Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Clothing and Geometry.

Bulgarian, Folk Art, Folk, Art   Geometry makes an appearance in two different ways in regard to clothing.  First, it is often used as a pattern on the material or used to shape dresses in the 20's and 30's.

So let's look at the use of geometry in patterns.  The picture to the left shows geometric patterns often found embroidered on ethnic clothing.  These designs are essentially edgings and provide decoration.  I can tell you from personal experience, it is easy to create these patterns using a cross stitch.

One of the most common geometric patterns found on materials are simple stripes.  Stripes are nothing more than parallel lines of different thicknesses.  Simple and easy.  Take it one step further by having perpendicular stripes and you end up with plaids. 
Plaid, Yellow, Black, Pattern, Fabric
 Look carefully and you'll see squares of yellow, white, and black, along with rectangles in those colors plus gray.  Look carefully and you'll see narrow stripes of color.  Easy to do with perpendicular lines.


Fabric, Textile, Geometric, Blocks, PaleIf you've ever gone through the fabric store, you may have seen checkered fabric made out of alternating square of material.

I do not wear checks but I love to use this type of material for smocking because it makes it so much easier.  In smoking you have to gather points the same distance apart if you want it to look right.

I've also used checkered fabric as a table cloth.  When I headed off to college, my mother packed one to use.  She thought it might cheer up my dorm room.  I hated to tell her, I didn't have a table to put it on.
Vintage, Ladies, Romantic, 1920'S
In the time period of 1920 to 1930, Art Deco became famous with both material and style.  The predominant form was geometric even if the patterns were not. Dresses were designed to hang loosely from the body in a flowy manner.

Part of this was accomplished through the use of Art Deco materials which had strong colors and geometric shapes providing a modernistic feel.

In addition a couple of designers created outfits using squares, rectangles and triangles.  One designer, Madeline Vionnet created a dress where she used four rectangles of white silk, two for the front and two for the back. These four pieces were hung from two points to create a diamond shaped dress which allowed a lot of movement.

Madeline Vionnet is also known for her Chilton influenced dress which is made a long rectangles sewn to a plain top with the last three inches or so on each side hanging loose to create a flowing look.  You can see a picture of it here

The other designer, Paul Poiret, advocated dresses be cut along straight lines and constructed of rectangles.  His dresses hung from the shoulders, offering more freedom and turning three dimensional shapes into two.

Real uses of geometry in real life.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you.  I hope you all have a great day.