These posts are part of a series of my cataloging project at the Baum School of Art. The school was gifted the custom-made wardrobe of Mrs. Robert Stieg (Jane). The collection spans from 1958 to 1968, and every garment was made especially for her by the Utah Tailoring Mills.
- The Stieg Collection: Jane Stieg was a pretty amazing woman. I can tell just by looking at her wardrobe. Twice a year, she would meet with a consultant from the tailoring company to select her new wardrobe. She began by selecting the silhouette first, and then the fabric. The consultant would take her measurements, and then place the order. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- Fabric Labels from The Stieg Collection: Aside from the beautiful Custom Original Utah Tailoring Mills label in each of the garments, there are so many others. Many of these labels tell the story of fabric. Textile mills also used to produce their own labels, and provided them to designers and manufacturers to include in the finished garment. Today, I wanted to take a closer look at a few from The Stieg Collection. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- The Importance of a Fashion Archive: Fashion archives are critical learning tools for students. Many fashion schools, like FIT and FIDM have created their own museums and study collections to use as teaching tools. Students gain such a different understanding after working with physical garments. The clothing not only illustrates construction techniques, but also serves as inspiration. Much like established designers, students are able to examine, evaluate, and reconstruct the ideas and methods present in archived garments. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- Deceptively Simple: Part of what makes couture so expensive is the fitting process. Think about how much the human body varies from person to person. There are so many body types how do you make one design look the same on everyone? Garment construction techniques help democratize fit. Certain designs and alterations require advanced techniques and mathematical precision to achieve the desired silhouette. Let’s take a look at this winter ensemble from the Stieg Collection. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- Defining Couture: The details in the construction is what separates couture from ready-to-wear. The extra effort and expense in crafting a custom made garment might not be readily scene.c At first glance, you can discern something special about the garment. But it takes careful examination to notice all the care that goes into couture. I spend a lot of time marveling at the techniques employed by The Utah Tailoring Mills. The fabrics are of the utmost quality. Special darts give the garment a perfect fit. The seams are matched perfectly. Small seed pearls are sewn on by hand. Beautiful self belts terminate in small, weighted bell-shaped tassels. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- “Seamingly” Perfect: Polyester gained a lot of popularity in America after World War II. By the 1960s, it was the cheapest type of fabric, which led to it flooding the marketplace. So many of the iconic prints of the 1960s and 1970s are associated with polyester because of this. (Polyester is made from petroleum in a lab, while silk is a protein fiber that comes from a silkworm spinning a cocoon.) All of Jane Stieg’s clothes from The Utah Tailoring Mills were made with the best textiles available. Every piece in her wardrobe was made from high-quality, natural fibers. Even her wool suits are lined in silk. If you continue to look at the fabric, you will start seeing amazing construction details. At first glance, you might not notice how the pattern of the fabric is matched to the seams and buttons. Look closely. The buttons match the pattern of the fabric perfectly ““ they are the center of the flowers. To read the rest of this post, please click here.
- Trigère vs.The Utah Tailoring Mills: I spent a good part of an afternoon noting the similarities between these two dresses and how they related to Bauhaus ideals. Each of the designs were so carefully thought out and executed. They each share geometric cuts of fabric, balanced compositions, and a modernist look that make them wearable today. (Keep in mind that both of these dresses were made in the 1960s!) But why is it that Pauline Trigère is remembered for her contribution to fashion history and that The Utah Tailoring Mills has been obscured to the point of being forgotten? To read the rest of this post, please click here.