Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is bias?

According to Webster's dictionary "a line diagonal to the grain of a fabric; especially : a line at a 45 degree angle to the selvage often utilized in the cutting of garments for smoother fit".

As Betty Kirke wrote in "Madeline Vionnet",
"Bias is airspace, supported between the warp and weft threads" This definition points to the ephemeral quality of bias executed properly. It can result in floating, elastic, body caressing garments that defy gravity and are more suitable for nymphs than earthbound humans.

Bias is for most a Banana Republic, a do not enter monsters ahead territory. It is sometimes confused with "off grain" which does not hang elegantly, and is evidence of a poorly executed design. Bias on the other hand requires confidence, technical ability and a willingness to explore territories unknown. It is the most malleable direction in fabric, and can result in flattering, deceptively simple garments.

A number of dressmakers, couturiers specifically, have become dedicated students to the evolution of bias in design. Madame Vionnet was one of the first, whose name was synonymous with bias. Until then, bias was relegated to trim pieces, flounces, and jabots. In her book, Betty Kirke, studies Vionnet's design evolution, presenting various collections and their inspirations, as well as mini diagrams of the designs.

Vionnet paris museum decoratif 1

Vionnet dress mma nyc 3

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