Chains have long been an unsung hero in the realm of couture fashion, adding a touch of sophistication and functionality to tailored jackets and coats. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about jacket chains: why they’re important, what kind to choose, where to place them, and where to find them.
The Significance of Chains:
Often referred to as a “Chanelism” by Vogue Magazine editors, decorative gilt chains, a signature of Chanel suits, have replaced the less glamorous lead weights traditionally used in tailored outerwear. Chains play a pivotal role in controlling the drape of lightweight jackets, keeping the hem level and ensuring it returns to its intended position after arm movement. This subtle but vital element eliminates unsightly horizontal wrinkles at the waist, enhancing the overall appearance and fit of the garment.
Choosing the Right Chain:
Today’s chains come in various finishes, mimicking the appearance of brass, silver, or pewter. While you have the freedom to choose any colour that suits your design vision, it’s a common practice to coordinate the chain colour with that of the buttons. For jackets, flat 6mm (1/4″) wide curb chains are the preferred choice, while lightweight link chains are better suited for blouses. Coats, on the other hand, typically do not incorporate chains into their design.
Strategic Placement of Chains:
One crucial aspect to consider when placing the chain is to ensure it does not overlap at the centre front of the garment. If your jacket is lined to the front edge, initiate the chain at the centre front. In cases where the jacket features front facings, the chain should start at the edges of these facings. For jackets with substantial buttons, it’s advisable to place the chain exclusively on the back to counterbalance the weight of the buttons, maintaining a balanced silhouette.
Determining Hemline Placement:
The positioning of the chain concerning the hemline is often influenced by the jacket’s lining. When the lining extends to the hemline, position the chain approximately 6mm (1/4″) to 12mm (1/2″) above the hemline. Alternatively, if the lining incorporates a tuck at the hem, place the chain beneath the tuck, ensuring a seamless and polished appearance.
Where to Find Quality Chains:
If your local retailer doesn’t stock chains, fret not; there are specialized haberdasheries, merceries, and fabric stores that cater to your needs. For those in the UK, you can explore a wide selection at Claire Tyler Couture (https://claire-tyler.com/haberdashery/couture.html). Meanwhile, those in the US can conveniently source chains from Linda Homan Design by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the world of couture fashion, it’s often the smallest details that make the most significant impact. Chains, with their rich history and practical functionality, have earned their place as a cherished accessory in the creation of tailored jackets and coats. As you embark on your next couture project, consider the timeless elegance and utility that chains can bring, enhancing both the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of your garments. With the right chain, thoughtfully placed, your creations will exude a sense of luxury and craftsmanship that sets them apart in the world of fashion.