Bete Noire: Extreme Asymmetry

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2017-01-01
Authors
Hannel, Susan
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Bête Noire-Extreme Asymmetry Susan L. Hannel, PhD University of Rhode Island Keywords: body asymmetry, curvilinear, 1920s, velvet Design goals were; 1) use asymmetrical visual strategies and curvilinear lines to balance the client’s extremely asymmetrical body, and 2) do so by recreating a 1920s red and black silk velvet devoré dress. Past design research explored the use of curves for decorative and fitting purposes. Here curves were used as a tool to mask physical asymmetry. The original garment panels were cut apart. Flowers, leaves and vines were separated individually and hand-appliquéd to emphasize the curvilinear motion created by the black polyester velvet curve. The curving, wave-like asymmetry of split panels, s-shaped velvet band and carefully positioned appliqués mask the client’s asymmetrical body and successfully re-use a vintage garment. Panels were edged in flat velvet piping. The rest of the garment is silk chiffon. The silk charmeuse lining is clean-finished and hand-applied. The ensemble includes a silk knit created as one pattern with only a front seam.

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