"subtraction cutting" concept by Julian Roberts

At the end of January, I was lucky enough to attend "Flatness and Form" a series of lectures and a Master class at the Barbican linked to the then current exhibition "Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion".

Not having had any formal training on sewing or pattern cutting, I was drawn in through the similarity that the "alternative pattern cutting" offered when compared to model making as I know it. It sounded like a fantastic opportunity to learn how those who did things differently chose too approach pattern cutting.

The first lecture was by Matohu´s designers Hiroyuki Horihata and Makiko Sekiguchi. Their story focuses on a long term project rather than a ever changing search for tendencies. I liked that they decided to find a concept and create a body of work to develop during a period of time of 5 years. The starting point was the Keicho Period, which run between 1596 and 1615 in Japan.

The reason behind this very specific choice is that this was a time when historic Japan shared most similarities with the more current Japan. It was a time when the traditional methods were used whilst all kind of influences from outside Japan were reflected in the every day life elements.
The second lecture was more of a conversation between Shelley Fox and the fashion historian Alistair O’Neill. I loved Shelley´s work, but even more her honesty and resourcefulness. It was so interesting to understand where she had developed her interest from, how she had developed her ideas and overcome specific difficulties... So inspiring to hear how mistakes can be turned into opportunities!

She is currently developing a "MFA Fashion Design and Society" at the New School, which I guess could have been the reason why a large emphasis was put on the social aspects of fashion and its evolution. It was sad but comforting to realize that the issues that both architecture and music are going through, are so  interlinked to those which the fashion industry is going through . I guess that an increase of the world population together with the fragile nature of human affects all of the arts.

Finally, I also attended a Cutting Masterclass, by Julian Roberts. "subtraction cutting", It was so very inspiring. He is the quirky British eccentric by definition. His mind in like his website...Full of surprises.


I would like to tell you all about it, but there is no way I could explain the massive window that his masterclass opened in front of me! Help yourselves to the website, the videos and the Wednesday website which only opens on Wednesdays!
(Ps. if you modify your calendar ... *any day* could be Wednesday)

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