Fashion Tips – Choosing Formal Wear Patterns & Textures

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,767
    Fashion Designer and Project Runway finalist Wendy Pepper explains the different types of patterns available for formal wear.

    Wendy Pepper

    If you start in the heart of Washington DC and take the bridge over the Potomac River into Virginia, you're well on your way to Wendy Pepper's working studio. The gallery is the culmination of a life's dedication to the pursuit and practice of the age old craft of Haute Couture.

    Born in Dayton Ohio, Wendy returned with her family to the Washington DC area at an early age. Growing up in the nation's capital afforded Wendy the unique opportunity to absorb the myriad cultural influences that Washington DC alone could provide. After earning an Anthropology degree in college, Wendy decided that she was interested in the role of fashion in today's culture and, by extension, the role it played in a modern world of increasingly mass communication. She taught herself to sew and draft patterns, and subsequently sought out apprenticeships with specialists in the fibre arts fields.

    Wendy was part of the cast of the BRAVO series "Project Runway" and was chosen as a finalist and showed her collection in Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week in February 2005. Her Gallery is open by appointment (540-687-8272), and her line is available exclusively at "Santangelo and Sandridge" (540-687-4775), also in Middleburg.

    Wendy Pepper: Hi, I am Wendy Pepper and I am here discussing the correct formal wear for your body type, and for this segment, we are going to talk a little bit about an important consideration when looking at a dress, which is the different types of patterns that you can consider. So, for Marin, as I have worked with Marin on couple of other segments and I have noted that she has angular features and so I have chosen to put her in a dress that has a plaid and it's also a tweed. So, for me, the elements of that fabric best complement Marins features, and that she has cool skin tones. I like the grey, the sober, it's nice for evening for her. I think that plaid is a very classic and refined pattern, works perfectly with Marins features as well and her height. I put in on the bias, thats also a very interesting trick in terms of creating length and also width and when you have a figure thats tall and thin, interestingly enough, you do want to draw the eye out as well to create the sense of proportion and balance. So, as always, I think it's safe to trim a print in a solid and you can never go wrong with black.

    I am here with Grace to demonstrate yet another type of pattern application when you are considering a dress to buy for a particular type of body. For me, Grace represents the beautiful opportunity that one has with a petite figure which is to use again organic, rich detail but that it's very carefully applied in very small amounts and in ways that will not overpower the figure. So, if you notice, I love the use of lace when I am addressing that kind of issue and I especially like to break it out and cut it up and re-applicate it on to a dress. In this case, again I like the empire line on a petite figure. So, I concentrated up around the bust line with a red underneath to punch and pop and bring out Graces beautiful skin tones, and I then spread it softly and delicately down the dress and it wraps around and curves around and once again increases the length of the bust to floor ratio, which is always important to consider with a petite figure and the lace again is a good type of pattern to look for if you are somebody that has delicate small features.

    So, in conclusion print is actually is actually a very important consideration when picking a dress. You have to take into account, the bone structure in your face, the type of hairstyle that you wear and also the proportions of your body type. So, if you are tall and angular and straight, the prints that you choose should reflect that and I believe that a geometric, bold print for a taller person and a geometric softer print a more petite person is what I would recommend and if you are a curvier body type and you have rounder features in your face, then I would go with a more organic floral or lace type of detail. That again was more bold if you are taller and you can take that amount of strength of pattern and keep to the small and delicate if you are more petite.