When Marc Jacobs speaks, everyone in the fashion world tends to listen. And the message for fall 2006 is big – literally. Jacobs showed a pumped-up silhouette comprised of layer upon layer of leggings, skirts,dresses, sweaters, vests, scarves, jackets, caps, hats & voluminous great coats.
Costume historians also heeded the call. This fall, from September 17th through January 7th, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will put up a new exhibit which looks at changes in the last 25 years in silhouette, fabric surface treatment, and the evolution of sewing & construction techniques. "Construction techniques and materials have changed quite a bit since the Eighties," Kaye D. Spilker, one of thecurators of Breaking the Mode: Contemporary Fashion From the Permanent Collection told WWD. "Things that were radical back in 1980 are quite commonplace today, and many of the pieces in the exhibit show this."
130 pieces from 40 designers will showcase the evolution of construction techniques and fabric treatments. Vintage Christian Dior, Gilbert Adrian, and Charles James will be displayed next to modern A-listers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Azzedine AlaÃ¯a, Hussein Chalayan, Christian Lacroix, HervÃ© LÃ©ger, Alexander McQueen, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey & Vivienne Westwood. Famed Fortuny pleated frocks will be positioned next to Issey Miyake’s pleated plissÃ© garments, while a jacket by deconstruction maestro Martin Margiela jacket is placed by a fully boned & padded 50s Christian Dior.
Advances in fabric technology have spurred innovations in construction, upending many traditional sewing techniques and guidelines. For example, stretch in fabric can eliminate the need for fitting darts, dramatically altering the look of a garment. And avant garde designers like Miyake(and his ubiquitious pleats) tend to push the envelope, sending statement pieces instead of mere clothes down the runway. "Designers are not just making pretty things," Sharon S. Takeda, Costume and Textiles Department senior curatorexplains. "They have ideas and have learned to create the very inventive forms."