Tuesday, January 09, 2007

S-PATTERNS Will Be a Part of the Future Technology Wave

First, I must apologize to all those to whom I said the 3 “Fashion/Pattern Design” classes for understanding how to work with the S-Patterns would be online by this past weekend. I’m sorry but it is going to longer to get it set up for the web. At this point we’re not sure, but maybe another week or two. Meanwhile we are continuing to develop the Primitive and Generic Patterns so they will be available for delivering to you.

(From the Boston Globe: "A modified iRobot Create can pick up a piece of paper. iRobot, unlike the Roomba, does not vacuum or clean.)

My “Chemise Theory” and Robotics today
Some of you, who have read my posts last September, might remember the one I wrote about my successful “chemise dress” I designed in 1957. (Click September in right column if you want to read the whole story.) The chemise was a fad, died and then was reincarnated as the “shift”, and has been a successful seller ever since for high fashion or commodity designers. Even more interesting is that the chemise is having a great high fashion comeback for spring, 2007. In all of my engineering design papers, related to my NSF research grants, I explained the story of the chemise dress, and used it as a social theory to explain how most fads rise, die, and come back again as more ubiquitous and not faddish. The primary example for which I used the chemise as analogy in the late 1980s was robotics, and I predicted its comeback. That is, robotics, at that time, was a “fad”, big in the media and everyone talked of the great things it would do for people at home. Robotics then died in the public eye, only being considered in robotic arms on factory floors.

For awhile I have been watching robotics making a slow comeback into importance, as I predicted, as the Roomba, vacuum cleaner. Now, it’s evolving. In yesterday’s Boston Globe, 1.8.07, “Technology clears a path for putting robots to work … emphasis is beginning to shift away from robots that entertain and towards robots that labor in the home and the office.” But, the most exciting and key aspect is the “development of a common platform like Create or Microsoft Robotics Studio that will allow hobbyists, students, and entrepreneurs to play around with creating robots without having to become an expert in every aspect of robotics. …software that allow people to use their products as a starting point to create something of their own….build on top of it and go further. …after finding that robot hobbyists were trying to customize the Roomba.”

S-Patterns as a common, foundation, platform.
This is precisely what I am trying to do with the technology idea of S-Patterns. The purpose of the original Stylometrics system, in the 80s & early 90s NSF research grants, was to be a “common platform” for the American apparel industry. They would not accept it, as Sears Roebuck and the Dept of Defense had also tried to do, for 20 years previously. So, in 2004, after my workshop at MIT, I decided to take Stylometrics, my “common platform” for pattern engineering, to you, Designer/Entrepreneurs (DEs) and to consumers. It’s purpose, likewise, is to allow you to play around with creating high fashion clothing without having to become an expert in every aspect of the fashion industry.

In my nine Primitives for NSF research grants, I validated that they could be a common platform in women’s wear, for every style that ever was, is, or could be. The Generic Patterns that we are now developing are an “evolution” of those Primitives, necessary for making the system simpler for developing some more complex styles. As we go in SELF (Self-Employed Laboratory of Fashion) we will develop more complex shapes, to gradually make more styles easier for you. However, please realize that all of this will take time. I no longer have any grant funding, and don’t want a business that makes money. But I do have some devoted people, self-employed, working with me to help, and I am deeply appreciative of that. Eventually (much later) we will set up what I call “FitAWear” standards, to simply changing patterns to fit some common problems. We even have “StyleAWear” and others under the umbrella of “SelfAWear” coming over time – all for you.

When we say a “common platform” or “standardization”, that means that every pattern style evolves from the foundation Primitives. You will note in the 12.9.06 post “More on SELF…” I showed the sheath dress sketch, or AB Primitive. Next to it I showed the sketch of an empire waist sheath, or AB-1 Generic. Size and measurements of the two are identical. The jewel neckline, sleeve, armhole are identical. The only difference is the waist and midriff, which is not as simple as it seems at first glance, because the empire waist indents under the bust more, and therefore also needs more length under the bust. After we have more generic dresses, tops, skirts, blazer, etc., we will also have generic necklines, collars, sleeves, etc. Later we will do pants. And even much later we will do some foundation construction technologies. All this for you at low cost, and some things will be free.

I’ll keep you updated as we get things ready. Happy New 2007!


Diane said...

I love the chemise! It's a comfortable style to wear and can be worn straight or belted to show off the waist. Lately I've been playing around with bias cuts with the simple chemise. I'm still excited about your patterns!

Shirley Willett said...

Thanks Diane. We're working like crazy to get the S-Patterns developed. Tell me more about what you're doing in playing around with bias cuts. It will help me to help you.

Georgene said...

In my haute couture draping school in Paris, we were taght 12 "Etudes de Base" or base studies, in the first year. The second year was all about learning to use those as a basis for creating any desired sihouette. This sounds similar to your system, only done in cloth directly on the dress form. I look forward to understanding more about your approach.

Shirley Willett said...

Hi Georgine,

I understand clearly what you are comparing here, but it takes a lot (time) to write out those comparisons clearly for everyone to understand. It's great what you are commenting on here. I'll be chartting with you Sunday night, and I've read your recent email. I will be responding more directly to you, because so much of what you say is beyond most DEs.

Thanks so much, You are helping me to know what and how I need to say things.