Julian Roberts came en route from Kent State in New York to Ryerson University in Toronto this week to demonstrate his Subtraction Cutting technique. This is an event I have been lobbying for, for a long time, and thanks to Sandra Ericson of the Center for Pattern Design, Robert Ott, the Chair of the Ryerson School of Fashion, and Charanya Bala of Balanche Communications, my wish became reality this week. To say that it was a marvelous day would be a vast understatement. It was so much fun.
Julian cut a dress live, in front of us. The class was full of fashion design all-stars – Heidi Ackerman, John Hillifer, Adrienne Butikofer, Cristina Sabaiduc, and Canada’s own fashion fairy godmother, Linda Lundstrom, were all in attendance, among other students, teachers, and professional designers. The cohesion and enthusiasm of the class was obvious once we all cut our own dresses – there was a remarkable atmosphere of playfulness but also the cool sense of proficiency you get only when you are surrounded by talented people immersed in something they find fascinating.
This is Julian showing his dress on his assistant, Rachel.
I made my own dress out of a length of white bemberg lining and pink plaid sheer sparkle poly organza, intending to create something light which showed the inner seams to display some of the construction of the garment.
This is the “tunnel technique” where the dress is made of a long tube, through which the body passes in and out as if through a winding cave.
I also used the tunnel idea to create two more holes at the front and the back of the bodice, but just for the white linear effect, these holes are too small for the body to go through.
It was such a thrilling day, it was almost overwhelming – and just like that, it was over. Julian is now in Vancouver at Kwantlen, and then on to California. Thank you to Julian and everyone who made this day such a dream come true, and I hope very much that we can do it again.