Bruce Oldfield: Style Patterns

Malice in the Palace: Princess Diana wears Bruce Oldfield on the cover of People weekly, July 1985
Princess Diana on the cover of People, July 1985. Portrait: Snowdon. Image: People.

With Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Diana opening in North American theatres this weekend, this post is devoted to a designer associated with the Princess of Wales: Bruce Oldfield. The 1985 Lord Snowdon portrait seen on the People cover above shows a Bruce Oldfield velvet dress that the princess also wore to the premiere of Les Misérables. Oldfield began designing for Princess Di in 1980, and for over a decade she was president of Barnardo’s, the children’s charity with which Oldfield has had a life-long relationship.

Some like it haute! Bruce Oldfield campaign photographed by Michael Roberts, 1986
Bruce Oldfield campaign, 1986. Photos: Michael Roberts. Image: Bruce Oldfield.

In the mid- to late 1980s, Bruce Oldfield sewing patterns were released by Style Patterns. (The British pattern company seems to have produced designer patterns only between 1985 and 1988, so high Eighties style is guaranteed.) Here’s a selection of Bruce Oldfield patterns.

This wrap dress or blouse-and-skirt ensemble is gathered into a shoulder yoke for the mid-1980s strong-shouldered silhouette:

1980s Bruce Oldfield pattern - Style 4612
Style 4612 by Bruce Oldfield (1985) Image: eBay.

Hemline slits add interest to this panelled, double-breasted suit:

1980s Bruce Oldfield suit pattern - Style 1384
Style 1384 by Bruce Oldfield (1988)

In this dress, dolman sleeves are cut into curved side panels, shaped with shoulder pleats for draped volume. Because Style Patterns changed its envelope design in the mid-1980s, this pattern may be found in two alternate versions:

1980s Bruce Oldfield dress pattern - Style 4494
Style 4494 by Bruce Oldfield (1986). Image: Etsy.
1980s Bruce Oldfield caftan-style dress pattern - Style 4494
Style 4494 by Bruce Oldfield (1986)

Cindy Crawford models this dress with straight skirt and blouson bodice:

1980s Bruce Oldfield dress pattern feat. Cindy Crawford - Style 1104
Style 1104 by Bruce Oldfield (1987)

In this dramatic mock wrap dress with dolman sleeves, the belt passes through openings in the side panels:

1980s Bruce Oldfield dress pattern - Style 1383 (1988)
Style 1383 by Bruce Oldfield (1988)

Bruce Oldfield is best known for his bridal and evening wear. This wedding or evening dress has a ruched bodice, raised front hemline, and optional puffed sleeves:

1980s Bruce Oldfield evening or wedding dress pattern - Style 1290
Style 1290 by Bruce Oldfield (1988) Image: Etsy.

To continue the Eighties flashback, check out this Bruce Oldfield blog post with archival runway photos and video.

8 thoughts on “Bruce Oldfield: Style Patterns

  1. Thanks for this post. Did not know that Style patterns (which I used back in the day) were a British Company.
    Also, I got a kick out of seeing Cindy Crawford modelling #1104, I guess during pre-supermodel status….

  2. Cindy was also actualy on the cover of a few of these issues of Style, a little after she hit the cover of US Vogue (1987) .I still have them, it was a great patterns mag back then, with alot of soon-to-be big-name models. I also noticed a young Kristen McMenamy (with the red hair in 1383) and Harry Connick jr’s wife Jill Goodacre in the wedding dress.

    1. Yes, please! I loved this company and sometimes search pattern sellers for images of the patterns I made in the 1990s for my Flickr pattern archive. The problem is searching for “style patterns” brings up so much off-topic, unlike when using other the company names. : (

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