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Front Edge and Shoulder Pads for Fantasy Fur Jacket

Sep 19, 2011
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Once the facings were cemented into position, it came time to punch holes for lacing the edge of the jacket. Since I wanted the repeats to match on the different rows of lacing, I came up with the idea to cut a template for punching. This template was oak tag board, cut with the pinking rotary cutter blade, as I was using the pinking as my spacing guide in other sections of the garment. After cutting, I clipped this guide to the edge with binder clips for security. Now it was a simple matter of following the guide to punch the lacing holes all along the facing edge. ‘The final edge is again, the double cordover mentioned in earlier posts. Download a pdf of the diagram. Here will follow some beauty shots of the garment, with all the lacing done. This is a shot of the back neckiine. And a detail of the front edge. Before the lining goes in, there needs to be a shoulder pad, and a custom one at that. Using the yoke pattern, I drafted a pad to conform to the inside of the yoke. This pattern was traced out onto three layers of cotton canvas,…

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  1. Brabant September 28th

    This jacket is a startling and stunning garment. I HAVE to copy it for me. As to those people who say enough is enough....damn them, I need more information and I need it faster so I can start work before the winter comes. I just hope I can buy all the necessary materials here in Germany and France where I live.

    Clothes are individual and not a uniform for me: if everyone is wearing jeans: I throw mine away - if they are in ball gowns here is a moment for the jeans. I gave up wearing uniform when I left school 45 years ago!

  2. SusanKhalje September 22nd

    One of the nicest things about being involved with Threads is that Kenneth and I have become close friends and colleagues. I love seeing his creativity in action, and I thought of him today when I read an article by Nick Axelrod in the September issue of Elle Magazine:
    "Raf Simons, the Belgian-born creative director of Jil Sander, is not one for lowest-common-denominator dressing. 'Let's say you are in an environment where 50 women are dressed in....something with a clear accentuation of the body. And then there is one woman who is very much the opposite....me, as a person, automatically I would be much more attracted to that woman, because she has a fascinating and different approach. She stands out against all the others. I think, who is she? What is she all about? What's her psychology? Why does she do this?' "
    To continue..."This fall, Simons and other confident designers are proposing an audacious, thought-provoking ideal for everyday fashion - an antidote to a decade of cookie-cutter sameness....taking their cues from master craftsmen such as Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga, they're transforming....dresses into elevated yet accessible ready-to-wear for women willing to pay a premium for resolutely distinctive clothes."
    I don't know how many of you saw the wonderful Alexander McQueen exhibit recently, but there was a quote from him on the wall as one entered the space: "I will take you places you've never been before." How rare, and how wonderful is that - and I applaud anyone - McQueen, Kenneth King, Raf Simons - who can do that extraordinary thing.

  3. Nasusseyah September 22nd

    Hi Kenneth,

    Thanks for the information about the oak tag board. I had never heard of it but it adds an interesting texture to the jacket. This might be fun with other types of fabrics and fantasy furs. Just the construction would be a learning experience

    I agree with your comments about fashion. If everyone liked the same styles and colors, how boring would that be? Sounds like the days of "Dress for Success"!

    Thank you for the pictures and great explanations about the shoulder pads...which look very different from the ones that come in most ready made clothes and not quite as difficult as I would have expected. I always enjoy learning techniques from you.

    Can't wait to see your picture in the jacket!

  4. User avater KennethDKing September 22nd

    To Josefly:

    There's an amazing woman here in New York named Iris Apfel. (I got to meet her at a Ralph Rucci show once. Fab!) Ms. Apfel is an iconoclast of style, and was the subject of an article in the New York Times recently (the link is: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/fashion/iris-apfel-90-stylish-and-on-hsn-up-close.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=iris%20apfel&st=cse).

    Have a look at her personal style. You may like it or not, but she is who she is, and unabashedly so. I hope to look like that when I get to her age (which is somewhere around 90).

    She is quoted in that article as saying: “...that when you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.”

    So true, and a statement that resonates with me. We all communicate through fashion, consciously or unconsciously. It's a good barometer of one's state of mind.

  5. Josefly September 22nd

    This is fantastic. Thanks so much for the instruction. I can now actually see myself attempting to make custom-fitted shoulder pads.

    And, please, yes, a photo of you wearing the jacket. What a fun thing to wear!

    Your comments about taste in fashion are well-expressed. One of the things I dislike about fashion is that so many of us are sheep about it - needing approval of everyone else for our own preferences and sense of style.

  6. User avater KennethDKing September 22nd


    I've said time and time again, that fashion is so interesting because, if for no other reason, that one person's fabulous is another person's poison. If we all liked the same things, the world would be a dull place.

    So, one may or may not decide whether the expert construction and technique excuses a monstrosity or not, but ultimately it's the person doing the designing and constructing, and the person wearing it, who decide that. That's what I, as a designer, am called to do.

    And just because one might not wear it, that doesn't mean it's not wearable. It may not be wearable by one person, but is eminently wearable by another (in this case, me, and I look fabulous, I might add). I'm working on getting a photo of me in the jacket, because I do indeed look so fab in it!

    At the risk of sounding snarky here, and with all due respect: If you don't like the jacket, or feel we've devoted too much time to it, there's a good variety of information posted here from other contributors, so you have many other informative and entertaining posts to read. You can pass on reading the future posts on this jacket--I won't be offended.

    My endeavor here, was to show process. I've had many people say they'd like to see how my process works, and the blog posts seemed to be the best way to do it. As I try to bring a variety of information to my blog posts, I can't please everyone, with every blog post.

  7. puffinquilter September 21st

    Have to admit, though I've been reading right along, I had no clue what this would like. Far out! Any chance for a photo of Kenneth wearing it? I'm fascinated by the shoulders and can see them (sans decorative stitching) in a heavy brocade with piping on a heavy faille cape, or maybe embroidered boiled wool on a plain boiled wool coat body.
    Kenneth King rules! Long may he reign!

  8. EskimoLady September 21st

    I do not find the jacket particularly attractive but am quite impressed by the quality of work and the innovative techniques to be learned from Kenneth King. There have been way too many articles already on the fantasy fur jacket. Isn't it time to move on to something more useful, something that we might actually wear. I would love to see innovative techniques applied to something useful. Sorry to sound snippy but enough already.

  9. AnnKiepe September 21st

    Overwhelmed by the ugliness of this jacket. The expert construction and technique do not excuse this monstrosity.
    Better be the emperor with no clothes, than one dressed with this "thing."
    I am in the minority of one, but I must state my opinion, and same goes for most Project Runway "creations."

  10. User avater KennethDKing September 21st

    Thanks for the kind comments, especially the ones about preserving the jacket for the future. I have work in the permanent collections of the De Young Museum in San Francisco, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum, and the Victoria and Albert. So, there's precedent....

  11. putnam September 21st

    The jacket gets a"WOW", but is it washable...?

  12. agatha44 September 21st

    You do beautiful work. Thank you for the tips on making a shoulder pad.

  13. Leine September 21st

    Exquisite, Kenneth. Your work will someday be preserved and displayed for future designers and sewists to delight in and learn from. I really appreciate your detailed explanations and photos of technique such as the custom shoulder pads. Thank you for your generosity in sharing!

  14. Leine September 21st

    I know you made this exquisite jacket to be worn and enjoyed--however I can only think this eventually must be kept in a collection and displayed for future designers, sewists, and the lay public to simply admire and also learn from the technical aspects of your creative genius. Thank you so much for your kindness in taking the time to photograph and clearly explain the details of your work, Kenneth, so that we can adapt these techniques to our own designs. You not only explain what, but also why, and how--in multiple steps, with detailed pictures so we may follow along--such as the template for lacing and the construction of the custom shoulder pads. Your generosity is much appreciated!

  15. Hunny September 21st

    Perfectly enchanting. Love the feathery look of the "hair."

  16. User avater KennethDKing September 20th

    Oak tag board, also known as tag board, is the kind of paper that manila file folders is made from. You can substitute any posterboard, or cardboard, for this work. Im just happened to have the tag board handy.

    Tag board (oak tag) is what is used to make sloper patterns for drafting garments in design workrooms--just a little factoid for your enjoyment!

  17. User avater triangles September 20th

    I have learned so much from your articles but mostly from your books and CD's. Thanks for devoting so much time to teaching all of us. Linda S in MD

  18. stillsuesew September 20th

    I believe oak tag board is similar to any poster board that you can buy everywhere.

  19. User avater eatsallinsects September 20th

    OH, MY! I would so love to wear this jacket but could never afford it in this lifetime!

  20. Nasusseyah September 20th

    Very cool but what is oak tag board?

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