24 August 2011

Pattern Magic: Book Review


Even before I started pattern drafting I had my eye on the intriguing-looking Pattern Magic books, so I was thrilled when the publishers, Laurence King, sent them to me to review.

Accordion Back

Knot Dress

The books outline how to create flat patterns for avant garde garments inspired by geometric shapes. The author, Japanese professor of fashion Tomoko Nakamichi, says, "You can create a garment by cutting, moving and reassembling the pieces of a pattern, just like the pieces of a puzzle." And they really do look like puzzles - beautiful, mysterious, sculptural puzzles...

Bamboo Shoot Bodice

Drop Hole Skirt

Some of the designs are pretty and wearable - such as the Knot Dress, Bamboo Shoot Bodice and Cowl Neck - the kinds of garments that will have people staring but in a good way. Others are plain nuts, featuring craters in skirts, cube-shaped protrusions, accordion-like depressions and even Escher-style "vanishing" pockets. At various page turns I found myself scratching my head and yelping, "What the...?! How the...?!"

The books aren't too text-heavy, which I really like, and include detailed diagrams for each design. And when I say detailed, I mean detailed. And complicated. These books are not for the faint-hearted. Or the beginner. But if you've mastered the basics of pattern cutting, have caught the bug and are eager to experiment with complex three dimensional designs, you should definitely take a look at Pattern Magic. I'm really looking forward to a rainy day when I can get stuck into one of these puzzles...

[Soundtrack: 'Impossible Soul' by Sufjan Stevens]

Disclosure: Laurence King sent me these books to review. This is my full and honest opinion.