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Q&A November, 19 2009

The Process: Universal Works

The second part of our series focuses on David Keyte’s Universal Works. Keyte has worked with the likes of Paul Smith, Maharishi and Albam before he decided to launch his own line in 2008. We quizzed him about his process and his answer is after the leap.

Often it starts with a vintage garment. A lot of the pieces are based on old work wear or outdoor clothing; from there a rough sketch of the style and a more technical version with the new details is produced. I work with a friend of mine in London who is a skilled pattern cutter and from my sketches we produce the first pattern for a proto type, some of the factories I work with have their own pattern cutters so we might work directly with them also.

The shape is of course vitally important, although a style might be based on an old garment I am not looking to make replicas I want to make garments for today and shapes need to be right for today, have a contemporary fit.

From this pattern and working with the factory trying to work with their skills and their knowledge, what they are good at. We produce a prototype, which we then test wear, After the proto is made I will normally visit the factory and amend anything directly with them again to perfect the fit and details before the garments are finally made.

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