Alexander McQueen for Givenchy: Vogue Patterns, Part 2

Erin O'Connor in Steven Meisel's Fall 1998 ad campaign for Givenchy by Alexander McQueen
Erin O’Connor in the Givenchy Fall 1998 ad campaign. Photo: Steven Meisel.

This week, the second instalment of my continuing three-part series on Alexander McQueen’s Givenchy designs for Vogue Patterns. (Read Part 1 here.) Our next four patterns were drawn from three Givenchy collections presented in 1998: the Fall 1998 and Spring 1999 ready-to-wear, and the Spring 1998 couture.

3. Givenchy Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1998 (shown January 1998)

Givenchy couture by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel, March 1998. Photo: Riccardo Tinelli. Editor: Guylaine Tilleau. Image: jalougallery.

The January Givenchy haute couture collection was shown in a Japanese bonsai garden. The models, styled with kabuki makeup and lacquered hair, were silhouetted on a screen before they emerged onto the runway. Critics noted the collection’s precision tailoring, especially the pagoda-shouldered jackets. (See Suzy Menkes, “Givenchy and McQueen Opt for Zen” and Constance C.R. White, “For Couture, New Ways to Seduce.”)

(I wasn’t able to find titles for any further Givenchy collections. If anyone knows of a resource for these I’d appreciate it if you could contact me. Thanks!)

Vogue Patterns’ selection, Vogue 2343 (1999), is the only pattern in this series from an haute couture collection:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2343
Vogue 2343 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (1999) Tuxedo jumpsuit.
Technical drawing for Vogue 2343
Technical drawing for Vogue 2343

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’/Misses’ Petite Jumpsuit: Semi-fitted, lined, straight-legged jumpsuit (loose-fitting through hips) has collar, shoulder pads, welt/side pockets, side zipper, front button trim and long, two-piece sleeves with mock vent/button trim. B: contrast upper collar/front facing. Purchased top. Featured in the November/December 1999 issue of Vogue Patterns (Shop Vogue).

This design was easy to place, since the staging in the Vogue pattern photo matches the staging shown in L’Officiels collection photos for the Givenchy Spring 1998 couture show:

Givenchy Spring/Summer 1998 haute couture by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Spring/Summer 1998 haute couture by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 10. Image: jalougallery.com.
Givenchy Spring/Summer 1998 haute couture by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Spring/Summer 1998 haute couture by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 10. Image: jalougallery.com.

Vogue Paris and L’Officiel both put this collection on the cover of their couture special. Could that be Michelle Behennah in the V2343 jumpsuit?

Michelle Behennah in Givenchy couture by Alexander McQueen, 1998
Michelle Behennah in Givenchy couture by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel March 1998. Photo: Thomas Schenk. Image: jalougallery.
Carolyn Murphy in Givenchy couture by Alexander McQueen, Vogue Paris, March 1998. Photo: Mario Testino. Image: Vogue Paris.

Just for fun, here’s a Vogue Paris editorial photo of Guinevere Van Seenus in another look from the season’s Givenchy couture:

Guinevere Van Seenus photographed by Steven Klein in Givenchy haute couture by Alexander McQueen, spring 1998
Jacket with pleated sleeves in Prince of Wales wool gabardine and matching straight skirt, Givenchy Couture. Vogue Paris, February 1998. Photo: Steven Klein. Stylist: Debra Scherer.

The Vogue 2343 jumpsuit was promoted in the magazine’s holiday issue. I’m fascinated by the fact that this pattern gives dressmakers and home sewers access to couture tailoring of this calibre. The design is probably my favourite of the series.

No parallel Alexander McQueen collection, since the designer didn’t produce haute couture collections for his own label.

4. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1998–99 (shown March 1998)

Jade Parfitt in Steven Meisel's Fall 1998 ad campaign for Givenchy by Alexander McQueen
Jade Parfitt in the Givenchy Fall 1998 ad campaign. Photo: Steven Meisel.

The Fall 1998-99 Givenchy ready-to-wear collection drew praise for its draped cowl necks, sleek tailoring, and its skilled use of leather and fur. (See Suzy Menkes, “McQueen Makes Peace With His Heritage” and Anne-Marie Schiro, “McQueen Pilots Givenchy Boldly Into the Late 90’s.”) In May, WWD announced the renewal of McQueen’s contract with Givenchy, which had been due to expire with the Spring 1999 ready-to-wear (Bridget Foley, “McQueen Renews Givenchy Contract”). For the Fall runway show, the models were made up with vampy red lips, their hair in exaggerated 1940s-style rolls.

It seems the Fall collection’s success led it to be chosen to open the supplement of L’Officiel devoted to the season’s Paris ready-to-wear. Here are L’Officiel’s collection images:

Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 12. Image: jalougallery.com.
Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 12. Image: jalougallery.com.
Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Fall 1998 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 12. Image: jalougallery.com.

Vogue Patterns chose two designs from Givenchy’s Fall 1998 ready-to-wear collection. The first, Vogue 2228 (1998), is a slim, fur-trimmed skirt suit:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2228
Vogue 2228 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (1998) Faux fur-trimmed skirt suit.
Technical drawing for Vogue 2228

The envelope description reads: Misses’ Jacket & Skirt: Semi-fitted, interfaced, lined above hip jacket has contrast collar/hemband, shoulder pads, princess seams, no side seams and long, two-piece sleeves with mock vent and button/buttonhole trim. No provision for above waist adjustment. Semi-fitted, tapered, lined skirt, below mid-knee or mid-calf, has waistband, front hemline slit and side zipper. Featured in the January/February 1999 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine (Shop Vogue).

FirstVIEW runway images for this collection have been posted at The Fashion Spot. Here’s the runway photo for the Vogue 2228 skirt suit:

Givenchy RTW Fall 1998-99
Givenchy ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 1998-99. Image: firstVIEW via TFS.

The Fall 1998 campaign showcased a similar design, a fur-trimmed coatdress:

Givenchy Fall 1998 ad campaign shot by Steven Meisel
Erin O’Connor in the Givenchy Fall 1998 ad campaign. Photo: Steven Meisel. Image: eBay.

The second pattern, Vogue 2248 (1999), is a cowl neck dress:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2248
Vogue 2248 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (1999) Dress with contrast cowl neck.
Technical drawing for Vogue 2248
Technical drawing for Vogue 2248

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Dress: Fitted, tapered, lined dress, below mid-knee or mid-calf, has contrast cowl, front slit and back zipper. A: long sleeves. B: sleeveless. The pattern recommends chiffon for the contrast cowl.

This Corbis runway closeup shows the detail of the cowl neck, which was netting (not chiffon) fabric:

Givenchy ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 1998-99. Image: © Thierry Orban / Sygma via Getty Images.

Although there are similar cowl neck looks in the collection, I couldn’t find the sleeveless version shown in the Vogue 2248 pattern illustration (view B). It seems it wasn’t a runway look. Update: The sleeveless version seems to have been worn under a jacket. See my post on making the dress.

Dress and jacket, Givenchy ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 1998-99
Givenchy ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 1998-99. Image © Thierry Orban / Sygma via Getty Images.

Parallel Alexander McQueen collection: Joan (FW 1998–99).

5. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 1999 (shown October 1998)

Frankie Rayder in the Givenchy Spring 1999 ad campaign photographed by Craig McDean
Frankie Rayder in the Givenchy Spring 1999 ad campaign. Photo: Craig McDean.

The Spring ready-to-wear collection represented a departure from Alexander McQueen’s previous work for Givenchy: the softer silhouettes, neutral palette, and occasional, subtle sprinkling of sequins recalled the understated elegance for which Hubert de Givenchy was known. At the same time, McQueen played with his signature tailoring by using asymmetry and isolated tailoring motifs. (See Suzy Menkes, “Growing Up and Freshening Up at Givenchy and Chloe.”)

Vogue Patterns’ selection, Vogue 2628 (2002), is an asymmetrical, double-breasted coatdress:

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen pattern Vogue 2628 Colette Pechekhonova
Vogue 2628 by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy (2002) Asymmetrical coatdress. Model: Colette Pechekhonova.
Technical drawing for Vogue 2628

The envelope description reads: Misses’ Dress: Fitted, A-line, lined, double-breasted dress, above mid-knee, has collar, shoulder pads, seam detail (no side seams), welt pockets, flaps, shaped hemline and two-piece, above-elbow sleeves with mock vent/button/buttonhole trim. A: button tab. B: contrast collar. Featured in the April/May 2002 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine (Shop Vogue).

As you can see from the copyright date, Vogue 2628 was released several years after the collection was presented in Paris. Despite its runway photo, I had more difficulty placing the design until I found this Corbis photo, which shows the same dark, glossy runway, palette, hair, makeup, and even shoes:

Skirt suit, Givenchy ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 1999. Image: Corbis © Pierre Vauthey.

In fact, this look was shown just before ours: the back of this model is visible behind the model in the Vogue pattern photo. I thought I recognized the shoes with moulded toes from the Savage Beauty exhibit, but I see from the catalogue that those ones are from Natural Dis-tinction Un-natural Selection (Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2009).

Here are L’Officiels photos, showing the Spring 1999 collection’s softness and neutrals:

Givenchy Spring 1999 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Spring 1999 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 2. Image: jalougallery.com.
Givenchy Spring 1999 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen
Givenchy Spring 1999 ready-to-wear by Alexander McQueen, L’Officiel 1000 modèles 1998 no. 2. Image: jalougallery.com.

The same strapless Givenchy dress appeared in the Spring campaign and on the cover of British Vogue.

Givenchy Spring 1999 campaign shot by Craig McDean
Givenchy Spring 1999 ad campaign. Photo: Craig McDean. Model: Frankie Rayder. Image: jalougallery.
Elizabeth Hurley photographed by Mario Testino in Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, British Vogue, May 1999
Elizabeth Hurley in Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, British Vogue, May 1999. Photo: Mario Testino. Editor: Lucinda Chambers. Image: Vogue UK.

The asymmetrical motif in Vogue 2628 was carried over into McQueen’s next collection for Givenchy, the Spring/Summer 1999 Haute Couture, as may be seen in this editorial photo in the Vogue Italia couture supplement (with Małgosia Bela on the right):

Givenchy Haute Couture by Alexander McQueen photographed by Peter Lindbergh, spring 1999
Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, Vogue Italia, Marzo 1999. Silk satin and wool pantsuits with striped satin shirts and ties, Givenchy Haute Couture. Photo: Peter Lindbergh. Stylist: Nicoletta Santoro.

Parallel Alexander McQueen collection: No. 13 (SS 1999).

I would love to see photos of these patterns made up. Across the series of McQueen/Givenchy Vogue Patterns, though, the difficulty level ranges from Average to Advanced, so you could say they’re restricted to more experienced sewers. Which would you make first?

Next: Part 3: McQueen’s tailoring for the millennium at Givenchy.

13 thoughts on “Alexander McQueen for Givenchy: Vogue Patterns, Part 2

  1. Great article.I have made some of the Givenchy suits and dresses in the early 2000s.I dont have pictures.There was a great pinstriped suit done by Galliano when he took over from Alexander McQueen

  2. The old fashioned movies of the 50s and 60s had given me a sense that long long ago clothes were beautiful… Until I saw this collection and realised what tailoring was. I remember watching a snippet of the show somewhere and the way the clothes moved angles shifting across the suit thank you so much for this blog

  3. Wow, great post! It would be really interesting to see one of those patterns made up, I agree. I’m able to appreciate the designs, but I have to admit that even a perfect execution of any of these patterns would be a challenge in terms of figure flattery! But you do make me want to research more about Givenchy. “undersated elegance” is right up my alley.

  4. Thanks for this well-done series. I sew but I don’t follow any designers or pay much attention to fashion trends. I find it interesting but I’m usually irritated by the fashion industry itself. Anyway, as someone who likes sewing my own garments, I would love to make Vogue 2628 as a jacket with big wide slacks. I like the pic that shows it that way so much better than the dress. I also love the dress with the mesh or chiffon cowl inset, but I don’t wear dresses so I’d make is as a long-ish top over pants. Not sure if baggy or skinny pants, maybe straight-legged and cropped. I am going to look for both of those patterns online. The headgear on the model in the closeup of that neck inset cracks me up – it looks just like a lamp I used to have that hung over my dining table!

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