Do you ever wonder about how fashions develop and why they are popular and what keeps trends going? I do. I especially wonder if in the future some poor costume maker is going to have to recreate the style of trousers worn by guys today, the sagging ones hanging on with no visible means of support, and wonder why it was popular. By then of course the deep meaning of it will have been analysed and discussed and theories made and so on, and it will all make some kind of sense.
I relate this line of thinking in some ways to the fashions of the past which we are now trying to interpret for the stage. Now, we are not trying for academically historical accuracy, but theatrical interpretation and one of the things we have been working on it slashed garments.
I am not going to go into the history behind it here as you may Google to your heart's content and read all about it.
What we have to do is interpret what the designer is after.
We want a slashed look and there are a few options to making that happen.
First, you could cut slashes or holes in the fashion fabric and have a coloured lining beneath that which shows through the holes you have made. The downside is that it can look a little flat.
Second, you could have fullness in the coloured under layer so the coloured fabric poufs out through the cuts in the outer fabric. A more interesting look.
So, can we manipulate the coloured fabric to show through the cuts consistently over six months of wearing and dry cleaning and still have it looking good to be used over and over again? Yes, we can. There are probably endless possibilities or at least quite a few, but here is one that we used this year.
We have a pair of suede sleeves with slashes. The good thing about leather/suede is that we do not have to finish the cut edges of the slashes as leather isn't about to fray. The slashes were cut first, using small chisel and a pair of scissors. The chisel gets the cut started and you finish the cut with the scissors. The slashes are shaped, not just straight cuts.
There will be lines of narrow trim running vertically between the columns of slashes.
This is our sample.
You can see that the suede has been painted down. The original colour is in the middle. We also showed the designer the two different colours of silk that she was interested in using. We used the more yellow version on the right.
After that, the lining was inserted into the sleeve as usual. I don't think that the poufs will require any further stitching to hold them, but while the sleeve is flat we could have stitched a tack at the ends of the slashes.
I think that was quite successful and it has the advantage of not being bulky.