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Kent Univ exhibit explores inner construction of garments
04
Apr '15
C: Kent State University Museum
C: Kent State University Museum
The intricate workmanship and detailing hidden inside the construction of garments such as pockets, quilted linings, boning and labels have become the subject of Kent State University Museum’s latest ongoing exhibition.

With menswear and womenswear pieces spanning from 18th to 21st centuries, the Inside Out: Revealing Clothing’s Hidden Secrets display aims to explore the art of creating customised and couture garments with a special focus on the secret inner-workings and techniques that cannot be seen from outside.

Some of the major highlights include a 1880 bodice, a 1810s handmade sheer cotton dress, an 18th century men’s linen shirt with perfectly finished seams, and a 1850s black wool tailcoat with secret pockets tucked under the silk quilted tail linings.

In addition to the aforementioned pieces, modern day designs, including a 19th century tailoring-inspired Chanel suit with quilted lining as well as a 1950s Balmain gown with heavily boned strapless bodice, garters and suspenders, have also formed a part of the exhibit.

Due to run until February 14, 2016, the display has been curated by Sara Hume, curator and assistant professor at Kent State University.

Fashion history usually focuses on changing silhouettes with the rise and fall of hemlines or the tightening and loosening of waistlines. Underlying these external shifts are structural changes that appear only when the garments are laid out and examined closely. Creating three-dimensional garments from bolts of cloth demands solving certain basic problems: how to finish the edges, how to fasten the garments, how to shape the material around the body’s curves. Dressmakers and tailors have addressed these problems with a number of ingenious methods. Some of these techniques reappear in every era while others are specific to a period.

Technological innovations have had a direct effect on construction techniques. The invention of snaps and zippers obviously affected designs, as did wider looms and sewing machines. This exhibition tracks these changes with a careful selection of representative pieces, which are mounted in ways to allow visitors to take a close look at the interiors. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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