Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Valentino on the model

"My dear, what can I tell you?" he sighs. "For a designer, models are never too thin, because when you have to present something in the right way, you are not obliged to see a full woman. It is like when a painter has an exhibition, the walls have to be white and perfect. For designers, when we present something, we don't want to be worried about proportion because the girl is too big or too fat."

Finito is Finto


Phyllis said...

Yes - this is certainly true, but the real magic happens when the runway garments are made for the clients. Claire Shaeffer explains the nuance of this process in Couture Sewing Techniques:

"Maintaining the integrity of a design while making adjustments to suit a client's figure and personal preferences is a delicate balancing act. Most couture houses will go to great lengths to do both. Several years ago, for example, when I visited the workrooms of Hardie Amies, the staff has just fitted a client’s dress, which she felt was about 1 inch too short. The black velvet, asymmetrical design featured a 4-inch pleated taffeta ruffle inserted in a seam line that began at the right seam about 4 inches – a ruffles width – above the hemline. Since the garment had a wide hem allowance, if could have been lengthened by simply lowering the hem, but then the hemline would have been spoiled. Rather than demean the design, the house decided to lower the seam line, even though it mean cutting a new right front that positioned the ruffle precisely 4 inches above the hem.”

So – they recut the entire front of the dress, which meant a new pattern, new muslin, another fitting, and the old dress was a total loss, in order to preserve the design and keep the client happy. Now that's couture.

jakjak said...

That quote just makes me want to SCREAM! Essentially I find that he is saying that the clothes are never designed to be worn by anyone with a normal figure. So who does Valentino design for? Why doesn't he just become purely a visual artist and leave designing clothes to someone talented enough to work with a real body!

enc said...

A disappointing, but not surprising comment. I'd be willing to be that the majority of designers feel that way, whether they admit it or not.