Skirtgirl Alison Willoughby

Alison Willoughby is known for her individual and hand constructed intricate skirts. They call her ‘skirtgirl’. She believes a skirt is more than just a garment – it is a work of art in it’s own right. Made without darts, they are flat, unaffected, timeless, classic and simple; they are the canvas on which she works, and she enjoys adding structure and interest to them with three-dimensional objects such as glass spheres, hat pins and lighting filters. She experiments with various techniques: moulding and illuminating, screen printing with paper stencils, foiling, mark making, embroidery, hand stitching, ruffling, tailor tacking, cording and cut work with scissors to create sliced, carved, shaved, chiselled and sculpted pieces.

Part of her process is to layer fabric samples, one on top the other, then cut shapes out of them. These are then sewn down the middle and opened out to create a three-dimensional object, which is, in turn, placed in situ on a mannequin, sketched, and eventually sewn into position on the finished skirt. No inspiration or technique is let unexplored. Alison likes to work and handle her fabric by ripping strips, gathering ruffles, corrugating squares, scoring lines and shaving circles. There may be a accidents with a drop of ink or printing pigment, but these are incorporated into the finished product. Her skirts have been worn as garments and displayed in glass cases on the wall. She would now like to venture into installations.

Alison refers to artists like Armand Fernandez, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jonathan Miller, Dorothy Bohm, Walker Evans, Sean Scully and Antoni Tapies as source of her inspiration. (I´m going to have to google these names..) Her work has been sold in The Pure Living Lounge at Selfridges, Labour of Love, Mint, Dialogue Between Art and Fashion, Johnny Moke, Yum Yum Jelly, Ysh in Tokyo and Coco Ribbons in Kuwait and Dubai.

I´m so inspired by her work!

Outi Les Pyy

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  1. Jaiks! How fantabulous! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Oh, I am so on it. Check out my copy This is the first of many to come. Her book absolutely envigorates me.

    Thanks for this excerpt.



  3. I am so on this project.; the first of many to come.

    Thank you for posting this excerpt.