Vera Wang: Vogue Patterns

Vera Wang with Ralph Lauren at the CFDA Awards
Vera Wang with Ralph Lauren at the CFDA Awards, June 3, 2013. Image: style.com.

Last night Vera Wang was honoured with the CFDA’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. (Read style.com’s article here; Voguepedia bio here. Watch the awards ceremony here.) Wang, 63, has built a retail empire that began with the bridal boutique she founded in New York in 1990.

Thanks to Vogue Patterns, you don’t have to be Blair Waldorf to wear a custom Vera Wang dress. Vogue Patterns licensed Vera Wang dress patterns from the mid-1990s into the 21st century. The company introduced Vera Wang in the May/June 1995 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine. The cover shows Vogue 1584, a Vera Wang design:

Vogue Patterns May/June 1995
Vogue Patterns magazine, May/June 1995. Image: eBay.

Another Vera Wang design, Vogue 1583, made the cover of the June counter catalogue:

Vogue 1583, a Vera Wang dress pattern, on the cover of the Vogue catalog, June 1995
Vogue Patterns catalogue, June 1995. Image: eBay.

The first series of Vera Wang patterns consisted of three patterns, only one of which was officially a bridal design. (By 1993 Wang had branched out into formal wear.) The bridal pattern consists of a long-sleeved dress and overskirt in two lengths; the two-way stretch “illusion” fabric used for upper bodice and sleeves makes the dress an alternative to strapless bridal designs:

1990s Vera Wang bridal or cocktail dress pattern - Vogue 1583
Vogue 1583 by Vera Wang (1995) Image: Etsy.

The other two patterns are sleeveless, high-collared cocktail or evening dresses with mesh details. The first has a contrast back and collar, while the second has contrast yokes and armhole binding:

Vera Wang pattern - Vogue 1584
Vogue 1584 by Vera Wang (1995) Image: Etsy.
Vera Wang dress pattern - Vogue 1585
Vogue 1585 by Vera Wang (1995) Image: eBay.

Back interest is a theme running through Vogue’s Vera Wang patterns. This formal dress has a mesh back criss-crossed by broad straps:

Vera Wang cocktail or evening dress pattern - Vogue 1767
Vogue 1767 by Vera Wang (1996) Image: Etsy.

The elegant Vogue 1944 features a bias back drape:

Vera Wang cowl-back dress pattern - Vogue 1944
Vogue 1944 by Vera Wang (1997) Image: Etsy.

This bridal gown may be made with a back pleat or an attached, ruffled petticoat that spills out through the skirt’s back:

Vera Wang bridal gown pattern - Vogue 2118
Vogue 2118 by Vera Wang (1998) Image: Etsy.

These two dresses, one with a stretch knit contrast bodice, the other with spaghetti straps and peekaboo back, are classic minimalist ’90s formal wear:

Vera Wang cocktail or evening dress pattern - Vogue 2251
Vogue 2251 by Vera Wang (1999) Image: Etsy.
Vera Wang cocktail or evening dress pattern - Vogue 2257
Vogue 2257 by Vera Wang (1999) Image: Etsy.

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