Walking around the V&A’s Italian Fashion exhibition got me thinking about the future of fashion and what it might hold, particularly for luxury fashion and designers.
|Photo taken from my time at LFW.|
Back when it was WW1 dresses and clothing was all handmade and tailored to fit the wearer, also they weren’t sold in store like they are now; you would have to go to a seamstress to have your clothing made, or make it yourself. What I am getting at here is that it meant the majority of women and some men could sew. Comparing this to modern times, when yes there is textiles as a subject, but only very basic skills is taught. You might learn how to sew a cushion but not be really taught the skills required for dress and clothing until you unless you take textiles for GCSE. I am glad that there is at least a subject that teaches basic skill, but it’s becoming less and less popular subject to take, in my school is was so unpopular they took it off the timetable and it was not taught for GCSE.
I find the lack of teaching in dress making, sewing and pattern cutting worrying. Designers and luxury brands usually or at least pride themselves on being handmade or stitched whether it is a bag, dress or suit. When an item is handmade or stitched the chances are the item is more expensive to. So if less people have the ability to sew or sew at the standard need to make these magnificent items what will happen to the future of fashion? If there are less and less people with the skill required, will luxury brands fade into the past and become extinct? Not in our life time and probably not even in our Grandchildren's life time, but eventually could luxury hand stitched and made fashion become a part of history?
I will put my hands up now and say, I don’t know how to sew at a high standard, not through my lack of trying, but the teaching I wanted is not very readily available. I feel that if this isn’t resolved maybe the fashion industry will greatly evolve and change, but not necessarily for the better. It would mean that the appeal of handmade expensive brands and items become obsolete as there is no one to make them. Of course this evolution could be for the better and the world of fashion could become even more creative, even more beautiful and even more spectacular than it already is.
I however do foresee a chain of events occurring, if our generation does not learn how to sew, we won’t pass it down to our children or the next generation slowly making it a rare skill to find in a person.
This is why this summer I am on a mission to teach myself to sew better, and one day pass it down to my children. The question is, will you join me?