Body mapping – a beautiful technique

Check out this video on the technique of body mapping. Body mapping is a technique of making a base pattern of a person through draping and systematically pinning away fabric. We use chequered fabric in order to see clearly what lines are not yet horizontal.

It’s in Dutch but I don’t let that bother you. I am guessing you can make out what this beautiful technique has got to offer you.

Hope you enjoy!

Balance assignment

In line with the post on photographing fit models I have come up with assignments that I would like to add to my educational material. If you are interested you can do these, maybe even publish them on your own page and possibly let me have your feedback?

PHOTOGRAPHY
In order to learn about bodies, posture and fit it is smart to get an idea of your own body’s posture and possible skewness. Posture is at the basis of how a piece of clothing will fit and it is therefore very important for fitting clothes.

BALANCE ASSIGNMENT 1
Set up a photo gallery, Pinterest boards, PowerPoint presentation or what have you to gather photo and text material on the following subjects on the internet and / or in books.

– What is good, bad and perfect posture? How can good posture be determined?
– Posture therapy; find out what are the weak and strong muscles for e.g. a hollow back?
– Search on posture psychology, body language.
– If you have time continue with ‘no furniture living’. Enjoy!
– What is the effect of high heels on posture?

Objective: to get an idea of what subjects are related to posture, what good posture is and how it can be recognised.

BALANCE ASSIGNMENT 2
Use the instructions of the post on photographing fit models to make (or have made) 3 photos of yourself: the front, side and back view. Make sure to follow-up on every detail of the instructions. If you do not have a tripod, use a table, heighten the table with a chair or books to find the right height to photograph from. The photo’s need to be perfectly horizontal / vertical otherwise the next assignment does not work.

BALANCE ASSIGNMENT 3
Now look at the photos from the above assignment: what do you see? Do you see any imbalance between left and right, a high shoulder possibly? After having taken a look, start putting in the vertical and horizontal lines. Describe what you notice and where your body has imbalance.

Now also put in the circles as shown in the 3rd photo of the former post. Make sure to place them in the middle of the joints. When your shoulders are pulled forward, the middle of the shoulder moves more to the front. More on this topic in the post on shoulder position which will follow in due time.

Finish this assignment with checking how you feel about your body now that you have analysed it.

NOTE TO YOU: If you have difficulty with your body image or feel insecure about yourself, you might want to ask somebody whom you trust to do the assignment with you. If you have, or have had, or are on the verge of developing an eating disorder, do NOT do these assignments, or do it with your therapist. The assignment, when done in a group, can be uplifting if and only if, acceptance of yourself and the other is carried in the group.

The goal of this excercise is to get to know your own posture AND to realise that nobody is perfect. Not you, not anybody. One can actually say that if you walk away with a feeling that your body is the only one with funny things, you’ve got the exercise wrong; everybody has got funny unbalanced things.

Having said all that, I hope you enjoy the exercises and learn a lot from it. 🙂

Best regards, Martine

Basic body assignments

In line with the basic body measurements I have come up with some assignment that I would like to add to my educational material. If you are interested you can do these and maybe even publish them on your own page? Please let me know how you have experienced them.

INTRODUCTION ASSIGNMENTS BASIC BODY

When working in the industry of fashion it is very important to get an idea of what your customer looks like and what size he/she has. Working towards the real size of your customers will help the Design department to design styles that are suitable for the body type of your customers and use fabrics that suit style and body types. Having knowledge of the customers will help Development, Quality assurance and Fitting with their specific processes. Trying to find a fitting model for a size 6 while your average customer is a size 12 is….. illogical but not at al uncommon in the industry.

Obviously (?) Design, Marketing and Sales will mention that for ‘esthetic reasons’ the company does not work with women of a size 12 in advertising – but from a fitting point of view it is very logical to fit in the size you sell the most. In the end all comes down to taste, ethics, marketing and responsiblity. And… I am thinking we live in an interesting time where discussions about anorexic models are finally being held within and without the industry.  More needs to change though; I just Googled ‘beautiful woman’ and the first hit for somebody of African descent is at place 155. For ‘beautiful girl’ that is place 355. And these are just some figures showing how strange and out of balance internet and…. I am guessing, or, I fear, that our perception is.

And now the funny thing is, that everybody realises that there is something wrong with our perceptions when we come to make such comparison in race. However…. in the whole list of beautiful women or girls there is not one who is above a size 8 or above the age of 30. Obviously this blog is not about politics but I do want to, with some examples, point out that our perception is skewed. I have experienced that not seeing things as they are, does not help at all while making patterns and fitting clothing.

So, on you go! Here are some assignments to help you improve your ability to really see and understand bodies.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 1

Set up a photo gallery, Pinterest board, PowerPoint presentation or what have you to gather material on the following subjects on the internet and / or in books.

– ideal female body
– ideal male body
– ideal kids body (notice that you will mostly see measurement tables here)
– body proportions
– drawing a female body
– drawing a male body
– body perception

Objective: to get an idea of how the media show bodies and to get an idea of the discussions going in the media concerning body perception.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 2

Draw a male or female body from on paper. Make sure the figurines are at least 20 cm (8 inch) high. Draw a front view, side view and back view. Do so out of the top of your head. Spend at least 15 minutes on the assignment but no more than 30.

Possibly this is a frustrating experience, it does however directly confront you with what details of the human body you have no concept of in your head. It is important to develop at least a sense of proportion when working with patterns and fitting.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 3

Now do the same excercise as above but keep the tutorials that you browsed for earlier at hand. This will teach you how to look at a body and teach you about the proportions of a body.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 4

When you are, or want to be in kids clothing, do the assignments 1 to 3 for children.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 5

When you like you can scan the drawings of the assignments and save them. Following that, import the scans in a digital vector drawing program and copy them using vector lines.

If you have not worked with digital drawing programs before you might want to check out my blog post ‘Digital drawing’ (currently not available). Digital drawing is mainly not a requirement in positions where fitting is the main objective but it can be very handy when you do have these skills. Start developing them from early on and you will have learned a lot by the time you have finished the assignments on this blog.

Hope you enjoy!

Best regards, Martine