SHOWstudio’s latest Design Download is a free pattern for a top and balloon skirt by JW Anderson. Anderson, who is creative director at Loewe as well as for his own label, was just named the BFA’s New Establishment Designer for 2013. (For more on Anderson see Susannah Frankel’s recent profile for W magazine, “The New Guard: J.W. Anderson.”)
As with last year’s Design Download, there’s an interactive component and also a contest. Those making up the ensemble are invited to submit photos for inclusion in a gallery on the SHOWstudio website, and J.W. Anderson and Nick Knight will choose one version to star in a special fashion film.
The asymmetrical top and skirt are from the current, Fall/Winter 2013 collection, which drew acclaim for its sculptural, experimental pieces in subdued neutrals enlivened by the odd splash of colour and comic-book prints. (See Suzy Menkes, “Maximalist Versus Minimalist“; full collection on vogue.com.) Here is SHOWstudio’s slate leather version on the runway:
The ensemble was also shown in midnight blue and white:
Recommended fabrics: leather, thick duffle wool, and other fray-resistant fabrics
Tools and notions: 20cm (8″) invisible zipper, hook and eye, seam binding or bondaweb. A rotary cutter is recommended for cutting the unfinished edges.
The deadline for contest submissions is Friday, March 31st, 2014 at midnight GMT. (See the SHOWstudio site for submission details.) Or if you’d rather snag the original, the midnight blue version of the top is on sale at net-a-porter.
Just in time for the recent Eighties revival, SHOWstudio’s 2009 instalment in its Design Download series was an evening dress by Antony Price. Short, boned, and ruched, with asymmetrical ‘feathers’ in two shades of taffeta, the Macaw dress exemplifies the glamour and dazzling construction of Price’s evening wear. The free pattern was part of the SHOWstudio project, Antony Price: For Your Pleasure. (For more on the designer see Chrissy Iley, “Return of the Dandy,” and the Antony Price press archive.)
The designer is best known for his work for performers like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Duran Duran, and especially Roxy Music. This sketch shows Price’s costume design for the cover of “Siren,” Roxy Music’s 1975 album:
An earlier ornithologically-inspired Antony Price dress, “Bird’s Wing,” is part of the collection of the V&A, and was included in their exhibition, The Cutting Edge: Fifty Years of British Fashion, 1947–1997.
And Tilda Swinton recently wore Antony Price on the cover of Candy magazine (click the image for back view):
Antony Price’s Spring/Summer 1989 collection was shown at the Fashion Theatre, Kensington Olympia, to a soundtrack that included Phillip Glass, Duran Duran, and Peter and the Wolf. The Macaw dress opened a bird-themed segment of the show: after the Macaw there was the ‘Pheasant,’ the ‘Chicken,’ and finally the stunning ‘Bird of Paradise.’
Runway photos from the Spring 1989 collection may be seen in Maria Lexton’s 1991 profile of the designer. The final image (bottom right) shows the ‘Bird of Paradise’ dress:
You can watch a video of the collection here (dress at 22:00). SHOWstudio has more ’80s Antony Price runway videos here; more on Antony Price’s YouTube channel.
Royal Ascot begins tomorrow. What better way to celebrate than with a free designer millinery pattern, for a Stephen Jones hat called “Nice Package”?
The hat pattern Stephen Jones recently shared with SHOWstudio was released in early 2012, on the last day of the Paris couture calendar. An exaggerated beret inspired by his lilac hatboxes, the original hat is lilac moiré with a sparkle-embellished, pink satin bow. Here’s a colour photo:
The design was drawn from Stephen Jones’ Fall/Winter 2011 collection, Topsy Turvy, which also included a stiletto take on Schiaparelli’s shoe hat. Here is a collection image from the milliner’s website:
SHOWstudio’s image gallery gives “aesthetic hints” on the assembly (click for more):
This week’s second punk-inspired pattern puts the ‘couture’ in Chaos to Couture. (The first punk-inspired pattern was by Junya Watanabe—see my post here.) John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket is the most challenging of SHOWstudio’s Design Downloads, with 63 pattern pieces, all hand-labelled in French. But not to worry: 11 are guide pieces, and most of the French is translated.
The collection mixed glossy synthetics (techno) with delicate sheers and florals (romance): jaunty double-breasted jackets and long coats worn with sailor trousers, and long skirts and dresses, many with the same romantically skewed, off-the-shoulder, one-sleeved bodices as the SHOWstudio jacket. (See Suzy Menkes, “Techno Romance.”) In her short essay to accompany the Design Download, Jane Audas conjures an imaginary history for the SHOWstudio version of the jacket—a story of rebellion in which it was fashioned from the Union Jack, “the flag torn off a captured ship and hijacked as clothing, held together with sail rivets and ties.”
To celebrate this week’s opening of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute in New York, I’ll be posting about two free patterns for punk-inspired designs. (Kristen McMenamy called last night’s Met gala “a costume party for punk”; see Vogue’s red carpet coverage here.) First up is an example of Junya Watanabe’s “heavy-duty couture”: the dress pattern he shared with SHOWstudio.
The Watanabe Design Download was part of SHOWstudio’s Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down project, which saw model Liberty Ross being dressed for a live photo shoot by an online audience. The project—whose name refers to the English title of Pedro Almodóvar’s Átame, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)—was inspired by pornographic video chats and had the goal of “exploring the idea of control in fashion image-making.” As well as images and video, the project also had a discussion component, with interviews and short essays on fashion and pornography, including an Andrea Dworkin excerpt. In its appropriation of pornographic conventions, the SHOWstudio project can be linked to punk fashion and art like that of Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti (recently seen in Pop Life: Art in a Material World).
The Watanabe design was chosen by Liberty Ross from stylist Jonathan Kaye’s draft selection for the June 2005 SHOWstudio event. The dress is from Junya Watanabe’s Fall/Winter 2005 women’s collection—the coming season at the time of the project. The original dress was made in red mohair plaid with a PVC bodice:
Watanabe also showed a black version of the dress:
These dresses’ play with textural contrasts carried through the Fall/Winter 2005 Junya Watanabe women’s collection, which paired cotton and textured woolens with synthetics like nylon and PVC. The models wore full-skirted dresses, the skirts sometimes bunched up with ripcords, white shirts with exaggerated collars and ruffles, and coats and jackets made with tweed fused with synthetics. Watanabe referred to the clothes as “hard-core couture.” (See Cathy Horyn, “In Paris, Tweed Tangles With Tulle.”) Here’s the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles:
Alexander McQueen would have been 44 today. On the occasion of his birthday, here’s a look back at the free pattern McQueen shared with SHOWstudio: the Scanners kimono jacket.
The original kimono jacket was made of black silk, and was shown on the runway with a matching pencil skirt and long gloves (worn by a pre-Outlander Caitriona Balfe):
The kimono jacket is drawn from Scanners, Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2003 collection. (The invitation to the show was printed with brain scans—CAT scans of the designer’s brain.) This was the year McQueen received his CBE from Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the CFDA’s International Award and his fourth British Fashion Designer of the Year. The models walked across a snowy tundra and along a raised wind tunnel; the design references represented a journey eastward through Siberia, Tibet, and Japan, mixed with geometric prints and McQueen’s signature tailoring. (See Suzy Menkes, “The Collections / Paris: A stellar McQueen; elegance at Viktor & Rolf.”)
Watch the runway video (kimono jacket at about 6:10):
Kimono-inspired designs are a thread running through McQueen’s work. Here are a few more kimono looks by Alexander McQueen, from Eclect Dissect—Givenchy couture, Fall 1997 (as on the McQueen / Nick Knight album cover for Björk’s Homogenic); La Dame Bleue, in memory of Isabella Blow; and the posthumous Fall 2010 collection: