Patterns in Vogue: Courrèges Edge

Kate Moss in "Courrèges Edge" by Nick Knight, 1995.
Kate Moss in “Courrèges Edge.” Photo: Nick Knight, 1995.

Today we’re used to a firm division between fashion magazines and sewing magazines. But for several decades after Condé Nast sold Vogue Patterns, editorials featuring sewing patterns could still be seen in Vogue magazine—editorials with the same models, photographers, and fashion editors as Vogue’s high fashion shoots. This post is the first in an occasional series on these editorials.

Launching the series is “Courrèges Edge,” a 1995 editorial photographed by Nick Knight and showing Kate Moss in clothes made using patterns from Vogue and Butterick. The shoot covers the Sixties trend with all-white, Courrèges-style looks while playing with the theme of surveillance.

Update: Nick Knight used video footage from the shoot—his first with Kate Moss—in his second fashion film, The More Visible They Make Me, The More Invisible I Become:

Here, Kate Moss’ leather jacket is Vogue 9076; the nylon dress on the right is Butterick 4048:

Vogue, August 1995. Photos: Nick Knight. Fashion Editor: Camilla Nickerson.
Vogue, August 1995. Photos: Nick Knight. Fashion Editor: Camilla Nickerson.

Below, Vogue 9170, a coat dress pattern, is shown made up in white leather, and Butterick 3999, sold as a top, is made in silk and worn as a mini dress:

Vogue, August 1995. Photos: Nick Knight. Fashion Editor: Camilla Nickerson.
Vogue, August 1995. Photos: Nick Knight. Fashion Editor: Camilla Nickerson.

In the back of the magazine, readers could find technical drawings and further details on the patterns used, all “edited by Vogue”:

In This Issue, Vogue, August 1995.
In This Issue, Vogue, August 1995.

9 thoughts on “Patterns in Vogue: Courrèges Edge

  1. I remember these pictures! This was before I started making my own clothing, but I remember being very jealous that someone with a sewing machine was going to have the opportunity to dress just like Kate Moss!

  2. It was always a bonus to see the patterns shown as finished garments that could hold their own with the high-end fashions featured in the magazine. Seeing the finished garments did encourage a lot of ‘home-sewers’ to improve their skills and even more of them to take aim at dressing in the best of style, because they could afford to do so with the benefit of their sewing skills. . Sarah, this has been wonderful idea for a presentation. Thank you.

  3. This is so cool, I had no idea that Vogue did features on sewing patterns so recently. I only started reading fashion magazines in 2000 when I was in my final year of school, and even then it was usually Australian Vogue and GQ, so I missed out on those sewing-pattern editorials. I’m sure I would have found it inspiring then, and I probably still would if the mags did it now.
    One thing I like about ’90s fashion mags is that the hair and especially the makeup, in most cases, was more wearable than some of the crazy styling that’s presented in magazine editorials and in fashion shows today.

  4. My sister used to work at Vogue in the mid-90s. I remember she gave me a massive box of fabric that the fashion dept was getting rid off. It’s all gone now except six calf hides in an odd tan / tangerine color which i’ve apparently been saving for a special project for the last 20 years! It’s interesting to image Anna Wintour or Grace Coddington ruminating over fabric / pattern combos.

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