Thursday, June 11, 2009


Featured Artist -

Clare Webster Designs

Clare,creates sculptural textiles accessories and she is located in the United Kingdom. She began ceating at a young age and has continued to create thoughout her life. She began working with the pleated stitch technique while doing her degree, which she attained in 1999. In 2002, she set up her accessories company.

She has a unique amazing Etsy shop! So many elements of various fashion eras are present throughtout her creations.  As a unique fashion creator I was curious as to what artists inspired her, what is her process of creating, and why she decided to open up her Etsy shop.

When visiting her shop two elements jumped right out at me:

 First- her use of textile covered buttons

 Second- her amazing pleating

primavera, 1900- Alphonse Mucha

When asked which era of fashion history she was drawn to she commented, "I personally love the Art Deco period. I love the understated glamour and clean lines. "

Inspirational Artists
It was interesting to find out that Clare is inspired by sculpture particulary Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, and Cathy De Monchaux, have been very influential.
She also makes textile sculptures alongside her accessories.

Creative Process
I start with a sketched idea which nearly always changes. I then stitch the fabric which dictates the shape of the bag or scarf. I allow the fabric to fall into position and create its own shape and add appropriate handles or edging.


A Stroll back in Time:

Art Nouveau was a dominate art form in 1900 at the Paris Exhibition.  It was a decorative art form which followed on fromthe Arts and Crafts Movement.  Primarily it covered interiors, architecture, jewellery an furniture design.  It was definately prominate throughout fashion and fabrics. 


Covered buttons were vastly prominate within Victorian Fashion.   They were used as functional elements, and later as ornamental, or decrative purposes.   

I love those riding and day dresses of the bustle era with numerous covered buttons used strategically used as decoration!

Silk flower button corsage brooch-Clare Webster

Day Dress- 1878



Folding the fabric back on to itself and securing it in place is a pleat, twelve different pleats can easily be define.  And they extend through out costume history to our modern time. 

The first image I think of when I think of pleating in costume history is Greek art.  The rendering of the texture of folds, the stylize characteristics as seen throughout Ancient Greece.

In 1856 women no longer had to wear up to six petticoats to hold their wide skirts out, a cage frame called the crinoline was marketed throughout Europe.  along the hemline width.  Cartride pleats were used along the hemlines to add extra flounces and made the skirts appear even wider.

Then of course I think of Mariano Fortuny!  Throughout his silk gowns he created a number of variations of pleating. 


Burlesque corset silk collar-Clare Webster

Evening ensemble- Mario Fortuny- 1934


Milliner & Dressmaker- 1886

Etsy Shop

When asked why she decided to open her Etsy shop:
"I decided to open my Etsy shop a couple of months after to speaking to my friend Hannah Nunn at a trade fair who has a shop on Etsy. I think itis a great marketing tool but I also find it very social and inspirational. "

Stop by and visit her shop!  If you have something special coming up, you have to take a look at her silk handbag!  It is made of dupioni silk with machine stitched pleats, it can be custom ordered in over 200 colors!

Windows Live™ SkyDrive™: Get 25 GB of free online storage. Get it on your BlackBerry or iPhone.


  1. i love her inspiration. i use to go to the library every week to learn about her items really mean alot to me. off to check out her shop.