The transformative cuts: new foundations in pattern cutting and approximations of the body
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Fashion designers are presented with a range of different principles for pattern cutting, and interest in this area has grown rapidly over the past few years, due to both the publication of a number of works dealing with the subject in different ways, and the fact that a growing number of designers emphasize experimental pattern cutting in their practices. Although a range of principles and concepts for pattern cutting are presented from different perspectives, the main body of these systems, traditional as well as contemporary, is predominantly based on a quantified approximation of the body. As a consequence, the connection between existing theories for pattern construction and the dynamic expression and biomechanical function of the body are problematic. This work explores and proposes an alternative theory for pattern cutting, which unlike existing models, takes as its point of origin the actual, variable body. As such, the research presented here is basic research. Instead of a static matrix of a nonmoving body, the proposed model for cutting garments is based on a qualitative approximation of the body, visualized through balance lines and key biomechanical points. Based on some key principles found in works by Geneviève Sevin-Doering, the proposed model for cutting is developed through concrete experiments by cutting and draping fabrics on live models. The proposed theory is an alternative principle for dressmaking, which challenges the fundamental relationship between dress, pattern making, and the body, opening up for new expressions in dress and functional possibilities for wearing.