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The curves - Through the eyes of a pattern maker


‘Pattern making is like a puzzle’

Understanding the design in dimensions, the different parts that bring together the garment, from collars, sleeves, to the body, each of these parts individually important in coming together are drawn, and cut out. Pieces are assembled, as if working on a gigantic puzzle, with endless possibilities.

At the beginning of summer, full of green, Mame Kurogouchi’s head patterner spoke about the secret of making at the atelier.

“The work of a patterner starts in providing depth to the design, by creating the necessary parts for actual wearing. Not only is it necessary to create the parts directly from the design, but to consider the actual feel when wearing the garment, adding details such as tuck, darts, pockets and belt loops. There are designers that provide the above details to the patterner, but for Mame Kurogouchi it is a collaboration with the patterners experience and inspiration in creating pieces not drawn, which can only be done through the understanding of Mame’s designs. The most important aspect of the patterners job.

For example, let’s take a tomato. There are various tomatoes from mini-tomatoes to fruit tomatoes, and depending on the cuisine what suits the dish differs. You can say that the difference in ingredient directly influences the dish itself. Thsi can also be said about patterns. With the use of a different fabric, even with the same pattern used, a completely different garment is created, and therefore lies heavy importance and thought on the fabric used. If the design and fabric are not a good match, I would honestly let them know. That is how important fabric choice is to patterns.”

This season was a new challenge, in rethinking one of the first dress designed for Mame from a pattern perspective.

“Celebrating the brand's 10th anniversary, one of Mame’s most iconic dresse featuring its curved lines and circles was recreated. The hole detailed dress for this season is an update from the 2011 FW collection. The dress, complex in design, is a combination of an under dress and over dress connected at the front.

When the dress first came out, each part included a collar, having to put the head through twice. This time, I improved the internal features by combining the collars together to reduce stress for the person when wearing it. Further, utilising the flexibility of triacetate fabric, a completely different approach was taken in creating patterns. Through inspiration, as if the fabrics created a puzzle ring, a pattern was created to overpass around the details of the hole. Using a technique not available 10 years ago, the iconic dress that embodies and fits perfectly with the body is created.”

The iconic dress can be said as the brand's root, and In recreating this dress, the keyword was ‘Continuity’.

“As Maiko Kurogouchi says, there is no straight line in the human body, at the extension are garments. As a result of the curved lines extending, the circle showing slight skin around the waist was created. Through the keyword of continuity, the circle was naturally created, paying attention to detail from its pattern. The circle, connected without interruption to its cape, its continuity as one line is where the beauty lies. “

While every season the technique of the craftsman and inspirations are brought in, the brand’s core of ‘garments that bring the beauty of a woman’s body’ remains unshaken. In pattern making as well, it can only be done with the patterners attention to detail and willingness to learn, continuously creating silhouette of beauty.

Photography: Yuichiro Noda/ Words & Edit: kontakt / Translation: Shimon Miyamoto