Trend Watch: Know When to Fold ‘Em

I recently wrote about the proliferation of highly architectural designs in clothing and jewelry for the fall season. One sub-category of these designs deserves special mention, especially since the world lost a proponent of this stylized effect in the death last week of Italian fashion designer Mila Schon, just days before she was to be honored for 50 years in the fashion business.

 

The look is that of fabric folded over to expose its reverse side, yet completely finished on both sides. Recent advertisements show this folded effect in handbags (here a design by Ferragamo) . . .

    

 

. . . as well as in apparel (dress by Versace).

    

 

Schon is reportedly responsible for introducing double-faced fabrics, with one layer stitched to another, to create clothes completely finished on both the inside and the outside, for a clean, understated aesthetic. She is quoted as saying:  . “I created clothes like I wanted them — without lining, with the inside just like the outside; double-faced fabric gave me the idea of order and cleanliness.”


 

[A design from Schon’s spring 2008 collection.]

 

Double-faced fabric has been mentioned in the fashion media lately, as Michelle Obama wore a teal dress of double-faced wool by Chicago designer Maria Pinto at the Democratic National Convention. I love that Obama accessorized the dress with her own eye-catching starburst brooch.

    

 

In jewelry, the look of folded metal is what I think of as origami-influenced design, highly three-dimensional. This look is especially effective when layers of different metals are fused together so that the inside contrasts with the outside. A two-sided piece of jewelry, such as a bracelet or pendant, with both sides finished also allows the customer to display either side, allowing for wonderful versatility.

 

Whether in jewelry or in fashion design, the look of folded material presents a striking dimensionality perfect for this season’s focus on structured, architectural designs.