25 Jahre Mauerfall

Lissy Schaper in an ensemble by Staebe-Seger, Brandenburg Gate
Lissy Schaper in an ensemble by Staebe-Seger, Film und Frau 3, 1961. Photo: F.C. Gundlach. Image: Suites Culturelles.

To mark this month’s anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, here’s a look at three postwar German designers who licensed their work to Vogue Patterns.

Celebrity milliner Mr. John was born Hans Harberger in Munich. He moved to New York in the 1920s, opening a salon with partner Frederick Hirst; the Mr. John salon was founded when the milliner went solo in 1948. (On the complex history of Mr. John’s name and label see my Mad Men-era millinery post, or read his obituary in the Independent.) Mr. John hat patterns were available from Vogue in the 1950s. Vogue 7909 is a beret that dips to a point on one side, with an optional chin strap:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 7909
Vogue 7909 by Mr. John (1952) Image: eBay.

Born in Hamburg, Alke Boker moved to New York City in the 1970s after the death of her husband. She spent a few years designing for Pierre Cardin before founding her own label in the early 1980s. This Vogue Individualist pattern includes a pullover, bias dress with seven-eighths sleeves and separate hood. The model is Wanakee Pugh:

1980s Alke Boker dress pattern - Vogue Individualist 1439
Vogue 1439 by Alke Boker (1984) Image: Etsy.

Also from Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld made his career in Paris, working as head designer at Patou and Chloé before establishing his own company in 1984. Vogue Patterns soon made a licensing agreement for Lagerfeld sewing patterns which continued into the 1990s. From 1989, Vogue 2407 is a formal dress-and-overdress ensemble that can be tied in front or back:

1980s Karl Lagerfeld evening pattern - Vogue 2407
Vogue 2407 by Karl Lagerfeld (1989) Image: Etsy.

The Berlin fashion photos in this post are by West German photographer F.C. Gundlach. Click the link to visit the foundation devoted to his work, or the photos to read more about his fashion photography.

Das Kind ruft die Mäuse graffiti - Kreuzberg, Berlin
Kreuzberg, Berlin. Photo: F.C. Gundlach. Image: Suites Culturelles.

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