President Joe Biden will reportedly be wearing Ralph Lauren to his inauguration. The fashion choices of the ceremony’s female attendees are shrouded in secrecy, but you can be sure the pattern companies are paying close attention.
Sixty years ago, Jacqueline Kennedy made Inauguration-Day history in Oleg Cassini and a Halston pillbox hat. Cassini may not have licensed any coat patterns, but dressmakers could soon make their own cloth hats with Vogue’s Halston patterns.
In 1965, Second Lady Muriel Humphrey Brown wore Balmain, made from a Vogue pattern. “For the inauguration itself, Mrs. Humphrey made her own dress of pale blue angora and wool broadcloth from a Vogue Paris original pattern by Balmain… The dress is semi-fitted, with simulated slot seaming along the bodice and down the front of the skirt, giving an empire line.” (“Mrs. Humphrey Sews Dress: Inauguration Gowns Will Be Red, White, Blue,” AP / Globe and Mail, January 18, 1965.) Her dress was probably this Vogue Paris Original:
In 2009, Michelle Obama wore custom Isabel Toledo. A Butterick pattern soon followed:
In 2017, the publication of this Ralph Lauren-inspired inauguration ensemble caused some controversy:
Any guesses which designer labels Dr. Jill Biden and Kamala Harris might wear on Inauguration Day?
The PatternVault blog turns nine today! It’s been a pleasure writing about vintage fashion for you, for almost a decade.
Speaking of the passage of time, this year’s major Costume Institute show, About Time: Fashion and Duration, also considers questions of style and temporality.
Planned to mark the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, the spring-summer exhibit has been postponed to open on October 29, 2020 (closing February 7, 2021). Luckily, thanks to Yale University Press, the exhibition catalogue is available to purchase, or preview online.
The preview — and exquisite black-and-white photography by Nicholas Alan Cope — gives a taste of the garments selected for the now-postponed exhibition. Curator Andrew Bolton pairs Drecoll with Rick Owens, and a WW1 Red Cross uniform with current-season Margiela by Galliano.
As I noted on Twitter, About Time also includes a look at the McQueen dress that is SHOWstudio’s latest Design Download.
Happy blogiversary to me, and happy sesquicentennial to the Met!