Creating Couture Embellishment

Image of Creating Couture Embellishment
Release Date: 
August 7, 2017
Laurence King Publishing
Reviewed by: 

". . . an elaborate manual that also serves as a dictionary and glossary for haute couture embellishments."

Before you get all excited by thinking that you are about to have a front row seat to tours of the great couture ateliers of Paris, you better think again. There will be no photographic documentation from the likes of Lemarié (feathers), Lesage (no explanation needed), Guillet (flower makers), Causse (glove makers), or Desrues (button makers). This book is really not about those names at all but essentially about the aspiration that one might be able to acquire the skills that these ateliers have spent centuries perfecting. This book is all about defining and explaining the “how-to” and the everything you ever needed to know about tucks, ruffles, lace, flowers, bias strips, and more.

Creating Couture Embellishment is actually an elaborate manual that also serves as a dictionary and glossary for haute couture embellishments. In essence, what we have here is a textbook that explains, depicts, and defines much of the language and abilities that are applicable to haute couture as well as to the art of fashion design. This is a sourcebook for those who sew, fledgling designers, or for those who possess an unending curiosity about everything that goes into the creation of a garment from tools to sewing hints to application and yes, embellishments, of every conceivable nature.

“I assumed the reader had a basic knowledge of sewing. . . . Most of the techniques involve hand sewing. This book is not about how to design with embellishments; it is a book about how to make beautiful embellishments.” —Ellen Miller

That quote appears on page one of this book and indeed those words are exactly what you are in store for when you begin this adventure in reading. There is no question that some might find this book tedious in the extreme and others who will be held rapt by its content. The book would best serve those who sew and designers rather than to those who are singularly dedicated to fashion as a finished product/entity.

If you are in search of the aforementioned guided tour of the grand ateliers of Paris, it would behoove you to search out a copy of The Haute Couture Atelier: The Artisans of Fashion, published in 2014, and then you will see those who literally make dreams come true, especially in the world of haute couture.