Isaac Mizrahi: Vogue Patterns

Isaac Mizrahi and Shalom Harlow photographed by Dewey Nicks for the Isaac Mizrahi Spring 1998 ad campaign
Isaac Mizrahi and Shalom Harlow in Isaac Mizrahi’s Spring 1998 ad campaign. Photo: Dewey Nicks. Image: Instagram.

Unzipped, the groundbreaking fashion film, is 25 this month.

The 1995 documentary made Isaac Mizrahi a household name. (Read more at Vogue.com.) To celebrate, here’s a look at Mizrahi’s vintage Vogue patterns.

Shalom Harlow and Amber Valetta photographed by Steven Meisel in Isaac Mizrahi formal wear on the cover of Vogue, September 1995.
Isaac Mizrahi formal wear on the cover of Vogue, September 1995. Models: Shalom Harlow and Amber Valetta. Photo: Steven Meisel. Editor: Camilla Nickerson. Image: Pinterest.
Isaac Mizrahi New York logo design by Tibor Kalman
Isaac Mizrahi label designed by Tibor Kalman. Image: Yale University Press.

Born in Brooklyn, Isaac Mizrahi (b. 1961) started licensing patterns not long after showing his first solo collection. Vogue Patterns Magazine welcomed him to the Vogue Individualist line for Holiday ’88 with two patterns shown in sorbetto brights.

"Newcomer Isaac Mizrahi: Coming on the scene in a burst of incandescent colors, this new, young talent is a natural Vogue Individualist!"
“New Comer Isaac Mizrahi,” Vogue Patterns, November/December 1988. (Vogue 2218 and 2219) Image: Etsy.

Even before Mizrahi received backing from Chanel, both Vogue and Vogue Patterns were champions of his work. This crisp Mizrahi shirtdress made the cover of the summer retail catalogue.

Vogue 2495 Vogue cat JulAug 1990
Vogue 2495 by Isaac Mizrahi on the cover of the Vogue Patterns retail catalogue, July/August 1990. Image: eBay.

Vogue included a Mizrahi jacket pattern in the spring 1991 budget-dressing editorial, “Fit to Print.” The jacket was made in a double-faced wool plaid from New York’s Felsen Fabrics.

"Fit to Print," Vogue March 1991. The suit of the younger generation, leggings and a jacket, gets a boost from bright plaids. Double-faced wool jacket, about $75. Vogue Pattern 2626. Fabric from Felsen Fabrics, NYC. Silk and Lycra leggings, about $30. Vogue Pattern 7733. Fabric from B&J Fabrics, NYC.
Vogue 2626 by Isaac Mizrahi (with V7733 leggings) in Vogue, March 1991. Model: Marielle Macville. Photo: Isabel Snyder. Editor: Elizabeth Saltzman. Image: Vogue Archive.

For Holiday ’94 — essentially the Fall-Winter ’94–95 season documented in Unzipped — Mizrahi designed what Vogue called a “mini-collection created especially for Vogue Patterns.” Several of these pieces were featured on the cover of the counter catalogue.

Vogue 1512, 1513. Vogue Patterns retail catalogue, January/February 1995
“Isaac Mizrahi for Vogue Patterns,” Vogue Patterns retail catalogue, January/February 1995. Image: eBay.

Vogue published a two-page article on the new Mizrahi patterns. The magazine had everything made up in silk lamé, wool jersey, and vinyl from B&J Fabrics.

Gold mind: After seasons of silver, Isaac Mizrahi goes for the gold with a strapless second-skin knee-length lamé cocktail dress (1, 2) and a high-shine lamé trench coat, which can stand alone as a dress or be worn as a traffic-stopping topcoat (3, 4) — evening wear King Midas would have loved. (V1512 dress and V1513 trench both in silk lamé from B&J Fabrics, NYC.)
“Cut it out!,” Vogue, December 1994. Photos: Richard J. Burbridge, Ellen von Unwerth. Image: Vogue Archive.
Vogue Dec 1994 p. 136 "Night vision: Isaac Mizrahi's golden ideas for evening chic range from a full-impact slinky floor-length gold lamé slip dress (1, 4), a flash-of-gold skinny belt on a black wool jersey shift dress (2) to a slim-cut gold lamé suit worn with a casual cotton camisole (3). Components for a high-glamour wardrobe include a tailored jacket in dramatic gold lamé (5), a streamlined knee-length wool jersey shift (6), and the techno mix of a gold spandex t-shirt with a knee-length black vinyl skirt (7).
“Cut it out!,” Vogue, December 1994. Models: Bridget Hall, Linda Evangelista, Karen Mulder. Photos: Richard J. Burbridge, Albert Watson, Ellen von Unwerth. Image: Vogue Archive.
Vogue Dec 1994 p368
Patterns – In This Issue, Vogue, December 1994. Image: Vogue Archive.

Isaac Mizrahi patterns were available through Vogue Attitudes until the later 1990s. Mizrahi graduated to Vogue’s regular designer line in 1998 — the year he shuttered his label.

Vogue 1963 (1997)
Vogue 1963 by Isaac Mizrahi (1997) Model: Maggie Giotta. Image: eBay.
Vogue 2207 (1998)
Vogue 2207 by Isaac Mizrahi (1998) Image: eBay.
1990s Isaac Mizahi cocktail or evening dress pattern Vogue 2230 - LazyGreyCollectibles on Etsy
Vogue 2230 by Isaac Mizrahi (1998) Image: Etsy.

Yet the mid-teens saw another comeback for the designer, with both a return to Vogue Patterns and a retrospective exhibition at the Jewish Museum, New York, entitled Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History.

Detail, Colourfield (Fall 2004). Isaac Mizrahi exhibition catalogue (Yale 2016)
Detail, Colorfield (Fall 2004). Chee Pearlman, with Lynn Yaeger, Kelly Taxter, and Ulrich Lehmann, Isaac Mizrahi (Yale University Press, 2016) Book design: J. Abbott Miller, Andrew Walters, Yoon-Young Chai, Pentagram. Image: Yale University Press.
(Vogue 1794)
“The American Style of Isaac Mizrahi.” Maggie Giotta in V1794, Vogue Patterns retail catalogue, June 1996. Image: eBay.

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.