Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lace matching at Louis Vuitton: Yay or Nay?

What do you feel when someone tells you: "You did a great job! It looks like a store-bought or ready-to-wear garment." I mean, is it really a compliment?

What we often see in many stores is whipped up by designers in a minimum amount of time. The final product is a combination of the season's trends and frugal production. Not that ready-to-wear construction techniques are bad. What makes difference is the balance between the quality and the cost.

Why am I bringing this up? I loved this spring show by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton! The colors, the use of lace, colors, layers of sheer fabrics in different textures. I even picked a dress as an inspiration for a guipure dress I started making in Baltimore with Susan Khalje's Couture Camp. Vuitton Dress is beautiful... I thought!

But have a closer look:

Yes - lace matching. You don't have to be a couture aficionado or a sewing nerd to notice it, really! Flowers are off in all directions, there is neither vertical nor horizontal alignment.  It looks like a mess to me, readers. What do you think? I just thought that for a dress that will probably sell for couple of thousand dollars, it should not be a big deal to match the pattern at least along the center seam. If you look on other garments in this collection you will see similar problems. Ok, forget small patterns, but this one is very prominent, won't you agree? This is a luxury brand after all.

But I don't want to be completely negative. I thought there were a few very smart construction details in this garment! Lingerie straps, for example. They are relatively inconspicuous, but at the same time reinforce a lingerie look and feel,  sheer layers, and(!) save the cost of creating inner foundation (corselet and boning).

Finally, another smart detail: a horizontal fold (=dart) on center front helps create shaping on the organza (?) dress without breast or any other darts, which would disturb the repetitive pattern created by the horizontal folds on the skirt part of the dress!

My verdict: this dress is cleverly designed by a very good designer, but the execution is poor. Would I buy it, if I had money? No.

What about you, readers? What do you think about the dress? 

Does your sewing experience make you more critical with regard to RTW construction? And when it comes to the execution of a garment, do you find a lot of inspiring or innovative ideas in RTW?


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