Alexander McQueen Fall 2021 by Sarah Burton. Photo: Paolo Roversi. Image: Vogue Runway courtesy of Alexander McQueen.
The PatternVault blog is ten! That’s a whole decade of writing about fashion, fine sewing, and the venerable tradition of paper patterns. If you’re curious about where it all began, check out my 2011 series on
Alexander McQueen sewing patterns.
Singer Sphinx with 1920s McCall patterns. Image: PatternVault shop.
Yes, I’m still busy with the campaign to save the
beautiful, historic St. Giles church here in Hamilton, Ontario. If you’re like me and you value historic buildings — or are concerned about the climate impact of demolition — you can sign the petition HERE.
St. Giles, Hamilton (Stewart & Witton, 1912–13) Photo: Cathie Coward. Image: The Friends of St. Giles.
As we leave the worst of COVID behind us, there is talk of a postpandemic boom, a new prosperity along the lines of the Roaring Twenties. (See Peter Coy, “
The 1920s Roared After a Pandemic, and the 2020s Will Try,” and Dhara Ranasinghe, “ Back to the future: 2020s to echo roaring 20s or inflationary 70s?“)
Will fashion follow suit? Sarah Burton’s Fall ’21 collection for McQueen features a new robe de style, reminiscent of Lanvin’s
Colombine. (See top of post; on the Lanvin gown see my ). Selvedge article
Lanvin, “Colombine,” robe de style, hiver 1924–25. Collection Palais Galliera © Katerina Jebb, 2014. Image: Architectural Digest France.
As savvy collectors and long-standing readers of this blog will know, the craft of home-sewn couture flourished in the 1920s. The decade saw the first issues of
Vogue Pattern Book and the launch of McCall’s earliest couture patterns.
McCall 5047 by Patou (1927) Ladies’ and Misses’ Two-Piece Dress.
Vogue Pattern Book, December–January 1924–25. Illustration: Harriet Meserole. Image: Pinterest.
McCall 5051 by Worth Paris, McCall Quarterly, Winter 1927–28. Illustration: Ben-Hur Baz. Image courtesy Debbie Zamorski.
What do you think? Is it time for a couture sewing renaissance?
John Galliano’s Casati-inspired Dior couture in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Vogue, November 1997. Photo: Ellen von Unwerth. Editor: Grace Coddington. Model: Karen Elson. Image: Vogue Archive.
Yves Saint Laurent smoking and shorts, Spring 1971 haute couture ( Libération). “Les nouvelles vamps,” L’Officiel no. 583 (March 1971). Photo: Dominique Laporte. Image: jalougallery.com.
Yves Saint Laurent’s landmark Spring 1971 haute couture collection,
Libération, is 50. For more on the designer’s Libération collection, see my 2015 post here.
Yves Saint Laurent 1971: la collection du scandale. Model: Willy Van Rooy. Photo: Hans Feurer.
Yves Saint Laurent Libération collection in Vogue, March 15, 1971. Photo: John Cowan. Image: Vogue Archive.
Saint Laurent unveiled the collection in Paris on January 29, 1971. Licensed
Libération patterns were available from Vogue the next season, photographed by the late Frank Horvat.
Vogue 2571 by Yves Saint Laurent (1971) Image courtesy of Paco Peralta.
Vogue 2598 by Yves Saint Laurent (1971) Image courtesy of Paco Peralta.
Libération dress pattern was also seen in this textiles ad:
Knit-Away ad featuring Vogue 2571 by Yves Saint Laurent, 1971.
But the most popular of the two designs was the signature suit. Gianni Penati photographed the pantsuit, made up in black velvet, at the Richard Feigen Gallery in New York.
Black velvet for day: Vogue 2598 by Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue, August 15, 1971. Photo: Gianni Penati. Model: Lynn Woodruff. Image: Vogue Archive.
smoking, reenvisioned as as an embroidered evening jacket, even made the cover of Vogue.
Yves Saint Laurent evening jacket V2598 on the cover of Vogue, January 15, 1972. Photo: Gianni Penati. Model: Lynn Woodruff. Image: Vogue Archive.
Vogue 2598 by Yves Saint Laurent (Rive Gauche pants), Vogue, January 15, 1972. Photo: Gianni Penati. Model: Lynn Woodruff. Image: Vogue Archive.
Yves Saint Laurent Libération pantsuit in Vogue, March 15, 1971. Photo: John Cowan. Model: Editha Dussler. Image: Vogue Archive.