Sustainable Design

This design abstract is from 2015 Cornell University Halfscale Forum – A creative patternmaking challenge sponsored by Alvanon, Inc.

Design Brief
Create a womenswear design in halfscale using patternmaking techniques that approach material and form from a novel perspective .  The inspiration for design methodology was the term “inversion.”

For this challenge, I decided to create additional design constraints.  Create a sustainable design using a zero waste approach & subtraction cutting methods of avant garde designer Julian Roberts.

Design Process
Aesthetic inspiration from cultural dress (such as the Hakama), menswear (microlabels, such as Julius of NYC), and gender fluid styles.  Resulting concept was an origami approach to zero waste patternmaking & subtraction cutting, with a combination of traditional menswear fabrics & fluid knit jersey to create synergy & contrast.

Pants constructed using  full width of the provided muslin (3 yards), folded and stitched in half.  Subtraction cut method using a slash was made along in midline one edge for the body to pass through.  The sides of the pants were folded and shaped to create a waistline detail and pocket. The design had minimal cutting by a gathered inseam and a drawstring detail for the cuffs:

Based on feedback from my fellow project designers, I bifurcated the pants with an actual cut edge, but kept the drawstring hem.  The pinstripe in the final prototype worked well to align with the menswear inspiration, and to highlight the origami method providing fit.  The pants have a drawstring waist, button closure and optional drawstring hem.

Design Solution
Final design submitted for panel presentation at the 2016 Fashion and the Body symposium, University of Minnesota.  Title: Multiple Subtraction

Final design included separates, both zero waste and subtraction cut.   The pants feature an adjustable waist for adaptive fit, three button closure with left side pocket and optional drawstring hem.  The top is an organic cotton knit jersey top, made from a folded rectangle, stitched only on the bottom third sides. The remaining open sides allow for generous negative space for the body to pass through.  The top becomes modular and can be stretched, twisted, and otherwise manipulated to create movement on the form.

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