Our final project in my draping class was to drape a texture. Or, rather – to drape inspired by texture exploration. In collecting textures for the project, I included a tea-steeped paper towel that had dried in a crisp folded fan-formation. After many rounds of ideas that didn’t really work out, that simple folded piece of paper-towel ended being what worked.
As I was working with the pleated pieces of muslin, it kept looking like rushing water, underwater dunes, geometrically (but oh, so organically) shaped sea creatures, and the insides of shells. That ended up guiding a lot of my decisions about the garment – the ridges created by seamlines and topstitching, the line of the hem, and the curves of the seamlines throughout. I’m not sure it influenced me to include a sheer mesh panel into the dress, but it certainly plays well together (it’s a bit hard to see against the same-colored muslin, but the sheer piece is stage right on the garment – between the draped organza and the bare shoulder).
I found an origami-folding technique that I thought would work nicely with fabric, making accordion pleats with bends in them. It gave the fabric very crisp edges and folds, and once I started draping and playing around with the it, it turned into something quite magical.
The organza I worked with ironed into crisp pleats, but on the form, they took on a whole different life. The pleats cascaded down, collecting into crispness in some places, and opening up – fanning out – in other places. They rounded, drooped, twisted, but they never lost the sharpness of the folded edges. The layering and sheerness of the organza only gave more dimension to the pleats, physically standing out, but still revealing everything beneath.
My working title (which was only in my head anyways) was “Composition in cream”. I thought it was kind of funny. Especially on a cream-colored dressform. Garment made with cream wool, unbleached silk organza, and nude stretch mesh.