top of page

Tuxedo jacket draping
Investigative Draping

Courses by level:    Basic draping     Intermediate draping     Advanced draping     Complete couture draping    


Investigative draping:   Balenciaga cocoon dress     Yve Saint Laurent Tuxedo jacket     Dior bar jacket    


Other draping courses:   Shawl collar garment     Wing pleat hourglass dress     Corset draping&design    


Courses by garment:   Skirts draping     Dresses  draping     Jackets draping     Collars draping

In 1966 Yves Saint Laurent couture collection featured a style that divided fashion critics: a black tailored tuxedo with a satin side stripe, worn with a white ruffled shirt. He called the look ‘Le Smoking’. This garment, which was meant to be worn in a smoking room to protect one’s clothing from the smell of cigars, was originally reserved only for men. Yves Saint Laurent used the same codes but adapted it to the female body.

In 1970s actress Bianca Jagger adopted the look, soon making it her signature style and wearing a white tuxedo blazer on her wedding day in 1971. Four years later, fashion photographer Helmut Newton shot the look down a dimly lit cobbled street in Paris on a model with slicked black hair and dramatic make-up. The mood of Le Smoking was captured, power dressing was personified and the image was published in Vogue.

Yves Saint Laurent’s ideas may have been against the grain as a couture proposition, but Marlene Dietrich takes credit for sporting the look some 30 years earlier. While YSL took the tailoring concept and draped and cut it to a women’s figure, Dietrich's wore men’s suits that she fit herself. The actress was one of those enigmatic figures of modern showbiz, she debuted the black-tie suit when she played a cabaret singer in the 1930 film Morocco, “I was deeply struck by a photograph of Marlene Dietrich wearing men’s clothes,” said Yves Saint Laurent “A tuxedo, a blazer or a naval officer’s uniform — a woman dressed as a man must be at the height of femininity to fight against a costume that isn’t hers.”

Le Smoking remained a key part of Saint Laurent’s collections until the close of the couture line in 2002. Each iteration was made from the same fabric but took on a slightly different guise in terms of cut and silhouette. The last item that the designer made in his Parisian atelier was an exact replica of the original.


In our course the students learn to approach tuxedo style jacket through application of draping method. Elena shows how original men’s cut was interpreted and adapted to women’s  jacket. You will follow draping steps, learn how to transfer the drape onto paper and create patterns. Two methods of draping tailored collar and two types of tailored collar will be demonstrated.  Drafting two-piece sleeve and creation of sleeve patterns will finalize the work of generating full set of patterns for tuxedo jacket.

The course is all-inclusive, Elena details  every step of jacket draping, pattern making, and sleeve construction. Additionally, she shares a valuable insights including pre-production couture ironing. 


6 months access to the video-lessons

More than 4 hour of lessons record

Tutor support and feedback



Lessons content:


Preparing the dress-form for jacket draping
Placing fabric
Draping the front
Fitting the front &marking
Draping the back
Shaping and marking the back
Draping and marking side panel
Completing the front &shaping the lapel
Various lapel shapes
Preparing drape for trueing
Trueing the front
Trueing the back
Trueing the side panel
Creating paper pattern front
Creating paper pattern, back
Creating paper pattern,side panel
Verifying paper patterns
Evaluating jacket prototype
Draping collar with peak lapel
Creating pattern for collar with peak lapel
Draping notched collar rounded shape
Creating pattern for notched collar rounded shape
Measurements for drafting the sleeve
Drafting sleeve base
Constructing two-pieces sleeve
Sleeve evaluation
Ironing shaping the cut

Peak collar tuxedo jacket
Set of patterns for tailored Tuxedo jacket | Investigative draping online course
bottom of page