For those of us who sew, the workrooms of haute couture houses are probably just as (if not more!) interesting than what we ultimately see on the runways. Claire Shaeffer has spent her career studying the construction techniques for haute couture, expensive ready-to-wear, and historic designs, and written more than 20 books on the subject.
This episode, Claire and I discuss a variety of topics, including her background as an acrobat (who knew?!), shadowing dressmakers in Paris workrooms, her extensive couture and vintage clothing collection, and her two newest books on Chanel construction (see below). Claire also shares some interesting tidbits from her time working with museums. I was particularly interested to learn that Marlene Dietrich tended to take out the labels of her couture garments to make going through customs easier.
Claire was a joy to speak with and her passion for the intricacies of clothing construction are infectious.
Outro music: “Bughici – Suite for Violin, 8 Ardeleneasca, moderato” by Advent Chamber Orechestra
I highly recommend Claire’s beautiful revised Couture Sewing Techniques:
Claire’s two newest books focus on her passion for Chanel. The Couture Cardigan Jacket was published last year, and The Couture Skirt comes out this year:
Email Claire at Claire.Shaeffer@gmail.com for her class schedule
Claire on Facebook