Bad Girls Do It Well

January 12, 2017 § 1 Comment

Late 1950s Eastman Fibers Chromspun ad feat. McCall's 5020 and Pierre Cardin suit McCall's 5099

C’est Vous! 1959 Eastman Fibers advertisement featuring McCall’s 5020 and McCall’s 5099 by Pierre Cardin.

A 1959 Eastman Fibers ad brings a note of intrigue to McCall’s patterns by photographing them in a nightlife setting, on a pair of vampy women.

The patterns are McCall’s 5020, a strapless cocktail dress, and McCall’s 5099, a skirt suit by Pierre Cardin, both shown in Wesco Chromspun fabrics.

Chromspun is the trademark for Eastman colour-locked acetate yarn from Eastman Chemical Products Inc., then a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak—in those days headquartered on Madison Avenue.

Patterns in Vogue: The Silky Way

December 31, 2016 § Leave a comment

Brigitte Bauer photographed in Vogue pattern no. 6596 by Gordon Parks for British Vogue, 1965

Brigitte Bauer in British Vogue, November 1965. Photo: Gordon Parks. Image: Youthquakers.

A Gordon Parks editorial for British Vogue features Brigitte Bauer in NYE-worthy evening patterns.

Brigitte Bauer photographed by Gordon Parks in cocktail dress and toga gown made from Vogue patterns 6628 and 6596, November 1965

Vogue 6628 and 6596, British Vogue, November 1965. Photo: Gordon Parks. Model: Brigitte Bauer. Image: Youthquakers.

The patterns are Vogue 6628 and Vogue 6596, both Vogue Special designs. The cocktail sheath was made up in pale apple green wild silk from Dickins & Jones, the one-shouldered gown in light almond green Abraham silk crepe from Allan’s of Duke Street.

See Youthquakers for more of the November issue.

Happy New Year, all the best for 2017!

China Machado for Vogue Patterns

December 28, 2016 § 1 Comment

China Machado photographed by Bill King, 1970s

China Machado in Vogue Patterns, 1973. Photos: Bill King.

China Machado, the first mixed-race supermodel, has died. She was 86.

Bazaar Feb. 1959.

China Machado in Harper’s Bazaar, February 1959. Photos: Richard Avedon. Image: Emily Wardwell.

Born in Shanghai to Chinese and Portuguese parents, China Machado (1929-2016) was famous for working with Richard Avedon and Hubert de Givenchy. Later, she became a different kind of pioneer, as a model-turned-editor, when she succeeded Diana Vreeland as fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar.

bazaar apr 1971

China Machado on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, April 1971. Photo: Bill King. Image: eBay.

According to a 2010 profile, Machado made most of her own clothes, having learned to sew from her aunts in Shanghai. She returned to modelling in her eighties.

China Machado photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for the cover of New York magazine, August 2011

China Machado on the cover of New York magazine, August 2011. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe. Image: Cover Junkie.

In the ’70s, China Machado designed a Very Easy Vogue pattern for stretch knits, dubbed “The Shortcuts.” The collaboration was the subject of a four-page feature in Vogue Patterns magazine (click to enlarge):

China Machado: The Shortcuts. Vogue Patterns, June/July 1973.

China Machado: The Shortcuts. Vogue Patterns, June/July 1973. Photos: Bill King.

China Machado: The Shortcuts. Vogue Patterns, June/July 1973.

The Shortcuts – Vogue 2881 in Vogue Patterns, June/July 1973. Photos: Horn/Griner.

The wardrobe pattern of “nine easy pieces” for resort and lounge wear included a bikini, cover-ups, a skirt and pantskirt, and even a one-shouldered toga ensemble:

1970s wrap-and-tie pattern Vogue 2881, The Shortcuts, by China Machado: Tops, cover-ups, pantskirt, skirt, bikini and carry-all.

Vogue 2881 – The Shortcuts by China Machado (1973) Image: Sew Exciting Needleworks.

Another modelling pioneer, Beverly Johnson, wore Machado’s designs in Vogue magazine:

Beverly Johnson in Vogue pattern 2881 by China Machado and caftan Vogue 8587

Beverly Johnson in Vogue pattern 2881, by China Machado, and caftan Vogue 8587 in Vogue, May 1973. Photos: Kourken Pakchanian. Image: Youthquakers.

For more on China Machado, see Vanessa Friedman’s obituary or Bridget Foley’s 2010 profile for W.

With thanks to my mother and Nadia at Sew Exciting Needleworks.
China Machado in Derek Lam, Barney's Fall 2011 ad campaign. Photo: Mario Sorrenti. Editor: Carine Roitfeld

China Machado in Derek Lam, Barney’s Fall 2011 ad campaign. Photo: Mario Sorrenti. Editor: Carine Roitfeld. Image: Pop Sugar.

Create Your Brilliant Season

December 21, 2016 § 2 Comments

Dovima wears McCall's 4425 for Celanese, 1959

Dovima wears McCall’s 4425 for Celanese, 1959.

A Celanese advertising insert from the late 1950s shows McCall’s festive styles in the latest synthetic silks—top models and more than one tiara from the multinational chemical company that brought you cellulose acetate.

"Create your brilliant season with opulent fabrics of Celanese Contemporary Fibers" - 1959 Celanese insert

Celanese Contemporary Fibers advertising booklet, Fall 1959.

The booklet frames small, full-length photos of McCall’s designs with close-ups showing off the “brilliant” textiles. Here, McCall’s 4999 is shown in Belding Corticelli’s rayon-acetate matelassé, with McCall’s 5057 in Cohama’s Arnel triacetate faille. The model on the right is Simone D’Aillencourt:

1950s dress patterns McCall's 4999 and McCall's 5057

Left, McCall’s 4999 in Belding Corticelli matelassé; right, McCall’s 5057 in Cohama faille. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

The blue ensemble on the left is McCall’s 5023, made in Celanese Celaperm acetate satin faille from the David Hecht Co. Anne St. Marie poses in McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga rayon-acetate brocade:

1950s dress and jacket ensemble patterns McCall's 5023 and McCall's 5029

Left, McCall’s 5023 in David Hecht Co. satin faille; right, McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga brocade. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Here, Dovima wears a shimmering gold version of McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin acetate, while McCall’s 4870 evokes Princess Grace in aqua acetate satin from William Skinner and Sons:

1950s evening dress patterns McCall's 4425 and McCall's 4870

McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin; right, McCall’s 4870 in William Skinner and Sons satin. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Dovima closes the booklet in McCall’s 5012, an at-home trouser ensemble shown in orange and tangerine Celaperm acetate satin peau from Wedgwood Fabrics.

Dovima wears McCall's 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics' satin peau

Dovima wears McCall’s 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics’ satin peau. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

For more on the history of Celanese (est. 1918), see the company website.

Happy holidays, everyone!

James Galanos: Vogue Patterns

December 16, 2016 § 3 Comments

Silk burnooses by Galanos photographed by James Moore for the cover of Harper's Bazaar, October 1966

Silk burnooses by Galanos on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, October 1966. Photo: James Moore. Image: eBay.

This week, a look at the late James Galanos’ licensed Vogue patterns. (See my McCall’s post here.)

James Galanos Vogue pattern envelope flap with biographical note

James Galanos Vogue pattern envelope flap. Image: eBay.


"Vogue Americana presents The Masterful Touch of James Galanos": Maud Adams wears V1854 by Galanos

Maud Adams wears Vogue 1854 by James Galanos on the cover of the Vogue Patterns catalogue, January 1968. Image: eBay.

Vogue Patterns introduced James Galanos patterns in late 1967, with two dress designs modelled by Maud Adams and Lauren Hutton. The counter catalogue promotes Galanos’ “masterful touch” with an alternate shot of Vogue 1854, an A-line dress with side pleats at right front and left back:

1960s James Galanos dress pattern - Vogue Americana 1854

Vogue 1854 by James Galanos (1967) Model: Maud Adams. Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Lauren Hutton models Vogue 1855, a coat dress with double inverted pleats in the back:

1960s James Galanos coat dress pattern feat. Lauren Hutton - Vogue 1855

Vogue 1855 by James Galanos (1967) Model: Lauren Hutton. Image: eBay.

This short, wrap-effect evening dress has square armholes and front pleats concealing pockets:

1960s James Galanos evening dress pattern - Vogue 2071

Vogue 2071 by James Galanos (1969) Image: Etsy.


Later Galanos patterns were photographed on location in New York, where the designer showed his collections. This dress goes one further than Vogue 1855 and has double inverted pleats in both front and back:

1970s James Galanos dress pattern - Vogue 2269

Vogue 2269 by James Galanos (1970) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

Jumpsuit Vogue 2524 features a shoulder yoke, pintucks, and wide, corded belt:

1970s James Galanos jumpsuit pattern - Vogue 2524

Vogue 2524 by James Galanos (1971) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

The latest Galanos pattern I’ve seen is Vogue 2639, a long-sleeved evening dress with front slit and waistline smocking detail:

1970s James Galanos evening dress pattern - Vogue 2639

Vogue 2639 by James Galanos (1971) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

A dreamy illustration made the cover of the news leaflet:

1970s Galanos evening dress Vogue 2639 illustrated by Ron Becker for Vogue Pattern Fashion News

Vogue 2639 by James Galanos on the cover of Vogue Pattern Fashion News, January 1972. Illustration: Ron Becker. Image: eBay.

For more on James Galanos, see Hamish Bowles’ obituary for Vogue or watch LACMA’s 1996 documentary, Galanos on Galanos (with thanks to Jen O of the Pintucks blog).

Donna Mitchell, "Black silk ottoman cloqué sheath wreathed in feathers by Galanos" photographed by Melvin Sokolsky for Bazaar, fall 1963

Feather-trimmed sheath in silk ottoman cloqué by Galanos on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, November 1963. Photo: Melvin Sokolsky. Model: Donna Mitchell. Image: Paper Pursuits.

McCall Style News, November 1934

December 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

1930s fur-trimmed tunic coat illustration - McCall 8038 (1934)

McCall 8038 on the cover of McCall Style News, November 1934.

We finally got some snow in Toronto. Here’s a winter-themed cover from the mid-1930s.

The pattern is McCall 8038, a suit consisting of a high-waisted skirt and tunic-length wrap coat with fur-trimmed collar.

(The NRA eagle logo shows compliance with the National Recovery Administration. For more on this Depression-era US policy, see Rebecca Onion for Slate.)

Black and White Ball 50th Anniversary + Sale!

November 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

Principessa Luciana Pignatelli, Peter Gimbel and Contessa Crespi at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball at the Plaza hotel in Manhattan in 1966

Guests at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball at the Plaza hotel, Manhattan, 1966. Photo: Lawrence Fried. Image: Condé Nast / Getty via the New York Times.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Truman Capote’s legendary Black and White Ball. (Read Amy Fine Collins’ article for the 30th.)

Can you name the celebrities behind the masks? Guests at the Black and White Balls, 1966 photographed for LIFE by Henry Grossman

Masked guests in Life magazine, December 9, 1966. Photos: Henry Grossman. Image: Life archive.

To mark the occasion, I’m having a flash sale in the PatternVault Etsy shop.

Black and white evening ensembles by Pauline Trigère, 1964

Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

The sale runs through today only—20% off with coupon code CAPOTE. Your purchase helps support the research on this blog.

Happy shopping!

Photo: Barton Silverman. Image: the New York Times.

Truman Capote in his mask from F.A.O. Schwarz. Photo: Barton Silverman. Image: the New York Times.

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