Vogue Paris 100

Vogue Paris, vol. 1 no. 1, 15 juin 1920 - Gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France
Inaugural issue of Vogue Paris, June 15, 1920. Illustration: Helen Dryden. Image: Gallica / BnF.

Today is the 100th anniversary of Vogue Paris. To celebrate, here’s a decade-by-decade look at Paris and patterns from the 1920s to now. (Click the images for more.)

In the 1920s, designs by Chanel and other Paris couturiers were available from the McCall Pattern Company. (See my article in the new issue of Selvedge.)

1920s Chanel pattern McCall 4464 - Ladies' and Misses' Evening Dress, "Original Creation by Chanel, Paris"
McCall 4464 by Chanel (1926) Evening dress.

In the 1930s, the Authentic Paris Pattern company sold French designs exclusively, like this ensemble by Schiaparelli.

Authentic Paris Pattern 1647 - schiaparelli, 4 rue de la paix, paris
Paris Pattern 1647 by Schiaparelli (ca. 1931)

Vogue joined the party with its Paris Originals in 1949.

Vogue 1078 by Marie-Blanche de Polignac for Lanvin (1949) Image: eBay.

In the 1950s, the company released its first Dior patterns, by the young Yves Saint Laurent.

1950s Yves Saint Laurent for Dior dress and jacket pattern Vogue 1470
Vogue 1470 by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior (1959) Model: Isabella Albonico. Photos: Leombruno-Bodi.

The couture of André Courrèges caused a sensation in the 1960s. Courrèges didn’t license patterns, but that didn’t stop the American pattern companies from producing a wealth of knockoffs.

McCall's 7923 after Courrèges in McCall's Pattern Fashions, Fall-Winter 1965-66.
McCall’s 7923 after Courrèges (with Marcel Barbeau painting) in a Crompton Corduroy ad, 1965.

In the early 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent shook up the Paris couture with his ’40s-inspired Libération collection.

Vogue 2598
Vogue 2598 by Yves Saint Laurent (1971) Image courtesy of Paco Peralta.

In the late 1980s, when Christian Lacroix left Patou for the prêt-à-porter, his Vogue patterns were conspicuously photographed in Paris.

Vogue 2176 by Christian Lacroix (1988)

John Galliano’s mid-1990s tenure at Givenchy signalled a massive shift for the Paris couture. This ready-to-wear design was available from Vogue Patterns.

John Galliano for Givenchy advertising campaign, Summer 1997. Image: styleregistry.

Guy Laroche was the last, and longest running, label with Vogue Paris Originals. This suit from the aughts was designed by the late Hervé L. Leroux, formerly Hervé Léger.

Guy Laroche Vogue Paris Original V2937 by Hervé L. Leroux ©2006 - Backless jacket and pants pattern
Vogue 2937 by Hervé L. Leroux (Hervé Léger) for Guy Laroche (2006)

Today, Vogue Paris Originals are no more, and you’re more likely to see versions of styles shown on the Paris runway, like this coat adapted from Sarah Burton for McQueen.

Tatyana Cooper in Vogue 1649 coat pattern after Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton (Fall 2018)
Vogue 1649 after Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton (2019) Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: McCall’s.

The Matrix Costume Patterns

The Matrix costume, 2017 D0801 envelope - Simplicity, "The Leaders in Cosplay Sewing"
Simplicity D0801 (2017) Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Ready for a cybergoth revival? The Matrix is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Variety has just announced that there will be a Matrix 4, to be directed by Lana Wachowski and again starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The costumes in the first Matrix were hugely influential. Working within a tight budget, costume designer Kym Barrett (Romeo + Juliet, Us) placed the emphasis on texture and movement, using low-cost materials like PVC and a wool blend for Neo’s coat. The rebels were also outfitted in custom accessories, with boots by Barrett and bespoke eyewear by Richard Walker.

On March 31st the fight for the future begins. Poster for The Matrix (1999) Image: IMDb

The first Matrix film even inspired John Galliano’s Fall 1999 couture collection for Dior. Presented at Versailles, the collection mixed futuristic raver-couture with more fanciful references like “Gainsborough in Persia.” (“The dresses are evil, evil,” Galliano was quoted saying. “But you have to have the Romantic. They die for that, my ladies.”) As Vogue’s Hamish Bowles wrote, the couture clients warmed more to the 18th-century looks than to “Matrix cybervixen.”

Dior By John Galliano - Couture Collection Fall Winter 1999-2000. Le 19 juillet 1999, dans la cadre de la présentation de la Collection haute couture Automne- Hiver, 1999-2000 de Christian DIOR par John GALLIANO à l'Orangerie du château de Versailles. ici le styliste posant avec un groupe de jeunes mannequins androgynes, dont certains sont des hommes torse nu, portant un maquillage épais et charbonneux de longs cheveux lisses, trois filles portent des bérets. (Photo by Jean-Claude Deutsch/Paris Match via Getty Images)
John Galliano with models backstage at the Dior couture show, the Orangerie at Versailles, July 19, 1999. Photo: Jean-Claude Deutsch. Image: Paris Match via Getty Images.
Dior evening dress in satin and lime green glitter PVC, L'Officiel Sept 1999
Dior haute couture by John Galliano, L’Officiel, September 1999. Photo: Randall Bachner. Editors: Bernât Buscato and Luciano Neves. Image: jalougallery.com.
Molly Sims photographed in Christian Dior haute couture by John Galliano by Ruven Afanador
Dior haute couture by John Galliano on the cover of Vogue Paris, September 1999. Model: Molly Sims. Photo: Ruven Afanador. Image: Molly Sims.

It wasn’t until 2003’s big-budget sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, that Neo got his famous cassock coat.

Keanu Reeves as Neo on the cover of French Premiere, October 2003. Image: Famous Fix.

The first Matrix-inspired costume patterns came out in 2003.

Trinity, Neo, and Morpheus in a promo image for The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Promotional image for The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Image: Foxtel Movies.

Simplicity’s Neo and Morpheus / “Men’s and Teen’s Duster” must have sold well: the pattern was rereleased with an updated envelope in 2017. (See top of post.) Now backlisted, it’s still available from the company website.

Morpheus and Neo costume pattern (The Matric Reloaded) - Simplicity 5386
Simplicity 5386 (2003) Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Thanks to the sequel’s higher budget, Barrett designed Trinity’s pieces for better-quality PVCs (then newly available), with patent leather used for closeups. For the women’s pattern, Trinity’s PVC bustier-coat ensemble effectively devolves into its separate elements: a princess-seamed duster, corset top, and pants. The pattern calls for stretch vinyl, leather-like fabrics, and synthetic patent leather.

Trinity costume pattern (The Matrix Reloaded) - Simplicity 5380
Simplicity 5380 (2003) Matrix costume. Image: Etsy.

The following year, Butterick and McCall’s released men’s and children’s Neo patterns, but none for Trinity. Both cassock coats share an authentic, if painstaking touch: lots of covered buttons.

Witch + Neo from the Matrix costume pattern - Butterick 4314
Butterick 4314 (2004) Image: eBay.
Adult and children's Neo / Matrix costume - McCalls 4546
McCall’s 4546 (2004) Matrix costume. Image: eBay.

It would be another decade before Andrea Schewe designed a more accurate Trinity duster. Released in Simplicity’s 90th anniversary year, the PVC duster was paired with a Kingdom Hearts cosplay coat.

Kingdom Hearts and Trinity from the Matrix costume pattern - Simplicity 8482 (2017)
Simplicity 8482 (2017) Kingdom Hearts and Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Here’s S8482 with more sci-fi (Firefly and Rogue One) in the seasonal catalogue:

Trinity, Zoe Washburne, Jyn Erso, and Kingdom Hearts costume patterns. Find the Adventure - Simplicity Autumn 2017 catalogue
Find the Adventure – S8482 and S8480 in Simplicity’s Autumn 2017 catalogue. Image: Simplicity.

There’s no word on the costume designer yet, but production on the new Matrix begins in 2020.

Trinity character poster featuring Carrie-Anne Moss - The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded Trinity character poster (2003) Image: IMDb.