International Textile Collection

Fashion Synergy

FashionSynergyVintage Clothing Remodelled Using ‘High Technology’ Fabrics

This exhibition presents the results of a project which involved the use of nonwoven fabrics in the production of a range of fashion garments. Although such fabrics have not in the past been favoured for extensive use in outerwear fashion manufacture, recent advances in textile engineering have yielded nonwoven fabrics with favourable draping properties, soft handle, stretch and recovery, all of which are considered essential in everyday garment use. An important basis for this work is the acceptance that modern nonwoven fabrics are truly engineered materials with technical performance and aesthetic characteristics that are routinely “tuned” to meet specific requirements. Unique performance and cost combinations can be achieved when working directly with fabric producers. Many of the exhibits have been created by making close reference to the stylistic characteristics of items from the School of Design’s Fashion Archive, which houses an extensive range of 20th century fashions. Under the supervision of Mr David Backhouse and Ms. Lynne Webster, teams of students selected items from the School of Design’s Fashion Archive. A careful record was made of important stylistic and technical features including: pattern, shape, fit, armholes, stitching, seam details, dart placement and fastenings, drape, and added decorative features such as embroidery. The objective was not simply to replicate the archive garment, but instead to use this as an inspirational source from which to develop a collection of garments which were visually appealing in their own right and also exploited the innovative practical properties resultant from recent advances in textile engineering. A delightful, visually stimulating, exhibition includes both newly-created items as well as a selection of fashions designed by notable twentieth century designers. An exhibition catalogue is available.

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