Byron Lars: Vogue Patterns

January 19, 2016 § 4 Comments

1990s Byron Lars editorial photographed for Vibe by Ruven Afanador

Vibe magazine, September 1993. Model: Lois Samuels. Photo: Ruven Afanador. Image via Google Books.

Today is Byron Lars’ birthday. In lieu of cake, here’s a look at his work with Vogue Patterns.

A Byron Lars look on the cover of Women's Wear Daily, 1991

Women’s Wear Daily, April 1991. Image via Byron Lars on Instagram.

Born in California, Byron Lars (b. 1965) studied at the Brooks Fashion Institute and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology before dropping out to pursue freelance work; he was already an award-winning fashion illustrator when he launched his own label in 1991. His playful yet beautifully cut designs were an instant success—twists on American sportswear shown with cheeky accessories like duck-decoy purses. In a 1993 interview, Lars cites Patrick Kelly and Jean Paul Gaultier as inspirations for his approach. (See Greg Tate, “Byron Large.”)

Byron Lars illustrations in LOfficiel, August 1991

Byron Lars illustrations in L’Officiel, August 1991. Image via jalougallery.com.

VogueSept1992_176

Two Byron Lars runway looks in Vogue, September 1992.

In the mid-1990s, Vogue Patterns licensed a number of Byron Lars designs in the Vogue Attitudes line. Lars was introduced to readers in the July/August 1994 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine:

Introducing Byron Lars - Louise Vyent on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine, summer 1994.

Louise Vyent wears Byron Lars on the cover of Vogue Patterns, July/August 1994. Photo: Torkil Gudnason. Image via Amazon.

The first two patterns, Vogue 1419 and 1420, were modelled by Louise Vyent and photographed by Torkil Gudnason (click to enlarge):

Vogue Patterns JulAug 1994 Lars

“Introducing Byron Lars: Shape and Spirit,” Vogue Patterns, July/August 1994. Model: Louise Vyent. Photos: Torkil Gudnason.

Vogue 1419 is a pattern for a skirt, high-waisted pants, and a jacket with exposed zippers and Lars’ signature, waist-defining tie-front:

1990s Byron Lars jacket, skirt, and pants pattern - Vogue 1419

Vogue 1419 by Byron Lars (1994) Image via eBay.

Vogue 1420 presents three versions of Lars’ take on the traditional men’s shirt:

1990s Byron Lars shirts pattern - Vogue 1420

Vogue 1420 by Byron Lars (1994) Image via Etsy.

Here the twist becomes an asymmetrical, pleated drape on a tailored dress:

1990s Byron Lars dress pattern - Vogue 1506

Vogue 1506 by Byron Lars (1994) Image via eBay.

From 1995, Vogue 1529 includes leggings and a flared shirtdress with bustline tie detail. The silhouette is similar to that seen in the Ruven Afanador photo that opens this post:

1990s Byron Lars striped shirtdress pattern - Vogue 1529

Vogue 1529 by Byron Lars (1995) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 1620 provides three more variations on the Byron Lars shirt:

1990s Byron Lars shirts pattern - Vogue 1620

Vogue 1620 by Byron Lars (1995) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Vogue 1621 includes two tie-front shirtdresses and a top for lightweight, dressier fabrics, as well as high-waisted pants:

1990s Byron Lars dress, top, and pants pattern - Vogue 1621

Vogue 1621 by Byron Lars (1995) Image via Etsy.

In Vogue 1653, Lars pairs tapered pants with a fitted jacket with built-up neckline, exposed zippers, and dramatic back drape:

1990s Byron Lars jacket and pants pattern - Vogue 1653

Vogue 1653 by Byron Lars (1995) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 1701’s fitted dress for stretch knits was photographed at the Strand’s Central Park kiosk. The pattern includes the contrast belt, which is angled to pass through the skirt’s front drape:

1990s Byron Lars dress pattern - Vogue 1701

Vogue 1701 by Byron Lars (1995) Image via Etsy.

The jacket of this skirt suit has a surprise contrast back in synthetic suede or leather:

1990s Byron Lars skirt suit pattern - Vogue 1843

Vogue 1843 by Byron Lars (1996) Image via eBay.

You may have seen Erica Bunker’s version of Vogue 1846. This shirt can be made as a wrap-front with optional contrast cuffs and collar, or with a contrast dirndl bodice:

1990s Byron Lars shirt pattern - Vogue 1846

Vogue 1846 by Byron Lars (1996) Image via Etsy.

Finally, two more fashion photos: the closing shot from Ruven Afanador’s Byron Lars portfolio in the premiere issue of Vibe magazine, and a runway image from Lars’ Fall 1994 collection.

By request of Clare Nightingale.

Byron Lars in Fernando Sanchez, with Kumi in Byron Lars, Vibe magazine, September 1993. Photo: Ruven Afanador. Image via Google Books.

Another Guy Laroche Pattern by Alber Elbaz?

November 4, 2015 § 6 Comments

Detail of Vogue 2368 by Guy Laroche, possibly by Alber Elbaz

Last week the fashion world was shocked by the news that Alber Elbaz had been dismissed as creative director of Lanvin. (See British Vogue or Bridget Foley for WWD.)

Before his positions at Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Alber Elbaz designed four seasons for Guy Laroche. (Fall 1997 to Spring 1999; see my earlier post here.) The recent news got me thinking about a Guy Laroche pattern that could also be by Elbaz.

Vogue 2368 is so rare that I didn’t see it in time for my first post. It’s a simple, formal design: a sleeveless dress with a big flower at the tucked, asymmetrical neckline:

1990s Guy Laroche cocktail or evening dress pattern by Alber Elbaz? - Vogue 2368

Vogue 2368 by Guy Laroche (1999) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Technical drawing for Vogue 2368 by Guy Laroche

Technical drawing for Vogue 2368

Here’s the envelope description: Semi-fitted, straight, lined, sleeveless dress, below mid-knee or evening length, has neckline tucks, side zipper and back hemline slit. Purchased flower. Recommended fabrics are silk-like crepe, lightweight wool crepe, and satin-backed crepe.

Vogue 2368 was released in late 1999—earlier than Vogue 2497, a design from Elbaz’ Spring 1999 farewell collection for Laroche. It doesn’t match any of the runway looks from Elbaz’ four Laroche collections, but the palette, neckline detail, and especially the flower (an Elbaz signature at Laroche and Lanvin) seem persuasive. What do you think?

15 Oct 1998 --- GUY LAROCHE: SPRING-SUMMER 1999 PRET A PORTER COLLECTION --- Image by © Thierry Orban/Sygma/Corbis

Guy Laroche SS 1999 © Thierry Orban/Sygma/Corbis.

Men's Lanvin flower pin in red wool felt

Lanvin flower pin. Image via LuisaViaRoma.

Men's Lanvin flower pin in fabric and leather

Lanvin flower pin. Image via Mr Porter.

Star Wars Costume Patterns

October 9, 2015 § 7 Comments

Trisha Biggar's Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars

Trisha Biggar, Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars (Abrams, 2005) Image via Abrams.

Anticipation is high for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which opens in December. For fans of costume design, it helps that Michael Kaplan, who began his career with Bob Mackie and Blade Runner (1982), is designing the costumes for the new film. (Read Vanity Fair’s post here.) Here’s a look at Star Wars costume patterns.

Audrey Marnay in a costume from "Star Wars Couture," photographed by Irving Penn, 1999

“Star Wars Couture,” Vogue, April 1999. Model: Audrey Marnay. Photo: Irving Penn. Fashion editor: Phyllis Posnick. Image via the Fashion Spot.

Star Wars’ costumes must be among the most discussed in cinema. In 2005, LA’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) organized the exhibit Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars, accompanied by a book by Trisha Biggar, the costume designer for the prequel trilogy (Abrams, 2005; still in print). Last year saw the publication of Brandon Alinger’s Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy (Chronicle Books, 2014). And a new travelling exhibit, Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume, will open in New York next month.

John Mollo's final sketch for the costume of Obi-Wan Kenobi, 1976

John Mollo’s final sketch for the costume of Obi-Wan Kenobi, 1976. Image: Alinger/Chronicle Books.

John Mollo's design for the samurai warrior concept of Darth Vader, 1976

John Mollo’s design for the samurai warrior concept of Darth Vader, 1976. Image: Alinger/Chronicle Books.

John Mollo’s costumes for Star Wars, which won an Academy Award in 1978, have immortalized a certain strand of ’70s style. Compare Princess Leia’s iconic hooded dress with a 1976 Dior evening gown available as a Vogue pattern; both were made in white silk crepe de chine:

Karen Bjornson in Vogue 1553 by Dior, photographed by Chris von Wangenheim; Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

Left: Karen Bjornson in Vogue 1553 by Dior, Vogue Patterns, November/December 1976. Photo: Chris von Wangenheim. Right: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Image via PatternVault on Twitter.

(I’ve made the Dior in red; photos coming soon.)

The year after The Empire Strikes Back (1980), McCall’s began releasing children’s costume patterns licensed with Lucasfilm.

McCall’s 7772 includes costumes for five characters from the first two films: Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Yoda, Jawa, and Lord Darth Vader. The Vader view calls for one single serving cereal box. I have several sizes available in the shop:

Vintage 1980s licensed Star Wars pattern - McCall's 7772

McCall’s 7772 (1981) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

After Return of the Jedi (1983), McCall’s released a children’s pattern for Ewok costumes. And not just any Ewok: the envelope back names “Wicket the Ewok”:

1980s children's Ewok costume pattern - McCalls 8731

McCall’s 8731 (1983) Image via Etsy.

In the 1990s, Butterick took over the Lucasfilm licensing. Butterick 5174 and 5175, official Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker costumes for adults and children, included an order form for the wig and light sabre:

1990s Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker pattern - Butterick 5174

Butterick 5174 (1997) Image via Etsy.

1990s children's Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia pattern - Butterick 5175

Butterick 5175 (1997) Image via Etsy.

Butterick also released two official Darth Vader costume patterns for children and adults. Butterick 5176 and 5186 included instructions for breastplate appliqués made from coloured, foam sheet remnants, and an order form for the helmet and light sabre:

1990s boy's Darth Vader costume pattern - Butterick 5176

Butterick 5176 (1997) Image via Etsy.

1990s men's Darth Vader costume pattern - Butterick 5186

Butterick 5186 (1997) Image via Etsy.

There were only unofficial costume patterns based on the prequel trilogy. The year of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), McCall’s released McCall’s 2433, a “Space Nomads” pattern for adults and children with a version of Sith warrior Darth Maul:

McCall's 1990s Space Nomads pattern, McCall's 2433

McCall’s 2433 (1999) Image via Etsy.

Based on costumes from Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), Simplicity 4433 includes Padmé Amidala’s combat suit, which doubles as an Aayla Secura costume (but two-sleeved and without the headpiece):

Andrea Schewe women's Star Wars combat pattern - Simplicity 4433

Simplicity 4433 by Andrea Schewe (2005) Image via Etsy.

Although Padmé’s Peacock dress was cut from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), it was widely seen in promotional materials for the film:

Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in the Peacock dress

Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in the Peacock dress. Image via Pinterest.

Andrea Schewe produced two versions of the Peacock dress and headddress for children and adults, Simplicity 4426 and Simplicity 4443. The adults’ pattern includes both Padmé and Princess Leia, while the children’s has Leia, Padmé, and young Anakin and Obi-Wan:

Padmé, Leia, Anakin, and Jedi costume pattern - Simplicity 4426

Simplicity 4426 by Andrea Schewe (2005) Image via Etsy.

Women's Padmé and Leia costume pattern - Simplicity 4443

Simplicity 4443 by Andrea Schewe (2005) Image via Etsy.

Men’s costume pattern Simplicity 4450/059 includes Anakin and Obi-Wan Jedi costumes, together with an unidentifiable warlock:

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi tunic and cloak pattern - Simplicity 4450/0579

Simplicity 4450/0579 by Andrea Schewe (2005) Image via Etsy.

Based on Padmé Amidala’s nightgown in Revenge of the Sith, McCall’s 4995 is a dress with boned bodice, separate drape, chain or bead trim, and tassels made with three sizes of beads:

Padmé nightgown pattern - McCall's 4995

McCall’s 4995 (2005) Image via eBay.

Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, perhaps there will be more licensed Star Wars patterns…

Update: Irving Penn’s 1999 editorial was not the first Star Wars-themed shoot in Vogue magazine: see Ishimuro’s “The ‘Force’ of Fur” in Vogue, November 1977. (Thanks to Devorah Macdonald for the reference.) Vogue recently posted some outtakes and reminiscences.

300073_orig

Simplicity 8074 (2016) Image via Andrea Schewe.

Update 2: Simplicity 8074, a Game of Thrones / Star Wars costume pattern (Sand Snakes / Rey) adapted by Andrea Schewe, suggests that Disney hasn’t licensed costumes from The Force Awakens (yet).

Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair, 2015

Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma in Vanity Fair, June 2015. Photo: Annie Leibovitz. Image via Vanity Fair.

Patterns in Vogue: It’s a Long Story…

August 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

...

Detail, Vogue, November 1996. Photo: Mario Testino. Editor: Paul Cavaco.

“It’s a Long Story…” is a 1996 editorial by Mario Testino featuring Nadja Auermann, Kylie Bax, and Chandra North in the season’s long, lean silhouettes. Two photos in the editorial show a Vogue dress pattern.

The first is a detail shot showcasing the Chanel cosmetics and Judith Leiber minaudière. Auermann’s white, viscose jersey dress is Ralph Lauren Collection, while Bax’s “black reversible-to-blue column dress” was made from a Vogue pattern:

"Fashion goes to great lengths to toe the long, thin line. For evening dressing or urbane outerwear, the lean look continues to rule." Mario Testino for Vogue, November 1996.

Vogue, November 1996. Photo: Mario Testino. Editor: Paul Cavaco.

The second photo shows the minimalist dresses in full length. The caption reads, “Although they lean to the glamorous, this season’s matte-jersey dresses are essentially spare, understated designs”:

VogueNov1996_V9469 Cuff: Janis Savitt for M+J Savitt. Sandals: Stuart Weitzman and Calvin Klein.

Right, Ralph Lauren Collection; left, Vogue 9469. Vogue, November 1996. Photo: Mario Testino. Editor: Paul Cavaco.

The pattern is view C of Vogue Easy Options pattern Vogue 9469, as always “edited by Vogue.” The edits seem to consist of lengthening the dress to below ankle length, making it reversible, and removing the back slit for a hobble silhouette. (Jersey from New York’s B&J Fabrics.)

Lida Baday: McCall’s Patterns

July 1, 2015 § 5 Comments

Turtleneck by Lida Baday, Fashion, August/September 1996. Model: Kim Renneberg. Photo: George Whiteside. Image via Fashion magazine.

In celebration of Canada Day, this post is devoted to Canadian fashion designer Lida Baday.

Lida Baday (b. 1957) was born to a dressmaker mother in Hamilton, Ontario. A graduate of Ryerson’s fashion design program, she worked for different companies in Toronto’s garment district before founding her own label in 1987. (Read bios here and here; see tear sheets here.) Baday soon won international success with her sophisticated, minimalist designs in luxurious fabrics such as wool jersey. Although her company closed its doors last year, The Fabric Room, which sells its surplus textiles, is still open to the public.

LidaBadayFW11_5

Lida Baday Fall 2011 ad campaign. Model: Kirsten Owen. Image via Melatan Riden.

In the 1990s, Lida Baday designs were available through McCall’s patterns, beginning with two patterns in the November 1992 catalogue. McCall’s 6255 and 6257 are patterns for a skirt suit and separates including a flared, hooded coat:

1990s Lida Baday skirt suit pattern - McCalls 6255

McCalls 6255 by Lida Baday (1992) Image via eBay.

1990s Lida Baday coat, jacket, skirt and pants pattern - McCall's 6257

McCall’s 6257 by Lida Baday (1992) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

McCall’s 6855 is a pattern for a bolero and sleeveless sheath dress in two lengths. The longer version has a high slit with underlay:

1990s Lida Baday dress and bolero pattern - McCall's 6855

McCall’s 6855 by Lida Baday (1993) Image via Etsy.

McCall’s 8256 includes a long, double-breasted jacket, a short, cap-sleeved top, and wide-legged pants:

1990s Lida Baday pantsuit and top pattern - McCall's 8256

McCall’s 8256 by Lida Baday (1996) Image via Etsy.

This 1997 design for an oversized shirt, pants, and cropped leggings for stretch knits could be new today:

1990s Lida Baday pattern shirt, pants, and leggings pattern - McCall's 8740

McCall’s 8740 by Lida Baday (1997) Image via Etsy.

McCall’s 8823 is ’90s-minimalist perfection with its fitted tunic with narrow straps, slim pants, and low-backed, sleeveless dress with mock back wrap:

1990s Lida Baday dress, top, and pants pattern - McCall's 8823

McCall’s 8823 by Lida Baday (1997) Image via Etsy.

McCall’s 9371 includes a sleek halter top for stretch knits and a short, wrap skort:

1990s Lida Baday top, skort, jacket, and pants pattern - McCalls 9371

McCalls 9371 by Lida Baday (1998) Image via Etsy.

The long, stretch-knit dresses in McCall’s 9379 are both ’90s and classic:

1990s Lida Baday dress pattern - McCall's 9379

McCall’s 9379 by Lida Baday (1998) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Just for fun, here are some more Fashion magazine covers featuring designs by Lida Baday:

Lida Baday dress; John Fluevog boots. Fashion, September 1995. Model: Jenny Mac. Photo: George Whiteside. Image via Fashion magazine.

Jessica Paré wears a Lida Baday coat, Fashion, November 2004. Photo: Gabor Jurina. Image via Fashion magazine.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Patricia Underwood: Vogue Patterns

June 16, 2015 § 5 Comments

Reese Witherspoon by Tim Walker. Hat by Patricia Underwood, W February 2015

Reese Witherspoon wears a hat by Patricia Underwood, W magazine, February 2015. Photo: Tim Walker. Image via the Fashion Spot.

In celebration of Royal Ascot, which begins today, this post is devoted to millinery designer Patricia Underwood.

Patricia Underwood (b. 1947) was born near Ascot in Maidenhead, England. After moving to New York City in the late 1960s, she took a millinery course at FIT on a whim; by 1976 she had founded her own company. Underwood is known for minimalist, updated versions of traditional hat styles.

Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As well as designing for her own label, Underwood has designed hats for major American designers such as Bill Blass, Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. The milliner has also designed for film and theatre. Her career is the subject of a new book, Patricia Underwood: The Way You Wear Your Hat (Rizzoli, 2015).

Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) in a Patricia Underwood hat, with Charles (Hugh Grant) in Four Weddings and a Funeral

Kristin Scott Thomas wears a Patricia Underwood hat in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Image via 50 Anos de Filmes.

Jeffrey Banks and Doria de la Chapelle, Patricia Underwood: The Way You Wear Your Hat (2015) Image via Rizzoli.

Patricia Underwood has had a licensing agreement with Vogue Patterns since the mid-1990s. The earliest Patricia Underwood pattern I’ve seen is Vogue 9082, a pattern for five lined hats and two ascots. View A has a contrast under-brim in faux fur:

1990s Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 9082

Vogue 9082 by Patricia Underwood (1994) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 9207 includes five hats and a shawl. Views A and B have Underwood’s signature broad brim, while view E is a turban for stretch knits:

1990s Patricia Underwood pattern - Vogue 9207

Vogue 9207 by Patricia Underwood (1995) Image via Etsy.

Bridal millinery pattern Vogue 7242 has a variety of headpiece and veil combinations, as well as a headband, hair ornament, and floral wreath:

Patricia Underwood bridal headpiece and veils pattern - Vogue 7242

Vogue 7242 by Patricia Underwood (2000) Image via Betsy Vintage.

Patiricia Underwood bridal pattern - crown and hair ornament, Vogue 7242

Vogue 7242 by Patricia Underwood (2000) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 8844 includes four day styles of hat; View A may be worn like a trilby, with upturned back brim. The recommended fabrics are nylon, ripstop, velvet/velveteen, tweed, wool/wool blends and synthetic suede:

Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 8844

Vogue 8844 by Patricia Underwood (2012) Image via Etsy.

Recent pattern Vogue 8891 includes five more formal styles, all lined in tulle: a cloche, wide and smaller brim hats, and a fascinator (view C) like a miniature pork pie hat. This pattern is still in print:

Patricia Underwood hat pattern - Vogue 8891

Vogue 8891 by Patricia Underwood (2013) Image via Etsy.

For more on millinery patterns, see my previous Ascot posts on Frederick Fox and Stephen Jones.

Alexander McQueen Fabric, Part 2: Tartan

May 15, 2015 § 1 Comment

McQueen tartan dresses from Widows of Culloden (FW 2006)

Dresses in the McQueen tartan from Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2006-7 collection (Widows of Culloden). Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art (via Everything Just So).

If Alexander McQueen’s innovative prints reveal his interest in technology, the designer’s work with tartan shows his engagement with history. Continuing our celebration of Savage Beauty at the V&A, this post looks at McQueen’s use of tartan. (See Part 1: Prints, or my roundup post here.)

The MacQueen clan tartan appears extensively in the designer’s breakthrough collection, Highland Rape (Fall 1995). The collection—which used Lochcarron tartan and lace found in Brick Lane—was a highly personal response to the violence of the Highland Clearances and fashion’s appropriation of Scottish culture (watch Tim Blanks’ show video here):

McQueen wool tartan jacket and skirt from the collection of Isabella Blow - Alexander McQueen FW 1995

Jacket of McQueen wool tartan with green wool felt sleeves; skirt of McQueen wool tartan; both from the collection of Isabella Blow. Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1995-96 (Highland Rape). Photo: Sølve Sundsbø. Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Highland Rape runway photos - Alexander McQueen FW 1995

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1995-96 (Highland Rape). Images via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen also used his family tartan at the house of Givenchy. In his second couture collection, Eclect Dissect (Givenchy haute couture Fall 1997), which was built on the idea of a mad scientist, the McQueen tartan was cut on the bias for tailored pieces overlaid with black lace:

Two tartan looks from Eclect Dissect - Givenchy couture FW 1997

Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Fall/Winter 1997-98 haute couture (Eclect Dissect)

The McQueen tartan reappears the following year in Joan (Fall 1998). Named for Joan of Arc, with an opening soundtrack of burning wood and runway covered in cinders, the collection thematized martyrdom, with the McQueen tartan referencing the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (see Constance C.R. White, Review/Fashion, and Kate Bethune’s note; full collection at firstVIEW):

Joan - Alexander McQueen FW1998

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1998-99 (Joan)

Joan - Alexander McQueen FW 1998

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1998-99 (Joan)

McQueen also worked with other tartans. The check pattern might be manipulated to appear blurred or bleeding, or it could be overlaid or embellished as in Eclect Dissect. In The Overlook (Fall 1999)—named for the haunted, snowbound lodge built on a Native American burial ground in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)—a long, grey tailcoat was lined with tartan to match loose trousers, and an overlaid tartan jacket was paired with a balloon skirt in a large blanket check with tartan accents (full collection at firstVIEW):

Sunniva Stordahl and Hannelore Knuts in grey checks and tartan in Alexander McQueen FW 1999 (The Overlook)

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1999-2000 (The Overlook). Models: Sunniva Stordahl and Hannelore Knuts.

McQueen’s 1960s-inspired collection, The Man Who Knew Too Much (Fall 2005), included bias-cut separates in a wool ombré check, together with a black, white, and pink check party dress covered in beaded fringe:

Raquel Zimmermann and Carmen Kass in tartan looks from The Man Who Knew Too Much - McQueen FW 2005

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2005-6 (The Man Who Knew Too Much). Models: Raquel Zimmermann and Carmen Kass. Images via style.com.

The Girl Who Lived in the Tree (Fall 2008), a fanciful narrative of the British Empire, had several bias-cut pieces in a black, white, and red tartan, and two coats in a grey mohair tartan for a bleeding effect:

Alexander McQueen FW 2008

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2008-9 (The Girl Who Lived in the Tree). Models: Sara Blomqvist and Alanna Zimmer. Images via style.com.

There were several pieces in the McQueen tartan in Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2006 menswear collection, which was inspired by vampire movies Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and Interview With the Vampire (1994). Vogue editor Hamish Bowles wore the appliquéd kimono-and-pants ensemble to the Costume Institute gala in 2011 (see the collection and read Tim Blanks’ review on style.com; video at AlexanderMcQueen.com):

McQueen menswear FW2006 tartan

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2006-7 menswear. Images via style.com.

The same season, McQueen returned to Scottish history with Widows of Culloden (Fall 2006), a romantic collection commemorating the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The show invitation had the title in Gaelic: Bantraich de cuil lodair (see Kate Bethune on Widows of Culloden). As in the Givenchy couture, the McQueen tartan was cut on the bias, embroidered, and trimmed with lace and tulle (click to enlarge):

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

For more see Jonathan Faiers, McQueen and Tartan, and Ghislaine Wood’s essay, “Clan MacQueen,” in the V&A catalogue.

Like other traditional tartans, the McQueen tartan can be ordered from Scottish textile mills in different weights and fibre contents. (It’s often listed as ‘MacQueen.’) Alexander McQueen used tartan from Lochcarron, a mill established in the mid-nineteenth century in the Scottish highlands.

McQueen / MacQueen tartan swatch

MacQueen Modern tartan swatch from the Scottish Tartans Authority.

As a memorial to the late designer, Scotweb owner Nick Fiddes designed a mourning version of the MacQueen clan tartan.

What would you make in the McQueen tartan?

Sourcing Tartan Fabric

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