FROM SKETCH TO OUTFIT
The steps for making a couture piece.
1 Karl Lagerfeld sketches each outfit and explains it to Douchez. “Karl’s sketches are very detailed, so I understand everything at first sight,” she says. “It’s very exciting to start a new piece.”
2 A pattern is cut, and a toile is made, with Douchez in charge of the first pins in the toile. For symmetry, she makes only the right-hand side, so that it can be doubled. “It is my job to do the right-hand side of the pattern.”
3 The first fitting is when specifics about volume are decided. “Karl knows exactly what he wants. He has this idea in his mind, and I really need to listen to Karl’s words, because it helps build it in my head. These oral explanations are very useful to me.” It is also when the fabric and embroidery details are decided. “Karl might say: ‘No, it shouldn’t be pleated: it needs a little more volume here.’ This is decided at the first fitting,” says Douchez.
4 “After the first fitting, the race starts!” says Douchez. “My team have to send the placement of the embroidery drawings to the embroidery ateliers – from there, everything starts.”
5 Ahead of the show, Lagerfeld styles the outfits, deciding which accessories go with which look. “He styles through the night after everything has been made. It’s the finishing touch!”