Kinetic garment construction : remarks on the foundations of pattern cutting

Sammanfattning: Fashion designers are presented with a range of different methods for pattern cutting, and the interest in this field has grown rapidly over the past few years. This growth is both due to the publication of a number of works dealing with the subject in different ways and the fact that a growing number of designers emphasise cutting in their creative practices.Though a range of methods and concepts for pattern cutting are presented, the main body of these methods, both traditional and contemporary, is predominately based on a theoretical approximation of the body that is derived from horizontal and vertical measurements of the body in an upright position: the tailoring matrix. As a consequence, there is a lack of interactive and dynamic qualities in methods connected to this paradigm of garment construction, from both expressional and functional perspectives.This work proposes and explores an alternative paradigm for pattern cutting that includes a new theoretical approximation of the body as well as a more kinetic method for garment construction that, unlike the prevalent theory and its related methods, takes as its point of origin the interaction between the anisotropic fabric and the biomechanical structure of the body. As such, the research conducted here is basic research, aiming to identify fundamental principles for garment construction. Based on some key principles found in the works of Geneviève Sevin-Doering and in pre-tailoring methods for constructing garments, the proposed theory for – and method of – garment construction was developed through concrete experiments by cutting and draping fabrics on live models.Instead of a static matrix of a non-moving body, the result is a kinetic construction theory of the body that is comprised of balance directions and key biomechanical points, along with an alternative draping method for dressmaking. This methodology challenges the fundamental relationship between dress, garment construction, and the body, working from the body outward, as opposed to the methods that are based on the prevalent paradigm of the tailoring matrix, which work from the outside toward the body. This alternative theory for understanding the body and the proposed method of working allows for diverse expressions and enhanced functional possibilities in dress.