Jean Muir: Vogue Patterns

September 13, 2016 § 7 Comments

Jean Muir dress photographed by David Bailey for the cover of British Vogue, 1973

A Jean Muir look on the cover of British Vogue, February 1973. Photo: David Bailey. Model: Susan Moncur. Image: eBay.

Jean Muir was the only designer to ascend from Butterick Young Designer to Vogue Couturier. (See my post on Jean Muir’s Butterick patterns here.) This week, a look at Vogue’s Jean Muir patterns from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s.

muirsketches

Jean Muir sketches on display in the National Museum of Scotland’s new galleries. Image © National Museums Scotland

muirpieces

Pattern pieces for a Jean Muir dress, Spring 1980. Image © National Museums Scotland.

1970s

Jean Muir was introduced as a new Vogue Couturier in Vogue Pattern Book’s first issue of 1972. Three Muir designs (Vogue 2663, 2664, and 2646) were pictured throughout the magazine, but only the last two appear in the designer feature: Vogue 2664’s full-sleeved dress in saffron jersey, and Vogue 2646’s evening dress and matching short shorts in bone-coloured matte jersey. The model on the right is Joyce Walker (click to enlarge):

Introducing Jean Muir: 1970s dress patterns Vogue 2664 and 2646

“Introducing Jean Muir” — Vogue 2664 and 2646 in Vogue Pattern Book, February/March 1972.

Posing for Richard Avedon, Faye Dunaway wears a Jean Muir dress with handkerchief sleeves:

Faye Dunaway photographed by Richard Avedon in Jean Muir, 1973

Faye Dunaway in Jean Muir, Vogue, March 1973. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image: The Fashion Spot.

This dress with gathered centre panels and shirttail hem was featured on the counter catalogue in a lush floral print:

1970s Jean Muir dress pattern Vogue 2804

Vogue 2804 by Jean Muir (1973) Image: Etsy.

Jean Muir's grand terrace gesture, 2804 on the cover of Vogue Patterns catalogue, May 1973

Vogue 2804 by Jean Muir, Vogue Patterns catalogue, May 1973. Image: eBay.

Vogue 2884 is an evening dress with raised waist and pintuck details. The back is particularly elegant (available in the shop):

1970s Jean Muir evening dress pattern Vogue 2884

Vogue 2884 by Jean Muir (1973) Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

David Bailey photographed Anjelica Huston in an olive version—with matching cloche—for British Vogue:

Anjelica Huston photographed by David Bailey in Jean Muir, 1973

Jean Muir olive suede-trimmed angora dress and cloche, British Vogue, September 1, 1973. Photo: David Bailey. Model: Anjelica Huston. Image: Youthquakers.

Muir ensembles often involve matching hats, and her patterns sometimes include a head covering. This pattern has three (click to view in the PatternVault shop):

1970s Jean Muir hat and scarf pattern Vogue 1148

Vogue 1148 by Jean Muir (1974) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

A news cover illustrated by Michaele Vollbracht recommends wearing View C’s ‘ScarfCap’ with a ‘BigDress’ for fall ’75:

1970s Jean Muir scarf cap pattern Vogue 1148 (with dress 9239), illustrated by Michaele Vollbracht

Vogue 9239 with Vogue 1148 by Jean Muir, Vogue Patterns Eye on Fashion, September 1975. Illustration: Michaele Vollbracht. Image: eBay.

Vogue 1153 has characteristic Jean Muir dressmaker details—radiating Deco pintucks, tucked sleeves, released pleats, and contrast topstitching. The recommended fabrics include lightweight synthetic knits, matte jersey, tricot knits, and wool jersey:

1970s Jean Muir dress pattern Vogue 1153

Vogue 1153 by Jean Muir (1974) Image: Etsy.

On assignment for Vogue, Deborah Turbeville photographed Muir with models in her all-white apartment:

Deborah Turbeville photo of models with Jean Muir in Vogue, February 1975

Models with Jean Muir in Vogue, February 1975. Photo: Deborah Turbeville. Models: Paddy Grey and Clio Goldsmith. Image: What Goes Around Comes Around.

Deborah Turbeville photo of Jean Muir with models in her suede dresses in Vogue, February 1975

Jean Muir with models in her suede dresses: Louise Pleydell-Bouverie, Clio Goldsmith, and Paddy Grey, for Vogue, February 1975. Photo: Deborah Turbeville. Image: the Wapping Project.

Turbeville’s legendary Bathhouse series includes a Jean Muir Liberty-print smock:

Jean Muir smock dress photographed by Deborah Turbeville at the Asser Levy Bathhouse, New York

Right: Jean Muir Liberty print smock dress, Vogue, May 1975. Photo: Deborah Turbeville. Stylist: Polly Mellen. Image: the Fashion Spot.

1980s

Vogue 2399’s full-sleeved dress was previously seen in my Iman post:

1980s Jean Muir dress pattern feat. Iman, Vogue 2399

Vogue 2399 by Jean Muir (1980) Model: Iman.

Vogue 2463 reinterprets Muir’s trademark cut-in sleeves and pin-tucked bodice for the early ’80s:

1980 Jean Muir dress pattern Vogue 2463

Vogue 2463 by Jean Muir (1980) Image: Etsy.

Vogue 1123’s two-piece dress arranges pleated volumes around smooth central panels:

1980s Jean Muir top and skirt pattern Vogue 1123

Vogue 1123 by Jean Muir (1983) Image: Rusty Zipper.

The latest Jean Muir Vogue pattern I’ve seen is Vogue 1502, a jacket and skirt. The unlined jacket has deep kimono sleeves and a broad waistline tuck:

1980s Jean Muir skirt and jacket pattern Vogue 1502

Vogue 1502 by Jean Muir (1985) Image: Etsy.

Postscript

Style Patterns—by then owned by Simplicity—produced this dress pattern to accompany Channel Four’s 1993 television series, Very Jean Muir. (Update: it even came with a sew-in label.) The pattern is found in the National Museum of Scotland’s Jean Muir Collection:

1990s Jean Muir dress pattern for the Channel Four series "Very Jean Muir"

Channel Four / Style 0526 by Jean Muir (1993) Image: eBay.

Jean Muir’s dedication to the craft of fashion design gives her work a special appeal for home sewers. When Leeds Art Galleries mounted a travelling Jean Muir exhibition, dressmakers brought their Vogue patterns for her to sign.* Have you made any Jean Muir patterns?

* Maureen Cleave, “Makers of Modern Fashion: Jean Muir,” Observer supplement, September 21, 1980.
Grace Coddington photographed by Eric Boman in Jean Muir, British Vogue, fall 1973

Jean Muir dress, British Vogue, September 15, 1973. Photo: Eric Boman. Model: Grace Coddington. Image: Beauty is a warm gun.

Karen Kain photographed by David Montgomery in Jean Muir (Graham Smith cap), 1975

Karen Kain in Jean Muir, Vogue, November 1975. Photo: David Montgomery. Image: Barefoot Vintage.

Donna Mitchell photographed by David Bailey in a suede and jersey ensemble by Jean Muir, 1973

Punched suede top and matte jersey skirt by Jean Muir, British Vogue, February 1973. Photo: David Bailey. Model: Donna Mitchell. Image: Youthquakers.

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§ 7 Responses to Jean Muir: Vogue Patterns

  • Joan says:

    I made Muir’s V. 2664 to wear as a maid of honour dress in 1974. Then I wore it to dance parties at the U of A. One of my favs and one I have saved in a trunk. Making all those tucks was so much fun and I loved the fluid femininity and her square necklines.
    Thanks for all your research. Great to see photos of Muir with her models in her white apt. Joan

  • Petite Main says:

    Thank you always for your great posts. So much research, so interesting.

  • Kristy says:

    I have several Jean Muir patterns in my collection that I would love to make but it’s so hard to find the right fabric. I have visions of a matte silk jersey but I am yet to find this mythical fabric!

    • PatternVault says:

      Rayon jersey was coming up a lot as I was browsing vintage Muir photos. Have you seen FabricTreasury’s peace silk jersey on Etsy? It’s fairly matte, though not super lightweight.. Good luck in your search!

    • Pamela Dan says:

      I own several Jean Muir dresses, which I inherited from my MIL. The jersey ones with tucks are made of rayon matte jersey, or viscose, as it is called in the UK. Several of my other dresses are very lightweight wool jersey. Muir also used wool crepe for suits and leather for dresses, coats and trim. Muir took great care with her buttons, always in unusual shapes and with matching buckles. My leather coat has octagonal black plastic buttons, a dress has triangular buttons and a lightweight wool damask dress has hand-painted wooden buttons which I have to remove and re-attach for dry-cleaning. The dressmaker details are lovely on all of her designs.

  • sewruth says:

    A fascinating evolution of design. As always, thank you. I’m going to look into Muir’s patterns further.
    Not only would I like to own the designs but also the body……

  • I recall buying a Jean Muir pattern long ago but don’t think it was ever made. Sadly I am unlikely to still have it after multiple house moves.

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