Hey y’all, Amy here. One of my favourite things to do in the depths of winter (when Spring seems far away but you are totally over your current wardrobe), is to peruse all the fashion week shows and get excited for new clothes! As I was scrolling through all the beautiful couture (couture week happens first of course) a trend started to emerge. At first I thought it was due to the fact that I have been a quilting a lot lately. Surely it was just my eye noticing the stars, pinwheels and other traditional quilt patterns poking out of duchesse satin, python, etc. But by the time we got to ready-to-wear and Calvin Klein in particular, there was no denying it: QUILTS ARE HAPPENING PEOPLE! Now I know there are some high risk/fashion applications here, and not all should be attempted by mere mortals. But if you take The Devil Wears Prada seriously (and I do!) then you know what Miranda Priestly illustrates so cuttingly in her famous soliloquy is also true: fashion trickles down. And I would not be surprised if we start seeing these quilting trends show up in the most basic of fast fashion in a year or two. Since we makers aren’t slaves to fashion’s cycles, the time is ripe to integrate some of these trends in our own projects.
QUILT PIECING AND PATCHWORK
These are some of the couture lines where I first saw the quilting influence. Viktor and Rolf always set forth an interesting challenge for themselves and this season was no exception. Using only technical duchesse satin as a starting point, all of the patterns and textiles shown were created from these solids using quilt piecing techniques. At Schiaparelli the effect was more subtle with references to many different cultures and textile traditions. Patchwork of python, printed chiffon and leather raised the luxury levels while still maintaining connections to the more humble arts and crafts techniques at their origin.
TRADITIONAL QUILT PATTERNS (AND ACTUAL QUILTS!)
This season the work of Raf Simons had the most direct reference to quilting. His celebration of all things Americana at the helm of Calvin Klein carries over to all the brand’s branches, including Calvin Klein Home where quilts were the theme of this season. If you have seen recent advertising campaigns, you now know what all the various members of the Kardashian/Jenner tribe look like lounging in their underwear in a barn on some very traditional looking quilts (as one does). Last season he inserted quilts into the lining of mens’ jackets, and carried the idea into the current RTW season with models in chiffon dresses with various classic patterns, carrying matching quilts lined in a very post-apocalyptic thermal foil (another of the season’s trends!) Finally, just when I thought the motif had reached its apex, Dior came to the party with…. you guessed it… MORE QUILTS! This time, specifically crazy quilts. The scrappy patchwork seemed like a reference to the DIY trends of the late 60’s and 70’s and the overall effect was that of a rebel Holly Hobby Doll in all her patchwork glory.
Of all of these references, this one is by far the most applicable to actual clothes. Quilting as a technique is the sandwiching of at least three layers of fabric and the stitching of these layers to create a textile that is both warm and durable. Outerwear is the most obvious choice for quilting and so it wasn’t difficult to find inspiration in the Fall/Winter RTW shows. The images I’ve pulled here are examples of quilted whole fabrics and also (in the bottom instance) both patchwork and quilting. There is something about quilted lumberjack plaid peeking out of that leather coat that is giving me major inspiration. A while back Heather made a beautiful Chambray Tamarack jacket with a quilted design that makes a great first project if you want to try your hand at this technique. I definitely want to try lining my Kelly Anorak with a quilted flannel next fall (so cozy!) and patchworking some denim for the legs of my next pair of Morgans Jeans. Of course, if you haven’t tried making a quilt I would highly suggest giving it a go. I started quilting cuz I had one million weddings to go to one summer and no money so everyone got a lap quilt! There is a nice tutorial here for an easy beginner pattern and a great way to use up some scrap yardage.
I hope this little quilting trend report is inspiring you to look at quilts in a new light, and see how you might incorporate this idea into your own wardrobe, way ahead of the curve (or as Miss Priestly would say, “Before it trickles on down to some tragic Casual Corner where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin.”) Happy sewing friends!