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Thread: Gareth Pugh pants

  1. #1

    Default Gareth Pugh pants


    first of all, let me start with some sort of disclaimer: for those that dislike people "copying" designers work: Sorry.
    I am not doing mass production, nor am I working in clothing design professionally (in fact, I am working in marketing). This is a single item, where I wanted to see whether I am capable of putting together the "flowing" type of chiffon pants that you could see a lot in Gareth Pugh's fall/winter 2011 runway shows.

    Type of pants and movement

    First of all, let's take a look at the pants that I had in mind:

    As you can see, the pants are kinda "flowing" while the model walks. There were different models for men and women, the major difference being that the women's pants were flowing more, whereas the men's didn't use as much fabric. As one will be noticed with those pants anyway, I thought that I can go all the way and make the wide-flowing type of pants.
    There are also pockets in the men's version, which I found to be too difficult to make. Pockets as such aren't very difficult, but it was the first time I worked with chiffon, and it turned out to be one of the more difficult things to work with, as it will constantly "flow", even while drawing the pattern onto it - so I am quite glad that I didn't bother about the pockets.

    Taking a closer look:

    First thing that we notice: There are multiple layers of chiffon. At least there are two layers, one inner layer, and one outer layer.

    Second, the pant almost looks like a skirt when walking, so there is much fabric. It's not just a boot-cut or flare-type of pant, it's even wider.

    Looking at the back, we notice that the outer chiffon-layer doesn't go all the way around and does not meet the front part in the inner seam of the pant, but it stops in the mid-section of each leg. This allows the fabric to move more freely when walking. In addition, we don't see a rolling seam or any seams at all for the part that moves freely. If a silk-chiffon was used, the edge finishing must be superb.

    Pattern construction

    The pants consist of three layers (at least the one I constructed):
    - an inner lining
    - the first chiffon layer
    - the second chiffon layer, which doesn't go all the way around

    As we saw from the pictures, the pants look similar to a skirt. This is no coincidence: From a historic perspective, women always wore skirts, up to the point where bikes came up. Skirts were impractical to ride the bikes, so a "divided" skirt, the "culotte" was developed. You could say that the culotte was the first type of pants for women, and looking at the chiffon pants above, there are some similarities.

    For those of you that have worked with patterns, you will see the skirt-like pattern of the culotte, but also the pant-like finishing on the right-hand side that comes close to pants:

    Source: Helen-Joseph-Armstrong: Patternmaking for fashion design, 5th edition, page 572, image slightly edited.

    But of course - these pants are not a skirt, and they also aren't a culotte. So how could I get the pattern?

    I started off with some pants that fit me. Modifying a pants pattern is a lot of work (till they fit perfectly), so it makes more sense to take some pants that already fit and reverse-engineer their pattern.
    That's why I took my bootcut Lee jeans as a basis.
    Here is a picture of the jeans:

    ... and here's a picture of the pattern derived from these jeans:

    This is also the pattern that I used to create the inner lining of the pants, which is made from a satin-like (Royal Duchesse type) fabric.

    Note that these are boot-cut, which means that they flare out a little wider at the leg. When I first started sewing this project, I did a sample of the pants, and found that if you keep the flare for the chiffon, the chiffon pants start looking like 70's disco pants. That's why I removed the flare for the chiffon pattern and used a straight line.

    Starting with this pattern, I needed to add the fullness of the chiffon, so it could move freely. I did that by adding more fabric to the pattern on the outer-side of the pants, which is visible in this revised pattern (still based on the Lee bootcut jeans, but taking into consideration the culotte pattern):

    If you would cut the chiffon using this pattern, you would have a seam running down on the outer sides of the pants. I looked at the runway shows multiple times, but I couldn't see any seams there. So... Gareth must have used one single piece of fabric. That's what I did as well - I put together the two halves of my pattern:

    The pattern above shows the inner chiffon layer. Now we still have a second chiffon-layer on top, which doesn't go all the way around, but ends in the mid-half of each leg at the back. That's why the chiffon doesn't go all the way around:
    Last edited by marc1975; 05-13-2011 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2


    Again, these two halves were of course also put together in one piece, so no seam would be visible on the outside of the pants.

    I didn't make pictures while sewing the pants, as I wasn't even sure whether I would be able to put them together at all.
    The pants consists of four basic building blocks:
    - the lining (royal duchesse)
    - the first chiffon layer
    - the second chiffon layer
    - the waistband

    I first started with the lining, which was the easiest part. I used my overlock with an overcast seam to finish off the edges.

    Second, I moved on to the outer chiffon layer. It turned out to be a good decision to use polyester based chiffon, as I could use a little trick in order to get a clean, straight edge.
    Polyester melts when it's heated up. You probably know the "bag sealer" machines that you have in your kitchen that have a single wire running from the left to the right. You push down the lid of this machine, the air is sucked out of the bag, and the wire melts the plastic of the bag, sealing it.

    I used this machine to finish off the edge of the chiffon. Pushing down the lid of the bag sealer, it would heat up the wire, which would cut the chiffon in a straight line. I couldn't have done it better if I had used a candle or similar things to melt the edge. Here's how it turned out:

    The picture shows the backside of the pants.
    As you can see, the edge of the loosely hanging chiffon is very nicely neatened, without using any traditional technique like a rolling hem, which would be much more visible.

    After finishing the edge of the outer chiffon layer, I put the inner chiffon layer on top of the outer layer and sewed them together at the inner seam. This way, it would be easier to align the layers later on.
    I then sewed together the inner leg seams. Next, I sewed together the left and right chiffon leg of the pants, leaving some space for the invisible zipper that would be added on at the back of the pants.

    Then I started working on the waistband, first using basting yarn, so I could still make changes. I started with the chiffon, then added the invisible zipper, and finished the whole thing off with the inner lining.

    This all sounds very easy, but - trust me - it's not. The materials I've worked with so far are easy to iron, they are easy to sew in a sewing machine, and they stay where they are once you put a needle in them.
    Chiffon is different.
    Ironing? -- yes, but only on the lowest power setting with some cloth in between in order not to leave any traces.
    Sewing? -- the fine material easily starts to ripple, so you have to take great care with the machine settings. Undoing a seam is possible, but if you don't use great care, you will see holes in the chiffon.
    Using needles to lock the fabric into position? - Chiffon will still start to move, even with needles put into the fabric. Using basting yarn is an alternative, but you have to use fine needles in order not to leave any holes.

    In a nutshell: If you are just starting out to sew, this is not the type of project you wanna do ...

    For those interested in the intrinsic details: For the inner edges of the chiffon, I also used my overlock to finish them off. I used a very fine yarn to do that, GŁtermann 180, which is recommended for this type of fabric.

    For seams that can be more visible, I used a transparent bobbin yarn, which makes the seam nearly invisible.

    (nearly) final result

    I still need to shorten the pants (still need to decide on the shoes I am going to wear with them) and put a rolled hem at the end, but other than that, they are finished.


    Inner lining:


    Inner lining / waistband (looking inside the pants):

    I don't have a catwalk at home, and I am not going to put my apartment on video, but trust me, the pants look exactly like those on the Gareth Pugh F/W 2011 runway show when one is walking in them.

    Although it is "just" a copy of a designer item, it's still a "wow" feeling. Wow, I've managed to do this, these pants really look great. But also... wow, this is far more complicated to put together than I thought.

    Chapeau, Gareth Pugh, this really is an amazing piece .
    Last edited by marc1975; 05-13-2011 at 05:55 PM.

  3. #3

  4. #4


    ENDYMA / Archival fashion & Consignment
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  5. #5


    The first problem I see with the way you've done these for a guy is that you'll end up with a ballerina problem.

    The second problem is that I think your pattern is all wrong. If you notice in the animated pic that you've posted - when a girl walks in these pants, they move almost as if she has semi-slim trousers and a split triangular flowing skirt at the back as separates - notice how the inner pant is not moving inwards at all. But what you will probably end up with is equal movement on the outside and inside of the pant, so the trouser legs will rub against each other while walking.

    I also suspect that because of the points above there should be more to the construction of these pants, and there probably are some seams at the front. This pic kind of gives you a clue:

    (better if you go on and click full-screen)

    I know it's a guy, but the leg construction of his and hers I'm sure are the same, the difference is in the crotch usually.

    Having said all that, I accept that I might be wrong. But not likely, haha.

    Could we see a fit pic?

    Otherwise, for a person who's not really sewing for a living - not bad at all.
    Last edited by eat me; 05-14-2011 at 06:46 AM.

  6. #6


    A couple of the pics have them billowing around the legs. I'm pretty sure they come in a few different fits.

  7. #7

    Default Pants - final video

    @eat me:

    ... you'll end up with a ballerina problem.
    Since I started wearing the heeled Rick Owens boots, my neighbour has stopped talking to me, probably thinking that I am gay or something. Do you think the original Gareth Pugh men's chiffon pants version will make him think that I am straight ?

    Couldn't care less. Problem solved.

    The second problem is that I think your pattern is all wrong.
    You definitely have a nice way of putting things
    But you do have a point, which I had noticed before on the video of the runway show. I had removed the flare of the original boot-cut pattern, so the (otherwise) ample amount of fabric around the inner leg became less of an issue. Still, I agree that there might be even more seams to restrict movement of the inner part. I have thought about adding a small thread chain that connects the inner seam of the inner lining pants to the outer chiffon shell. This way, the outer chiffon would be restricted in moving closely to the inner lining, which is much closer to the body.

    Otherwise, for a person who's not really sewing for a living - not bad at all.
    I figured from another post you did that you work in fashion/tailoring, so - thanks for this compliment!

    Could we see a fit pic?
    A picture doesn't do these pants justice. You can view a short video by clicking on the link below the picture. Please: No comments about the shirt. This wouldn't be the combination I would wear when going out.

    Click here to view the video:
    Last edited by marc1975; 05-14-2011 at 04:29 PM.

  8. #8


    amazing interpretation for someone in the marketing part of the fashion industry, but yeah, there is a couple of things i'd adjust in the pattern here and there but the overall look really well sewn and made!

  9. #9


    marc1975, godspeed, but I don't think you understood what a "ballerina problem" is. No biggie, I coined this term for myself to refer to this particular problem, but I think I've heard other people use it since then, so I figured it should be quite self-explanatory and ubiquitous.

    Basically, by that I mean that you can clearly see the penis-bulge on the front, and it mostly happens on trousers that are slim/tight/close fit, especially with loose/fine fabric. Now, when a trouser is done with a fly, somehow the bulge gets lost behind it, even though it's still there, but if you leave it out then the bulge becomes super-obvious and disturbingly present.

    Just be careful with it.

  10. #10


    eat me: Now, when a trouser is done with a fly, somehow the bulge gets lost behind it ...
    Sorry, I am not a native English speaker. Never heard of this term before. Now I know what you mean...

    Honestly, I am not sure whether a flyer alone would have helped that much. I put on my slim fit jeans, and they look very similar to the chiffon pants I made in that area, despite having a flyer in the front. I never focused my attention that much on this area... . You managed to ruin multiple pants at once for me - I will probably always think of "disturbingly present" whenever I even consider putting on my slim fit jeans now...

    Looking at's runway pic #24, it's also somewhat visible, despite a flyer. That could be disturbing to some already.

    I guess the best thing is to wear something long enough to cover this area, as in this pic:

    Should I get the chance to try the original F/W 2011 men's chiffon pants in a store, I will try them on. If they are MUCH better in this area, you have convinced me to buy them (no, I am not going through all of that hassle again and sew a second pair just to add a zipper in front).
    It could happen that I am going to spend a lot of money on Gareth's clothing this year, as I wanted to buy two items from him anyway...

    alex.a: amazing interpretation for someone in the marketing part of the fashion industry
    Just for the record: I would really like to work in the marketing of a fashion company. Sorry if I misworded it - I am working in the marketing department of a big financial company, so I don't have anything to do with fashion professionally, not even in marketing. Financial products can be very boring, but the salary is good. For me, sewing is a way to relax and unwind. When I sew, I need to concentrate very much on the task at hand, which doesn't leave any space to think about the campaigns, return-on-investment numbers and other stuff in my job.

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by marc1975 View Post
    Honestly, I am not sure whether a flyer alone would have helped that much. I put on my slim fit jeans, and they look very similar to the chiffon pants I made in that area, despite having a flyer in the front. I never focused my attention that much on this area... . You managed to ruin multiple pants at once for me - I will probably always think of "disturbingly present" whenever I even consider putting on my slim fit jeans now...
    When there's a fly in front, often it adds that much needed extra layer or two of fabric that negates this effect; the bulge appears less obvious and becomes bearable. It's just one of those peculiarities of menswear that you have to keep in mind when doing things for guys.

  12. #12


    I always called it the Superman crotch, but even with a fly it can be tricky depending on the fabric or the cut.

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