Alexander McQueen for Givenchy: Vogue Patterns, Part 3

July 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

This week, the final instalment of my three-part series on Vogue Patterns’ Alexander McQueen designs for the house of Givenchy. (See Part 1 here; see Part 2 here.) Our last four designs were drawn from two Givenchy collections presented in 1999: the Fall 1999 and Spring 2000 ready-to-wear.

6. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1999–2000 (shown March 1999)

As its android-meets-cybergoth runway styling made abundantly clear, the Givenchy Fall 1999 ready-to-wear collection took its theme from the new millennium. The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn reported that “Alexander McQueen … staged his Givenchy show Wednesday with models in Martian pancake and frizzled wigs walking robotlike down a mirrored runway beaming with airport lights. The collection vividly showcased Mr. McQueen’s laser-sharp tailoring—lunar-white trouser suits with crosses etched out in gray fur, slick coats with the couture equivalent of clear plastic upholstery covers, silvery leathers and a molded red top that would enhance any alien bosom” (Cathy Horyn, “Down to Earth in Paris”).

Vogue Patterns nonetheless chose two designs from the Fall 1999–2000 ready-to-wear collection. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the company opted to produce its own promotional photos, which has the effect of highlighting the tailoring—the emerging theme of this series of Vogue patterns. The first, Vogue 2467 (1999), is a double-breasted pantsuit with concealed front closure:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2467

Vogue 2467 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (1999) Buttonless double-breasted pantsuit.

Technical drawing for Vogue 2467

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Jacket & Pants: Close-fitting, fully interfaced, lined, double-breasted, below-hip jacket has collar, seam detail around collar, shoulder pads, front extending to side back and into flaps, no side seams, concealed welt pockets, back vent and long, two-piece sleeves with mock vent. Semi-fitted, lined, wide-legged pants have waistband, yokes and mock-fly zipper. Featured in the September/October 2000 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine. (Vogue 2467 was sold in single sizes, rather than the usual size range.)

This Corbis photo shows the runway version of Vogue 2467:

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1999-2000, Corbis image © Baril/Roncen

Here are L’Officiel‘s collection images:

L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1999 no. 5 via jalougallery.com

L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1999 no. 5 via jalougallery.com

The second pattern, Vogue 2478 (2000), is a pantsuit with inverted lapels and seaming detail on the jacket front:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2478

Vogue 2478 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (2000) Pantsuit with inverted lapels.

Technical drawing for Vogue 2478

The envelope description reads: Misses’ Jacket & Pants: Semi-fitted, fully interfaced, lined, below-hip or below-mid-knee jacket has upper collar and side-front cut in-one, shoulder pads, side-front pockets, side-back seams, front zipper and longer than regular length, two-piece sleeves with mock vent. B: side slits. Wide-legged, floor-length, lined pants have front button waistband, welt pockets and mock-fly zipper.

Here’s the Corbis runway photo of the Vogue 2478 design:

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1999-2000, Corbis image © Baril/Roncen.

Just for fun, here are two editorial images of Givenchy’s Fall 1999 ready-to-wear from W magazine that show the collection’s different potential emphases. The first shoot follows Claudia Schiffer in Cannes, while the second re-imagines Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” starring Guinevere Van Seenus (slightly cropped by my scanner):

Givenchy’s polyester, elastin and Lurex metallic suit, by Alexander McQueen. W magazine, September 1999. Photo: Juergen Teller. Stylist: Michel Botbol.

(Vogue took a similar tack in its September 1999 issue in this editorial photo by Mario Testino.)

Givenchy’s stretch silk georgette catsuit, by Alexander McQueen. W magazine, January 2000. Photo: Michael Thompson. Stylist: Joe Zee.

Parallel Alexander McQueen collection: The Overlook (FW 1999–2000)

7. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2000 (shown October 1999)

For this “sporty” collection, the Carrousel du Louvre was transformed into a high school gymnasium, with the models posing on a tiered podium. The Spring collection is viewable on style.com.

Vogue Patterns’ first selection from this collection, Vogue 2486 (2001), is a pantsuit with a ‘tail’ extending into draped panels. View A includes capri pants:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2486

Vogue 2486 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (2001) Pantsuit with extended ‘tails.’

Technical drawing for Vogue 2486

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Jacket & Pants: Semi-fitted, lined jacket, mid-calf (center back) has collar, shoulder pads, side panels, no side seams, pockets, self-lined lower back and long, two-piece sleeves. Below waist, tapered or straight-legged pants have shaped waistband and fly zipper. A: lower calf, side back seams with pleat/zipper. B: side front pockets. Purchased top. Featured in the November/December 2000 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine.

Runway photos of the Spring/Summer 2000 collection show the variations on Vogue 2486’s updated tailcoat. As you can see, the purple version on Angela Lindvall is sleeveless and has a longer tail, while the sleeveless, leather version on Gisele Bündchen has a narrower tail. The purple suit also shows the collection’s athletic wear-inspired pant cuffs, which are omitted from the long pants in Vogue 2486.

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2000 via style.com

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2000 via style.com

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2000 via style.com

Here are L’Officiel’s collection images:

L'Officiel 1000 modèles 1999 no. 8 via jalougallery.com

L'Officiel 1000 modèles 1999 no. 8 via jalougallery.com

Vogue Patterns’ second selection, Vogue 2653 (2002), is the last in our series—a sleek suit with decorative hand stitching:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2653

Vogue 2653 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (2002) Skirt suit/pantsuit with decorative hand stitching.

Technical drawing for Vogue 2653

The envelope description reads: Misses’ Jacket, Skirt & Pants: Semi-fitted, partially interfaced, lined, above-hip jacket has collar/loop, shoulder pads, seam detail, front concealed zipper and long, two-piece sleeves. Semi-fitted, straight, lined skirt, above mid-knee, has shaped yokes, right back seam/slit, left back pocket and side zipper. Semi-fitted, slightly tapered pants have contour waistband, seam detail, back slit and fly zipper closing. All have decorative hand stitching. Featured in the April/May 2002 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine (Shop Vogue).

Here’s the pantsuit version; the jacket is quite different from the one in Vogue 2653:

Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 2000 via style.com

The decorative stitching seen in Vogue 2653 was also showcased in the Givenchy Spring advertising campaign featuring Karen Elson:

Givenchy Spring 2000. Photo: David Sims.

Parallel Alexander McQueen collection: Eye (SS 2000)

As far as I know, Vogue 2653 was the last Givenchy pattern released by Vogue Patterns. For whatever reason, the two companies’ licensing agreement seems to have ended with the Spring 2000 ready-to-wear. Luckily the agreement lasted a few years into Alexander McQueen’s tenure at the house, giving us this collection of sewing patterns from a period that was influential in McQueen’s development as a designer. As he later recalled:

“Working in the atelier [at Givenchy] was fundamental to my career …. Because I was a tailor, I didn’t totally understand softness, or lightness. I learned lightness at Givenchy. I was a tailor at Savile Row. At Givenchy I learned to soften. For me, it was an education. As a designer I could have left it behind. But working at Givenchy helped me learn my craft.”

—from Purple Fashion, Summer 2007, quoted in Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

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§ 3 Responses to Alexander McQueen for Givenchy: Vogue Patterns, Part 3

  • Amazing! So many questions answered regarding those patterns. I have all but two of them.
    I have also wondered about the licensing agreements between Vogue Patterns and the designers that used to license their designs. It would be interesting to know when the contract with Givenchy that ended in 2000 (?) was begun/renewed and how far back the contract went, and whether it was renewed every 10 years or so, or was a longer or shorter time span.
    It seems that many of the designer names licensed to Vogue Patterns dropped out of the catalogue throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. I always thought that it must have been the designers/houses that opted out of renewing the contracts but perhaps it was Vogue Patterns that couldn’t justify paying for the design licenses in the face of waning pattern sales.
    However, it’s good to see that now there are newer designers having their designs made available to the sewing public through Vogue Patterns. I’m glad to see that the Donna Karan and Issey Miyake companies are still engaged, and (to me) Chado Ralph Rucci’s are the most exciting of the newer designer’s patterns, in particular, because of the innovative construction and high quality finishing techniques that seem to hark back to the golden age of haute couture.

    Anyhow, the time and energy that went into compiling the three posts on McQueen for Givenchy patterns is highly appreciated, so thankyou!

    • PatternVault says:

      Thanks, Dustin! You raise some interesting questions, some of which I’ve also wondered about myself..
      As far as I can tell, Vogue’s initial contract with Givenchy began with designs released in 1967—McCall’s released their last Givenchy patterns in 1966, and the earliest Vogue/Givenchy patterns I’ve seen came out the following year. It’s interesting how the contracts seem to end with a certain collection, but you’ll see patterns from that collection come out years later.
      I had also assumed the designers/houses ended the licensing relationship, but it would be even sadder if it were a budget issue. Another thing I’ve wondered about is the choice of designs. Did the pattern company have an entire collection to choose from, or would a house occasionally stipulate, say, no licensing of eveningwear?
      With any luck, the resurgence of home sewing will help bring back licensing with more major/influential designers and fashion houses. I’m crossing my fingers!

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