Polonaise meets Zero-Waste
This design began with a piece of vintage, red wool melton 58" wide by 144" long. A zero-waste approach was adopted so that none of the fabric would end up on the cutting room floor and because of the importance of sustainability. The present design was meant to visually demonstrate the connection between contemporary zero-waste approaches and historic low-waste garments. Specific inspiration came from polonaise gowns of the 1700s that typically feature a bustled skirt. Patternwork was done digitally in half-scale using a kimono-sleeved bodice. The half-scale pattern was fit on a half-scale form and then sized up. The fabric was overdyed with purple dye and the coat was assembled by machine. The coat was then free-motion embroidered using silk shantung strips and cut leaves. The embroidery was meant to be raw as a nod to raw edged ornamentation used in the 1700s.