Gnyuki Torimaru (Yuki): Style Patterns

May 19, 2018 § Leave a comment

Diana, Princess of Wales, wears Yuki to a banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito in May, 1986

Diana, Princess of Wales, wears Yuki to a banquet hosted by Emperor Hirohito in May, 1986. Image: Pinterest.

Gnyuki Torimaru, or Yuki, is most famous for dressing Princess Diana on her 1986 state visit to Japan. But his licensed sewing patterns date to the year before.

Born in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, Gnyuki Torimaru (b. 1937) studied architecture in Chicago before settling in London, where he attended the London College of Fashion. He launched his own label, Yuki, in 1972, after stints at Norman Hartnell in London and Pierre Cardin in Paris. (For more, see Suzanne Kampner, “Out Goes Majolica, In Goes Nothing.”)

Yuki London label ca. 1986

Image: Vintage Fashion Guild.

Visitors to the Boston Museum of Fine Art can see his blue, pleated gown and other designs in the museum’s extensive Yuki collection.

Blue gown with beaded panels by Gnyuki Torimaru (Yuki)

Gown by Gnyuki Torimaru. Image: Boston Museum of Fine Art.

Torimaru made his name in the 1970s with his draped jersey gowns. Jerry Hall’s cream Yuki gown, seen on the cover of British Vogue and in Barry Lategan’s editorial, “Dare the Ritz,” has a hem that doubles back as a hood. The Boston Museum of Fine Art has a silk version; model-turned-actor Gayle Hunnicutt donated her carnation version to the V&A.

Jerry Hall wears Yuki on the cover of British Vogue, July 1976. Photo: Barry Lategan

Jerry Hall wears Yuki on the cover of British Vogue, July 1976. Photo: Barry Lategan. Image: Pinterest.

Hunnicutt wore two Yuki pieces in her 1973 British Vogue editorial. The second, low-backed gown is carnation jersey, cut in one piece. She later wore it to a ball at Windsor Castle.

Gayle Hunnicutt in Yuki, British Vogue, October 1973. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Pinterest.

VogueUK 1Oct 1973Yuki

Gayle Hunnicutt in Yuki, British Vogue, October 1973. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Youthquakers.

Yuki also designed the costumes for Frank D. Gilroy’s romantic comedy Once in Paris… (1978), which starred his client, Hunnicutt.

Style Patterns’ earliest designer series includes two Yuki designs. Both dresses, one a voluminous one size fits all, showcase his trademark draping.

1980s Yuki dress pattern Style 4489

Style 4489 by Yuki (1985)

Misses’ Dress in Two Lengths: Dress is gathered from yoke. Draped sleeves are raglan. Opening is button loops. All edges are topstitched. Suggested fabrics—Fine silk or synthetic jersey, lightweight silk types, lightweight crepe types, crepe de chine, georgette. One size.

1980s Yuki dress pattern Style 4490

Style 4490 by Yuki (1985)

Misses’ Dress in Two Lengths: Dress has fitted under-bodice with draped front and back, which is gathered on padded shoulder and forms fluted sleeve. Skirt is slim with centre back split on full length version. Suggested fabrics—Fine silk or synthetic jersey, lightweight silk types, crepe types, crepe de chine.

Click the Style Patterns tag for more British designer patterns.

Yuki gown featured in Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

Yuki gown featured in Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 (V&A, 2012) Photo: David Hughes. Image: The Cut.

Pertegaz 1918-2018

May 18, 2018 § 3 Comments

Pertegaz (Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2004) Model: Laura Ponte. Photo: Antoni Bernad

Pertegaz (Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2004) Model: Laura Ponte. Photo: Antoni Bernad. Image: The Cary Collection.

Manuel Pertegaz was born on this day in 1918. Paco Peralta asked me to contribute to his post for the designer’s centenary; see it here.

PERTEGAZ biography - Vogue 2375 envelope flap

Suzy Parker wearing a bow-tied coat by Pertegaz at the Villa-Rose restaurant in Madrid

Suzy Parker wearing a coat by Pertegaz, Vogue, March 15, 1954. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Condé Nast.

Iberia flight uniform by Manuel Pertegaz, 1968

Rosa Real, made-to-measure Iberia flight uniform by Manuel Pertegaz, 1968. Image: Iberia.

Model in the El Mirador de Lindaraja inside the Alhambra, Spain wearing a caftan gown

Moyra Swan wears a Pertegaz caftan gown in the Alhambra, Vogue, October, 1968. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: Condé Nast.

In memoriam: Hubert de Givenchy

March 12, 2018 § 3 Comments

"Couture in Colour": Shalom Harlow in a velvet and organza gown from Hubert de Givenchy's final couture collection (FW 1995)

Shalom Harlow in a gown from Hubert de Givenchy’s final couture collection, British Vogue, October 1995. Photo: Nick Knight. Editor: Lucinda Chambers. Image: TFS.

Farewell to Hubert de Givenchy, truly one of the greats.

Read the couturier’s Vogue Paris obituary.

Paco Peralta: Vogue Patterns

November 30, 2017 § 11 Comments

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1567 top and skirt pattern

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1567 ©McCall’s/Paco Peralta.

Paco Peralta has seen some major milestones lately. Last fall, the Barcelona couturier became Vogue Patterns’ first Spanish designer in half a century, and this year his blog, BCN – UNIQUE Designer Patterns, is celebrating a decade online. (Like Toronto’s YYZ, BCN is both the airport code for Barcelona and shorthand for the city itself.)

The licensing deal brings a new audience to Peralta’s precision-cut designs. Peralta himself was already a pillar of the online sewing community, both for his fine sewing tutorials and as a purveyor of couture patterns, all hand-traced in his studio not far from Gaudí’s Sagrada Família basilica.

Born in Huesca, Aragon, Peralta studied at Barcelona’s Institut Català de la Moda before apprenticing in some of the city’s couture ateliers, who kept alive the traditions of Balenciaga and Rodríguez. He became interested in commercial patterns in the 1980s, when a friend gave him a copy of Vestidal; his first pattern purchase was a Vogue Individualist design by Issey Miyake.

1980s Issey Miyake coat pattern Vogue 1476 by Issey Miyake (1984)

Vogue 1476 by Issey Miyake (1984) Model: Ariane Koizumi. Image: Etsy.

Peralta may also be the world’s foremost collector of Yves Saint Laurent patterns, and his blog doubles as a window into this private archive. As regular readers of this blog will recognize, any high fashion sewing history owes much to his work.

Yves Saint Laurent Vogue patterns: Vogue 1557 Mondrian dress; Vogue 2598 suit 1971

Couture designs from Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian and Libération collections. Images: Etsy / Paco Peralta.

Vogue Patterns introduced Peralta with two designs in last year’s holiday issue. (Click to enlarge.)

Paco Peralta feature in Vogue Patterns magazine, Dec/Jan 2016-17

Introducing Paco Peralta, Vogue Patterns, December/January 2016-17. Photo (L): Eric Hason. Image: Issuu.

You can skip the buttonholes with this short-sleeved jacket: it has a midriff inset instead. For the original ensemble, Peralta used a double-sided Italian wool twill-crepe for the jacket, wool-cashmere for the trousers, and for the shirt, a sturdy Egyptian cotton.

Vogue 1526 by Paco Peralta

Vogue 1526 by Paco Peralta (2016) Photos: Eric Hason. Image: PatternVault shop.

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1526

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1526 ©McCall’s/Paco Peralta.

Peralta also used Italian satin-backed wool twill-crepe for his wrap skirt and coat-length jacket. The latter sports a tuxedo-style shawl collar, while the pussy-bow blouse, made in silk crepe de Chine, has French cuffs:

Vogue 1527 by Paco Peralta

Vogue 1527 by Paco Peralta (2016) Photos: Eric Hason. Image: PatternVault shop.

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1527

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1527 ©McCall’s/Paco Peralta.

This tunic and pants ensemble was the summer bestseller. The long version is a heavy linen, while the short, gaucho version is a lightweight silk/rayon. Both have silk organza insets.

Vogue 1550 by Paco Peralta

Vogue 1550 by Paco Peralta (2017) Photos: Tim Geaney.

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1550

Paco Peralta sketch for Vogue 1550 ©McCall’s/Paco Peralta.

For the holiday season, mix and match with party separates: a dolman-sleeved top and winter-weight handkerchief skirt, shown in cotton knit and silk-viscose duchesse satin.

Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta

Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta (2017) Photo: Tim Geaney.

Image: McCall’s.

Coming soon: even more Paco Peralta designs exclusive to Vogue Patterns.

With thanks to my friend, Paco Peralta.
Tany's tartan V1567 by Paco Peralta with sew-in labels

Image: Tany’s Couture et Tricot.

Trigère Designs for McCall’s, 1956

August 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

Pauline Trigère, with shears, and Anne St Marie in McCall's 3827 - McCall's advertisement, fall 1956

Pauline Trigère in an ad for McCall’s Printed Patterns, Vogue, October 1956. Model: Anne St. Marie.

Pauline Trigère, who settled in America after fleeing Nazism in Europe, appears in this 1956 advertisement for McCall’s Printed Patterns.

The model wears McCall’s 3827.

Betsey Johnson: Butterick Patterns

August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

Betsey Johnson sketch for Paraphernalia, 1965. Image: CFDA / Pinterest.

Betsey Johnson turns 75 today. Four decades on, the designer’s 1970s Butterick patterns are still very popular. Here’s a look at Johnson’s early work, with an emphasis on more seldom seen archival images.

Betsey Johnson (b. 1942) has made a career of creating irreverent, youth-oriented clothes that stand a bit outside the mainstream. She learned sewing and pattern drafting while running a dance school as a teen, but got her official start in the business designing for Youthquake boutique Paraphernalia. By 1970 she was the designer for Alley Cat, a junior sportswear label. (For more see Vogue.com and Anne-Marie Schiro, “Betsey Johnson: Honor for a Life of Celebrating Youth.”)

Dale Fahey, Birgitta, and Renée Roberts in Betsey Johnson neon satins (Golo sandals) photographed by Howell Conant, 1966

Models wear Betsey Johnson neon satin dresses in Piper’s Alley, Chicago. Life magazine, November 11, 1966. Photo: Howell Conant. Image: LIFE archive.

Juggler stands in front of Steel Pier's mystery ride and wears fancy-sleeved mini (Betsey Johnson, $34). Life magazine, May 24, 1968

Juggling in a Betsey Johnson mini dress in front of Steel Pier’s mystery ride, Atlantic City. Life magazine, May 24, 1968. Photo: Richard Davis. Image: LIFE archive.

In 1971, Johnson won a Coty Award for her work at Alley Cat (see the New York Times notice). The following year, Butterick launched its Betsey Johnson patterns in the Spring 1972 catalogue. The designs were also cross-promoted (along with Cyrus Clark cotton chintz) with a Barbara Bordnick editorial in Seventeen magazine.

Sunny Redmond in Butterick 6530 Betsey Johnson dress

Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1972. Model: Sunny Redmond.

1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick editorial "The Betsey Girl," photographed by Barbara Bornick

Butterick 6533 by Betsey Johnson in “The Betsey Girl,” Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

1970s Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson photographed by Barbara Bordnick for Seventeen

Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

Butterick 6532 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

The earliest of Johnson’s Butterick Young Designer patterns refer to her as Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, and most seem to predate the founding of her company in 1978. Here’s Butterick 6979 on the cover of the March 1973 issue of Butterick’s news leaflet:

1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick 6979

Butterick 6979 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1973. Image: eBay.

The young Patti Hansen in Alley Cat:

pink Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson acetate/cotton velvet dress with two Red Cobra necklaces, pink Lurex and stone bracelets by P.C. Designs

Patti Hansen in Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson, Glamour, December 1973. Photo: Rico Puhlmann. Image: Getty.

One of the first items I sold on Etsy was this 1975 issue of Butterick Fashion News with a Betsey Johnson cover. (Click to see inside.) The same embroidered pinafore was featured on the home catalogue cover:

The Romantic Pinafore: Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1975. Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975

Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975. Image: eBay.

The pinafore also appears in this cute advertisement with Butterick 4088:

Butterick 4090 and 4088 by Betsey Johnson, 1975

Butterick Betsey Johnson ad in Seventeen, February 1975. Image: Carmen and Ginger.

This Butterick ad shows three Betsey Johnson designs that came with transfers for DIY embellishment (dress Butterick 4679, knit tops Butterick 4676, and skirt/pants Butterick 4678):

Butterick 4676, 4678, 4679 by Betsey Johnson

Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, 1976. Image: Gold County Girls.

The Spring 1976 catalogue used illustrated photographs to present this DIY series, which also included a hat and shoes (1st page, Butterick 4680; 3rd page Butterick 4681, with Joyce Walker on the right):

Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976

Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.

1970s Betsey Johnson patterns in Butterick 4679, 4676, 4678; 4676, 4681

Betsey Johnson patterns in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.

Another 1976 Butterick ad shows a Betsey Johnson jumper (Butterick 4956) with deep ribbon trim—perfect for a late-summer Cape Cod getaway:

Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, August 1976. Image: Pinterest.

Happy birthday, Betsey Johnson!

Cotton ad feat. Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen magazine, August 1973

Cotton ad featuring Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, August 1973. Models: Sunny Redmond, Betsey Johnson. Image: FinnFemme.

With thanks to Heidi at Gold Country Girls.

Our Man in Leather: Bobby Breslau for Vogue Patterns

June 18, 2017 § 1 Comment

Vogue 2184, 2153.

Bobby Breslau in Vogue Patterns, May/June 1979. Photo: Charles Tracy.

“Our Man in Leather”: Vogue Patterns introduced Bobby Breslau, one of the company’s rare designers of accessories, with a winking acknowledgement of the gay community.

Bobby Breslau designs the softest leather in the world. His BigPouch and family of Little Pouches sensualized the bag world, becoming classics in their own time! Soft, sensuous, supple and totally functional, with a size and design for every occasion.

Bobby Breslau biographical note, Vogue 2184 (1979). Image: Etsy.

Bobby Breslau (ca. 1943-1987) was a friend of Halston, Stephen Burrows, and Keith Haring; photographer Charles Tracy, who took Breslau’s portrait, was a member of the same social circle. Breslau’s training was in the garment industry, but a toy commission from Halston set him on the path of accessory and furniture design. His tactile, unstructured style of bag showed a sculptor’s eye for colour and texture; the New York Times called it “the handbag of the 1970’s.” (See Robin Givhan’s The Battle of Versailles and Suzanne Slesin, “Beyond the Fringe: A Designer’s Zany World in Leather.”) Breslau was the manager of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop until his death from complications of AIDS in early 1987.

Breslau bag in Halston: An American Original (1999)

Breslau bag for Halston in Elaine Gross and Fred Rottman, Halston: An American Original (1999) Image: Behind the Seams.

In 1979, Breslau licensed two bag patterns with Vogue. Each design could be made in three sizes. Vogue 2153 is a “draw-stringer and scarf tie-up”:

1970s Bobby Breslau handbag pattern Vogue 2153

Vogue 2153 by Bobby Breslau (1979) Image: Etsy.

Vogue 2184 is a saddlebag and roll pouch:

1970s Bobby Breslau handbag pattern Vogue 2184

Vogue 2184 by Bobby Breslau (1979) Image: Etsy.

Just as Breslau’s unconstructed bag is back, so too are the brights of ’79. As Hannah Marriott writes, a trend for Lego colours is predicted for spring 2019…

Vogue Patterns May Jun 1979

Model with Breslau bag, Vogue Patterns, May/June 1979.

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