Jacket brings fashion revolution
Want to make a classic like the ‘Chanel’ jacket yourself? You can! Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel revolutionized her maison in 1954, when she re-opened her couture house in Paris after the Second World War when, contrary to the prevailing fashion of tightly cinched waists with wide skirts, she launched her suit. consisting of a straight jacket, inspired by men’s fashion, above a straight wrap skirt.
It’s amazing how more than sixty years later this jacket is still a symbol of good taste, or, as Karl Lagerfeld put it: ‘The jeans, a white shirt and a Chanel jacket are never out of style’.
Ready-to-wear or Couture?
A jacket like ‘the classic black jacket’ is extremely laborious. Much of the making process is done by hand. There is an extreme eye for detail and good fit. Although the jacket in the video below does not have a quilted lining, the process partly corresponds to the typical ‘Chanel’ jacket made of bouclé or tweed:
I don’t know how it works for you, but when I watch a video like this I get really excited! And immediately want to start on a jacket …!
The model is extremely ingenious. Due to the many panels, it is possible to have the jacket perfectly match the body shapes. The original idea contains a number of special technical ‘tricks’ that invisibly strengthen the jacket and increase wearing comfort. These techniques are unique, but can be incorporated into all kinds of other garments if the garment requires it.
It is very inspiring for me to watch these kinds of videos from Chanel. Still, they don’t show all the details I’m interested in. A few years ago I started my search for the details of a Chanel jacket with those unique features that make the jacket feel casual, but look very chic. A jacket that can be worn in almost any situation. A jacket that exudes unmistakable luxury and comfort. I started working on this under supervision and I can only say one thing: I have never enjoyed working on a piece of clothing as much as this first Chanel inspired jacket. I have since expanded my knowledge of specific haute couture techniques through various courses. I would like to share this knowledge with you.
Classic Chanel-Inspired Jacket
New luxury: handicraft and couture details
This highly-specialized and super-specific technical and artistic sewing project is for veterans in the fashion profession. You will learn how to make a classic Chanel jacket in the manner of haute couture. Through a combination of draping and pattern drawing, you will form a perfectly fitting pattern. You develop an eye and gain insight into appropriate form and line for the person for whom you are designing something. Step-by-step you will learn special sewing techniques with which the jacket -mostly by hand- will be put together and you will realize your first couture CHANEL-inspired jacket. All this in an inspiring environment.
Discover the magic of a handmade couture jacket inspired by the CHANEL classic
Before I tell you all about this program, let’s talk about who this is really for …
You love couture and dream of being able to realize this luxury yourself, completely tailored to your taste and according to your sense of color and style.
This is for:
- the seasoned fashion professional who has reached the ceiling of his or her work and wants to discover the secrets of haute couture craftsmanship …
- the person who wants a challenge with themselves (this is not easy!)
- those who have a professional level in fashion making
You have come to the right place! And I’m going to tell you exactly how this training program will give you the tools, the inspiration and the support on your way to creating and presenting your first couture.
The Couture & Craftsmanship Concept: Sewing Secrets
Making a couture Chanel-inspired jacket is part of Dutch Couture Academy’s innovative ‘Couture & Craftsmanship Concept: Sewing Secrets’ program. In this part-time program of at least six months, you will work on a challenge you set yourself, in consultation with Saskia. We make a program that is specifically focused on your dream and what you want to develop further in the field of couture craftsmanship, whether it is the sewing, pattern making or embroidery part or a combination of the three.
What can you expect from this program?
- Development of hand sewing skills
- Discovering different ways of reinforcing couture garments
- Incorporate special details
- Personal fitting of your own designed or tailored toiles
- Explanation about buying materials and list of addresses (in the Netherlands and online)
This program offers, among other things:
- Possibility to order or buy fabric through Saskia (small collection in stock)
- Coffee, tea and lunches during meeting days
- Expansion of network among like-minded people
Frequently Asked Questions
I am already a seamstress or tailor. Is this program still interesting for me?
Yes it is! It is the way a COUTURE Chanel jacket, among others, is made that is totally different from what a seamstress or tailor has learned in his or her professional training. These techniques offer interesting additions in terms of possibilities for all kinds of garments.
What is the required prior education for this program?
The Couture & Craftsmanship Concept requires according to the chosen field; For sewing/ pattern making: an extensive knowledge of sewing, patterns and preferably experience in pattern drawing and/or moulage and a professional attitude; for embroidery no prior skills needed.
Where is this program taught?
The Couture & Craftsmanship Concept is a combination of teaching days in the studio, online programs to be completed at your own pace, and international couture retreats in the studio of Dutch Couture Academy, Gasthuisstraat 16 in Doesburg from 10-ca. 16 hours (with lunch in between). Coffee is available from 9:30 a.m.
The cost of materials will be for the student and depends on the chosen projects.
Actual cost CHANEL jacket vs homemade
A jacket from Chanel’s Ready-to-Wear collection costs between 5000 and 6000 euros. Although you have the Chanel label and design, the jacket is not yet tailor-made for you. You wear a clothing size off the rack. For a couture jacket you easily pay between 10,000 and 30,000 euros (or higher), depending on the model and the decoration (e.g. embroidery).
When you enjoy sewing yourself, whether you do it for yourself or for others, you can make a jacket that is completely tailored to your own needs or those of your client for a fraction of this amount. Not only in terms of color and design, but even taking into account every personal detail. You can make it as special and unique as you want. Time after time! You will go home with a good fitted pattern and model. If you have some knowledge of patterns, you should have little trouble making variations on this model.
I look forward to getting to work with you …
Making couture, and in particular a Chanel jacket, is truly a special experience. An experience that makes me very happy, time after time.
Now you may be wondering how this is possible? It’s in the slow, careful pace at which a unique garment is put together almost entirely by hand. With an eye for detail. And that is not only very pleasant to do … you see and feel the difference. Being able to bring about that experience not only for yourself but also for others is very satisfying for me.
And it can be for you too!
The Couture & Craftsmanship Concept introduces you to a new way of working: the new luxury of handmade details. The ultimate form of slow fashion. In a combination of live days in the studio and online support while working at home, we use the best of both worlds: online when you can, live for meeting others.
I look forward to meeting you in person in my atelier in the attractive downtown area of the historic city of Doesburg.
Response of a student after the course:
I thought long and hard before signing up for the “Creating a Classic Chanel-Inspired Jacket” course. I had been following Saskia on Instagram and Facebook for some time and wanted a Chanel jacket for a long time. How cool is it to make this yourself.I doubted if I could. Still, I took the plunge and did it. I have not regretted this. It was quite an adventure.I knew beforehand that making the jacket would be a lot of work. It was, but you also feel that when you put on the jacket. It looks like a jacket, but wears like a vest. That’s because the lining is intertwined with the fabric; therein lies the work.This is separate from all other matters, such as the moulage. This also takes a lot of time, so the jacket fits very nicely. The draping of the jacket, tailoring the pattern was a very special experience. Discovering how a jacket can be made to fit your body and therefore fits very well, is very cool.The best thing about making the jacket was the processing of the lining on the outer fabric. In addition, seeing how the jacket takes shape is a fascinating process. Even figuring out the trim, how nice was that! I was not and am not an experienced seamstress, but you should be. It takes a lot of patience and precision.I’ve learned that you have to work very precisely, and you just have to lash out until it’s perfect. In the end, you really see that effort reflected in the beautiful result.Saskia gave me confidence that I can do it, and I succeeded. She has inspired me to get the best out of myself. After the first day of the course I thought: ‘what have I started?’ Partly due to all the help from Saskia, it has been a very successful process.
-Claire of Spring- September 2018-
The program of workshops, masterclasses and training at Saskia ter Welle is aimed at (prospective) professionals in the fashion industry who are looking for an opportunity to specialize in couture techniques. In the courses, a balance is sought between technique and inspiration, between knowledge and skill and artistic expression. Discovering one’s own handwriting is seen as crucial in the distinctive craftsmanship of each student.