This last fall's Viktor & Rolf runway show blew my socks off. I downloaded it over and over again to study the details. I particularly love the use of denim but the whole thing just calls to me.
I made two efforts at using the weaving technique in the show to some success but, as with so many things that look simple at first, the real complexity of the design has eluded me thus far.
I'm not sure I'll work with it again but I might. Here are the two pieces I made using their concepts.
The first is Diane Ericson's Fault Lines Vest. I made it a couple months ago and love the lines. It's a blank canvas-type pattern. On the front I simply used scraps of a beautiful red wool.
On the back I applied the Viktor & Rolf weaving using scraps from old silk scarves. The body of the vest is a black stretch woven so I was worried about stretching that might occur if I cut into it.
I decided to weave the scarf scraps onto a piece of the fabric and appliqué the whole thing to the back. It worked well and gives the same feeling as if I'd woven it right into the body of the garment.
I secured each vertical strip with a line of stitching.
I thought the back needed another detail so I added a hint of color at the hem.
My next attempt was on a Levi vest I just bought from a sewing pal. I kept it simple in the front, only using some of the buttons I inherited from my mother's massive collection.
In the back I positioned the weaving in the center panel. A sewing pal, Lisa, was smitten with this technique, too, and had finished a Levi jacket that I admired. She placed the woven panel in the center back so I gave it a try. She also lent me some Levy scraps because I have none...being the one who is always trying to de-stash. Plus, she gave me some really good tips to make the process easier, like pinning as you go and using an embroidery hoop if your fabric could benefit from it.
Many of these denim fabrics were so stiff they didn't "bunch" as much as I wanted them to. I like the thick and thin widths though, and the pieces hanging from some of the edges. I like the results but would need to really work with this technique to get stunning results.
Once again I'm reminded that couture fashion may seem frivolous at times but those exquisite techniques are borne out of years and years of experience in the ateliers.
I admire the men and women who toil anonymously and I think they are, in great part, the reason for the success of the designers they work for. But, I'm happy to see that some designers are beginning to publicly recognize these artists. Karl Lagerfeld actually honored them in his fall 2016 runway show.
I'm so happy to wear this vest because of the buttons I used. I've taken them out and played with them for years, wondering what I could ever use them on that would bring them to life and not be too precious to wear on a daily basis.
I know some of these buttons like they are family members. Finally, they have a life outside the button jar!