time the work is displayed can be anticlimactic. Which is how I felt costuming those plays, but this fashion show wasn't like that. I was completely satisfied in the end. In fact, I've decided to do another one. The next one is going to be just my stuff, in a place of my choosing, with twice the work . . . I can't wait, but I am getting way ahead of myself. I'll try to stick to this fashion show I just finished. Here are my favorite shots of each outfit:

I love this dress, and I am probably going to have a tough time thinking that stripes should be done any other way.

I am modeling this for the photos because my model for this outfit had surgery on her foot soon after the fashion show, and was in a lovely medical boot. I of course can empathize with that since I will be wearing two of them soon! This outfit was the very first idea that I had for the fashion show, and I was going to do a whole collection that focused more on this idea of pouffy skirts paired with aspects of menswear. But after thinking about it, and asking Mikey's opinion, he steered me into the direction that I eventually took with the collection.

I am a fan of (nicely done) peplums. They can make a women's suit really feminine.

I was originally going to do different ties for all of these, and with this one I had planned on using a mint green flannel to make it look more militaristic, but when I got the mint flannel and put it with the outfit it was so drab. The red polka dots ended up looking the best with all the outfits that had ties.

I love this outfit too. I think it is unfortunate that this ensemble has been commonly identified as "nerdy", when suspenders and bow ties used to be everyday wear.

When I was making this suit I was a little worried that it was going to be really unflattering and too manly. But when it all got put on together, pff, I loved it. There is nothing about it that is feminine (except maybe the cropped pants) but it works on her. And I think a suit just like this one could work on any woman, if they have the balls to wear it.

I really like all the in between stuff, but my favorites are the first dress and the last suit. Designing these two different things is a lot fun for me. On one end of the spectrum you have a feminine dress, where there really are no rules and the design possibilities are endless: fabric choice, color, length, sleeves, no sleeves, different necklines, buttons, gathers, pockets. Then on the other end there is the tailored suit. Still many possibilities, but there are certain rules to follow when designing and wearing a suit: the vest should just cover the pants waistband, the shirt cuff should fall 1/2 to 3/4 inches beyond the jacket sleeve. (Mine doesn't here because I messed up with the pattern making.) Then there are all these other sets of rules for matching the shirt to the suit, and the tie to the shirt, and then finding the right pocket square to tie it all together; what buttons to button when the jacket has two or three buttons, or when it is double breasted. All of these rules can really identify the amateur dresser from the practiced one.

Plus, I prefer men's accessories to women's. I don't wear necklaces, (except for a string of pearls with the right dress) rings, bracelets, earrings, anklets, or jesus god definitely not toe rings. I think that is reflected in my designs. There is usually no where to fit a necklace with my dresses. When I worked in clothing retail-for about three miserable months-every time I dressed a mannequin I had to accessorize it. Pair a necklace with the dress. Throw a purse on the shoulder. Are there some earrings we can display with that outfit? Bleck! Now these men though, they got all the good stuff: ties, bow ties, pocket squares, cuff links, tie bars, tie pins, collar bars, even a pocket watch would be cool.

So I guess what I am saying here, is that I am onto something good: manly suits and feminine dresses. What more do we need really?