Five Building Blocks: A Study of Madeleine Vionnet's Construction Techniques Explained to the Novice Through the Exploration of Five Patterns by Betty Kirke

  • Author / Creator
    Martinez-Yu, Therese C.
  • The aim of this research was to study French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet’s innovative garment construction techniques through dress patterns generated by Betty Kirke. Kirke, an American entrepreneur and costume conservator, conducted extensive artifact-based research, focusing on pattern design and engineering, as well as on Vionnet’s life and times. Vionnet used the structural properties of the fabric as a foundation for her bias-cut creations rather than relying on aesthetic considerations alone. I use this case study to break down the process for a novice learner; I have reproduced five key patterns created by Kirke and suggested by her as the cornerstone of Vionnet’s work. Using reflexive methodology, I describe the draping procedure step-by-step, and identify technical issues novices may have difficulty with. Through my struggle with the complicated draping process, my deficiency of technical knowledge, and my modern fashion bias, I come to a greater understanding of both women.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Textiles and Clothing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Robert Lederer (Art and Design)
    • Dr. Megan Strickfaden (Human Ecology)
    • Dr. Joan Greer (Art and Design)