My Winter patterns report comes a little late: I’ve been busy working to save a historic hotel-turned-tavern here in Hamilton. (Read my op-ed | #SaveHanrahans) Without further ado, here’s a look at the last patterns of the decade.
Vogue’s cover look is a white jersey gown from Badgley Mischka. As worn on the pattern envelope by new model Shaya Ali:
The new Guy Laroche — a minimalist pantsuit with contrast trim — is the company’s first by Richard René.
René’s second collection for Laroche was inspired by art brut and the graphic potential of a blank sheet of paper. According to Vogue, he showed structured pieces for strong personalities, with details like “stand-up edging that adds a cape-like extra inch or two to the shoulders.”
From Cynthia Rowley, a pattern for the Eden dress and top.
The original Eden dress in polished cotton. (The top version is a lightweight printed cotton: webstore | Rent the Runway.)
This flounced dress by Cynthia Rowley is seen variously in the designer’s Inverness Fish print and bias-cut silk lamé.
Rowley’s longtime collaborator William Eadon photographed the lookbook in her hometown of Barrington, Illinois. The lookbook was styled by her daughter, Kit Keenan.
For a subtle variation, close the front bodice seam.
These pleated trousers are adapted from Celine by Hedi Slimane.
McCall’s chic cover look is a version of Max Mara’s hooded cape coat.
Here’s the Max Mara original in cashmere twill:
Vogue Couturier patterns are the original Vogue designer knockoffs. The new Vintage Vogue is a Couturier coat from 1949:
The new Custom Fit patterns are also designer adaptations. View A of V1654 is after Gucci.
And V1667 is a version of Prabal Gurung’s tulip sleeve jacket. (Trousers not included.)
Cover look V1627 is an archival design by Zandra Rhodes, as worn by the Latvian-American model Ana Kondratjeva.
Rhodes reissued her 1973 Field of Lilies dress — renamed the Summer, in memory of Donna Summer — for Matches Fashion’s recent 30th anniversary. The designer commissioned Claire Rothstein to take the mother-and-daughter portrait at the top of this post, in which Pat Cleveland and her daughter, Anna, both model the dress. The original is printed silk chiffon.
Inspired by Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, the new Very Easy Vogue pyjama is illustrated with ribbon trim, and in a version of the Gucci Flora print.
For Gucci Pre-Fall 2018, in place of a more conventional lookbook, American artist Peter Schlesinger shot a photobook on location in Rome. Called Disturbia, it was inspired by the films of Dario Argento, the director behind the original Suspiria.
A variation of the Gucci Flora pyjamas in printed silk twill.
Michele paired a full-length version of the trousers, trimmed in the distinctive Gucci ribbon, with a faux-fur coat.
The Pre-Fall 2019 ad campaign features another version of the Gucci Flora pyjama, as seen in the ancient ruins of Selinunte, Sicily. Vogue’s reference kimono top and pant (on pre-order at Neiman Marcus) is silk georgette.
The new Tracy Reese sundress has a cowl neckline, criss-cross back, and midriff that extends into waist ties. (See WWD for recent news.)
Martha Graham was the inspiration for Reese’s Spring 2015 collection, where the dress was shown with a kimono jacket in the same botanical print.
There are two patterns from Rachel Comey. The first: the Willow peasant top and Basin pant with grosgrain waistband. Judging from the pattern number, it may have been delayed from the Spring release. Hopefully this doesn’t signal the wrapping up of the designer’s contract. (See: Laroche?)
Both pieces made their début in Comey’s country-and-western themed Pre-Fall 2016 collection, shot by New York street photographer Gus Powell. The original Willow top (right) is rayon gauze.
For Fall 2016, Comey showed the top in a cute print. Later, it could even be seen in a lace and gingham combo.
The second Rachel Comey is a pair of unisex shirts. The unisex / menswear angle is welcome, since Comey made her name with men’s shirts. (See my earlier post.)
The Selleck shirt is short-sleeved, with seam interest, while the Tre shirt is a long-sleeved button-down. Both were shown in Comey’s Spring 2017 15th anniversary collection, which saw the launch of her unisex line.
After a decade of licensing, Simplicity has released a swimwear design by Cynthia Rowley. The colour-blocked one-piece is called the Heather, and retails in Rowley’s signature neoprene.
The new pattern also includes a button-front maxi dress with ruffle sleeves. Add bodice tucks and you have the Nairobi kaftan — Rowley’s opening look for Spring 2017. The original caftan dress is 100% cotton.
Finally, a stealth bridal pattern: Very Easy Vogue V9373, a version of a Stella McCartney gown that was the first change of a newly minted duchess. (More at Vogue.)
The bride’s silk crepe, open-backed gown was an advance look at the Stella McCartney Made With Love collection, which launched in autumn, 2018.
Make in cruelty-free, sustainable fabrics for the authentic Stella McCartney touch.
Finetti also showed a longer, front-zip version of V1587. Just trim down the A-line skirt and add a midriff panel:
This season’s backless showpiece is by Adam Andrascik for Laroche: a long-sleeved dress with front bodice drape and slim, layered skirt. Use a semi-sheer fabric for the full effect.
The original is textured silk georgette in a chartreuse-tinged shade of La La Land yellow.
Andrascik showed two takes on the backless V1589 dress. (A famously backless, ’70s Guy Laroche gown is a perennial inspiration for today’s Laroche designers. French actor Mireille Darc’s gown, worn in the 1972 comedy Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire, also informed Hilary Swank’s Oscar dress.) Here, the V1589 dress is seen backstage:
On a black, sleeveless version, bead chains dangled from silver appliques:
Judging from the pattern number, the second Laroche may have been delayed from Vogue’s spring release. From Marcel Marongiu, it’s a long-sleeved dress with contrast collar, cuffs, and curved contrast panels in front and back.
Revered American designer Claire McCardell was the inspiration for Marongiu’s last collection for Laroche. The V1577 dress was shown both long-sleeved and sleeveless:
As a grey and white coat dress, it swaps the button placket for jumbo exposed zippers:
Marongiu’s shift dress version, with giant paillettes, was featured in the Laroche advertising campaign by Steve Hiett. Hiett also photographed the V1589 dress for Spring ’17:
New from Rachel Comey: the Popcorn dress. The Comey staple is shown in Spring 2017’s seersucker.
The pullover dress works for both solids and prints—even print-mixing with contrast skirt inserts. The current version is black rayon.
In her Spring 2007 collection, presented at the Altman building during New York Fashion Week, Comey showed the dress both loose and belted.
A closer look reveals the print-mixing. There are only two prints here, with one, reminiscent of Biba’s famous banana print, in three colourways:
The Summer patterns include two lace looks from Rebecca Vallance: a cutout dress and the Dolce Vita jumpsuit. (There’s one dress left at the Outnet.) The Dolce Vita is a cropped, wide-leg jumpsuit tied with grosgrain ribbon:
The jumpsuit is from Rebecca Vallance Summer 2016.
Simplicity’s latest from Cynthia Rowley is a flounce-sleeved lace dress with two neckline variations. Choose from off the shoulder or scoop neck.
Rowley presented her Spring 2017 collection in a “feathered snow globe” at her West Village townhouse. (See WWD.) As photographed by frequent collaborator William Eadon, the S8599 dress is layered, maximalist-style, under an appliquéd satin smock:
The original dress had a contrast back bodice:
Seeing designers’ alternate looks for the Spring/Summer pattern designs, it’s striking how Vogue no longer provides variant views in their designer line, whereas for Simplicity, it’s built in to the business. But armed with reference photos, it’s easy to transform a design.
Have you seen the new Fall patterns? I post the designer photos to the @PatternVault Twitter. From now on, they’ll also have a more permanent home here on the blog.
(Speaking of Twitter, I’ve started posting non-fashion tweets to a new, personal account: @DrSarahSheehan.)
Simplicity’s latest Cynthia Rowley pattern came out after the Summer 2017 release and branded for the company’s 90th anniversary celebrations. The pintuck ruffle dress was seen in short and maxi lengths in Rowley’s Resort 2016 collection.
The setting for William Eadon’s photos might look familiar from The Royal Tenenbaums: the grand staircase of Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Hall was the location where Margot went out for ice cream.
Vogue’s new Guy Laroche pattern is an off-the-shoulder dress from the Spring 2016 collection, Adam Andrascik’s second for the house.
For a biker look—an Andrascik trademark—try it in leather with chain accents:
Or cut off below the waistband to make a jacket:
Rachel Comey fans are spoiled for choice with three new Rachel Comey patterns. Vogue’s Fall lookbook cover shows Comey’s Karloff coat in Pre-Fall 2016’s floral brocade. One of the coat’s earliest incarnations was in buffalo plaid with camel contrast:
Two of the Comey patterns are from the Fall 2016 collection—which will be familiar to those of you who follow Anne at Pretty Grievances.
V1556 is a raw-hemmed, sleeveless dress shown worn as a jumper. With sleeves it becomes the Cumberland dress.
The pleated, bishop-sleeved Bartram dress is pure sewist bait in silk jersey.
Update on shopping local: Thanks to everyone who’s provided me with updated information about designer royalties from pattern sales. Since publishing this post, I’ve learned that Simplicity pays royalties to all licensed designers, including on web sales.
For other brands: if you would like to know whether royalties are being paid for online sales of designer patterns, you could contact the companies directly for more information.
Caftans, long, loose-fitting tunics with origins in ancient Persia, have been gaining momentum as an alternative to more structured formal dress. With any luck, there will be some caftans among the goddess gowns at tomorrow’s Academy Awards ceremony.
They say Tsarina Alexandra was the first westerner to make a fashion statement in a caftan, when she dressed as a seventeenth-century Tsarina for a costume ball in 1903. Paul Poiret also advanced the caftan cause, but it was not until the 1950s that the garment really began to influence western fashion. Here’s a look at caftan patterns from the 1950s to now.
In the mid-1950s, Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga’s experiments with silhouette were partly inspired by eastern traditional dress. Dior’s Fall 1955 couture collection (Y line) included caftan-inspired ensembles—coats with high, side-front slits that reveal a slim dress underneath:
You can see echoes of the Dior caftan look in contemporary sewing patterns like McCall’s 3525 and 3532, both from late 1955:
McCall’s 3532, called a “slim caftan-and-dress ensemble,” was featured on the cover of McCall’s news leaflet and in the company’s “Make the Clothes that Make the Woman” advertising campaign. According to the ad, the design is ideal for the season’s “Oriental” fabrics, such as silk twill and raw silk tussah:
A Vogue version of the Dior caftan ensemble, Vogue 8759, is available as a reproduction from EvaDress.
Caftans became popular in the 1960s in tandem with the increasing interest in eastern cultures. The Madame Grès version at the top of this post is cut on the bias, producing geometric seaming detail. The caption reads, “Coup of bias-work by Grès—because this piecing-together of bias angles is sinuous, stark, ravishingly Moroccan.”
This dress from Jean Patou by Michel Goma, Vogue 1699, has what the envelope calls a “caftan neckline.” The model is Beate Schulz:
This circa 1968 Vogue caftan pattern has optional flexible trim:
Other patterns from the late 1960s and early 1970s also reference eastern dress. From 1967, McCall’s 9026 is labelled as an abba in two lengths. Abba is an alternate spelling of aba, commonly abaya: a traditional Arab garment, long, loose-fitting, sleeveless, and made from a single rectangle of fabric. (Today, caftans often function as abayat.) The model is Veronica Hamel:
Burnoose patterns were marketed as resort wear. A pompom-trimmed version of McCall’s 2377 was photographed for the cover of McCall’s Summer 1970 catalogue:
Marola Witt models Simplicity’s burnoose in the July 1967 issue of Simplicity Fashion News. (Thanks to Mary of PatternGate for the reference.) The text promotes the design’s ‘Arabian’ exoticism: “be exotic in a JIFFY: … the burnoose, born in Arabia, brought up to date here”:
This Halston caftan pattern from McCall’s also includes a top and pants (you can buy yourself a copy from the shop):
This flowing Dior caftan, modelled by Billie Blair, has lots of neckline detail, full-length sleeve openings, and pockets:
Vogue 1515 by Nina Ricci is a caftan that’s open in front and attached at the neckline to a handkerchief-hemmed underdress:
It’s harder to find post-1970s designer caftan patterns. This wide-sleeved, Oscar de la Renta caftan is trimmed with contrast bands. When worn, the side seams swing forward to raise the hemline in front:
From Issey Miyake, Vogue 2315 is a caftan-inspired summer dress:
Caftan patterns started making a comeback (of sorts) in 2009. Simplicity 2584, a caftan-inspired tunic by Cynthia Rowley, is out of print but still in demand:
Ralph Rucci’s floor-length caftan, Vogue 1181 (now out of print), has an abaya silhouette and interesting construction details—overarm darts, shaped lower sections, and a hook and eye above the low neckline:
The design is from Chado Ralph Rucci Resort 2009:
Matthew Williamson’s short caftan, available as a free pattern from the Guardian, is also a 2009 design: