Friday, September 16, 2011

Fashion Week 2012: For the Sheer Fun of It, Designers Are Very Transparent; If You Haven't Already, Get Thee To A Gym!

Embellished see-through gown by Marchesa
Sheer fabrics of the chiffon persuasion seem to be the darling of almost every runway designer showing this week in New York for Spring 2012. The silk version of chiffon dates back to China in the years around 3,000-4,000 B.C. Polyester chiffon has been popular since 1958 and is often used in RTW fashion because of its durability and cheaper cost.

Chiffon of either version comes from the French word "chiffe," which means "rag". The fabric is soft with an ability to flow nicely and stretch, immediately dressing up a fashion item. In fact, silk chiffon was once worn only by the wealthy as a sign of status. Now it is the fabric choice de jour for weddings evening gowns.

Because polyester chiffon costs less and is easier to care for, it is used more frequently than silk in both bridal gowns and prom dresses. In cases where cost and practical concerns are not an issue, silk is still the fabric designers most often choose.
It might be safe to say that the fashions shown here are silk chiffon but there other sheer options.

Batiste is a cotton fabric has a delicate plain weave that drapes gracefully and is used for blouses, handkerchiefs and lingerie as well as infant clothing.

Named after the French town of Tulle (pronounced "tool"), this delicate-looking, lightweight net fabric is manufactured in silk, rayon and nylon; cotton tulle is sometimes starched to add structure. Tulle is machine-made using a bobbinet weaving technique, creating a hexagonal weave that helps this amazingly durable and strong cloth retain its shape. Incorporated into fashion design for its sheer lace look, tulle is a popular material for wedding gowns, formal gowns and ballet tutus. Tulle applied in layers adds volume to garments. The fabric is popular as gift-wrapping and for hobbyists making scrapbooks; it also makes excellent insect netting because of its remarkable strength. Machine-wash or hand-wash in cold water; for best results, dry tulle material and garments flat.

Gauze-like and free-flowing, voile is a material perfect for veils ("voile" is French for veil). This plain-woven, lightweight, classy material has a non-scratchy texture that is kind to skin. Cotton voile makes summer attire breathable, and is well-suited to skirts, blouses and sun dresses. Voile makes elegant curtains and drapes as well as adding volume under garments. 
Oscar de la Renta

An openwork fabric, with patterned open holes is made by machine or by hand. Lace-making is an ancient craft but true lace was not made until the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Christian Siriano
Georgette is a sheer, lightweight, dull-finished crêpe fabric named after the early 20th century French designer Georgette de la Plante. Originally made of silk and later of rayon or blends, modern georgette is often made of synthetic yarns. Georgette's characteristic crinkly surface is created by alternating yarns in the creation process.

Theyskens' Theory

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