Free Designer Pattern: Alyx Pleat Dress

January 21, 2018 § 1 Comment

At the V&A in the Alyx pleat dress. Photo: Britt Lloyd. Model: Jazzelle Zanaughtti

At the V&A in the Alyx pleat dress. Photo: Britt Lloyd. Model: Jazzelle Zanaughtti. Image: SHOWstudio.

The new Design Download from SHOWstudio is an Alyx shirtdress. Alyx was founded in 2015 by Matthew M. Williams, a well-connected American designer now based in Ferrara, Italy. (For more, see Emilia Petrarca, “Kanye West and LVMH-Approved: Meet Designer Matthew Williams” and Matthew Schneier, “Matthew Williams, Renaissance Man.”)

For the Alyx Fall 2017 collection, Williams was inspired by Berlin fetish clubs. The pleat dress was shown in two versions—black leopard print:

Model: Siouxsie Leenaars. Image:

And silver lamé:

Model: Siouxsie Leenaars. Image:

For more views see the Alyx retail site (silver | black).

Watch a video of Williams discussing a piece from the Alyx Spring ’18 menswear collection:

This year’s competition prize is an Alyx catalogue shot by Nick Knight. (Season unspecified.)

Alyx Natural Order catalogue (Fall 2016) photographed by Nick Knight

Alyx Natural Order catalogue (Fall 2016) photographed by Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.

As before, the pattern download comes in a choice of A4 or A1 sheets, each with a test line to check the scale.

Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the dress pattern (22 pieces)

Size: M

Notes: The original was silk. Skirt has bagged lining. Calls for fusible interfacing for the collar, cuffs, etc.

Notions: 3 small buttons, 7 smaller buttons + additional for concealed skirt closure; contrasting thread for edge stitching, bar tacks, piping, and belt loops.

Stay tuned for the submissions gallery: the contest closes March 30th, 2018. (Deadline updated.)

Jill Kennington

January 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

Winter Looks: Jill Kennington in Vogue 1676 by Elio Berhanyer, Vogue Pattern Book International Winter 1966

Jill Kennington in Vogue 1676 by Elio Berhanyer, Vogue Pattern Book International, Winter 1966. Image: eBay.

British model-turned-photographer Jill Kennington turns 75 today.

Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Jill Kennington (b. 1943) moved to London at 18, working at Harrods and staying with her aunt, who was a buyer there. Scouted by Michael Whittaker, the founder of the Whittaker Enterprises agency, she was hired as a house model at Norman Hartnell before she could finish the agency course.

Vogue Pattern Book, UK edition, Summer 1966

Vogue Pattern Book International, Summer 1966. Image: Vintage Chic.

Kennington was one of two models in John Cowan’s famous shoot in the Canadian Arctic. (See the full editorial at You might recognize her from Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up. (Read her reminiscences in Vanity Fair.)

"The Girl who went out in the cold" editorial - Georges Kaplan ostrich feather coat; Halston hat.

At Resolute Bay, Vogue, November 1964. Photo: John Cowan. Image: Pleasure Photo.

Jill Kennington (left) with Peggy Moffitt and other London models in Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up

Jill Kennington (left) in Blow-Up (1966) Image: Vanity Fair.

That’s Kennington in Emmanuelle Khanh’s dress pattern in Queen magazine. (Previously seen in my Butterick Young Designers post.)

Butterick Emmanuelle Khanhdress_pressphoto1965

Butterick 3718 by Emmanuelle Khanh, Queen, August 11, 1965. Image: Amazon.

Here she models some mod knitwear by Mary Quant:

Patons 101 Courtelle Double Knitting no. 9702 by Mary Quant (ca. 1966) - price 9d

Patons no. 9702 by Mary Quant (ca. 1966)

Kennington can be seen on some of Vogue’s earliest Givenchy patterns. This evening dress was also featured on the cover of the February retail catalogue:

1960s Givenchy evening dress pattern feat. Jill Kennington - Vogue Paris Original 1698

Vogue 1698 by Givenchy (1967)

In Vogue 1707 by Fabiani:

Jill Kennington in Vogue 1707 by Fabiani on the cover of the Vogue retail catalogue, April 1967

FABIANI 1707: Vogue Patterns catalogue, April 1967. Image: Etsy.

More Vogue Paris Originals and Couturier patterns featuring Kennington:

1960s Marc Bohan for Dior cerise dress suit pattern Vogue Paris Original 1725

Vogue 1725 by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior (1967) Image: eBay.

1960s Laroche dress and coat pattern Vogue Paris Original 1737

Vogue 1737 by Laroche (1967) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

1960s Simonetta dress pattern Vogue Couturier Design 1746

Vogue 1746 by Simonetta (1967) Image: Blue Gardenia.

1960s Lanvin dress pattern Vogue Paris Original 1747

Vogue 1747 by Lanvin (1967) Image: eBay.

In a flight-themed British Vogue editorial, wearing Young Fashionables hooded jumpsuit Vogue 6376:

"Out of the Blue," Vogue UK Feb 1967 Traeger

Vogue 6376 in British Vogue, February 1967. Photo: Ronald Traeger. Image: Youthquakers.

Happy birthday, Ms. Kennington!

Jill Kennington photographed by Lichfield, 1964 - NPG London

Jill Kennington, 1964. Photo: Lichfield. Image: National Portrait Gallery.

Jill Kennington photographed by William Klein in Pierre Cardin, Weekend Telegraph, fall 1965

Is Paris dead? Jill Kennington in Pierre Cardin, Weekend Telegraph, September 3, 1965. Photo: William Klein. Image: eBay.

Jill Kennington photographed by Helmut Newton for Queen magazine, January 1966

Jill Kennington in Queen, January 5, 1966. Photo: Helmut Newton. Image: Pinterest.

1960s Queen Christmas cover featuring Jill Kennington photographed by David Montgomery

Jill Kennington on the cover of Queen‘s Christmas issue. Photo: David Montgomery. Image: eBay.

Patterns in Vogue: Romantic Gestures

December 30, 2017 § 1 Comment

V2270 culotte dress photographed by Ellen von Unwerth, Vogue December 1990

Susan Holmes in Vogue, December 1990. Photo: Ellen von Unwerth. Editor: André Leon Talley. Image: Ma Chérie, Dior.

An opulent early ’90s holiday editorial, shot by Ellen von Unwerth and styled by André Leon Talley, includes one Vogue pattern.

Vogue’s version of culotte dress Vogue 2270 was made up in fuchsia satin from B&J Fabrics.

Late 1980s culotte jumpsuit and jacket pattern Vogue Basic Design 2270

Vogue 2270 (1989) Image: Etsy.

(See Ma Chérie, Dior for the full editorial.)

Happy New Year, all the best for 2018!

Glow, Holiday 1979

December 21, 2017 § 3 Comments

Vogue 2337 by Yves Saint Laurent in purple silk jacquard, shown with a giant red gift

Tara Shannon wears Yves Saint Laurent’s V2337 in Vogue Patterns, November/December 1979, “Glow” editorial. Photo: Albert Watson.

Perfume: Opium, of course!

Yves Saint Laurent’s Chinese tunic got a lot of exposure during the 1979-80 holiday season. The cover of Vogue’s January 1980 retail catalogue also shows a version of this shot. (See Make Mine Vogue.) The pattern is Vogue 2337.

Happy holidays, everyone.

Patterns in Vogue: Gia in Versace, 1979

December 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

Gia Carangi in Genny by Versace, Vogue, July 1979

Detail, Gia Carangi in Vogue, July 1979. Photo: Alex Chatelain.

2017 is officially the year of Versace. To mark the 20th anniversary of her brother’s death, Donatella Versace has been returning to the house’s heritage, most notably with a surprise finale to her spring runway show. But if it’s that ’90s supermodel moment—glamazons lip-synching George Michael—that we remember best, let us not forget Versace’s equally glamorous beginnings.

Early in Gianni Versace’s career, Vogue magazine featured one of his Vogue patterns, as worn by the young Gia Carangi. The pleated blouse, pants, and cummerbund were shown in black and white silk taffeta.

Gia Carangi in Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace, 1979

Gia Carangi in Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace. Vogue, July 1979. Photo: Alex Chatelain.

The pattern is a Genny design:

Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny

Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny (1978) Model: Karen Bjornson.

For more on Versace’s licensed patterns from the late ’70s and early ’80s, see my 2-part series: 1. Versace for Genny and Complice and 2. Gianni Versace.

photo and biography of Gianni Versace from pattern envelope flap: "GIANNI VERSACE the Milanese master of fashion! His is the biggest ready-to-wear business in Italy and his clothes are sold around the world from Germany to Japan to the United States. Art, cinema and young people's tastes all influence his modernistic fashion approach."

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.

Battle On, Xena!

October 31, 2017 § 2 Comments

Lucy Lawless in "Return of Callisto," episode 5 of Xena: Warrior Princess, season 2, 1996

Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess, 1996. Image: NBC Universal/Movie Pilot.

Before Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, there was Xena: Warrior Princess. The Hercules spinoff starring Lucy Lawless as a Thracian warrior became a cult hit, thanks partly to that iconic leather armour by Ngila Dickson.

Lucy Lawless' Xena: Warrior Princess costume at the Museum of New Zealand

Image: Museum of New Zealand.

Best known today for her work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dickson won a New Zealand Film and TV Award for Xena in 1998. The same year saw both an animated Hercules and Xena and official licensed costume patterns from Butterick. (Simplicity had done unofficial Xena patterns in 1997.)

The Butterick costumes call for synthetic leather for the dress and accessories, metallic cord and marker, and cotton Lycra to make your own undershorts. Chakram not included.

1990s official adult's Xena: Warrior Princess costume, Butterick 5726

Butterick 5725 (1998) Official adult’s Xena: Warrior Princess costume.

1990s official children's Xena: Warrior Princess costume, Butterick 5726

Butterick 5726 (1998) Official children’s Xena: Warrior Princess costume.

Happy Halloween!

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