The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Classic is Great, But……

What’s the difference between classic and not classic?…like too plain?…or too much?  So how do you define classic?  Sometimes it helps to look at what isn’t classic.

For one thing, the more that’s on the dress the quicker the dress gets dated.

#notclassic #whatnotclassiclookslike #noclassiclook

This is a perfect example and although this may be trés chic now, it’s dated in about 2 weeks!!!

And although this looks couture, there’s enough missing (like the drooping flowers) that makes it obvious it’s not couture and makes it dated.

Classic is Always Executed Beautifully

#designerofdreams Designer of Dreams

Here’s a good example of couture with a flower that works.  This is an original Dior by John Galliano so this dress has some years on it, but the flower hasn’t saged at all, plus the way the flower is added to the garment is almost like it sprang out of the side seam.  It’s not only beautifully designed but excellently executed – another sign of a classic garment (superb execution and design).

Classic Never Plain

At the same time, too little on a garment makes the garment lost, so that there’s nothing that shows up.

This is a very nice fit and everything seems to be right about this garment, but one thing is missing – it’s way too plain.  Where’s the focal point?…where’s the interest?…where’s the part that draws your eye to the garment?  The garment has very little focus.  This looks like a white palette in which someone is starting.

Now in defense of this particular photo, a photo cannot and will not show everything that’s in a dress.  It simply can’t.  The fabric may be a subtle gem, but unfortunately, the photo won’t show that.  In the photo, this looks like some sort of stretch crepe from a big box fabric store that stretches over the model’s body and then a skirt added to make it a gown.

Classic is Always Timeless

Something that stands the test of time is a clear indication of classic style and design.

Even though this clearly is a 1950-ish style, it’s classic beyond measure because today anyone of us could walk out in a version of this and look very stylish….as these versions show:

From John Galliano to Gertie Hirsch, you can see that this is such a classic style that it almost begs variations!

So don’t get too taken away with ornamentation, but at the same time, you do have to have some point of interest, even if it’s nothing other than beautiful buttons, to make an outfit sing.  And by all means, remember classic does often mean simple, but it never means plain!

1 Comment
  1. I just wish Gertie’s darts didn’t go past the boobs. I have numerous vintage sewing books and they all say that this is wrong and the darts should be stopped before reaching the apex, the amount determined by the size of the mound of flesh. I get how the hip darts give the shape of the original Dior hip look but there is no skirt bulk to fill it so it looks ill fitting. Ugh. The other Dior knockoffs are lovely.

    Great points made here, Claire, on what is classic. I always think Grace Kelly.

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