Tuesday, April 9, 2019

G Girvin: Vintage Art to Wear by Gretchen Clancy

G Girvin applique jackets were a popular style of wearable art apparel during the 1970's and 1980's.

With crisp graphic color blocking, these designs were created by Gretchen Clancy, a Seattle fiber artist. Her work showed meticulous work in producing smooth and clean applique using heavy weight textured cottons and other rich fabrics. In the mid-1980's she joined another fiber artist, Rebecca Edwards to create more wearable art styles. In 2005 they opened a shop called Beppa, in the Ballard area of Seattle.

The jackets were designed with a strong influence from ethnic tunic construction. Most of the pattern pieces show straight seam lines where pieces are joined, creating a "T" shape garment. Today, a Folkwear pattern "Gaza" is somewhat similar if the multiple side gussets were made into one piece, and the front yoke was eliminated and a front opening made instead. I have other middle Eastern tunic pattern designs in my Pinterest board "Art to Wear"

The side panels are gussets added below the sleeve underarm. These produce more shape and fit into the otherwise flat "T" shaping. She accented these seamlines with contrast banding on the garment face, making the geometry visible.

The applique panels create a colorful yoke that falls down the center front and wraps around the back shoulders. Color blocking is fluid and curved, emphasis on the hemline and back neckline.

A close-up view of the applique edges reveals smooth, consistent zig-zag edging around each applique piece.

Construcion inside the jacket is clean, with binding around any seam allowance. Binding around the shoulder insert is also seen here.  There are hidden side seam pockets in the front panel seamline.

Sought after today as collectable, these wonderful jackets are as wearable as they were when produced. Finding one is difficult but it's worth the effort to own and wear one of G Girvin pieces.

This jacket is currently for sale in my Etsy shop, Mojave Dry Goods, where you will find additional photos of it.  I also have more wearable art examples in my Pinterest board Art to Wear.