McCall’s x Canada Dry, 1971

McCalls 2761 (1971)
McCall’s 2761 (1971) Canada Dry “Pounds-Thinner” pattern.

Happy Canada Day! In celebration, here’s a Canada Dry pattern from McCall’s.

Established in Toronto in 1904, by the ’70s Canada Dry was owned by Norton Simon, which was also McCall’s parent company. Canada Dry’s new low-calorie, sugar-free sodas showed a woman in a black leotard to match the branding for McCall’s Pounds-Thinner pattern line. New in 1971, the line is problematic today for its body-negativity.

This Canada Dry pattern envelope is a special alternate. (Compare the more often seen catalogue version.) Instead of the usual Pounds-Thinner branding, there’s a charming Biba-style illustration in colours to match the soda packaging.

Arnold Scaasi: Vogue Patterns

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: 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: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

Scaasi evening skirt available as a Spadea pattern, Life June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland
Scaasi evening skirt available as a Spadea pattern, LIFE magazine, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image: LIFE archive.
Scaasi jacket available as a Spadea pattern, LIFE June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland
Scaasi jacket available as a Spadea pattern, LIFE magazine, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image: LIFE archive.
Scaasi housecoat available as a Spadea pattern, <em>LIFE magazine</em>, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland
Scaasi housecoat available as a Spadea pattern, LIFE magazine, June 4, 1956. Photo: Sharland. Image: LIFE archive.

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: eBay.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

Lida Baday: McCall’s Patterns

Kim Renneberg photographed by George Whiteside in a Lida Baday turtleneck for the cover of Toronto Life FASHION, August/September 1996
Turtleneck by Lida Baday, Toronto Life FASHION, August/September 1996. Model: Kim Renneberg. Photo: George Whiteside. Image: FASHION.

In celebration of Canada Day, this post is devoted to Canadian fashion designer Lida Baday.

Lida Baday (b. 1957) was born to a dressmaker mother in Hamilton, Ontario. A graduate of Ryerson’s fashion design program, she worked for different companies in Toronto’s garment district before founding her own label in 1987. (Read bios here and here; see tear sheets here.) Baday soon won international success with her sophisticated, minimalist designs in luxurious fabrics such as wool jersey. Although her company closed its doors last year, The Fabric Room, which sells its surplus textiles, is still open to the public.

Kirsten Owen in the Lida Baday Fall 2011 ad campaign
Lida Baday Fall 2011 ad campaign. Model: Kirsten Owen. Image: Melatan Riden.

In the 1990s, Lida Baday designs were available through McCall’s patterns, beginning with two patterns in the November 1992 catalogue. McCall’s 6255 and 6257 are patterns for a skirt suit and separates including a flared, hooded coat:

1990s Lida Baday skirt suit pattern - McCalls 6255
McCalls 6255 by Lida Baday (1992) Image: eBay.
1990s Lida Baday coat, jacket, skirt and pants pattern - McCall's 6257
McCall’s 6257 by Lida Baday (1992) Image: PatternVault shop.

McCall’s 6855 is a pattern for a bolero and sleeveless sheath dress in two lengths. The longer version has a high slit with underlay:

1990s Lida Baday dress and bolero pattern - McCall's 6855
McCall’s 6855 by Lida Baday (1993) Image: Etsy.

McCall’s 8256 includes a long, double-breasted jacket, a short, cap-sleeved top, and wide-legged pants:

1990s Lida Baday pantsuit and top pattern - McCall's 8256
McCall’s 8256 by Lida Baday (1996) Image: Etsy.

This 1997 design for an oversized shirt, pants, and cropped leggings for stretch knits could be new today:

1990s Lida Baday pattern shirt, pants, and leggings pattern - McCall's 8740
McCall’s 8740 by Lida Baday (1997) Image: Etsy.

McCall’s 8823 is ’90s-minimalist perfection with its fitted tunic with narrow straps, slim pants, and low-backed, sleeveless dress with mock back wrap:

1990s Lida Baday dress, top, and pants pattern - McCall's 8823
McCall’s 8823 by Lida Baday (1997) Image: Etsy.

McCall’s 9371 includes a sleek halter top for stretch knits and a short, wrap skort:

1990s Lida Baday top, skort, jacket, and pants pattern - McCalls 9371
McCalls 9371 by Lida Baday (1998) Image: Etsy.

The long, stretch-knit dresses in McCall’s 9379 are both ’90s and classic:

1990s Lida Baday dress pattern - McCall's 9379
McCall’s 9379 by Lida Baday (1998) Image: PatternVault shop.

Just for fun, here are some more Fashion magazine covers featuring designs by Lida Baday:

Jenny Mac photographed in a Lida Baday dress and John Fluevog boots by George Whiteside for the cover of FASHION, Sept 1995
Lida Baday dress; John Fluevog boots. Fashion, September 1995. Model: Jenny Mac. Photo: George Whiteside. Image: FASHION.
Jessica Paré photographed by Gabor Jurina in a Lida Baday coat for the cover of FASHION, November 2004
Jessica Paré wears a Lida Baday coat, FASHION, November 2004. Photo: Gabor Jurina. Image: FASHION.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Linda Evangelista

Linda Evangelista photographed by Steven Meisel for the cover of Vogue Italia February 1990
Vogue Italia, February 1990. Photo: Steven Meisel. Image: Bellazon.

In celebration of Canada Day, this models post is devoted to Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista.

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario to Italian-Canadian parents, Linda Evangelista (b. 1965) was discovered by a scout from Elite at the 1981 Miss Teen Niagara beauty contest. (She didn’t win.) At eighteen she signed with Elite and moved to New York and later, Paris. Evangelista became one of the world’s most successful and influential models, especially after Julien d’Ys cut her hair short in 1988. (More on Voguepedia.)

Linda Evangelista photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for the cover of Harper's Bazaar, March 1997
Harper’s Bazaar, March 1997. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Image: Top Models of the World.

Some of Evangelista’s early work can be seen in 1980s Vogue patterns and Burda magazine.

1980s

The young Evangelista made the cover of the Spring/Summer 1985 issue of Burda international:

Linda Evangelista on the cover of Burda international magazine, Frühling-Sommer 1985
Burda international, Spring/Summer 1985. Image: flickr.

She also starred in a jazz club-themed Burda editorial shot by Günter Feuerbacher (click the image for more):

1980s Linda Evangelista editorial in Burda international, Frühling/Sommer 1985
Linda Evangelista in Burda international, Spring/Summer 1985. Photo: Günter Feuerbacher. Image: Magdorable!

Evangelista’s work with Vogue Patterns was for the Paris Originals line. Here she models a popular, pleated wrap dress by Emanuel Ungaro, Vogue 1799:

1980s Emanuel Ungaro dress pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1799
Vogue 1799 by Emanuel Ungaro (1986) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Evangelista can be seen on a number of Yves Saint Laurent patterns. Vogue 1720 is an elegant dress with blouson bodice and wide, bias roll collar. The pattern includes the contrast sash:

1980s Yves Saint Laurent dress pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1720
Vogue 1720 by Yves Saint Laurent (1986) Image: Paco Peralta.

Here Evangelista shows off advanced-class colour blocking in Vogue 1721, a Nina Ricci pattern for a dramatic hooded blouse, mock-wrap skirt, sleeveless top, and sash:

1980s Nina Ricci evening pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1721
Vogue 1721 by Nina Ricci (1986) Image: Etsy.

This editorial photo from the Autumn 1986 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine best conveys the different colours:

Linda Evangelista wears Vogue 1721 by Nina Ricci, Vogue Patterns, Autumn 1986. Image: Magdorable!

Evangelista also appeared on the cover of the July/August 1987 issue of Vogue Patterns:

Linda Evangelista on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine, summer 1987
Vogue Patterns, July/August 1987. Photo: Gideon Lewin. Image: tumblr.

1990s

In the mid-1990s, Evangelista’s runway work for Yves Saint Laurent reached home sewers on Vogue pattern envelopes. From the YSL Rive Gauche Spring 1996 collection, Vogue 1862 is a pattern for cropped jacket, blouse, and high-waisted pants (see a detail shot on firstVIEW):

Vogue 1862 by Yves Saint Laurent (1996). Image: Etsy.

Evangelista brings out the drama of this Yves Saint Laurent Cossack-style coat, Vogue 1652:

1990s Yves Saint Laurent coat pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1652
Vogue 1652 by Yves Saint Laurent (1995) Image: Paco Peralta.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!