Monday, November 22, 2010

obsession : cowls

Cowls have always been a detail I've loved. Since we are working on them currently in my draping class, they've been on my mind. Cowls are any fabric excess that folds in on itself. They can be pleated, like I've done on my dress form above (two small pleats at the shoulder to create two defined folds in the body of the cowl), they can be in the front, the back, as an armhole, at the hips ... anywhere. And they are luxuriously beautiful.

Cowl details are easy and fun to wear. Like the draping above, their ability to hang allows for something underneath to show, like the strapless bustier is. They also instantly lend a "dressed up" feel to a garment. Cowls can be done in a variety of fabrics and are very versatile, as well - a wool cowl on a business style dress will be a little stiff, with interesting structure, while a chiffon or jersey knit gown will "pool" at the cowl and seem to drip from the body.

The Reem Acra pre-fall 2010 collection shows us that cowls aren't just done symmetrically - the cascading drapes down the side of the gray dress are cowls, too.

Derek Lam's fall 2010 gowns show two very different cowls - on the left we have what usually comes to mind when thinking about cowls - deep and dramatic. However, cowls don't always have to show skin. On the right, we have a high cowl.

Donna Karan pre-fall 2010 showcases a variety of cowls. At the top is a cowl that drapes over the shoulders; next is a very subtly cowled armhole. Bottom left, a low cowl made modern with a piece draped through it. Last, a more structured cowl.

I have been trying without success to find a cowled skirt or pant from the runway (so I could get a high quality picture) but found none. I know they are out there; just doesn't have the best search feature. But the moral of the story is, cowls are fun to drape, easy to wear, incredibly flattering, and a wonderful option for evening. You can get so creative with them.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you made that incredibly pretty top. I really can't.


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