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THE UNIFORM: TONE ON TONE

From top left: Backstitch Reverse Appliqué Abstract fabric swatch from The School of Making; Malick Bodian self-portrait as directed by stylist Suzanne Koller for A.P.C;  “Felt Suit,” 1970 by Joseph Beuys via Tate; Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the December 2019 issue of American Vogue wearing a dress by Balenciaga, styled by Tonne Goodman and photographed and by Ethan James Green; model and businesswoman Naomi Sims, photographed by Gösta Peterson for the New York Times, 1967;  The Jumpsuit in Peacock Blue from The School of Making.

Since March, many of us have been dressing in uniforms, whether it’s at at-home day-to-day informal dress or by changing into actual uniforms as we arrive to work each day at The Factory. Of course, over the last months, the world has begun to celebrate those in blue scrub uniforms, showing us that there can be positive power in such recognizable silhouettes. Inspired by this streamlined and utilitarian dress, we’ve moved to simplifying life and work with tone-on-tone, uniform-style dressing. The July 2020 edition of British Vogue features three individual covers that celebrate essential frontline workers—and their necessary work wear. 

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From top left: Photo from Sara Berman’s Closet of the show of the same name at the Mmuseumm in lower Manhattan; The Stripe Series DIY Kit Scarf from The School of Making; the inside view of Backstitch Reverse Appliqué embroidered fabric in the Abstract stencil from The School of Making; Organic Cotton Swatch in Peacock with Metallic Stenciling from The School of Making; one of three highly-acclaimed British Vogue Covers, from the July 2020 issue, which celebrate essential frontline workers; The Embroidered Swing Skirt Kit from The School of Making. 

Creating a personal uniform or style of dress doesn’t have to be boring. It can also be a chosen, signature look. In Sara Berman’s Closet, mother/son co-authors, Maira and Alex Kalman write of their mother/grandmother’s decision to create a uniform in dressing: “One Friday morning in a burst of personal expression, she decided to wear only white. She starched, ironed, folded, and stacked everything with loving care and precision. All of it was grand. And her closet was the grandest of all.” Her closet was, “A way to create order out of chaos. A way to create a life of beauty and meaning. And that is no small achievement.” The beauty of her curated form of expression was shown first at the Mmuseumm and afterward at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from March to November in 2017. Of this event, they write, “Inspired by Sara’s simplicity and clarity, people traveled from around the world to see the closet.” 

“We believe that clothing and material culture are representative of a moment in time and an expression of the world around us.”

The act of dressing oneself can be simple or it can be intricate. It can be an act of rebellion, or a way of feeling safe and comfortable in your skin. These days, these acts can, in the words of Maira and Alex Kalman, be the only way “to create order out of chaos. A way to create a life of beauty and meaning. And that is no small achievement.”

Read more about our inspiration for Peacock Blue, and explore these uniform garments crafted from twin layers of Peacock jersey from The School of Making:

The Jumpsuit offers a utilitarian look and on-the-go comfort for every need. Our A-Line Top has a flowing fit and v-neckline and is perfect for uptown or downtown. The Swing Skirt is the perfect pull-on-and-go  A-line shape with a gentle flare to the hem. The wildly comfortable yet refined Asymmetrical Peacoat is a topper that can transcend the seasons as either a double layer coat or lightweight, single-layer jacket. Accessorize (and show off embroidery skills) with the Stripe Scarf.

The Jumpsuit Kit

Endlessly versatile and comfortable, The Jumpsuit features long, cuffed sleeves, a comfortable drawstring waist, flowing wide legs, and a flattering, fitted bust. Available in your choice of either a single layer, basic DIY Kit, shown here, or a double layer, stenciled DIY Kit.

The A-Line Top + Tunic Kit

The A-Line Top or Tunic features a v-neckline, fitted bust, and a loose, flowing fit to the hem for a flattering fit. This sleeveless top has a front and back center seam and debuted in Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, where you can find construction instructions. Shown here with our Abstract stencil design in backstitch reverse appliqué technique, the kit is available in a variety of colorways.

The Swing Skirt Kit

Our Swing Skirt has an A-line shape, is fitted through the hips, and flares at the bottom. One of our best-selling and classic styles, the pattern debuted in Alabama Stitch Book in 2010, was reintroduced with pattern alternation inspirations in Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns in 2015, and became our first standalone pattern in 2017. Shown here with our Abstract stencil design in backstitch reverse appliqué technique, the kit is available in a variety of colorways.

The Asymmetrical Peacoat Kit

The Asymmetrical Peacoat is a shortened length of our timeless trench coat pattern with a double-breasted front. Originally part of the 2019 edition of Build a Wardrobe, the peacoat kit (also available in a trench length) offers an outerwear kit for your wardrobe. Shown here with our Abstract stencil design in backstitch reverse appliqué technique, the kit is available in a variety of colorways.

The Stripe Series Kits

Explore various embroidery and construction techniques with The Stripe Series kits. Choose from our Poncho, Swing Skirt, and T-shirt Top. Learn to embroider these kits using The Geometry of Hand-Sewing. Our scarf kit is shown here using a variety of embroidery techniques.

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