March 17, 2013 § 9 Comments
Alexander McQueen would have been 44 today. On the occasion of his birthday, here’s a look back at the free pattern McQueen shared with SHOWstudio: the Scanners kimono jacket.
The original kimono jacket was made of black silk, and was shown on the runway with a matching pencil skirt and long gloves:
The kimono jacket is drawn from Scanners, Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2003 collection. (The invitation to the show was printed with brain scans—CAT scans of the designer’s brain.) This was the year McQueen received his CBE from Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the CFDA’s International Award and his fourth British Fashion Designer of the Year. The models walked across a snowy tundra and along a raised wind tunnel; the design references represented a journey eastward through Siberia, Tibet, and Japan, mixed with geometric prints and McQueen’s signature tailoring. (See Suzy Menkes, “The Collections / Paris: A stellar McQueen; elegance at Viktor & Rolf.”)
Here are the collection images from L’Officiel 1000 modèles (click to enlarge):
Watch the runway video (kimono jacket at about 6:10):
Kimono-inspired designs are a thread running through McQueen’s work. Here are a few more kimono looks by Alexander McQueen, from Eclect Dissect—Givenchy couture, Fall 1997 (as on the McQueen / Nick Knight album cover for Björk’s Homogenic); La Dame Bleue, in memory of Isabella Blow; and the posthumous Fall 2010 collection:
Size: US size 6 / UK size 8 approx. (bust 32″ – waist 24″) *
Fabric requirements: approx. 1.75 metres (about 2 yards) of 60″ fabric / over 3 metres (about 3.25 yards) of 39″ fabric *
See the SHOWstudio submissions gallery here. Toronto’s Mel of inside out inside has made an adapted version in Lida Baday fabric. Blithe of blithe stitches has a post on her metallic Hablon version and also a detailed tutorial.
* Sizes and yardages are approximate and are drawn from Mel and Blithe’s notes on their versions of the kimono jacket.
February 28, 2013 § 5 Comments
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in a Toronto sewing blog meetup, co-organized by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and Adrienne of All Style and All Substance. All together we were eighteen sewing enthusiasts—some with blogs, some without, and one who’d taken the train in from Montreal:
- Adrienne | All Style and All Substance
- Anastasia | @rubyfox28
- Andi | How Unseamly!
- Catja | Gjeometry
- Chloe | Button and Needle
- Dana | Wardrobe Dysfunction
- Debbie | Sew I think I can Sew
- Gillian | Crafting a Rainbow
- Jagoda | fitnottofit
- Kay | Gently Down The Seam
- Kristiann | Victory Patterns
- Kristin | K-Line
- Reethi | Weekend Crafting
- Sandra | Just Sew (?)
- Sarah | PatternVault
- Sera | Seraphinalina
- Vicki | Another Sewing Scientist
Who knew there were so many sewing bloggers in the GTA? We split into two groups to avoid swarming the shops:
Catja brought everyone decadent cake pops that were the perfect shopping break calorie bomb (get her recipe here):
After gathering at Le Gourmand near Queen and Spadina, we started at King Textiles, where the young SA observed, “You’re all wearing name tags.” From there we hit Leathertown (officially Leather & Sewing Supply Depot), Downtown Fabrics, and the Wool House before heading over to Tequila Bookworm for refreshments and a swap.
I wasn’t doing any shopping, but a highlight was when the owner at Downtown Fabrics produced a matchbook and lit some fabric on fire. (He was demonstrating that a fine Japanese lining was cotton with a burn test.) There’s nothing like that old-fashioned salesmanship. Kristiann, who’s the owner of local indie pattern company Victory Patterns, also shared some tips on where to find the right trim for a vintage sewing project I have in the works, which should be very helpful next time I’m in the fashion district.
Here we all are at Tequila Bookworm:
Our amazing organizers both wore clothes they had made themselves. Adrienne wore her self-drafted Granny-smith blouse and skirt, and Gillian wore one of her versions of the Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns:
Unfortunately I hadn’t had a chance to cull anything for the swap, so I was surprised to be able to score one of Vicki’s vintage patterns in the swap’s second round-cum-free-for-all. Thanks, Vicki!
The event was such a success that there is talk of a second meetup this summer; details will be posted on Gillian’s blog. In the meantime, Reethi has put together a handy GTA blogroll, and Vicki’s sewing blogger mapping project, Map the Sewintists, helps bloggers worldwide in planning non-virtual events. Check it out, and til the next meetup!
February 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
I’m a little late to the party, but—as part of Anne of Pretty Grievances’ Jungle January event, I thought it would be fun to use a reptile print to make the strapless dress from Vogue 2086, the first of Vogue Patterns’ Givenchy patterns by Alexander McQueen.
The dress and jacket are from the Fall 1997 prêt-à-porter, McQueen’s first ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy. (See my earlier post here.) As you can see from this Richard Avedon campaign photo, animal prints were a feature of the collection:
The runway collection included not only leopard lace but also leopard dresses, skirts, and coats. (Fashion TV even has a highlights video of the leopard looks on the Givenchy runway; full runway video starting here.) Leopard lace was also used in this strapless catsuit, modelled by Shalom Harlow:
McQueen showed versions of the Vogue 2086 sheath in both leopard and emerald green python (models: Michele Hicks and Naomi Campbell; photos via L’Officiel 1000 modèles):
Coming soon: a post on my reptile print PVC version of the Vogue 2086 strapless dress.
February 20, 2013 § 11 Comments
Oscar season is upon us, and that means goddess gowns. Goddess gowns usually share elements of classical drapery and the simple construction of the toga and chiton. Here’s a selection of patterns for Greco-Roman-inspired evening wear.
This 1920s evening dress from the House of Worth features elegant back drapery, with a beaded appliqué holding more drapery at the left hip:
The illustration for this 1930s Lanvin ‘scarf frock’ plays up the classical mood with a fluted pedestal and ferns:
This late 1940s one-shouldered evening dress has a long panel that can be worn belted in the back or wrapped around the bared shoulder:
Toga-like drapery distinguishes these short, Sixties evening dresses by Pauline Trigère and Jacques Heim:
This late ’60s Yves Saint Laurent evening dress has a classical simplicity, with the bodice gathered into a boned collar:
This Pucci loungewear has culottes on the bottom, but still has that ‘goddess’ flavour (modelled by Birgitta Af Klercker):
Angeleen Gagliano models this mid-Seventies Lanvin evening dress and toga:
This Pierre Balmain evening ensemble, modelled by Jerry Hall, shows a more literal interpretation of classical dress:
Finally, this jersey gown with beaded waistband, from Guy Laroche by Damian Yee, is an example of the recent trend for goddess gowns:
(From the Spring 2007 Laroche collection, the pattern is still in print.)
February 14, 2013 § 5 Comments
In honour of Valentine’s Day, some mid-Twenties illustrations for McCall lingerie patterns including embroidery transfers. The heading reads, “Embroideries That Lend Irresistible Charm to the Intimate Garments.”
From the numbering, I’d say the page dates to circa 1925, when these types of pattern were the only ones to have colour envelopes.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
February 11, 2013 § 3 Comments
The latest project in SHOWstudio’s Design Download series is a dress by Giles Deacon. The Design Download project aims to “demystify the fashion process by offering prestigious designer garment patterns for download via the Internet.”
Past Design Downloads have had an interactive component, with people submitting their versions for inclusion in a gallery on the SHOWstudio website. This time it’s a contest, and the winning dress—to be chosen by Giles Deacon and Nick Knight—will be featured in a special SHOWstudio fashion film.
The free pattern design, called the ‘Troubadour’ dress, is drawn from the Fall/Winter 2007 Giles collection. The original was made in green double-faced silk duchesse satin. Here’s the dress on the runway (the late Anna Piaggi is visible in the audience):
The collection also included a similar dress in orange satin:
The Fall/Winter 2007 Giles collection was inspired by savage nature, with lots of feathers, leather, and pops of tropical colour. Deacon said his conceptual starting point was “Google Earth—and then I went off on so many tangents.” (See Suzy Menkes, “School’s Out for Saint Martin’s Master Class.”) Here’s the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles (click to enlarge). The headpieces are by Stephen Jones:
Size: UK size 10 (standard measurements: bust 34″ – waist 26″ – hip 37″)
Recommended fabrics: heavy silk, denim, leather, and other fabrics with a good amount of body
There’s still time to enter: the deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15th, 2013 at midnight GMT. (See the SHOWstudio site for submission details.) Will you be entering the contest?
February 8, 2013 § 5 Comments
Vogue Patterns doesn’t have an archive of their old patterns, so the company is calling on the sewing public to lend patterns from their collections for reissue in the Vintage Vogue line.
Reissued Forties and Fifties patterns have done best with customers, but they’re interested in patterns from all periods. The only exception is designer patterns credited to a named designer—these can’t be reissued due to licensing issues. This means that Vogue Couturier patterns are fair game unless they have a designer credit.
(The illustrations show a selection of Vintage Vogue reissues from 1928 to 1960. Hover for pattern numbers and dates, or click to enlarge.)
If you have vintage Vogue patterns that you’d be willing to lend, you can send images of your patterns by e-mail (Subject: Vintage Vogue Search) to email@example.com or by post to Vintage Vogue Search, Vogue Patterns, 120 Broadway, 34th floor, New York, NY 10271, USA.
If your pattern is chosen, you will be asked to lend your original for about 9 months. When the reissue is ready, your original is returned to you, and you receive a copy of the new Vintage Vogue release, a credit on the pattern envelope, and 5 free patterns.
Even if you aren’t contacted right away, one of your patterns could still be chosen to become a new Vintage Vogue pattern. Staff keep the pattern images on file and choose two each season, tailoring their choices to current trends. I sent in my scans about 16 months before I was contacted about lending my Fifties pattern. Happy scanning!