Clinique vestimentaire: for a new paradigm of custom-made clothing design

Jeanne Vicérial, PhD student, SACRe PSL PhD Programme, Ensadlab, 
Supervision: Jean-François Bassereau, Aurélie Mosse

PhD defended at Ecole des Arts Décos on the 3rd of October 2019 

ABSTRACT  – Today, we are familiar with two techniques of creation and clothing design: tailor-made and ready-to-wear. These are usually considered as opposites. If we compare these two models: with ready-to-wear, the individual must belong to a size and adapt to it, whereas in custom-made clothing, the object is a dated to the person.  This research aims at reconciling these two approaches by developing new systems of creation and production for clothing taking the shape of a new paradigm, that of the « ready-to-measure ». With ready-to-wear design, clothing can be considered as a consumable product, whereas with custom-made clothing, it acquires a special status because of its relationship with the hand of the person who designed/manufactured it. The « ready-to-measure » seeks this status of clothing object in connection with the body that wears its. With the paradigm of the ready-to-measure, the advantages of both approaches are reconciled: the speed of obtaining ready-to-wear garments and the unique and specific character of tailor-made clothing. The project adopts a practice-based and design-led approach, claiming results related to practice, in this case the crafting of clothing, but also research results, which are discussed and positioned in disciplinary fields, specifying certain zones of ignorance, often at the boundaries of each of the scientific disciplines that identify our subject of creation/ conception and clothing production. The fashion system culminating in fast fashion defines the context in which this research was carried out and from which three main forms of experimentation are deployed: “Tricotissage” (knitting-weaving), smart accessories such as EEGs and Clothing collections “Lignes noires”. As such, this research through practice includes the ready-to-measure project of garment  creation and production and its shared actions and results, such as the “knitting-weaving table” (a real creative tool and production machine), know-how and expertise, from which questions are born. Together they have led to new interdisciplinary knowledge that makes old practices and those we have proposed in the new ready-to-measure paradigm understandable.