From Paris to Los Angeles, patchwork has become a fashion craze.
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When ASAP Rocky wore a colorful patchwork cloak designed by Eli Russell Linnetz and quilter Zak Foster to steal the fashion spotlight at the 2021 Met Gala, even rappers must be surprised by the reaction.
Vogue calls the cloak "breaking the rules" and captures the "essence of American fashion", while the online magazine Highsnobiety calls it the "essence". A TikTok video about Loki and his partner Rihanna arriving in a quilt attracted more than 980,000 likes. (Then an Instagram user identified this quilt as the work of her great-grandmother. The quilt has been donated to a thrift store in California, and the Internet has gone crazy.)
The whole episode is just an example to illustrate that pieced handicrafts—a family craft found in various locations such as Egyptian tombs, Korean traditional clothing, and the rural community of Gibbend, Alabama—have become the hottest high-end fashion in the fall. One of the trends.
Even the Fall 2021 collection of Maison Margiela’s Artisanal collection (the brand’s fashion version) also includes a blue sweater woven from old newspapers and completed in collaboration with artist Celia Pym as “a way to promote different craftsmanship and The way of process technology". Studio," said Thierry-Maxime Loriot, who is the curator of several famous fashion exhibitions, including "Thierry Mugler, Couturissime", which is now in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris.
One of the highlights of the autumn collection is now in the store: a Chanel wool skirt gives the house's iconic tweed a zigzag twist ($7,600), a Louis Vuitton dress with sparkling Swarovski crystals flanked by yellow sheep Panel steel and glass embroidery of camel hair, silk and wool, Chloé’s patchwork and scalloped leather dress, from Gabriela Hearst’s first collection ($12,395) for the brand, and Simone Rocha’s puff sleeve tulle top, With floral print sleeves and pleated front to knee," according to Harrods' website ($1,243).
The coat has also turned in a twist: Junya Watanabe's hooded zipper coat with orange and brown wool print camouflage patchwork ($1,849); a Valentino patchwork denim jacket ($2,924); and Colville's jaw-dropping waistcoat made of multicolor Patchwork of vintage down jackets ($3,039).
Even streetwear has been using patchwork: Priya Ahluwalia's sweatpants, machine-stitched with vintage fabrics; Kapital's khaki or bright purple paisley bucket hats; Marco Rambaldi's patchwork crochet crop top; and Glenn Martens' Y Transparent mesh bodysuit designed by Project.
But why piece it together-why now? "People want to become more and more personalized, more and more different," Mr. Loriot said, "instead of being uniform and wearing the same clothes."
Since most patchwork involves various fabrics combined together in a random manner, "Of course, this is a unique piece of work," he said.
For 21-year-old London-based Molly Powell, wearing her patchwork pieces when in college or shopping with friends “makes what I say to me stand out.” After all, she said, like her Rhi Dancey cardigan Such clothes, in brown, tan and black nylon mesh, decorated with cheetah and tribal patterns, are "very noisy and prone to conflict."
But according to Damien Paul, head of Menswear at MatchesFashion, outstanding dress is not the only aspect of patchwork's appeal. He said: "Due to the craftsmanship and technology, these works naturally appear noble and luxurious," but they are related to today's lifestyle because people "dress more casually." The company stated in an e-mail that there were more than 140 women's patchwork styles and more than 70 men's patchwork styles this fall, and sales in this area have increased by more than 35% over last year.
The patchwork trend is in line with what Dennis Nothdruft, the director of the London Museum of Fashion and Textile, described, “Fashion must have a lot of dialogue around various issues-in sustainability, authenticity, big Large-scale production and technical aspects and handicrafts." (He curated the museum’s current exhibition "Beautiful People: Boutiques in the Counterculture of the 1960s," showing patchwork dresses by Thea Porter and others.)
Consider the 33-year-old Dutch designer Duran Lantink's Sycamore Skew dress launched in September. It is a woolen sweater found in an army warehouse, a printed cotton fabric left over after a sweater developed by the Chinese brand Sankuanz and Los Angeles store H. Lorenzo, and a printed silk crepe de chine and metal patchwork discarded by Balenciaga. The zipper of the bomber jacket in your wardrobe (1,650 euros, or 1,920 US dollars).
Rebecca Arnold, senior lecturer in the history of clothing and textiles at the Courtauld College of Art in London, said that some designers use this technology as their strategy, just as they do, while for other designers "This is exactly what they are doing now."
59-year-old Walid Damirji is one of the founders of By Walid. Since 2012, he has been using 19th century Chinese silk and other antique textiles to hand-sew unique jackets, shirts, pants, etc.
In the past four years, he has designed products ranging from jackets to handbags, made from ties in the wardrobes of himself and his father and brothers. His studio in West London said via Zoom: "I think, you know, it takes a lot of time to put them all in," because of the size and age of each tie.
"I just flattened them," he said of these relationships. "Pin them-untie them, you know-and think,'Why not use them better?'"
Mr. Damirji has always hated wearing a tie. "They always represent someone breathing on my neck. Some teachers," he said. "But at the same time, I used to be fascinated by beautiful prints."
He said that using some of the 17th and 18th century church textiles he obtained was also much more difficult than he expected because "they were torn apart in most cases." For example: the Ilana jacket is now on sale on MatchesFashion.com (£2,775, or US$3,821), which was made by what Mr. Damirji called "trial and error."
Mr. Damirji said that although he has a mature network of auction houses, dealers and small-volume suppliers, the combined impact of the pandemic and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has increased the difficulty of finding fabrics—and cost him about 15 % Customer base.
"I used to go everywhere, but since Covid, everyone now sends me messages and pictures," he said, adding that he chose fabrics out of instinct. "For some of the old textiles, dyeing technology is no longer feasible, and the vitality of the colors produced by you cannot be reproduced."
As for Brexit, "it is a disaster for us," he said. "Resellers from France in the past must now obtain a pass and list every item they want to enter," he said, referring to the industry term for international import and export documents. "It's a bit time-consuming and ridiculous. And it's expensive. They are all a bit irritable about it."
Patchwork is also an iconic style of Rave Review. It was founded in Stockholm in 2017 by Livia Schück, 31, and business partner Josephine Rosenqvist, 33. Sleeping bags from the 1970s and 1980s were stitched together with a machine to create oversized coats with matching scarves. This is the first time they have used kilts this season because "you can get a lot of fabric from a kilt," she said.
Hand-woven carpets are the raw material of 44-year-old Osman Yousefzada, a multidisciplinary artist and founder of Osman Studio. He pieced together carpets slightly less than 8 inches wide in a village near Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and made this coat and two jackets in his current autumn collection.
As Mr. Damirji, Ms. Schück, Mr. Yousefzada, and almost everyone who works with quilting put it, the hard workmanship of this technology makes these garments so special.
Emily Adams Bode Aujla, the founder and owner of the menswear brand Bode, who has long been keen on patchwork, said patchwork created "these miniature frames." "This allows us to put embroidery or appliques on clothes, or add beads or ornaments." An example: the custom suit she made for GQ's editorial director Will Welch, and the Met Gala that she wore this year.
Ms. Aujla uses quilts from the 1840s to make unique jackets, and uses other fabrics such as Merino wool or twill to replicate quilts to make other garments. "The quilt itself determines the technology," she said. "Whether we want to do something by hand or by machine depends on what I want to keep about the history of the quilt."
For example: the yellow and beige shirts in the Bode autumn collection. She said that the original quilt was "hand sewn everywhere." "We emphasized it a little when we copied it, because it added texture."
Ms. Aujla said that her process started with “making the first sample as a sample in our own studio”. “Therefore, we will piece together the fabric and embroider it separately, and then send it to India for copying, or we can do it in an embroidery shop in New York.” She pointed out that India has a history of manual work, “compared to our New York factory , They are more likely to use creative work methods and manual techniques to produce clothing."
New technologies have also created more personality, such as hand-painting on printed silk scarves, tablecloths, or other fabrics—or contrasts created by stitching and printing with dyed color-block fabrics—from Berlin-based fashion and accessories brand Rianna Nina. In the Sea brand, which is headquartered in New York, coats, down jackets, etc. seem to "quilt different parts together, but it is a print that looks like a quilt, and then stitched on top, so that it looks like being pieced together. ," said 44-year-old Monica Paolini, the co-founder of the brand.
However, this meticulous care also led to the Browns menswear buyer in London, Joe Brunner (Joe Brunner) to point out that there are manufacturing restrictions for anyone trying to expand the production of patchwork.
However, he wrote in an email, “With so many people accepting it, it’s impossible to see it as a trend anymore.”