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 Look of Courrèges

Courrèges sunglasses - Simone D'Aillencourt photographed by Richard Avedon, 1965
Courrèges glasses, February 1965. Photo: Richard Avedon. Model: Simone D’Aillencourt. Image: Richard Avedon Foundation.

André Courrèges died early this month. He was 92. (See WWD, “André Courrèges: Space Age Couturier,” or Vanessa Friedman’s obituary for The New York Times.)

1960s Vogue cover - Astrid Heeren in a white Courrèges bonnet photographed by Irving Penn
Courrèges hat, Vogue, November 15, 1964. Photo: Irving Penn. Model: Astrid Heeren. Image: Vogue.com.

Born in Pau, France, André Courrèges (1923-2016) initially became an engineer at his father’s behest. He changed careers after the Second World War, spending ten years at Balenciaga and founding his own couture house in 1961. His silver and white, spring 1964 “Space Age” collection made the Courrèges name with its futuristic, body-conscious, practical designs; a May, 1965 profile in Life magazine hailed him as “The Lord of the Space Ladies.” (See Patricia Peterson, “Courrèges Stresses Modern Look” [Spring 1964] and “Courrèges Is Star of Best Show Seen So Far” [Fall 1964]; on those otherworldly sunglasses, which reference Inuit snow-goggles, see FIDM’s note.) He retired in 1995.

1960s Vogue Paris cover featuring Maggie Eckhardt in a Courrèges ensemble
Courrèges ensemble, Vogue Paris, March 1965. Model: Maggie Eckhardt. Image: Pinterest.

In North America, licensed copies and other versions of Courrèges’ work were more common than couture originals. In the summer of 1965, McCall’s released nine patterns adapted from Courrèges. Six of these were photographed by Edward Pfizenmaier for “The Look of Courrèges,” an editorial in the Fall 1965 home catalogue. On the left is coat pattern McCall’s 7938; on the right, ensemble and dress patterns McCall’s 7932 and McCall’s 7918 (click to enlarge):

1960s Courrèges-look patterns McCall's 7938, 7932, and 7918 photographed by Edward Pfizenmaier for McCall's Pattern Fashions
“Precision… Proportion… Perfection! This is the Look of Courrèges,” McCall’s Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating, Fall-Winter 1965-66. Photos: Edward Pfizenmaier.

Here, on the left, jumper and blouse pattern McCall’s 7914; on the right, skirt suit McCall’s 7936 and jumper McCall’s 7940, made in a special Carletex fabric described as the “perfect medium for the ‘go-go’ look: washable cotton with the look and texture of leather” (all boots by Golo and Capezio):

1960s Courrèges-look patterns McCall's 7914, 7936, and 7923 photographed by Edward Pfizenmaier for McCall's Pattern Fashions
“This is the Look of Courrèges.” McCall’s Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating, Fall-Winter 1965-66. Photos: Edward Pfizenmaier.

This photo portfolio was followed by an illustrated Seventeen feature showing three more Courrèges-look patterns: jumper ensemble McCall’s 7903, dress McCall’s 7923, and hooded poncho McCall’s 7884. The textile credits are interesting: the jumper is shown in houndstooth Crompton corduroy; the dress in Burlington Dacron-cotton twill*; and the hooded poncho “in shiny make-believe black patent that’s actually vinyl-coated cotton by Landau”:

McCall's Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating, Fall-Winter 1965-66
Seventeen Magazine Seconds the Courrèges Look.” McCall’s Pattern Fashions & Home Decorating, Fall-Winter 1965-66.

A “Courrèges look” pattern also appears in the catalogue’s front pages, in a Crompton Corduroy ad that pairs McCall’s 7923 with op art by the late Marcel Barbeau:

"Crompton Corduroy just acts rich" - 1960s Crompton Corduroy advert featuring Marcel Barbeau art and a McCall's pattern
Crompton Corduroy advertisement featuring McCall’s 7923 after Courrèges, 1965.

As the catalogue reminds readers, McCall’s 7923 was also photographed for the cover of Seventeen magazine. The cover model for the “summer party issue” is Jennifer O’Neill, who would go on to star in David Cronenberg’s Scanners (1981); the matching hat seems to be an Adolfo version of a Courrèges original (see Sotheby’s and the Costume Institute):

1960s party issue cover of Seventeen magazine featuring Jennifer O'Neill in McCall's 7923 after Courrèges
McCall’s 7923 after Courrèges on the cover of Seventeen, July 1965. Model: Jennifer O’Neill. Image: eBay.

Inside, a McCall’s editorial shows popular teen model Colleen Corby photographed by Carmen Schiavone; here she wears McCall’s 7902 (far left) and McCall’s 7903 and 7884 after Courrèges (Adolfo II hats):

McCall's 7902, 7903, and 7884. Seventeen July 1965
McCall’s 7902, 7903, and 7884. Seventeen, July 1965. Model: Colleen Corby. Photos: Carmen Schiavone. Image: eBay.

Corby’s version of the McCall’s 7884 hooded poncho is shown in tomato red:

McCall's after Courrèges in Seventeen, July 1965. Model: Colleen Corby. Photos: Carmen Schiavone
McCall’s after Courrèges in Seventeen, July 1965. Model: Colleen Corby. Photos: Carmen Schiavone. Image: eBay.

Update: Corby could also be seen in a Courrèges-look pattern on the cover of McCall’s retail catalogue:

1960s Courrèges-look pattern McCall's 7914 as worn by Colleen Corby on the cover of the McCall's catalogue, summer 1965
Colleen Corby wears McCall’s 7914, McCall’s catalogue, August 1965. Image: eBay.

Here’s a look at McCall’s Courrèges-look patterns. McCall’s 7884 includes a sleeveless dress with low-slung, drawstring belt and an ultra-mod poncho with separate hood (available in the shop):

1960s poncho, hood, and dress pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7884
McCall’s 7884 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

In addition to a U-neck jumper and pleated skirt, McCall’s 7903 also includes a blouse with optional trompe-l’oeil collar and cuffs (available in the shop):

1960s jumper, skirt, and blouse pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7903
McCall’s 7903 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

McCall’s 7914 is a pattern for a dress or jumper, blouse, and skirt. The jumper’s welt seams could be topstitched in contrasting thread to match the blouse::

1960s dress/jumper, blouse and skirt pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7914
McCall’s 7914 after Courrèges (1965) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

McCall’s 7918 is a dress with optional collar and sleeves cut in one with the yoke. Skinny belt included in the pattern:

1960s dress pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7918
McCall’s 7918 after Courrèges (1965) Image: Etsy.

McCall’s 7923, the dress from the Seventeen cover and the Crompton Corduroy ad, could be made sleeveless, as a jumper, and came with a blouse with zippers at the sleeves and back. The pattern also included the low-slung skinny belt and carriers (available in the shop):

1960s dress or jumper and blouse pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7923
McCall’s 7923 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

Perhaps the rarest of these patterns, McCall’s 7932 is a short-sleeved top and skirt ensemble:

1960s top and skirt pattern after Courèges - McCall's 7932
McCall’s 7932 after Courrèges (1965) Image: Etsy.

McCall’s 7936 is a short-sleeved blouse and skirt suit with Courrèges’ characteristic, stand-away collar (available in 2 sizes in the shop):

1960s skirt suit and blouse pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7936
McCall’s 7936 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

McCall’s Courrèges-look double-breasted coat, McCall’s 7938, has welt pocket flaps and a martingale and loose panel in back, with all edges accented by contrast binding. The pattern also includes a skirt suit and blouse (available in 2 sizes in the shop):

1960s coat, suit, and blouse pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7938
McCall’s 7938 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

Finally, McCall’s 7940 is a pattern for a high-waisted dress or jumper, short-sleeved blouse, and double-breasted jacket with standing collar (available in the shop):

1960s dress or jumper, blouse and jacket pattern after Courrèges - McCall's 7940
McCall’s 7940 after Courrèges (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

André Courrèges’ futuristic style, high hemlines, and fresh trouser looks had made him a hit with the youthquake set. In a nod to this market, the illustrations show kitten heels and go-go boots, and the three patterns shown in Seventeen magazine have the text, “SEVENTEEN says: ‘It’s Young Fashion!'” Most of the Courrèges-look patterns were available in teen and junior sizes; one (M7923) was not available in misses’ sizes at all. (Of the two patterns in misses’ sizes only, M7938 and M7940, the former was featured in McCall’s magazine, though I’m not sure which issue.) It’s surprising that the patterns include no pantsuits: Courrèges was a great proponent of pants for the woman of the future.

I’ll close with some William Klein photos of Courrèges for Vogue magazine (visit Youthquakers for the full editorial):

Courrèges in Vogue, March 1, 1965. Photos: William Klein
Courrèges in Vogue, March 1, 1965. Photos: William Klein. Image: Youthquakers.
Courrèges in Vogue, March 1, 1965. Photos: William Klein
Courrèges in Vogue, March 1, 1965. Photos: William Klein. Image: Youthquakers.

* Dacron was known by the name Terylene in the U.K.