THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 10, 2008

Not So Hot Couture

 I saw Liana’s blog post of today ” Perfect isn’t perfect anymore”  and was inspired to show you some more flaws which can be prevented if you know what to look for, or better, can be avoided.

Liana’s post is about the new fall 2008 couture show from Valentino designed by Alessandra Facchinetti, and she points out that some of those new fall 2008 couture garments, which sell for a lot of money, could be sewn with more dedication to strive for perfection.

Like Liana, I looked at the pictures of this show, including the detail shots, and saw some more points which could use some fitting and sewing guidance.

 (All photos in this post are courtesy of  where you can see all the fashion designer shows like the couture collections and ready to wear.)

Puckered dart ends at skirt and not enough hip width so the skirts creeps up:
















Not enough walking room:









Uneven skirt hem length at center front:                          Frumpy inner collar, less sleeve cap height:  






 Not so invisible zipper, no smooth inner collar: 



Dimples at armhole maybe they are a design feature but it can also caused by uneven ease in of the sleeves :





  1. This is fascinating. Seriously. It just shows the difference between design and execution.

    Comment by cidell — July 10, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  2. I think its disappointing….they should strive for perfection instead of good enough, however, it just goes to show that we all have the same issues

    Comment by Handmaiden — July 10, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  3. Whoa. To my untrained eye, I only saw one or two obvious issues. Other than that, I would have missed the rest. Erica B. posted a link to a documentary on YouTube featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the couture house of Chanel and the exquisite craftsmanship that goes on there. Not a sewing machine in sight. All hand sewn. For that kind of money, I expect perfection.

    Comment by dei — July 10, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  4. Els, thanks so much for sharing your “eyes”. I’m a better judge of fit because of posts like this.

    I adore the fabrics used and I’d love to have a number of stitchers hurrying to finish what they have to they can tackle my next creation. I don’t know what I’d do if I was under the gun time wise and had results such as this.

    I wonder if these results are an anomaly or I’ve just missed “seeing” it all along.

    Comment by Mary Beth — July 11, 2008 @ 11:17 am

  5. Gasp! It may happen to us but it shouldn’t happen to them.

    Comment by Gigi — July 11, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  6. Good help is hard to find, even in Coutureland?

    Comment by Linda T — July 11, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  7. The bottom two photos: I think that that flap with the buttons should have been pressed, too. It looks homemade unpressed.

    Comment by redcatbiker — July 12, 2008 @ 12:25 am

  8. …and maybe the multi-layer hem on the ‘tomato dress’ could use some pressing and understitching to flatten the hems – you can see the facing seam as it pulls up and forward on one of the hems. I would also except the rhythm of the hems on her left side to match the rhythm of the hems on her right–it’s probably a grainline issue.
    (shocking to see all the flaws that you and Liana pointed out)

    Comment by Jen O — July 12, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  9. That uneven hem made me laugh. Can you imagine what the judges at Project Runway would have said? There really are a shocking number of flaws here. I know that these are samples, but these are really basic sewing and fitting problems that shouldn’t be all that hard for an experienced house to make look good.

    Comment by Nancy — July 12, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  10. Those inner collars really fry me. Have we lost a generation of couture customers who had higher expectations? I think the current catering by couture to the rock world is a real dumbing down and these garments show it.

    Comment by Bunny — July 12, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  11. You got that right Els! The other thing I noticed – now that Valentino is retired – is that Alessandra Facchinetti is apeing Ralph Rucci quite a bit with this collection.

    And the irony is that Rucci would never let sewing like this go down the runway.

    Comment by phyllisc — July 12, 2008 @ 7:12 pm

  12. Had this been the RTW collection I might give it a pass, but couture? Never! Another observation is that all the seams look like they are machine sewn. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but not haute couture.

    Thank you for your gimlet-eyed and honest observations!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — July 13, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  13. This is sad, really sad… I can’t avoid wondering what had happened… Did they fire the entire staff of dressmakers and had to employ less qualified personnel in a hurry? Some of the flaws are quite evident and could be forgiven coming from a less trained sewist but not from couture professional dressmakers.

    Comment by Tany — July 13, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

  14. This makes me wonder if anyone besides other sewers notice these things, which are pretty glaringly obvious if you ask me. It may well have something to do with uneducated couture customers. There’s a whole new crop of young things with money to spend and no idea what that money should be buying them in this instance. And yes, they’re samples, but they’re supposed to be samples of exquisite workmanship as well as exquisite design. Sad. I wonder how many more we could find.

    Comment by Liana — July 18, 2008 @ 2:48 am

  15. I am amazed of the eye you have for detailand fit. I would have totally missed half of the issues.

    Comment by Adriana — July 20, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  16. Appearantly, those poor women missed their morning coffee.

    Comment by Lillian — January 28, 2009 @ 12:48 am

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