Textile and Senses:

The Fabrics

Bonjour, Bel Bonjou!!

I love colours, I love fabrics and for me a trip to the fabric shops is like a trip to a candy store! Everything is delicious.

Thankfully my approach to fabric shopping is not only practical but also daring and I always come out triumphant: I have very few regrets.

For my recent fashion show “Textile and Senses” http://ghislaine-gazon.co.uk/wordpress/textile-and-senses-the-photos/ I had to do a copious amounts of fabric and haberdashery shopping, with a little help from my Stylist on the project Duncan Carter http://www.duncancarter.co.uk/

Here is the low down on some of the fabrics I have chosen, why I did, the emotions they carried for me, how to use them in your own sewing projects, and a few extra design and styling ideas.


Crepe (or Crape) Jumpsuit

The smart woman who means business while having fun!

The colour, the cut, the hat and the type of fabric chosen, there is something sharp and elegant about this look.

The fabric is crepe, from Toni Textiles, 51 Goldhawk Road, £7 a meter.

This fabric inspires confidence, luxury, and sharpness.

Crepe is a safe textile and exists in a wide selection:  silk crepe, poly crepe etc. It is a fabric that drapes beautifully. This particular crepe doesn’t crease much which is a bonus point!!!

This purple opened the show because of its boldness and the perfect match with my friend’s Dionne skin complexion.

Ankara Pencil Dress

Ankara Fabric also known as ”African Wax Prints” “Holland Wax” and “Dutch Wax”  is a 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns. The fabric company, Registration Number is printed on the selvage of the fabric, to notify  of the quality and to protect the designs. When you buy genuine Ankara fabric you are helping to support the textile industry in Africa.  So it’s not only beautiful fabric, but it’s also contributing to African economies and employment.

Ankara prints often convey a social meaning. This teal and purple dress is more of a fashion statement than a social message.

Ankara will never let you down, it holds and hugs you in all the right places. It it a strong fabric and make me think I am a warrior

It easily takes dramatic shapes (with a little help from interfacing).

The choices in colours and prints are E-N-D-L-E-S-S!! Bold or subtle, outrageous, elegant, loud or demure, the variety of prints will amazes you and with the choice available there will always be a colour to suit your skin tone.
Have you ever set foot in a specialised Ankara fabric shop!? Book a session with me. It is a really fun trip and a colour eye opener.

Cotton Dress, obi belt, and Shorts

This cute mother and daughter combo is cut from the same cloth. See what I did there? 😉 This look communicates the

sense of belonging and living and loving life as a unit. It’s fun, cheeky and playful, reminds me of ice cream and the long gone summer.

This is cotton. A staple, strong, sturdy and durable fabric. For those concerned about its source, I’d recommend buying organic cotton with GOTs certification to make sure that the plants are grown with attention to the environment, with low-impact dyes and even ethical packaging for shipment.
I can recommend https://threadheadfabrics.co.uk/product-category/fabric/organic-cotton/ for their organic cotton.

Ombre formal wear

This seemed to be the favourite dress looking at your reactions and comments.

The cute is sooo simple. This is really a case of the fabric doing all the work and a perfect example of effective fabric choice.

It is pure silk I bargained  at £8.75 per meter in Fabrix 26A Goldhawk Road. The lining is a silk crepe in pale nude at £3.00.

I feel evolution of moods, serenity to purity and drama and a dreamy state of mind.

Sophia seemed to be floating, not walking on the runway. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind when I bought it that the green had to be the top and purple the bottom. Sometimes, the fabric speaks to you in that way and guides your creation.

I am sure any bridesmaid would be happy to wear this dress. The choice of your bridesmaids’ colour and prints is  important, almost emotional and one I can help with.

Book a fabric shopping session with me or a future bridesmaid party at home where we can make it a girly event and come up with the perfect choice for your special day.

Grey Pearl Silk “bridal inspired” dress

I imagine that clouds feel like this dress: weightless and silent.
Silk is silent as it moves. It is refined, gracious and whimsical.
The details of this look are in the combination of silk for the body of the dress and pleather at the back. I found the purple metallic stripes at McCulloch and Wallis https://macculloch-wallis.co.uk/ way before I started the project.  Originally it was a single wider stripe. I customised it into finer stripes which suited the delicate silk better, while the metallic pleather made it edgy. I like this contrast and it can be pushed much much further!

I wanted a hint of bridal, in icy colours and choose this pearly grey silk. It’s super cute and elegant.   Priced at £6.95 a meter from Unique Fabrics 28 Goldhawk Road. Silk is a very ethical fabric from its source so it is an earth friendly choice.

The hem was a lot of fun to do. I enjoyed sinking into the fabric, being wrapped up in clouds! But sewing with silk is very tricky, it’s a slippery fabric for which you need a lot of care, time and attention and after care for your garment is as tricky.

A word on the head wrap veil: It is a very up-to-date, fun and youthful way of using veil and does how individuality, so important in fashion.

The flowers  are by Origami Artist Sam Tsang http://www.sesames.co.uk/gallery.html Sam does an outstanding work. I didn’t know it was possible to create such beauty out of paper

In summary, the right or wrong fabric can make or break the garment and the look you had in mind. A simple design can be enhanced by the colour, print, texture of the fabric and these garments help demonstrate this.

Fabric shopping can be overwhelming  but is also a lot of fun and helps heighten your creativity

Join me again in 4 weeks, where I will reveal a few sewing, design and backstage secrets and gossips on the making of “Textile and Senses”, the fashion show….

Until then… Au revoir

Don’t forget to leave your comments. Will be greatly appreciated. Merci!!


Photos: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 https://www.instagram.com/sonphilo/

Thank you to https://threadheadfabrics.co.uk/


  1. Nadia

    A jaw dropping collection. Your certainly know how to make fabrics speak. J’adore tout simplement..
    Bravo Ghislaine.
    Tchimbé ça!
    Nad from Creole it’s us!

    • Ghislaine Gazon

      Awww thanks. Means I did something right if the message of my fabrics is heard!! I’ll carry on. And thanks again for the platform

  2. Duncan

    Great article Gee!
    So interesting to hear about your fabric journey on this project!

    • Ghislaine Gazon

      And thank you for your help! Remember my stress at the end of one shopping session!?

  3. Clare Dowling

    Ghislaine you have such a talent for selecting the perfect fabrics for your creations! I think a trip to an Ankara fabric shop with you would be amazing! I wanted to ask, do you usually find the fabric first and then look for the appropriate design, like you did with the Grey Pearl Silk dress?

    • Ghislaine Gazon

      Hi Clare. Thanks for your question.The fabric finds me first and then I find the garment for it. It’s a wider creative perspective but the garment then makes more sense to me and both components have their say and are brought forward. It is also a very sentimental creative way of working and a praise to the textile



  1. Catching up with Ghislaine Gazon from the Great British Sewing Bee Season 4! - Thread Head Fabrics - […] Read about her oh-so-perfect fabric choices for the fashion show garments here. […]

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