Design & Style, Business

Case Study: Construction Techniques

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 21:10 min

Marc breaks down the construction techniques in three of his garments, demonstrating what each technique achieved for each design.

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Topics include: Case Study: Finding the Right Wrong • Case Study: A Purposeful DIY Look • Case Study: "Just a Pretty Dress"


This is a look from the Spring/Summer 2017 show. It's a very ornate, embroidered, double-face wool jacket over a lace dress. And what we did was we drew a print or a pattern onto a muslin. And then, again, it was sent to embroiderer in Italy who rendered the drawing in various sizes of clear sequins and paillettes to look almost like a watercolor drawing. So by layering the sizes and the colors of the paillettes it created this sort of almost painted look to the embroidery. And of course, the skills and the techniques of the embroiderers are so extraordinary. And it's one of the reasons why we love to do embroideries. So we gave them a painting. And we said, how can you duplicate that out of these plastic sequins and paillettes? And they did a series of trials and they showed it to us. And then we, of course, corrected it and made comments. And then that became the embroidery for this particular jacket, or coat, as it were. And this was the collection which I collaborated with artist Julie Verhoeven, who I've worked with many times before. And she did not do this print. But what she did do was the drawing of the vacuum cleaner that became this lace dress. So this is a technique called intarsia. And what intarsia is is when the fabric is not appliqued or placed on top of another fabric, but it is actually pieced together almost like a jigsaw puzzle. So each section of this vacuum cleaner is actually a different piece of lace in a different color, a different type pattern of lace, that are jigsaw puzzled together using various color lurex, or metallic stitches on a sewing machine, an embroidery sewing machine. While the back of the dress is very simple-- although it does have a lot of work-- if you can see, the seams of the design were all pieced into these different rays. So we created the fit of the dress. I guess that's an important thing to point out. The fit of the behind of the dress is, rather than straight seams, it's all worked into the shaping that you can see within the seams or the cuts here. So rather than doing a straight seam to fit the behind, all of these seams that come around accommodate the behind. So the shaping is actually done through the design rather than through straight cuts or straight seams. The front of the dress is more of a t-shirt shape. So there is a cut here, if you can see, at the waist. And we avoided-- there's a small dart here in the bust, and a kind of invisible seam here. So we didn't draw any attention to the seam in the bust, or the dart here in the bust, or in the seam, because we didn't really want that to show. So we tried to keep this all about the design of the vacuum cleaner. And then we made the decorative cut which functions for shape only here in the waist. And then these other seams come around the back to fit the behind, which is obviously a fuller volume than what ...

About the Instructor

Marc Jacobs’s infamous grunge collection got him fired. It also won him the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. In his first online fashion design class, the 11-time CFDA Award winner teaches his hands-on process for creating clothes that push boundaries and set trends. Learn Marc’s construction techniques, how he creates unique shapes and silhouettes, and how you can develop your own ideas from the first sketch to the final piece.

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Marc Jacobs

In 18 lessons, iconic designer Marc Jacobs teaches you his process for creating innovative, award-winning fashion.

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