Monday, 19 November 2007

No ... there is another

OMG. The first book almost broke my mind.

As someone who has studied complex pattern making at Uni - I can only extol the sheer beauty and simplicity of Tomoko Nakamichi's visual instructions. Although all the instructions are in Japanese, those who know their way around a pattern will have no hassles. For those who don't - don't be afraid, the visual guides are exquisite and might just inspire you enough to have a go anyway.

Draping, at school and in industry, is all too often presented as highly complex, highly technical and only the realm of the experienced couturier. But pattern making is all about confidence - having a go and like many creative skills, requires a little practice to "get your eye in".

I applaud Tomoko's work on so many levels. Not only is it visually stunning and inspirational, she doesn't claim to own the ideas (unlike certain other designers doing similar things - patenting pattern making techniques - arrgh - the ego). In fact she steps you through the process, demystifying what are quite complex but ultimately commonsense ideas. Good pattern making is sculpture - translating two dimensional planes into a living, breathing 3 dimensional object. It has too be structurally sound, but also malleable so that it can move with the body.

I did a work placement in a rather famous Australian designer's studio last year. Most of my friends know not to mention their name for fear of the bile that I might gush. I guess I only have myself to blame.

(i.e. Don't put your idols on a pedestal because rarely do the actual mortals measure up. Truth is I'd still buy their clothes because they are that amazing - but I'd probably have to cut myself for compromising my ethics)

Anyway, self-mutilation aside, an afternoon in a comfy chair with this book taught me far more than many long days in a joyless, stuffy and poorly resourced production room.

Thank you Clementine (and your shoes) for adding Volume 2 to my wish list.

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