Winter/Holiday 2017 Designer Highlights

October 19, 2017 § 5 Comments

A look from Adam Andrascik’s Fall 2015 collection for Laroche. Photo: Yannis Vlamos. Image: Vogue.com.

From Guy Laroche to Paco Peralta, Vogue’s designer patterns for Winter/Holiday 2017 offer a range of festive looks for the coming season.

The new Guy Laroche is a skinny jean and party top, recommended for lamé:

Vogue 1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche

Vogue 1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche (2017) Image: McCall’s

The ensemble is the first pattern to be drawn from Adam Andrascik’s debut collection for Laroche.

V1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche on the runway

V1573 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche on the Fall 2015 runway. Photo: Yannis Vlamos. Image: Vogue.com.

Gleaming tartan jacquard is the star of this ensemble from Anne Klein, now designed by Sharon Lombardo:

Vogue 1571 by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein (2017) Image: McCall’s.

Guinevere Van Seenus wore a similar look for the Fall 2016 campaign, photographed by Annemarieke van Drimmelen:

Anne Klein Fall 2016 ad campaign. Photo: Annemarieke van Drimmelen. Model: Guinevere Van Seenus. Image: Behance.

Like fall’s V1561 jacket, the two Zandra Rhodes offerings are from the Fall 2016 collection, which was sponsored by Kraftangan Malaysia. (Kraftangan is Malay for ‘handicraft.’) As always with Rhodes’ work, the focus is on textiles, here on a double-sided fabric such as metallic jacquard:

Vogue 1566 by Zandra Rhodes

Vogue 1566 by Zandra Rhodes (2017) Image: McCall’s.

Shot by Andrew Woffinden, the collection lookbook was styled by Grace Woodward with Nicholas Kirkwood shoes and a turban by Piers Atkinson:

Zandra Rhodes’ Songket dress, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Vogue chose three of Rhodes’ Songket pieces—a dress, peplum top, and trousers—for the Winter/Holiday collection. Songket is a traditional metallic brocade produced in Southeast Asia.

Vogue 1572 by Zandra Rhodes

Vogue 1572 by Zandra Rhodes (2017) Image: McCall’s.

Zandra Rhodes’ Songket top, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Zandra Rhodes’ Songket trousers, FW 2016. Photo: Andrew Woffinden. Editor: Grace Woodward. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Paco Peralta’s latest design for Vogue is a dolman-sleeved knit top and handkerchief skirt. Festive and versatile, the skirt even has pockets:

Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta

Vogue 1567 by Paco Peralta (2017) Image: McCall’s.

I have some Lurex in my stash, don’t you?

If you’re fresh out of shiny fabric, you might be interested in Gorgeous Fabrics’ farewell sale. Last weekend, owner Ann Steeves announced that she is closing shop after 11 years in business.

Amanda Murphy photographed by Lachlan Bailey in Laroche by Adam Andrascik, for Vogue Paris September 2015

Amanda Murphy wears Laroche by Adam Andrascik, Miss Vogue supplement, Vogue Paris, September 2015. Photo: Lachlan Bailey. Editor: Géraldine Saglio. Image: Guy Laroche.

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Designer Swimwear: Vintage Patterns

August 9, 2016 § 6 Comments

1980s Bob Mackie swimsuit pattern McCall's 7138 photographed for McCall's summer news flier

McCall’s 7138 by Bob Mackie on the cover of McCall’s news, July 1980.

It’s been another hot summer here in Toronto. One of my earliest blog posts, Heat Wave!, surveys vintage beachwear patterns. This summer, let’s take a look at a more elusive beast: designer swimwear patterns.

1950s

The earliest pattern I’ve seen for designer swimwear is Pucci’s strapless one-piece, McCall’s 3977. This pattern was available in Junior sizes only. The suit was lined in jersey, and could be made with or without the brightly coloured appliqués:

1950s Emilio Pucci bathing suit pattern McCall's 3977

McCall’s 3977 by Emilio Pucci (1956) Image: eBay.

1960s

From another Italian designer, Irene Galitzine, Vogue 1288 is a pattern for a bikini, dress, and hat. The bikini consists of a cropped, cowl-neck blouse and bikini pants with side ties:

1960s Galitzine bikini, coverup, and hat pattern Vogue 1288

Vogue 1288 by Irene Galitzine (ca. 1963) Image: eBay.

1970s

The 1970s were the heyday of designer swimwear patterns, often with a coordinating coverup, and always for stretch knits. Vogue 1416 is an early design by Donna Karan; from Anne Klein’s collaboration with Penfold, the pattern includes both a maillot and a halter bikini:

Vogue 1416

Vogue 1416 by Donna Karan at Anne Klein for Penfold (1976) Image: Etsy.

From Bill Blass, Vogue 1455 includes a two-piece swimsuit with bra top and bikini briefs:

1970s Bill Blass jacket, pants, and swimsuit pattern Vogue 1455

Vogue 1455 by Bill Blass (1976)

John Kloss licensed a number of swimwear designs with Butterick. This ad promotes his patterns with a poolside photo of Butterick 4808:

Butterick Kloss ad 1976

Butterick 4808 by John Kloss, Butterick advertisement, 1976. Image: eBay.

Another Butterick designer, Gil Aimbez, designed this one-piece bathing suit. Contrast bias binding outlines the cut-away sides and bodice seaming detail:

1970s Gil Aimbez swimsuit and coverup pattern Butterick 5449

Butterick 5449 by Gil Aimbez (ca. 1977) Image: Etsy.

Like the Anne Klein Penfold pattern above, this Penfold pattern includes both one-piece and halter bikini bathing suits. The one-piece and bikini top are cut on the bias:

1970s Penfold pattern Vogue 1655

Vogue 1655 by Penfold (ca. 1977) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Both Penfold patterns can be seen in a Vogue Patterns editorial photographed in Antigua:

1970s Anne Klein / Penfold halter bikini pattern by Donna Karan, Vogue 1416 in Vogue Patterns magazine

Beach beauty: halter bikini Vogue 1416 by Donna Karan at Anne Klein for Penfold, Vogue Patterns, May/June 1977. Model: Clotilde. Photo: Albert Watson. Image: the Fashion Spot.

Vogue Patterns MayJun 1977 Penfold

Vogue 1655 by Penfold with Vogue 9808, Vogue Patterns, May/June 1977. Models: Lisa Cooper and Clotilde. Photos: Albert Watson. Image: the Fashion Spot.

From spring, 1978, Vogue 1893 seems to have been the only Catalina pattern. Instead of a coverup, it includes three styles of bathing suit: low-backed view A, strapless view B with built-in boning, and blouson view C is a two-piece:

1970s Catalina swimsuit pattern Vogue 1893

Vogue 1893 by Catalina (1978) Image: Etsy.

The magazine recommended making the Catalina suits in Thompson of California’s “second skin Tic Toc warp knit polyester crepes” in various prints:

Vogue 1893 by Catalina, Vogue Patterns, May/June 1978. Image: Vintage Goodness.

1980s

From 1980, McCall’s 7109 includes three one-piece swimsuits by the Italian label Basile: a mock wrap, belted halter-neck and variations on the strapless suit with gathered bust (available in the shop):

1980s Basile swimsuit pattern - McCall's 7109

McCall’s 7109 by Basile (1980) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Jerry Hall (right) seems to be wearing the view A style in this Basile ad photographed by Irving Penn:

vogue italia 1980 penn basile

Basile advertisement in Vogue Italia, 1980. Photo: Irving Penn. Models: Michelle Stevens and Jerry Hall. Image: the Fashion Spot.

Also from 1980, Bob Mackie’s strapless, colour-blocked swimsuit, McCall’s 7138, was photographed for the July counter catalogue and news leaflet (seen at the top of this post):

1980s Bob Mackie swimsuit and cover-up pattern McCall's 7138

McCall’s 7138 by Bob Mackie (1980) Image: Etsy.

1990s

Finally, this early ’90s DKNY pattern, Vogue 2897, is labelled ‘dress and bodysuit,’ but was photographed as beachwear:

1990s DKNY bodysuit and hooded dress / coverup pattern Vogue 2897

Vogue 2897 by DKNY (1992) Image: Etsy.

After a long swimwear pattern drought, the big pattern companies seem to have noticed the renewed popularity of sewing your own, custom bathing suit. For this summer, Simplicity reissued a 1950s bathing suit pattern, Simplicity 4307 / S8139, and The McCall Pattern Company has released a number of new swimwear designs, including one Vogue and two Lisette swimwear patterns.

Two designers with existing pattern licensing, Cynthia Rowley and Rachel Comey, both have swimwear lines. If we voice our support, perhaps we could soon see patterns for Cynthia Rowley surf wear and Rachel Comey Swim

Cynthia Rowley for Roxy wetsuit, 2010

Wetsuit by Cynthia Rowley for Roxy, 2010. Image: Pinterest.

Willy Somma self-portrait for Rachel Comey Swim, 2013

Willy Somma self-portrait for Rachel Comey Swim, T Magazine, May 2013. Image: nytimes.com.

Pan Am Games 2015 – Vintage Pattern Edition

July 20, 2015 § 6 Comments

This week the Pan Am Games continue in Toronto. In honour of the Games, here’s a look at vintage patterns and illustrations showing women’s sports.

First up: Pan Am sports that have already concluded for 2015.

Archery. From a 1933 issue of McCall’s magazine, this archery scene was illustrated by Jean des Vignes:

Jean des Vignes archery illustration in a 1930s McCall's magazine

“Taking Aim,” McCall’s magazine, March 1933. Illustration: Jean des Vignes.

Golf. Ben-Hur Baz (later known for his pin-ups) illustrated this golf scene for McCall’s magazine, circa 1930:

Ben Hur Baz ladies' golf illustration in McCall's magazine, spring 1930

McCall 6078 and 6074 in McCall’s magazine, April 1930. Illustration: Ben Hur Baz.

Donna Karan designed these mid-1970s golf separates, hat included, when she was at Anne Klein. You can buy it for your own golfing needs from the PatternVault shop.

1970s Donna Karan for Anne Klein for Penfold golf pattern - Vogue 1415

Vogue 1415 by Donna Karan for Anne Klein x Penfold (ca. 1976) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Roller skating. Simplicity 3890, a World War 2-era skating pattern, includes this roller skating illustration:

1940s roller skating pattern - Simplicity 3890

Simplicity 3890 (ca. 1941) Image via Etsy.

Sailing. This 1930s sailor dress has a contrast collar and big buttons at the side-front closure:

1930s sailor dress pattern - New York 217

New York 217 (ca. 1930s)

Swimming. This chic, cuffed swimsuit (previously featured in my Heat Wave! beachwear post) dates to the late 1940s:

1940s bathing suit pattern - Vogue 6709

Vogue 6709 (1949) Image via Oodles and oodles.

The swimsuit was photographed by Richard Rutledge for Vogue Pattern Book:

1940s Richard Rutledge photograph - Vogue pattern no. 6709

Vogue 6709 in Vogue Pattern Book, April/May 1949. Photo: Richard Rutledge.

Tennis. The cover of the McCall Quarterly for Spring 1932 has this tennis-themed illustration featuring two dresses by Bruyère:

McCallQSpring1932

Bruyère patterns McCall 6804 and 6819 on the cover of McCall Quarterly, Spring 1932. Illustration: Blanche Rothschild.

(For more tennis patterns see my Tennis, Anyone? post.)

Stay tuned for more vintage sports wear… I’ll be looking at a different Pan Am sport and related vintage pattern every day this week.

Phina Oruche

November 2, 2014 § 3 Comments

Phina Oruche in "Hush" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4, episode 10)

Olivia Williams (Phina Oruche) in “Hush” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4)

“Hush,” one of the strongest and spookiest episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, stars a model-turned-actor who appeared on Vogue patterns in the mid-1990s. Giles’ girlfriend Olivia is played by Phina Oruche (b. 1972). Born in Toxteth, Liverpool to Nigerian parents, Oruche was a successful model in London and New York before she won her first role in Sydney Pollack’s remake of Sabrina (1995).

Phina Oruche on the cover of Essence magazine, September 1992

Phina Oruche on the cover of Essence magazine, September 1992. Image via Phina Oruche.

Here Oruche models Vogue 1328, Issey Miyake’s jacket, top, and hammer pants:

1990s Issey Miyake jacket, top and pants pattern - Vogue 1328

Vogue 1328 by Issey Miyake (1994) Image via Etsy.

Vogue 1344 is an ensemble consisting of a top, high-waisted pants, and jacket with custom closures from Anne Klein II:

1990s Anne Klein II pattern - Vogue 1344

Vogue 1344 by Anne Klein II (1994) Image via Etsy.

Here Oruche shows off the lace-up back of Vogue 1353, a summer dress by Betty Jackson:

Vogue 1353 (1994)

Vogue 1353 by Betty Jackson (1994) Image via Etsy.

Ornate trim highlights the seam detail on Vogue 1354, a top and skirt by Geoffrey Beene:

1990s Geoffrey Beene top and skirt pattern - Vogue 1354

Vogue 1354 by Geoffrey Beene (1994) Image via Etsy.

Just for fun, here’s a recent portrait of Oruche by Paul Jones:

Phina Oruche. Imaage via Paul Jones.

The Gentlemen are coming…

Phina Oruche in "Hush" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4, episode 10)

Phina Oruche in “Hush” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 4)

Mad Men Era 8: McCall’s New York Designers

April 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

Jane and Roger at the Drapers' party, Mad Men season 5, episode 1-2

Jane and Roger Sterling (Peyton List and John Slattery) in Mad Men, season 5. Image via AMC.

With Mad Men entering its final season, my Mad Men-era series concludes with two posts on fashion designers whose work became available to home sewers in the mid-Sixties. (Browse the series by clicking the Mad Men era tag, or start at the beginning.)

Before the Vogue Americana line there was McCall’s New York Designers’ Collection. In the fall of 1965, McCall’s introduced a new pattern line: New York Designers’ Collection plus 1. (The “plus 1” refers to one foreign designer, Digby Morton; later, as McCall’s added designers to the line, it became “New York Designers’ Collection Plus.”)

The Fall/Winter 1965 issue of McCall’s Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating introduced readers to the new designers. According to the catalogue, the new line featured “the most outstanding fashions of seven leading American designers and one famous London couturier” (click to enlarge):

Meet McCalls New Designers 1965

Meet McCall’s new designers. McCall’s Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating, Fall-Winter 1965–66.

The original list of designers consisted of Larry Aldrich, Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Laird-Knox, Digby Morton, Originala, Mollie Parnis, and Pauline Trigère, whose agreement with McCall’s dated to the mid-1950s. (Trigère was already featured in an earlier Mad Men era post.) Later additions would include Anne Klein, Jacques Tiffeau, and Rudi Gernreich.

This post looks at three of the best-known American designers in McCall’s new line: Bill Blass, Geoffrey Beene, and Anne Klein.

Bill Blass

Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bill Blass (1922-2002) showed an early talent for fashion design, studying briefly at Parsons before enlisting in the U.S. military in 1942. After the war he returned to New York to work in the fashion industry; by 1959 he was head designer for Maurice Rentner—then a conservative, established Seventh Avenue label. (McCall’s patterns credit the designer as ‘Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner, Ltd.’) In 1970 he purchased the company and renamed it Bill Blass Ltd. Blass was known for his sophisticated but youthful designs favoured by high society. He retired in 1999.

McCall’s 8927 is an asymmetrical, sleeveless shift dress with applied bands and an inverted pleat on the left-hand side:

1960s Bill Blass dress pattern - McCall's 8927

McCall’s 8927 by Bill Blass (1967) Image via Etsy.

Geoffrey Beene

Born in Louisiana as Samuel Robert Bozeman Jr., Geoffrey Beene (1924-2004) trained at the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York and École de la Chambre Syndicale in Paris, where he also apprenticed with a tailor. Returning to New York, he worked at Harmay and Teal Traina before founding his own company in 1963. Beene was renowned for his innovative, modern designs, as well as his iconoclasm.

Veronica Hamel models McCall’s 1028, a dress cut in seven panels with seven-eighths kimono sleeves and triangular, bias collar:

McCalls 1028 (1968)

McCall’s 1028 by Geoffrey Beene (1968) Image via Etsy.

Anne Klein

Born in Brooklyn as Hannah Golofsky, Anne Klein (1923-1974) also trained at the Traphagen School of Fashion. The pioneer in American sportswear worked in petites and juniors before founding Anne Klein and Company in the late 1960s. Her final collection was completed by Donna Karan, who had begun work at the company in the summer of 1967 as Klein’s intern.

McCall’s 1020 is a sleeveless shift dress with angular armholes and fabulous standing (and convertible) collar. The model is Hellevi Keko:

McCalls 1020 (1967)

McCall’s 1020 by Anne Klein (1967) Image via MOMSPatterns.

All three New York designers would later make the switch to Vogue Patterns: Blass in 1967, Beene and Klein in the 1970s.

Next: Butterick’s Young Designers: Mary Quant, Jean Muir, and Emmanuelle Khanh.

Billie Blair

February 27, 2014 § 4 Comments

Billie Blair on the cover of Interview magazine, August 1974

Billie Blair on the cover of Interview magazine, August 1974. Image: Lipstick Alley.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Billie Blair (b. 1946) worked as a model at the Detroit Auto Show before becoming one of the highest-paid fashion models of the 1970s. Moving to New York City, she got a job at Halston and soon found success as an editorial and runway model. Blair was among the African-American models at the historic 1973 fundraising event, Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles, known today as the Battle of Versailles. (The event was the subject of a recent documentary by Deborah Riley Draper, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution [2012)].)

Billie Blair in Donna Karan for Anne Klein, Virginia Slims advertisement, 1975

Billie Blair in Donna Karan for Anne Klein, Virginia Slims advertisement, 1975. Image: Stanford University.

Billie Blair can be seen on a number of Vogue designer patterns from the mid-1970s. Here she wears a tweed skirt suit and pussy-bow blouse by Oscar de la Renta; this design was marked as ‘suitable for knits’:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Oscar de la Renta suit and blouse pattern - Vogue 1163

Vogue 1163 by Oscar de la Renta (1975) Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

Stan Herman designed this casual hooded top, skirt, and pants. The illustration shows some American Hustle-worthy aviator shades:

Billie Blair modelling a 1970s Stan Herman pattern - Vogue 1169

Vogue 1169 by Stan Herman (1975) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

Here Blair wears a girlish, vintage-style ensemble by Nina Ricci, a cream-coloured dress with matching cape:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Nina Ricci cape and dress pattern - Vogue 1175

Vogue 1175 by Nina Ricci (1975) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

From Jean Patou, this maxi dress may date to the period when the young Jean Paul Gaultier was assistant designer. Blair brings out the glamour of this haute couture loungewear:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Jean Patou loungewear pattern - Vogue 1344

Vogue 1344 by Jean Patou (1975) Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

In Vogue Patterns‘ 1975 holiday issue, Jerry Hall wears the Patou dress while Blair models an off-the-shoulder party dress in an editorial devoted to evening sparkle (the headline reads, “Be a Star the Vogue Way”):

Designer evening wear Billie Blair Vogue Patterns November December 1975

Vogue Patterns, November/December 1975. Image: eBay.

Here she models a fabulous, evening-length Dior caftan with piped neckline:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Christian Dior caftan pattern - Vogue 1346

Vogue 1346 by Christian Dior (1975) Image: Etsy.

This Nina Ricci separates pattern includes a poncho with shirttail hem, convertible collar, and big patch pockets:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Nina Ricci pattern - Vogue 1376

Vogue 1376 by Nina Ricci (1976) Image: Betsy Vintage.

Blair is the model on this rare pattern by Sonia Rykiel, Vogue 1378—check out the matching coral sandals:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Sonia Rykiel pattern - Vogue 1378

Vogue 1378 by Sonia Rykiel (1976) Image: Etsy.

Billie Blair’s commanding presence and approach to modelling as performance don’t seem too unusual today. But she was unconventional for the time, and even felt the need to under-report her age when she first became famous. A 1974 profile of Blair in People magazine says she is 22 years old and remarks on her size 9 feet. (In a letter to the editor, a high school classmate wondered how Blair had stayed 22 when her peers were 28.) She continued modelling into her thirties—here she appears in a dynamic 1978 Vogue shoot by Andrea Blanch:

Billie Blair, Renée King, Toukie Smith, Iman, Alva Chinn, and Dana Dixon in Vogue, December 1978

Billie Blair, Renée King, Toukie Smith, Iman, Alva Chinn, and Dana Dixon in Vogue, December 1978. Photo: Andrea Blanch.

Tennis, Anyone?

June 25, 2012 § 9 Comments

art deco tennis illustration McCall Style News May 1928

McCall Style News, May 1928.

Wimbledon kicks off today. In honour of the world’s oldest tennis tournament, here’s a selection of patterns for playing the most fashionable sport.

Tennis Vogue June 1927 cover by Harriet Meserole 15 July 1927 US edition

Vogue UK, late June 1927. Illustration: Harriet Meserole. Image via G1Art.

Modern tennis fashion really got underway in the 1920s, when tennis became a popular leisure activity and couturiers like Chanel, Patou, and Vionnet designed tennis wear to meet the demand for fashionable luxury sportswear. (For more on ’20s tennis fashion see the Voguepedia article Tennis Dressing.)

Typically, sewing patterns for tennis outfits show a woman holding a tennis racquet. The Deco cover of the McCall Style News shown at the top of this post portrays McCall 5277 as a dress for tennis, but the pattern envelope doesn’t advertise its suitability for sports. The illustration simply shows a day dress with the skirt pleated in front; the handkerchief collar and scarf girdle are optional:

McCall 5277 1920s tennis dress McCall's catalogue illustration

McCall 5277 (1928) in the McCall’s catalogue, 1930. Image courtesy of echopoint.

In the early 1930s, sports dresses had lower hemlines, but could be worn unbuttoned in the back, like this McCall’s sports dress from 1933:

McCall 7663 early 1930s sports dress for tennis

McCall 7663 (1933) Sports dress. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

This pattern was illustrated on the cover of the Spring 1934 McCall Fashion Book:

Cycling and tennis ensebles on the cover of McCall Fashion Book, Spring 1934

McCall Fashion Book, Spring 1934.

(Catalogue image courtesy of Judy Yates of Vintage4me2.)

Playsuits and shorts became fashionable tennis wear after American tennis champion Alice Marble wore shorts to a professional match in 1932. These McCall’s sports separates include a tennis outfit with high-waisted shorts:

McCall 9180 1930s Slacks, shorts, and shirt pattern for tennis

McCall 9180 (1937) Slacks, shorts, and shirt. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Lauren of Wearing History has made the McCall 9180 trousers; you can see a photo by clicking the pattern image.

The ‘masculine’ shorts trend continued into wartime, which also saw a return to the sports dress. This Advance tennis dress has a front zipper and inverted pleat, and includes panties for underneath:

Advance 2754 WW2 1940s day or tennis dress and panties pattern

Advance 2754 (c. 1941) Day or tennis dress and panties. Image via Vivian Belle Vintage.

In the postwar period tennis dresses or skirts, pleated or plain, became the standard tennis wear. The silhouettes reflected current trends, but with higher hemlines, as with this tennis dress with pleated skirt and cinched waist:

McCall 7170 1940s tennis dress and shorts pattern

McCall 7170 (1948) Tennis dress and shorts. Image via eBay.

This Vogue tennis dress is a shorter version of the day dress also included in the pattern (check out the vintage camera):

Vogue 9101 1950s tennis dress and shorts pattern

Vogue 9101 (1957) Dress and shorts. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Tennis hemlines are rising with these Vogue sports separates, which include a sleeveless blouse, shorts, and tennis skirt:

Vogue 9771 late 1950s blouse, skirt and shorts pattern

Vogue 9771 (1959) Blouse, skirt, and shorts. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

More perky pleats on this early 1960s tennis dress from McCall’s:

McCalls 6825 1960s tennis dress and panties pattern

McCall’s 6825 (1963) Tennis dress and panties. Image via Etsy.

The popularity of tennis in the 1970s prompted the release of a wide variety of tennis patterns, for dresses, visors, and even racquet covers and other accessories. Vogue Patterns licensed tennis wear from Anne Klein, Penfold, and Anne Klein for Penfold (illustrated on the June 1976 news cover here). These Vogue Patterns magazine covers show an Anne Klein tennis outfit in action and Regine Jaffrey modelling a Vogue tennis shirt and visor:

Vogue Patterns magazine April/May 1973 Anne Klein tennis cover

Vogue 2841 by Anne Klein on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine, April/May 1973. Image via Etsy.

Model Regine Jaffrey in a tennis shirt and visor, Vogue Patterns magazine Spring 1975

Vogue Patterns, Spring 1975. Model: Regine Jaffrey. Image via eBay.

Butterick licensed designs by women’s tennis champion Chris Evert, including this pattern for a tennis dress, briefs, and visor:

Butterick 4688 1970s Chrissie Evert for Puritan Fashions pattern for tennis dress, briefs, and visor

Butterick 4688 by Chrissie Evert for Puritan Fashions (c. 1977). Tennis dress, briefs, and visor. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Karen Bjornson models this Penfold set consisting of a sleeveless tennis dress, t-shirt, shorts, and wrap miniskirt:

Vogue 1635 1970s tennis dress, t-shirt, shorts, and wrap skirt pattern

Vogue 1635 (c. 1977) Tennis dress, t-shirt, shorts, and wrap skirt. Model: Karen Bjornson. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

It’s interesting how the history of women’s tennis wear is a history of female athletes pushing the envelope: from May Sutton Bundy’s rolled-up sleeves, in 1905, and Suzanne Lenglen’s higher hemlines, to Alice Marble’s shorts and Serena Williams’ recent subversion (with hot pink briefs) of the rule of Wimbledon whites. (See a Guardian Wimbledon slideshow here and Vogue’s tennis slideshow here.) Women’s tennis fashions insist on femininity while offering an escape from modesty.

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