The Cutting Edge of Pattern Design             January 2011

Center for Pattern Design
                     2011 . . . The Future . . . Now

The new pattern design geniuses of this Century are cutting through all the disciplines, idea molds and personal histories of previous generations -- tossing out nothing but using it all in new ways.  They  see no boundaries, synchronizing their work to the pace of technological development in such disparate fields as lighting, medicine, art, plastics, horticulture, everything.  They work small, large and everywhere -- they are online, reality driven, sustainable, fast and fearless.  We can look forward to amazing leaps in design and tecnological progress and a historic blending of worlds in design, business, science, humanities, politics  . . . and appearance.
What Now?

  • Marvelous Designer from Clo Virtual Fashion: 

    This is a new computer application that allows you to virtually drape clothing in 3-D on a figure.  In the "photos" you can see the results of digitally "draping" the blouse and vest and then changing colors and patternsYou can download the beta version at They plan to beta-test it for several months.  Then they will open a marketplace where you can share, buy and sell 3D clothes.   

  • Fits.Me Virtual Fitting Room:  By mimicking the tactile offline shopping experience online, this startup works by using robotic mannequins with artificial muscles that can simulate the shape and size of any body type, nearly 100,000 different types of body shapes.  Virtual Fitting Room is currently available for men only, but the company plans to launch a women-compliant version by the end of 2010.   From Estonia. You can try it out on their website.  
  • Spray On Clothing: 

    Dr Manel Torres and Professor Paul Luckham have developed a spray that contains small fibres which are mixed with polymers to join them together and a solvent that keeps the fabric in liquid form in the can. The solvent evaporates instantly as the spray touches a surface, creating a smooth clothing material that can be washed and re-worn.  The spray may in the future be used to create garments, medical dressings or upholstery for furniture.

  • V2__ Lab, Institute for Unstable Media:  Mission Media and technology are omnipresent in contemporary society, and the same technological developments that are changing communication, production, trade, urban culture and medicine, are also transforming the arts.
  • E-Textile Workspace: (Part of the V2 Lab)  The E-Textile Workspace offers an informal setting for critical discussion about wearables.  It has a workspace where practice is intertwined with knowledge sharing and state-of-the-art in wearable technology among  invited members of the wearable community in The Netherlands. The photo illustrates one project which developed a zipper-like closure using magnets.  Check the projects -- makes you want to move there! 
Who Now?
  • PODCAST with Holly McQuillan & Timo Rissanen discussing their philosphy about reducing waste -- a great listen!

    See more about Holly & Timo below re: Yield and there is a new book coming also.  Timo is tentatively scheduled to teach a Master Class in Vancouver in April -- great month to be in Vancouver!  

  • Shingo Sato: Ever since Project Runway launched, the craft of draping has enjoyed much deserved new focus.  Now we can look forward to a similar rebirth with flat pattern techniques as Shingo Sato brings his incredible skills to the table.  

    Shingo, who is currently teaching and practicing in Milan, practices TR, Transformational Resconstruction, creating fantastical new shapes and forms from standard block patterns.  He is truly an "artisanal tailor" and  is tentatively scheduled to teach Master Classes in Chicago and Vancouver in mid-April -- AND, we can also look forward to finding his lessons in his new book, Transformational Reconstruction, due out in the spring of 2011.

  • Worn Through Blog:

    From Monica Sklar we have a great blog on the intellectual aspects of apparel.  Especially check the job listings and also this terrific video of the Vogue crew shooting the preparations for the Fashioning Fashion exhibition in LA. 

  • Interactive Fashion by Ying Gao:  Montreal-based fashion designer and university professor Ying Gao is known for her explorations in fashion that address movement and interaction with the environment. She created dresses made of fabrics that integrate microelectronic technology. The garments expand and contract as they respond to their immediate environment like light, movement, wind or touch.  Watch 3 videos of her garments in action. 
  • Wearable Origami by Lianna Sheppard:  Check out the Modu_gram - a conceptual series of polyhedral garments and accessories designed by Lianna Sheppard who is inspired by mathematical models and fractional forms. View the clip for a more detailed look at the collection.



  • 132.5 Issey Miyake, the most consistently innovative form thinker out there!  Based on origami and regeneration concepts, 132.5. Issey Miyake is a clothing line made from recyclable textiles with two-dimensional geometric patterns which unfold into shirts, skirts, pants and dresses. The line was conceived by Reality Lab which is a research team comprised of designers and engineers, and led by Miyake. 132.5 was inspired by the work of computer scientist Jun Mitani who creates three-dimensional structures with smoothly curved surfaces by folding flat materials.  View the clip.
  • Plato's Collection:  A thesis project by Amila Hrustic in which the main inspiration for the collection is located in Platonic solids. The collection consists of five unique dresses handcrafted from a combination of textiles and paper.  Plato, the great Greek philosopher, studied what we now call Platonic solids. There are only five Platonic solids: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.  Graduated Product design on Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, B&H.  Works as a designer, VJ and contributor for SUB magazine.  

  • Pseudomorphs:  Pseudomorphs, meaning false form, are tech-couture pieces which transform into fluid displays.  Anouk Wipprecht designs systems that can make subtle transformations in order to let a design recreate itself.  This neck-piece works with pneumatic control valves that allows the ink to be pumped throughout the design, spreading the ink over absorbing dresses.  A structure may be covered in fluids that alter the original specimen into a new material.  Pseudomorphs was developed at the V2_Lab as part of the Summer Sessions 2010.


  • Video:  Inspirational Pattern Cutting:  Watch this video and you'll know why this entire website exists -- Pearce and Fionda have portrayed our mission to perfection!


  • The Dior Dress Class: Check out the gorgeous dresses done at the last Draping Series Class.
  • The Traditional January Sale:

    Dash over to our Sale Page and see what's there!

  • Amazon Partnership:  If you would like to help the pattern design cause, buy a book on Amazon through us  --  check out what's there and let us know if you have a book to recommend. 
  • Coming Up:
    • The Fashioning Fashion Tour in Los Angeles.
    • Zero-Waste Lecture/Workshop for the Pennisula Wearable Arts Guild in Campbell, CA
    • The next Draping Series Class in March: Courrages -- classic, wearable and very modern!
    • The WaistMaker:  a new lingerie pattern inspired by Dior that gives the waist definition, without having to make it uncomfortably smaller -- ideal for summer dresses.  The pattern will be up in a few weeks, graded into size ranges.
  • Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA): 

    Subscriptions are expiring so please renew.  This is amazing access to 30,000 patterns and their layouts with the pattern diagrams in them.  To continue to offer subscriptions for the length and price, we need to fill 100 seats.  And, for PhotoShop fans, there is a download on how to bring the small diagrams up to full scale so you can have the patterns for your own use

  • Books:  Three here and one in the hopper! 
    • Virginia West's great book, A Cut Above, sub-titled: Couture Clothing for Fibre Artists, has achieved cult status for those who die for the bias.  It was originally done for weavers, geniuses at zero-waste, since they abhor cutting their fabrics and losing an inch in the process.  So if you want zero-waste and bias in the same book, this is it!
    • Two books from Frances Harder at Fashion Business Inc. for pattern designers who are trying to cut their designs consistently to reflect their brand and to make sure that what they design and cut makes a profit -- Brand Building for Profit and Costing for Profit.  It underscores the tie between what and you design and cut and what you can sell.  Click on their link above for the new San Francisco classes.
    • Transformational Reconstruction by Shingo Sato:  Coming out this spring in time for his North American debut!  He does flat pattern work that sets all your old ideasaside -- pretty incredible.  Check his videos. 
  • Italy, at the Massa Palazzo Ducale:

    Great photos of our silk charmeuse Pyramid dress  in action, cut and sewn by me for Candace Crockett's exhibition of her beautiful card weaving (see photo) and dyeing.  Using Candace's  silk velvets, the dress & coat ensemble to the far left and the attendant's garments were also part of the project.  More photos. 

Do Now? 
  • Yield:  Making Fashion Without Making Waste,
    March 26  - June 26,  201.  opening in New Zealand (The New Dowse) in March 2011 and New York in August/Sept.  An exhibition featuring the work of 13 international fashion designers,  including Zandra Rhodes and Yeohlee Teng, united by cut and the economy of less waste.  The work of curators, Holly McQuillan, from Massey University Wellington, and Timo Rissanen, from the  Parsons The New School for Design, New York, is included.  The designers are: Yeohlee Teng (Yeohlee), Zandra Rhodes, Timo Rissanen, Holly McQuillan, Jennifer Whitty, David Telfer, Julian Roberts, Sam Formo, Caroline Priebe (Uluru), Susan Dimasi and Chantal Kirby (MATERIALBYPRODUCT), Carla Fernandez (Flora2), Tara St James and Natalie Chanin (Alabama Chanin).  
  • Creating a Zero-Waste Garment:  Parsons Gallery, Parsons New School, NYC. , 02/08/2011 - 02/23/2011. Creating a Zero-Waste Garment is an exhibition showcasing design processes and outcomes from a new course taught at Parsons The New School for Design's School of Fashion.  Student journals are exhibited alongside student-designed garments and pattern layouts. A denim garment designed during the course will be sold at Barneys New York in fall 2011.  Organized by Fiona Dieffenbacher, Kyle Farmer, and Timo Rissanen of the School of Fashion.
  • Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion: October 15, 2010 - February 6, 2011, Barbican Art Gallery, London.  This the first exhibition in Europe to survey avant-garde Japanese fashion over the past three decades.  Curated by Akiko Fukai of the Kyoto Costume Institute, and Kate Bush, Head of Barbican Art Galleries, it is a tour de force of spatial and informational design, and enchants at every turn.   Purchase the exhibition catalog -- it's a must read!  Photo by Lyndon Douglas, courtesy of The Barbican Centre.


  • AND, to go with:  Julian Roberts

    will be giving a Subtraction Cutting demonstration  and talk with Shelley Fox, from Parsons, at the Gallery on January 27, and a Master Class workshop there on February 5.  For cutting edge cutting -- the Barbican is the place to be in the next few weeks!

  • Join the Personal Factory Movement:    

    From Ponoko -- a favorite place -- comes a more organized way to be a "maker" as the Brits say, connecting with all the other folks out there who love to see new ideas comes to life and let you help yourself to them -- just wonderful!  

    Jump in -- sign up!



  • Consumer Choice and Technology:  Also notice from WornThrough, the 38th Symposium of ICOHTEC (The International Committee for the History of Technology), Glasgow, Scotland, 2-7 August 2011.  The symposium seeks to examine the interaction of technology and consumer behavior in a historical perspective.  The Symposium focuses on how consumers influence technology and the transition from an agrarian based world to one becoming technologically based.
  • Exhibition:  Dior Illustrated: Ren� Gruau and the Line of Beauty, November 10th 2010 - January 9, 2011, Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London.  If you can look at a dress and immediately know it is Dior,  you probably have Ren� Gruau to thank.  His illustrations are so intricately infused with the look we know is Dior that it is difficult to even analyze why -- both the look and the image are exquisite in the same way.


  • TexWorld at Fashion From the Inside Out, February 7 - 10, Paris.A "world-wide rendez-vous for textiles.".  You need to be in business to get in but watch the video for a whole new way to display textile concepts, applicable to many show opportunities.

Know Now?
  • Functional Aesthetics: Visions in Fashionable Technology: Functional Aesthetics is a sequel to Seymour s highly acclaimed book,

    Fashionable Technology

    .  Contextual Prerequisite, Body Sculpture, or Transparent Sustainability are just a few of the topics covered in this Century's  quest for its look.  The book incorporates fashion, design, technology, and sciences and has a great list of DIY resources, publications and places to go for great ideas.  Functional Aesthetics: Visions in Fashionable Technology

  • Textile Futures: Fashion, Design and Technology: 

    Textiles connect a variety of practices and traditions, ranging from the refined couture garments of Parisian fashion to the high-tech filaments strong enough to hoist a satellite into space.  High-performance fabrics are being reconceived as immersive webs, structural networks and information exchanges, and their ability to interface with technology is changing how the human body is experienced and how the urban environment is built.  Today, textiles reveal their capacity to transform our world more than any other material.  Textile Futures highlights recent works from key practitioners and examines the changing role of textiles. 

    Textile Futures: Fashion, Design and Technology

  • Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation.  A book from Assouline by Jean Paul Hesse of 60 years of futuristic design for wearing -- the most innovative work of the most innovative designer of his time.    "He was born  in 1922 in Sant'Andrea de Barbarana, Venice province, Pierre Cardin immigrated to Paris in 1924 with his parents, who were thrown into poverty by World War I. After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli, Cardin joined Dior in 1946 and opened his own couture house in 1950."

    120 illustrations.


    Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation

And so . . . for 2011,
 Conquer fear, gather your resources, learn lots of new things, see the big picture, have fun at all times and remember, we are all the same. 
 Sandy Ericson

Center for Pattern Design

Center for Pattern Design

1734 Scott St., St. Helena, California 94574