Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yves Saint-Laurent & The Seamstresses.

i caught the documentary 5 avenue marceau this weekend-- yves st. laurent creating a spring collection from the bottom up.

i learned that being a fit model is a difficult job. imagine standing for hours & being poked, prodded & pin-pricked by no less than 3 seamstresses & a designer who are draping you in various bolts of fabric, taking in a little more here, letting out a little more there. arms up, out to the side, turn around, walk across the room, pose.

it requires the patience of a saint.

the design process is fascinating, particularly when you see the models wearing the "first drafts" of the pieces-- fabric cut & sewn from the designer's hand-drawn sketches. early in the film, a model literally floats out wearing one of these "first drafts". she looks ethereal, the white dress suspended around her body. a canvas that will be adjusted over the course of several weeks. sewn & resewn, fabric colors, patterns or types exchanged, bigger buttons for smaller buttons, a cuff or a collar added. every aspect analyzed by the designer & the seamstresses.

the seamstresses. i had no idea the extent of their role in the design process. i used to sew & to me it was an unpleasant exercise in forcing the fabric into submission according to a pattern. this is the complete opposite of what a professional seamstress does. to them, fabric is a living thing. there is no forcing the fabric to do anything, there is only working with the fabric to give it what it needs to achieve what the designer has sketched on paper. sewing is art & it's the seamstresses' extensive knowledge of how every fabric behaves when a certain cutting or sewing technique is applied, that brings the designer's creations to life.

about YSL- i wish i had a better way to describe his designs, but i'm at a loss. they are beautiful & glamorous & female & i had more than a few moments watching them come to life.