If there's one item that's both universally flattering and completely timeless, it's a bias cut satin skirt. Offering endless styling options, and an easy to wear silhouette, the satin bias has been a firm favourite with designers, stylists and fashion bloggers for years. So, naturally, we had to make one (or five) for ourselves.
So, What is a Bias Skirt?
For the uninitiated, a satin bias skirt is a skirt created by cutting the pattern diagonally across the fabric, rather than straight along the weave of it. The result is a skirt which curves and flows with the body, rather than hanging straight down to create an effortless and flattering fit. Madeleine Vionnet, known as Queen of the Bias, famously said "A skirt must not be hung on the body but follow its lines. When a woman smiles, the dress must smile with her." - which is exactly what a bias skirt does (I mean, not exactly, but you catch our drift).
She may not have been the first to cut fabric on the bias, but Vionnet is definitely one of the champions of the style, and was one of the first to use it to make entire garments. These body skimming, über flattering styles were first popularised in the 1930s and have never truly left the fashion world since.
How Do We Make Them?
Bias skirts typically get a bad reputation for creating a lot of waste as they're cut diagonally across the fabric. We've always been keen to feature a beautiful bias skirt as part of our range, so we were very eager to make sure we could create them in the most sustainable way possible. Everything we sell is hand-made to order right here in the North East so we can keep an eye on exactly how much waste is produced. We also make sure that every single piece of off cut from the fabric is reused to make all new items. No waste, no problem.
When it comes to choosing our fabrics, we always go by what deadstock fabric we can find, which means each of our skirts are super limited edition and unique. Currently, we've managed to get our hands on some amazing fabrics to make the Faith skirts in baby pink, black, purple, a beautiful crinkled peach-y gold, and - our favourite of all - a neon lime green, which changes depending on the lighting.
We're obviously a huge fan of colour here at Studio Courtenay, and the beauty of a bias skirt is that it's a classic and easy to wear silhouette, which means you can go bold with your colour choices and still keep it versatile and wearable. Plus, the satin is such a lightweight, floaty fabric that you manage to avoid weighing down the outfit, so you can be far more experimental as a result - the perfect way to try out a new colour.
How Can I Wear One?
Most people stay away from a bias skirt because you think they'll be unflattering on their body type, so we're here to alleviate those worries. For plus sizes, a satin bias skims straight across your figure and avoids clinging, so you get to accentuate your shape without any distracting creasing. It also flares slightly at the bottom, creating shape without adding unnecessary necessary volume at the bottom of your figure like an a-line skirt would. For more petite frames, the diagonal cut and the way the light reflects the satin makes you look longer and elongates your frame to help create balance.
We can't stress enough how versatile these skirts are. If you've always wondered how to style a satin bias skirt or dress, you can wear them with cropped sweatshirts to play with volume and create shape on top, or layer a longline shirt or jumper over them to create a more relaxed look. They can be worn in Summer with a simple vest or lightweight shirt and sandals, or in the colder months with chunky boots, a high neck jumper and tights.
We love playing with different colours, and the fact we have so many to choose from means you can pick something that you can mix and match with your existing wardrobe to create a vast array of new outfits. If you're looking for some more colour blocking inspo, you can watch our quick styling video here, but if in doubt, choose a colour at the opposite side of the colour wheel to really make a statement.