Arnold Scaasi: Vogue Patterns

July 1, 2016 § 3 Comments

Mary Jane Russell wears Scaasi on the cover of Vogue's Christmas issue, 1955. Photographed by Richard Rutledge

A Scaasi design on the cover of Vogue, December 1955. Photo: Richard Rutledge. Model: Mary Jane Russell. Image via tumblr.

In celebration of Canada Day, this post is dedicated to the late Arnold Scaasi.

Deborah Dixon in Scaasi earrings, 1960

Scaasi earrings on the cover of Vogue, November 15, 1960. Photo: Bert Stern. Model: Deborah Dixon. Image: flickr.

Arnold Scaasi (1930-2015) was born in Montreal as Arnold Isaacs. (Scaasi is Isaacs backwards—depending who you ask, the designer changed his name either to sound more Italian or less Jewish.) His father was a furrier, his mother had studied opera, and his glamorous, Schiaparelli-loving Aunt Ida was an early inspiration. He studied in Montreal and Paris, at the Cotnoir-Capponi school and the Chambre Syndicale, then worked at Paquin and Charles James in New York before launching his own business in 1956.

Scaasi was best known for his opulent evening wear, custom-made for society and celebrity clients who appreciated the drama of his sculptural silhouettes, luxurious materials, and flamboyant use of colour. In 2002, the Museum at FIT mounted the retrospective Scaasi: Exuberant Fashion and, following his retirement in 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston hosted Scaasi: American Couturier, an exhibition structured around his couture clients.

Scaasi label, ca. 1959

Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Scaasi lost no time in pursuing pattern licensing. These Scaasi Spadea patterns date to 1956:

 life4jun1956p121 Via Google

Scaasi evening skirt available as a Spadea pattern, Life, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image via Google Books.

 life 4jun 1956 p122a Via Google

Scaasi jacket available as a Spadea pattern, Life, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image via Google Books.

 life4jun1956p122b Via Google

Scaasi housecoat available as a Spadea pattern, Life, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image via Google Books.

A few decades later, Claire Shaeffer covered Scaasi’s couture techniques for Threads magazine:

A Scaasi gown on the cover of Threads magazine, holiday 1991

A Scaasi gown on the cover of Threads 38 (December/January 1991-92) Photo: Yvonne Taylor. Image via vintage4me2.

It was only in the early 1990s that Scaasi licensed his work with Vogue Patterns. The designer was introduced in the November/December 1993 issue of Vogue Patterns with three patterns. The first, Vogue 1285, is a low-backed cocktail or evening dress with sheer contrast:

1990s Scaasi formal dress pattern Vogue 1285

Vogue 1285 by Scaasi (1993) Image via Etsy.

This formal ensemble includes two-layer palazzo pants for chiffon or georgette and a top for scalloped lace:

1990s Scaasi evening suit pattern Vogue 1286

Vogue 1286 by Scaasi (1993) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 1287 is a collarless skirt suit with caftan-style side slits:

1990s Scaasi skirt suit pattern Vogue 1287

Vogue 1287 by Scaasi (1993) Image via Etsy.

From spring, 1994, this dress is shaped by long darts in front and back and trimmed with a flounce:

1990s Scaasi dress pattern Vogue 1357

Vogue 1357 by Scaasi (1994) Image via Pinterest.

Finally, Vogue 1377’s dress has a boned bodice and slightly off-the-shoulder neckline. The original’s striped fabric was cut on a creative layout:

1990s Arnold Scaasi striped dress pattern Vogue 1377

Vogue 1377 by Scaasi (1994) Image via Etsy.

(Seldom seen, but there is a copy at Sew Exciting Needleworks.)

In 1991, Scaasi told The Canadian Press, “When I left Canada some 30 years ago, there was no room for creative talent in dress design. At that time, the only way to really make it was to go to the United States.” A New Yorker from 1951, he met his partner, Parker Ladd, on Central Park South in the early 1960s; they married in 2011.

For more on Scaasi, see the obituaries in The New York Times, the Montreal Gazette, and WWD.

Opening image Scaasi ID thanks to Kickshaw Productions.

Short, red evening coat and bubble-hem dress in a silk polka dot print by Scaasi, 1958 (as 1961)

Evening ensemble by Arnold Scaasi for Arlene Francis, 1958. Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Carmen Dell’Orefice

June 3, 2016 § 5 Comments

Carmen Dell’ Orefice in Ceil Chapman, Vogue, 1949. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image via Norman Parkinson Archive.

Carmen Dell’Orefice turns eighty-five today.

Carmen Dell'Orefice photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld for Vogue, October 1947 (British Vogue, Feb. 1948)

Vogue, October 15, 1947. Photo: Erwin Blumenfeld. Image via Pinterest.

Often called the world’s oldest working model, Carmen Dell’Orefice (b. 1931) was discovered at thirteen on a New York City bus; at sixteen she had her first Vogue cover. In 2011, the London College of Fashion devoted an exhibition to her modelling work, Carmen: A Life In Fashion.

Vogue, May 1, 1951. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Via Pinterest

Carmen Dell'Orefice photographed by John Rawlings for Vogue, spring 1955

Vogue, May 1955. Photo: John Rawlings. Image via Pinterest.

Carmen Dell'Orefice in a bathing cap, photographed by Gleb Derujinsky for Harper's Bazaar, May 1958

Harper’s Bazaar, May 1958. Photo: Gleb Derujinsky. Image via Pinterest.

Dell’Orefice’s work with New York pattern companies may be seen in postwar publications from Vogue, McCall’s, and Simplicity, as well as more recent Vogue patterns.

A Richard Rutledge editorial for Vogue Pattern Book features the young Dell’Orefice in new patterns for spring, 1949 (jacket Vogue 6716 and blouses Vogue 6065 and Vogue 6707, all with skirt Vogue 6708):

VPB AprMay1949 p28top

Vogue 6716 and 6708 in Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949. Photo: Richard Rutledge.

VPB AprMay 1949 p28

Vogue 6065 and 6708 in Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949. Photo: Richard Rutledge.

VPB AprMay 1949 p28a

Vogue 6707 and 6708 in Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949. Photo: Richard Rutledge.

On this McCall Pattern Book cover from Summer, 1957, she models McCall’s 4095 and 4097:

McCalls PB Summer 1957

McCall’s Pattern Book, Summer 1957. Image: eBay.

Here, Dell’Orefice poses in an all-red ensemble for the cover of Simplicity magazine, Fall 1958:

Carmen Dell'Orefice on the cover of Simplicity magazine, fall 1958

Simplicity magazine, Fall-Winter 1958. Image: eBay.

Here she wears gown Vogue 9827 on the cover of Vogue Pattern Book’s holiday issue:

Carmen Dell'Orefice wears Vogue 9827 - Vogue Pattern Book, December/January 1959-1960

Vogue 9827 on the cover of Vogue Pattern Book, December/January 1959-1960. Image via Make Mine Vogue.

1980s

After a break, Dell’Orefice returned to modelling in the late 1970s. On these two patterns from the ’80s, she wears Vogue 8195, a caftan-style dress, and Arlene Dahl gown Vogue 8521 in gold lamé:

Carmen Dell'Orefice on a 1980s Vogue pattern, V8195

Vogue 8195 (ca. 1982) Image via the Vintage Pattern Wiki.

1980s Arlene Dahl dress pattern featuring Carmen Dell'Orefice, Vogue 8521

Vogue 8521 by Arlene Dahl (ca. 1980s) Image via Etsy.

1990s

In the later 1990s, Dell’Orefice posed for many patterns in The Vogue Woman line. Vogue 1972 is a seasonless wardrobe pattern, while Vogue 9821 is a dress and tunic suitable for petites:

Carmen Dell'Orefice models 1990s The Vogue Woman pattern Vogue 1972

Vogue 1972 (1997) Image via Etsy.

Carmen Dell'Orefice models 1990s Vogue 9821

Vogue 9821 (1998) Image via eBay.

Happy birthday, Ms. Dell’Orefice!

Carmen Dell'Orefice on the runway, Florence 2011

Alberta Ferretti fashion show, Florence, 2011. Image: Getty / Vogue Italia.

Jean Patchett

February 16, 2016 § 4 Comments

Jean Patchett photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld for the cover of Vogue magazine, January 1950.

Vogue, January 1950. Photo: Erwin Blumenfeld. Image via jeanpatchett.com.

Today is the 90th anniversary of Jean Patchett’s birth.

Jean Patchett (1926-2002) moved to New York City from her home in Preston, Maryland to pursue a career in modelling. She signed with Ford Models in the spring of 1948, and soon became one of the new agency’s top models. Patchett appears on some of Vogue’s most iconic covers. She retired in 1963. (See Cathy Horyn’s obituary for The New York Times, “Jean Patchett, 75, a Model Who Helped Define the 50’s.”)

Jean Patchett photographed by Irving Penn for the cover of Vogue magazine, April 1950

Vogue, April 1, 1950. (Dress by Larry Aldrich; Lilly Daché hat.) Photo: Irving Penn. Image via jeanpatchett.com.

(Read more about this cover at the Art Institute of Chicago, or see the UK version here.)

British Vogue, July 1951. Photo: Clifford Coffin. Image via Vogue UK.

(Prints available from the Condé Nast shop.)

According to a short profile in Glamour, in her off hours, Patchett enjoyed making her own clothes (Glamour, Oct. 1948). She can be seen in pattern editorials for Vogue, Simplicity, McCall’s, and Butterick from the late 1940s on.

Soon after her first Vogue cover in September, 1948 (October for British Vogue), Serge Balkin photographed the young Patchett in tone-on-tone grey flannel for the cover of Vogue Pattern Book. The patterns are Vogue 6620 (dress) and Vogue 6629 (coat):

Jean Patchett photographed in Vogue 6620 and 6629 for Vogue Pattern Book (Chanda hat)

Vogue Pattern Book, December-January 1948-49. Photo: Serge Balkin. Image via eBay.

Irving Penn’s famous Vogue editorial, “Flying down to Lima,” showing Patchett on location in Lima, Peru, is in fact a pattern editorial. In this café scene, she chews her pearls wearing Vogue S-4967, a dress and jacket ensemble (click the image for a gallery note, or see Devorah MacDonald’s blog for the full editorial):

"Flying down to Lima"

Jean Patchett in Vogue S-4967; John-Frederics hat. Vogue, February 1949. Photo: Irving Penn. Image via the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Patchett poses in dress and jacket Vogue S-4008 on this fall 1949 cover of Vogue Pattern Book:

Vogue Pattern Book, August-September 1949. Image via flickr.

Wearing the New Look dress and camisole Vogue S-4088:

Jean Patchett wears Vogue S-4088 dress + cami on the cover of Vogue Pattern Book

Vogue Pattern Book, Summer 1950. Image via eBay.

Richard Avedon’s travel-themed photo was used for both Simplicity’s counter catalogue and the company’s Fall-Winter magazine (where Patchett can be seen holding a copy of André Gide’s Les faux-monnayeurs). The patterns are Simplicity 3327 (topper), Simplicity 3298 (weskit), and Simplicity 3027 (skirt):

Fall-Winter 1950 Simplicity Pattern magazine. Green topper coat, Simplicity 3327. Red vest, Simplicity 3298. Plaid skirt, Simplicity 3027

Simplicity catalogue, ca. autumn 1950. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image via Etsy.

Here she poses in a veiled hat and elegant silk shortcoat; the text contains a typo—the pattern is Vogue 7258:

Jean Patchett in Vogue 7258 (not 7528) in Vogue Pattern Book

Vogue 7258 in Vogue Pattern Book, Early Summer 1951. Image via flickr.

This Holiday issue of Butterick Pattern Book features Patchett in Butterick 5941, a shirtdress with cuffed sleeves:

Jean Patchett wears Butterick 5941 on the cover of Butterick Pattern Book

Butterick Pattern Book, Winter 1951. Image via jeanpatchett.com.

For the fortieth anniversary issue of McCall’s Pattern Book, Patchett posed in McCall’s 9080 alongside illustrations from past decades:

Jean Patchett wears McCall's 9080 on the 40th anniversary issue of McCall's Pattern Book, 1952

McCall’s Pattern Book, Back-to-School and Fall 1952. Image via jeanpatchett.com.

Lillian Bassman photographed Patchett in this striped summer dress from Simplicity:

Jean Patchett photographed in a halter dress for Simplicity Pattern Book

Simplicity Pattern Book, Summer 1953. Photo: Lillian Bassman. Image via myvintagevogue.

Posing for the cover of Burda Moden magazine:

Jean Patchett on the cover of Burda Moden, Oktober 1954

Burda Moden, October 1954. Image via flickr.

This strapless playsuit must be Simplicity 4715, shown in bias tartan with matching parasol:

Simplicity Pattern Book, Summer 1954. Photo: Paul Radkai. Image via myvintagevogue.

Roger Prigent photographed Patchett in Vogue S-4550, made up in Onondaga acetate brocade:

VPM1954-55_Prigent

Vogue S-4550 in Vogue Pattern Book, December-January 1954-55. Photo: Roger Prigent.

Finally, Patchett appears with her own double in this resort-themed McCall’s advertisement featuring McCall’s 3635 (see my earlier post on this campaign here):

Jean Patchett wears McCall's 3635 in a McCall’s Printed Patterns ad

“Make the clothes that make the woman” – advertisement for McCall’s Printed Patterns, 1956.

For more of Jean Patchett’s work, see jeanpatchett.com, myvintagevogue, or skorver on flickr.

Evelyn Tripp

December 23, 2015 § 3 Comments

1950s British Vogue cover featuring Evelyn Tripp in red coat and hat

British Vogue, January 1955. Photo: Erwin Blumenfeld. Image via Vogue UK.

Evelyn Tripp (1927-1995) was one of the most prolific models of the 1950s. Born on a farm in Missouri, she was discovered at 20 while shopping on Fifth Avenue. You may recognize her from William Klein’s photograph, Smoke + Veil. She retired in 1968. (Read her New York Times obituary here.)

Evelyn Tripp William Klein Smoke + Veil 1958

Smoke + Veil, 1958. Photo: William Klein. Image via WWD.

Evelyn Tripp did modelling work for Simplicity, Woman’s Day, Butterick, and Vogue Patterns in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The Fall-Winter 1950 Simplicity catalogue includes a few photographs of the young Tripp. Here she wears tent coat Simplicity 8217:

Evelyn Tripp in 1950s tent coat pattern Simplicity 8217

Simplicity 8217 in Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950.

Tripp also modelled an early Pauline Trigère design for Woman’s Day magazine. The portfolio was photographed by Leombruno-Bodi (full size here):

1950s Pauline Trigère dress pattern - Woman's Day 3267

Woman’s Day 3267 by Pauline Trigère in Woman’s Day, September 1950. Photos: Leombruno-Bodi. Image via Etsy.

1950s Pauline Trigère dress pattern - Woman's Day 3267

Woman’s Day 3267 by Pauline Trigère in Woman’s Day, September 1950. Photos: Leombruno-Bodi. Image via Etsy.

Among Tripp’s many covers are several for Vogue Pattern Book. Here she wears suit pattern Vogue S-4625:

1950s Vogue Pattern Book

Vogue Pattern Book, August-September 1955. Image via eBay.

On this spring cover she poses in dress-and-coat ensemble Vogue S-4659 (with matching hat):

1950s Vogue Pattern Book

Vogue Pattern Book, February-March 1956. Image via eBay.

Roger Prigent shot this cover featuring Tripp in Vogue 8829 made in Moygashel linen (also in Vogue):

1950s Vogue Pattern Book

Vogue Pattern Book, April-May 1956. Photo: Roger Prigent. Image via tumblr.

She appears on this summery Simplicity Pattern Book cover in Simplicity 1625 and Simplicity 1550, a top and skirt made in a matching print:

Evelyn Tripp on the cover of Simplicity's 1956 Summer Simplicity Pattern Book

Simplicity Pattern Book, Summer 1956. Image via eBay.

Inside, she poses in two-piece playsuit Simplicity 1608:

Evelyn Tripp on the beach in playsuit pattern Simplicity 1608

Simplicity 1608 in Simplicity Pattern Book, Summer 1956. Photo: Monroe. Image via eBay.

Tripp also appeared in a 1956 Vogue Patterns advertisement promoting the new printed and perforated patterns. The evening dress pattern is Vogue S-4735:

1950s Vogue Patterns ad featuring Evelyn Tripp in Vogue

“New Vogue Patterns are printed and perforated.” Vogue S-4735 in Vogue, 1956.

Here she wears Vogue 9607, made up in red, on the cover of the holiday 1958 issue of Vogue Pattern Book:

VPBUK DecJan1958-59

Vogue Pattern Book, December-January 1958-59. Image via eBay.

On this spring Butterick Pattern Book cover, she poses in a suit and flower hat, Butterick 8912 and Butterick 8880:

"A New Rise of Femininity" - Evelyn Tripp wears a flower hat on the cover of a late 1950s Butterick Pattern Book

Butterick Pattern Book, Spring 1959. Image via Vintage Chic.

Tripp may also be seen in early 1960s Vogue Pattern Book editorials. Here she wears Vogue 4267, a one-shouldered dress in wool jersey:

1960s Leombruno-Bodi photo of Evelyn Tripp in Vogue 4267

Vogue 4267 in Vogue Pattern Book, October/November 1961. Photo: Leombruno-Bodi.

For more of Evelyn Tripp’s work, see MyVintageVogue or Kristine/dovima_is_devine’s set on flickr.

Richard Avedon and Sally Victor: Simplicity Pattern Book, 1950

November 29, 2015 § 5 Comments

1950s Simplicity Pattern Book detail

Photo: Richard Avedon. Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

During his early period as a fashion photographer, Richard Avedon (1923-2004) did some work for Simplicity, including the Fall-Winter 1950 issue of Simplicity Pattern Book:

Fall-Winter 1950 Simplicity Patterb Book - cover by Richard Avedon

Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image via vintage4me2 on eBay.

The suit is Simplicity 3310, made in Botany flannels and worn with “[m]atching hat designed for Simplicity by Sally Victor,” Simplicity 3322.

Inside, the hat is shown photographed by Halley Erskine:

1950s Sally Victor hat pattern Simplicity 3322 in Simplicity Pattern Book

Make your own hat from a Sally Victor design. Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950. Photos: Halley Erskine.

The back cover is a Botany ad, apparently from the same Avedon photo shoot:

1950s Botany ad featuring Simplicity 3322 and 3310

Botany advertisement on the back cover of Simplicity Pattern Book, Fall-Winter 1950.

I have a Canadian copy of Simplicity 3322 in the shop, printed with a special Chatelaine magazine logo:

1950s Sally Victor hat and bag pattern, Simplicity 3322

Simplicity 3322 by Sally Victor (1950) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

For more on Sally Victor see my Mad Men-era millinery post.

Paris, je t’aime

November 16, 2015 § 3 Comments

1950s Paquin dress pattern Vogue 1101 photographed in Paris by Norman Parkinson

Vogue 1101 by Paquin, Vogue, May 1950. Model: Maxime de la Falaise. Photo: Norman Parkinson.

In honour of Paris, a selection of postwar fashion photography shot on location in the city.

Vogue’s earliest Paris Originals were photographed in Paris, by Vogue editorial photographers including Clifford Coffin and Norman Parkinson.

In this issue, a new pattern service: Paris Original Models chosen from the collections - Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949

Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949. Photos: Clifford Coffin.

The eight colour photos were first seen in the March 1st, 1949 issue of Vogue magazine, to announce the new couturier patterns.

1940s Robert Piguet pattern Vogue 1053 photographed in Paris by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1053 by Robert Piguet, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Robert Fath dress pattern Vogue 1055 photographed in Paris by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1055 by Jacques Fath, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Paquin pattern Vogue 1057 photographed in Paris by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1057 by Paquin, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Lanvin dress pattern Vogue 1052 photographed in a Paris museum by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1052 by Lanvin, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Schiaparelli suit pattern Vogue 1051 photographed at les puces by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1051 by Schiaparelli, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

Molyneux suit and coat pattern Vogue 1050 photographed by Clifford Coffin at Place St. André des arts

Vogue 1050 by Molyneux, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Jacques Heim dress pattern Vogue 1056 photographed in Paris by Clifford Coffin.

Vogue 1056 by Jacques Heim, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

1940s Pierre Balmain suit pattern Vogue 1054 photographed by Clifford Coffin

Vogue 1054 by Pierre Balmain, Vogue, March 1949. Photo: Clifford Coffin.

(Available as a print from Condé Nast.)

1950s Paquin dress pattern Vogue 1101 photographed in Paris by Norman Parkinson

Vogue 1099 by Jacques Heim, Vogue, May 1950. Photo: Norman Parkinson.

The Smartest Move You Can Make

June 4, 2015 § 1 Comment

Vogue ad April 1957 detail

Now that wedding season is upon us, I wanted to share this bridal-themed ad for Vogue Patterns from spring, 1957. The pattern is a Vogue Special Design, Vogue S-4765 (click to enlarge):

1950s Vogue Patterns advertisement showing Vogue S-4765

The smartest move you can make… Vogue Printed and Perforated Patterns advertisement, April 1957.

The company had a series of these ads, each showing the model bursting out of a bunch of printed and perforated pattern pieces. (Vogue patterns were unprinted until the mid-1950s.) I love how the slogan, “The smartest move you can make,” blurs the distinction between a life decision such as marriage and the choice of pattern brand.

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