Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Couture Is In The Details

Claire Shaeffer shows-and-tells a Dior Couture gown's secrets.

Claire Shaeffer isn't fooling around. Her love of couture is serious; it's obsessive even. She ran away from home at 17 to literally join the circus. Literally. When acrobatics failed her and she wound up a doctor's wife, her performer shoulders kept her out of a lot of the fashion she loved, so she taught herself how to sew. In the manner of anyone who would run away to join the circus, she didn't just start with easy Simplicity pattern shift dresses, nope, she started a life-long practice of astutely dissecting garments to gain knowledge of their construction. Combing the aisles of vintage stores, she picked up pieces by big name designers and analyzed their every stitch to see the hows and whys and ins and outs of their form. She never stopped. Today Claire is one of the premier authorities on fashion's most fine, skillful sewing techniques. She has penned over 15 books on sewing and leads workshops for those hungry for the knowledge of just what goes into those high-priced couture garments (it's actually worth the money!). To learn more about Claire and her secrets, check out a post I did on her recent visit to the FIT campus for Pins and Needles, FIT's Fashion and Textiles MA program's blog.

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