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Designing for Project IMA: Inspired by Norell

Our guest blogger today is Julie Diller. She is designer of ohm, a women's clothing collection and will be participating in Thursday's Project IMA show.

I work at a large table in an old candy factory in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been designing and making clothes for thirty years, and my passion for it has has only grown over time. Though I live in Brooklyn, I visit Indianapolis often and I came to the IMA this summer with my sister for a tour of the fashion exhibition that inspired this year’s Project IMA.

Norman Norell, “dress,” 1968-1971.Gift of Clare Eggleston Geiman in memory of Norman Norell. 1985.667.

I met Niloo and Petra, the curators responsible for the organization of fashion arts and textile exhibitions at the museum. After speaking with them, I decided to  make a couple garments and submit them as entries in Project IMA.  Below is an image of the pattern I drafted after being inspired by a dress in the exhibition by Norman Norell.  This deceptively simple day dress was carefully constructed with a fitted torso and molded waist.  The skirt’s beige fabric was cut on the straight grain, using a technique called slashing and navy blue fabric inserts were then added. It’s an excellent example of the precision Norell brought to the cut and construction of his garments.

For my dress, I cut it completely on the bias from silk chiffon, which adds a draping contour to the body without darting. I work on the bias often, as it lends itself to soft feminine shapes. Here’s how it turned out:

And here are some images of the work in progress:

I have a very talented sample maker, Poksun, who has been working with me for the past twenty five years:

The final results wil be presented in this week’s Project IMA.  Hope to see you there!

Filed under: Public Programs, Textile & Fashion, The Collection, The Toby

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