Last year I paid my first ever visit to the V&A museum in London. My husband had bought me the book which accompanied the Golden Age of Couture exhibition (seen here on the right) and I was lucky enough to catch the last few days before it finished. As you might expect this was all about fashion at the point that it was revolutionised by Dior's New Look as Europe and America emerged out of the austerity of the war years. The exhibits were stunning but as I had taken my first steps into the world of dressmaking and fashion I found it piqued my interest even more than usual. Sure I was interested in how the garments looked and the spectacle of the exhibition but I found that I was peering into the glass cabinets to scrutinise the construction of the garments. I wanted to know how they were made. My growing knowledge of the how garments are constructed gave me a whole new appreciation of what I was looking at. At the time as a relative newbie I was struggling to sew a simple shift dress with very little structure to it. So to be faced with the amazing
feats of draping, ruching and fitting seen in these examples by Desses and Zemire (black and white images) was truly daunting but inspiring too.
It is so easy to dismiss dressmaking and design as 'just sewing' but if you take the time to look at what can really be achieved in the field you
don't have to look far to see
that those that have excelled in it have
produced nothing short of art.