My first Avante-Garde/Couture Collection, ‘Cirque de Folie’ – Circus of Madness.

Category | June 05, 2021

The first Garment from my first premium Collection, ‘Cirque de Folie’, or mad circus

Collection Launch : Spring Summer 2017

Collection Planning/Ideation and Making: 2015 – 2017

Collection Write-Up/Inspiration/Mood: This Collection was inspired by the video and lyrics of Engel by the German Band Rammstein. A Goth inspired Heavy Metal Band. This song video and lyrics according to me, or lets say, in my perception shows the corruption of the innocent soul. The transformation of all that is innocent, can be seduced by mortal sins. And thus, a human rejoices and relishes in his/her own greed, consummated by the devil’s sweet treats.

Part of my Couture/Avante-Garde Collection Series which, lets say is kind of like my experiments with truth.

Of the three garment collection, we can see that in the first garment has a body fit and goes down to a flare. But the challenge does not just come in the pattern, its a simple pattern! The challenge comes in the form of the tailoring skill. The whole garment was patterned in a simple princess line pattern, then those little leaf shapes were planned aligning the patterns to form mitred leaves. Then, an embroiderer worked lines of embroidery about 1.25 inches thick lines mapping around the marked leaves, 5/8th of an inch on either side. Finally, the little printed fabric was cut inside these maps and stitched. Coming to note here is the tailoring involved at this stage, wherein most of the small leaves could not be stitched by machine, hence, almost 1/3rd of these printed leaf patterns were hand hemmed into the garment, so that there would be no gaps between the leaf patterns and the outlined embroidery. The hold of the flare was achieved by gathering and ruffling of almost 40 metres of can-can fabric in 8 layers inside, along with a satin lining. The whole process took the atelier/workshop almost 47 days to complete one ensemble.

The second garment from the collection – a patterning masterpiece

Now the second garment from this collection was a patterning masterpiece. It is actually just 4 patterns front and 4 patterns back going all the way from the neck/nape all the way down, inserted in parts like all 4 panels front and back going in and out like a beautiful weaving structure, woven in and out in select patterned areas, planned to show each other symmetrically in its own beautiful asymmetric weave-pattern manner. So, when you see the final ensemble, it shows itself as different smaller panels attached to each other when rather its 4 simpler, yet complicated panels going above or beyond in perfect sync with each other like the entwined love of snakes. The surface embellishment/embroidery was quite simple, following the print as is. And, again, the whole set of panels were finished first, hemmed by hand, and then, hemmed by hand again onto each other to avoid the excess along the embroidery induced by machine stitching. The whole ensemble consumed about 37 days of loveable hands of the artisans involved.

The third garment from the collection – another patterning masterpiece

Finally, the third ensemble is a set of two pieces, a puzzle of 4 sided 3D pyramid structures and a 35 meter (approx 39 yards) can-can and printed satin silk with heavy gold tissue corset gown. Lets start with the jacket first, its a simple front open, no closure jacket fitted jacket with the pattern of the basic bodice cut out into small squire shapes, these shapes, cut into 4 triangles , raised over at the head of the triangle to create a 3D 4 sided pyramid. But, the real challenge, since each squire was not the same, as it was taken out from the basic pattern, each squire and sub-triangle was marked and mapped and stitched individually, and then attached together onto the final jacket. Now, this is tedious work – the marking, the mapping and aligning each small piece along the map. The bottom though is slightly simpler, with layers of can-can attached to create the flare and a small cage structure over it stitched in silk satin, and, in between the cage structure, panels of the printed silk satin fabric being added. Some embroidery/surface embellishment was done on the can-can to balance the negative and positive spaces of the plain net fabric. In all, an ensemble which took close to 45 days of intensive laborious process.

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Published by Nageeshwar C/Aphrodite by Nags

An alumnus of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore and a professor with over 10 years of teaching experience in institutes across Bangalore such as WLC India., Icat India, Iift and Nift, Bangalore, and various other institutes. He has also delivered hours as a guest faculty and also conducts many workshops. A philanthropist through the Round Table India movement. He loves to bike and always enthusiastic to meet new people; and experience new adventures! His interest has always been in the geometry of patterns and loves to play with form. An avid fan of rock, country and pop music, many a time music itself has been his inspiration.

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