Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The purpose for Boston Design Laboratory™ (BDL) is to redesign the fashion industry in Bos-ton through creative research of new production technologies and new business structures – in order that fashion design entrepreneurs and dressmakers can make a good income – increasingly more difficult in today’s markets. Our approach encompasses all aspects of the industry, collaborations in the ways the self-employed work together in creating solutions to problems. There are four divisions, determined by Shirley Willett, the founder, in a 2004 paper prepared for a Massachusetts Institute of Technology workshop to explain the future design of the fashion apparel industry. Information is collected in databases and other technologies for designer quality and efficiency at the Point of Design (POD-IT)

1) Creativity, Research & Resources.
Problem: Much creativity in the fashion apparel industry has been lost with the mechanization of CAD/CAM technology, which has opened up extensive copying and repetitions.
Future:. All BDL designers and dressmakers start with the Stylometrics Pattern Templates, researched by Shirley Willett in a series of National Science Foundation grants, for achieving more beautiful, creative shaping, quality fitting, and efficient production of one-of-a-kinds, small or big production lots. The system is highly efficient for development of creative ideas and can reduce necessity of copying and sameness.

2) Pattern Design & Engineering.

Problem: Commodity apparel is completely mechanized in CAD pattern systems for low-costs in design and production – while high fashion is too random and expensive, poor time management from design to market. Unfortunately, there is nothing in between.
Future: The Stylometrics system is structured so that while designing and making the first sample (prototype), the pattern is also ready for production. The Templates are ideal for easy manipulation of flat 2-D work, or for creative draping as on an armature in sculpture.

3) Production Engineering.
Problem: Sameness in product and processes give speed, efficiency and low-cost, but results in boring styles. Manufacturing in America of high fashion design is extremely limited and costly and non-existent for very unique ideas, small lots, one-of-a-kinds, or custom.
Future: It is integral to BDL’s mission to solve these problems through technical innovations linked to the Stylometrics system, which has a foundation of sameness upon which to build great creativity. BDL is working with the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers (PAAC) on “mass-produced custom”, and is proposing a “Boutique Production” concept.

4) Marketing, Selling & Customers.
Problem: Too many middling costs, and distortion of consumer desires from the distance between designers and consumers.
Future: Trunk shows, direct sales, and creative, collaborative marketing are integral parts of our research. Our dream is to make the customers an active part of the fashion industry, with a software program, “Self A-wear™” which will collect consumer desires, and a “Willett Design Room” (WDR) that can maintain the unique selling relationship.

Emma left a comment on the last post:
what are the styleometrics pattern templates? I am designing and making a modern wedding dress and was needing some help with how to make a pattern

Some of your question is answered above, but I realize not in any detail. If you live in the New England area, please contact me, and I can suggest some ways to help you with patterns. You can also read my website at http://www.shirleywillett.com You can also join the Boston Fashion Industry Meetup. Click http://fashion.meetup.com/1/

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