Setup: Workshop focused on archive studies and practical cutting work.
Location: Association Cultures et Développements, 18 rue Neuve Sainte Catherine, Marseille
Duration: 2 weeks, December 2011
Since the 1970s, French costume designer Geneviève Sevin-Doering has systematically developed and refined a cutting method in which the garment is sculpted from a single piece of fabric on the body, which is termed ‘coupe en un seul morceau’. Her work is based on studies of pre-tailoring garment-making, i.e., how the garment was cut before the Middle Ages in Europe and in various ethnic costumes around the world, before the introduction of drafting systems, basic templates, and mannequins (Sevin-Doering, 2004).
In December 2011, I visited her in the Marseille studio. Though she is now elderly and has been blind for several years, she explained and demonstrated her philosophy and working method for me over the course of two weeks. I was given free access to her garments and pattern archives and was invited to work alongside her and her daughter, Mireille Doering-Born, in the studio.