Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The PAST Inspires the PRESENT and Creates the FUTURE: Gerber Technology, Spoonflower and The Darnell Collection

This dress, made by Horrockses of London in the 1950s, is in the New Look style 
inspired by Christian Dior’s La Corolle collection, launched in February 1947. 
The dress' skirt is given extra fullness from an in-built, but detached muslin petticoat.  
John Horrocks set up a cotton goods company in Preston, England in the late 18th century (1791). 
By the 1950s, Horrockses was a household name producing off the peg summer dresses. Their fashion collection of pretty cotton dresses was created as an initiative to use and sell their own cotton.
Celebrities and even royalty, such as Princess Margaret, were noted fans and the brand was given a royal warrant in the 1960s.
Sadly, in the 70s and 80s, Horrockses dresses went out of fashion and the company subsequently closed. (N.B. The company has been resurrected and is selling a range of bed linen.)

When I was invited to travel to NYC to be filmed for an episode on Fox Business News' popular television series, Strange Inheritance, I wanted to bring relevance and sustainability to my collection and tell this story to their goal audience. 
What better than to look at my collection, and that of fashion history, from a perspective that showcases 
"The Past Inspires the Present and Creates the Future".

This is the future of dressmaking and The Darnell Collection wants to be a part of it!

So, I chose this feminine, summery party dress to bring to life my mission and worked with two cutting edge, 21st century, American companies 
Spoonflower and Gerber Technology

Spoonflower is one of the worlds largest digital printers and designers of custom made fabrics among many other digital services and products. (https://www.spoonflower.com)
Spoonflower used the wrapping paper design that was created for my new book, One Enchanted Evening (Affirm Press) and printed it onto cotton sateen and silk voile fabric. 

Gerber Technology, with whom I have worked with in the past bringing to life their Yunique PLM, AccuMark and CAD Software programs, provides integrated hardware and software solutions to the fashion industry around the world. (http://www.gerbertechnology.com)

Mary McFadden, Executive Director CAD Product Management at Gerber Technology, created a simulation of the dress on an avatar. A digital pattern was then made that Spoonflower used to make the 're-interpreted' Fifties dress.

With Gerber's digital pattern, Spoonflower was able to layout the pattern pieces onto the fabric and begin cutting out the pieces and then sewing them together.
And here is the finished result!
Modelled beside the original Horrockses of London dress.

Such an inspiring meeting of two centuries, three companies, the past and the present  

 to create a cutting-edge, technology driven 21st century dress.

This is the future of dressmaking and The Darnell Collection wants to be a part of it!