Free Designer Pattern: McQueen Dress

Akuac Thiep photographed by Nick Knight in Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton
Akuac Thiep in Alexander McQueen SS 2020 by Sarah Burton. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

In memory of Paco Peralta.

SHOWstudio’s latest Design Download is an Alexander McQueen dress.

Back view: Akuac Thiep photographed by Nick Knight in Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton
Akuac Thiep in Alexander McQueen SS 2020 by Sarah Burton. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

A current-season design, it was the opening look in Sarah Burton’s Spring 2020 collection for McQueen.

Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton
Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton. Model: Vilma Sjöberg. Image: Vogue Runway.
Detail, Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton
Detail, Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 by Sarah Burton. Image: Vogue Runway.
Vilma Sjöberg is fitted in the white beetled linen dress that opened the Alexander McQueen spring 2020 show.
Vilma Sjöberg is fitted in the white beetled linen dress that opened the Alexander McQueen spring 2020 show. Photo: Liam Leslie. Image: Alexander McQueen / Vogue.com.

This romantic collection drew comparisons with the couture, featuring reworked old patterns and past-season fabrics, as well as Irish linens, damask or beetled, fine wool suiting from the north of England, and hand embroidery worked by the entire McQueen studio.

“I love the idea of people having the time to make things together, the time to meet and talk together, the time to reconnect to the world.” – Sarah Burton

The dress re-envisions its show-opening counterpart in Alexander McQueen’s Eshu, named for the Yoruba trickster god and presented 20 years ago in a disused Hitchcock studio. (See Suzy Menkes, “London Crowns Its Fashion Kings,” and Savage Beauty.) As SHOWstudio notes, Burton’s “articulated puff-sleeve dress [is] a reimagining of the Autumn/Winter 2000 Eshu dress, originally crafted in calico with a focus on the silhouette.”

Alexander McQueen Fall 2000 - Eshu
Alexander McQueen Fall 2000 (Eshu). Image: Vogue Runway.

Steven Klein photographed Björk in a denim variation for Vogue’s September issue:

"A Brave New Björk," Vogue September issue 2000
Björk in a distressed denim dress from Eshu, Alexander McQueen FW 2000, Vogue, September 2000. Photo: Steven Klein. Editor: Phyllis Posnick. Image: bjork.fr.

In the same issue, the designer portfolio opens with a group portrait of McQueen and his team for Eshu, including model Liberty Ross, Isabella Blow, jeweller Shaun Leane, and the young Sarah Burton.

"How Many People Does It Take to Design a Dress?" Alexander McQueen and team, with Sarah Burton, near right, and Liberty Ross and Isabella Blow in looks from the Eshu collection, photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Vogue, September 2000
Alexander McQueen and team, with Sarah Burton at near right, Vogue, September 2000. Photo: Annie Leibovitz. Editor: Camilla Nickerson. Image: Vogue Archive.

Burton’s dress makes repeated appearances in the Spring 2020 campaign:

Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 ad campaign. Model: Felice Noordhoff. Photo: Jamie Hawkesworth. Art direction: M/M (Paris). Image: Alexander McQueen.
Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 ad campaign. Model: Vivien Solari. Photo: Jamie Hawkesworth. Art direction: M/M (Paris). Image: Alexander McQueen.

Also worn by Imaan Hammam in Masha Vasyukova’s campaign video (music by Isobel Waller-Bridge):

Update: The dress is part of 2020’s postponed Costume Institute show, About Time: Fashion and Duration, inspired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary.

Hamish Bowles, "Once Upon a Time In Fashion": c. 1895 The leg-of-mutton-sleeved shoulders match the width of the skirt’s hem on this silk dinner dress by Mrs. Arnold. 2020 Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton references the voluminous sleeve of the 19th century in this ivory linen dress with black topstitching detail.
Silk dinner dress by Mrs. Arnold, ca. 1895; linen dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, 2020, Vogue, May 2020. Photo: Annie Leibovitz. Editor: Grace Coddington. Image: Vogue.com.

The pattern download comes in A4 sheets, with a test line to check the scale.

Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the dress pattern (18 pieces)

Size: Sample size. Update: Model Akuac Thiep is wearing the sample size. She is 5’10” and wears a size 8/36. (34″ bust | 25″ waist | 35″ hip) Source: Nevs Models.

Notes: Prints on 220 A4 sheets.

Notions: Back zipper.

Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 campaign
Alexander McQueen Spring 2020 ad campaign. Model: Vivien Solari. Photo: Jamie Hawkesworth. Art direction: M/M (Paris). Image: Alexander McQueen.
With thanks to Emily Knight.

Fall 2019 Postscript (after Balenciaga)

Fall 2018 Balenciaga campaign image by Charlie White
Fall 2018 Balenciaga campaign image by Charlie White. Models: Eliza Douglas and Martina Almquist. Image: Fashion Gone Rogue.

Last week, it was announced that Demna Gvasalia is leaving Vetements, the label he founded in 2014. Vetements will continue under his brother, CEO Guram Gvasalia; the Georgian designer remains creative director of Balenciaga.

Martina Almquist in Balenciaga's Pre-Fall 2018 ad campaign photographed by Ilya Lipkin
Martina Almquist in Balenciaga’s Pre-Fall 2018 ad campaign. Photo: Ilya Lipkin. Editor: Lotta Volkova. Image: Balenciaga.

Left out of my Fall Vogues report were two Balenciaga adaptations.

Vogue 1638 after Balenciaga by Demna Gvasalia (2019)
Vogue 1638 after Balenciaga by Demna Gvasalia (2019) Image: McCall’s.

The godet draped skirt is a permanent design, seen variously in different wool checks with a partial raw edge, and in current-season stretch wool twill.

Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia
Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia. Image: Vogue Runway.

As the check reveals, the godet is true bias at the inner edges. (Also at Farfetch.)

Balenciaga asymmetric check skirt by Demna Gvasalia
Balenciaga asymmetric check skirt by Demna Gvasalia. Image: net-a-porter.
Balenciaga asymmetric Prince of Wales check skirt by Demna Gvasalia
Balenciaga asymmetric Prince of Wales check skirt by Demna Gvasalia. Image: Matches Fashion.

Here’s a fuchsia version from Pre-Fall 2019:

Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2019 by Demna Gvasalia
Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2019 by Demna Gvasalia. Image: Vogue Runway.

The stretch wool iteration was shown with a fluid silk blouse. (Also at Farfetch and net-a-porter.)

Balenciaga Godet Draped Skirt in rose bubble gum twill
Balenciaga Vareuse logo blouse and godet draped skirt in rose bubble gum twill. Image: Balenciaga.

Vogue’s second Balenciaga-inspired design can be shortened from dress to top. (View A, not photographed.)

Vogue 1632 after Balenciaga by Demna Gvasalia
Vogue 1632 after Balenciaga by Demna Gvasalia (2019) Image: McCall’s.

This one’s adapted from Balenciaga Fall 2018.

Balenciaga Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia - draped top in stretch crushed velvet
Balenciaga Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia. Model: Amanda Hermansson. Image: Vogue Runway.
Balenciaga Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia - draped mini dress in stretch velvet
Balenciaga Fall 2018 by Demna Gvasalia. Model: Sunniva Vaatevik. Image: Vogue Runway.

According to the Balenciaga webstore, the original was inspired by ice-skating. For knit fabrics with a lot of stretch.

Draped velvet dress by Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Draped velvet dress by Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga. Image: Browns.