Charles James – pattern and photography

Life-size composition by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Life-size composition by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

We started our museum visits at The Costume Institute to select and create an initial pattern for the Charles James dress. For conservation reasons, museums do not allow researchers to touch their objects – a rule that made Patrick and Esme (P&E) a bit anxious, since they had never done a pattern out of a garment they could not touch. But as they say, some of the best ideas come out of limitations! Liam took a number of detail photographs of our selected dress, which he then had printed on life-size and later digitally stitched together.

Detail of Charles James dress, The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Detail of Charles James dress, The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

These photographs served as great references to P&E, who could check and even draw their patterns on top of them.

Patrick creating a Charles James pattern at The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Patrick creating a Charles James pattern at The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Patrick creating a Charles James pattern at The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
Patrick creating a Charles James pattern at The Costume Institute. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

Isabella Coraça