Jill Kennington

Winter Looks: Jill Kennington in Vogue 1676 by Elio Berhanyer, Vogue Pattern Book International Winter 1966
Jill Kennington in Vogue 1676 by Elio Berhanyer, Vogue Pattern Book International, Winter 1966. Image: eBay.

British model-turned-photographer Jill Kennington turns 75 today.

Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Jill Kennington (b. 1943) moved to London at 18, working at Harrods and staying with her aunt, who was a buyer there. Scouted by Michael Whittaker, the founder of the Whittaker Enterprises agency, she was hired as a house model at Norman Hartnell before she could finish the agency course.

Vogue Pattern Book, UK edition, Summer 1966
Vogue Pattern Book International, Summer 1966. Image: Vintage Chic.

Kennington was one of two models in John Cowan’s famous shoot in the Canadian Arctic. (See the full editorial at vogue.com.) You might recognize her from Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up. (Read her reminiscences in Vanity Fair.)

"The Girl who went out in the cold" editorial - Georges Kaplan ostrich feather coat; Halston hat.
At Resolute Bay, Vogue, November 1964. Photo: John Cowan. Image: Pleasure Photo.
Jill Kennington (left) with Peggy Moffitt and other London models in Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up
Jill Kennington (left) in Blow-Up (1966) Image: Vanity Fair.

That’s Kennington in Emmanuelle Khanh’s dress pattern in Queen magazine. (Previously seen in my Butterick Young Designers post.)

Butterick Emmanuelle Khanhdress_pressphoto1965
Butterick 3718 by Emmanuelle Khanh, Queen, August 11, 1965. Image: Amazon.

Here she models some mod knitwear by Mary Quant:

Patons 101 Courtelle Double Knitting no. 9702 by Mary Quant (ca. 1966) - price 9d
Patons no. 9702 by Mary Quant (ca. 1966)

Kennington can be seen on some of Vogue’s earliest Givenchy patterns. This evening dress was also featured on the cover of the February retail catalogue:

1960s Givenchy evening dress pattern feat. Jill Kennington - Vogue Paris Original 1698
Vogue 1698 by Givenchy (1967)

In Vogue 1707 by Fabiani:

Jill Kennington in Vogue 1707 by Fabiani on the cover of the Vogue retail catalogue, April 1967
FABIANI 1707: Vogue Patterns catalogue, April 1967. Image: Etsy.

More Vogue Paris Originals and Couturier patterns featuring Kennington:

1960s Marc Bohan for Dior cerise dress suit pattern Vogue Paris Original 1725
Vogue 1725 by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior (1967) Image: eBay.
1960s Laroche dress and coat pattern Vogue Paris Original 1737
Vogue 1737 by Laroche (1967) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.
1960s Simonetta dress pattern Vogue Couturier Design 1746
Vogue 1746 by Simonetta (1967) Image: Blue Gardenia.
1960s Lanvin dress pattern Vogue Paris Original 1747
Vogue 1747 by Lanvin (1967) Image: eBay.

In a flight-themed British Vogue editorial, wearing Young Fashionables hooded jumpsuit Vogue 6376:

"Out of the Blue," Vogue UK Feb 1967 Traeger
Vogue 6376 in British Vogue, February 1967. Photo: Ronald Traeger. Image: Youthquakers.

Happy birthday, Ms. Kennington!

Jill Kennington photographed by Lichfield, 1964 - NPG London
Jill Kennington, 1964. Photo: Lichfield. Image: National Portrait Gallery.
Jill Kennington photographed by William Klein in Pierre Cardin, Weekend Telegraph, fall 1965
Is Paris dead? Jill Kennington in Pierre Cardin, Weekend Telegraph, September 3, 1965. Photo: William Klein. Image: eBay.
Jill Kennington photographed by Helmut Newton for Queen magazine, January 1966
Jill Kennington in Queen, January 5, 1966. Photo: Helmut Newton. Image: Pinterest.
1960s Queen Christmas cover featuring Jill Kennington photographed by David Montgomery
Jill Kennington on the cover of Queen‘s Christmas issue. Photo: David Montgomery. Image: eBay.

Mad Men Era 9: Butterick’s Young Designers

Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) in a Mad Men season 7 promotional photo
Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) in a Mad Men season 7 promotional photo. Image: AMC.

My series on Mad Men-era designer patterns concludes this week with three Butterick Young Designers: Mary Quant, Jean Muir, and Emmanuelle Khanh.

In 1964, Butterick launched its Young Designers line, appealing to the youth market by licensing the work of up-and-coming, international fashion designers. The line would continue through the 1970s with the addition of new designers like Betsey Johnson, Jane Tise, and Kenzo. (For more on the Young Designers line see The Vintage Traveler’s Butterick Young Designers page.)

Mary Quant

Mary Quant (b. 1934) was the first designer to be signed to the new pattern line. Born in London, Quant met Archie McNair and her future husband, Alexander Plunket Greene, at art school; together they opened a boutique on the King’s Road, Bazaar, in 1955, selling Quant’s fun, youthful designs. Quant is perhaps most famous as a pioneer of the miniskirt. Butterick released its first Quant patterns, featuring Celia Hammond photographed by Terence Donovan, in the fall of 1964.

Butterick 5475 is a mini-length shirt dress with plenty of details including epaulets, side slits, and a self-buttoned belt:

1960s Mary Quant mini dress pattern - Butterick 5475
Butterick 5475 by Mary Quant (1969) Mini dress.

Jean Muir

Also born in London, Jean Muir (1928-1995) showed an early talent for dressmaking and needlework. During the 1950s, after working her way up from the stockroom at Liberty, she was hired as designer for Jaeger; she stayed with Jaeger until 1962, when she founded her first label, Jane & Jane. She launched her eponymous label in 1966. Muir was known for her fluid dresses with charming dressmaker details.

Butterick introduced Jean Muir patterns in the spring of 1965. This short, high-waisted dress dates to the late 1960s; the bodice front and slashed, modified raglan bell sleeves fasten with rows of tiny buttons:

1960s Jean Muir dress pattern - Butterick 5657
Butterick 5657 by Jean Muir (c. 1969) Image: eBay.

Emmanuelle Khanh

Born in Paris as Renée Mésière, Emmanuelle Khanh (b. 1937) married avant-garde industrial designer Quasar Khanh in the late 1950s, around the same time that she began working as a house model for Balenciaga and Givenchy. Turning her hand to fashion design, Khanh was soon at the forefront of yé-yé fashion (Paris’ answer to Youthquake), designing for brands including Cacharel and Missoni before launching her own label in 1969. (Read a 1964 LIFE magazine article about Khanh here.) Today her company focuses on accessories, particularly eyewear.

Butterick introduced Emmanuelle Khanh sewing patterns in the fall of 1965. This turquoise, suit-effect dress creates interesting effects with topstitching and collar details:

1960s Emmanuelle Khanh suit pattern on the cover of the Butterick Home Catalog, Fall 1965
Emmanuelle Khanh dress on the cover of the Butterick Home Catalog, Fall 1965. Image: myvintagevogue.

The pattern is Butterick 3718. (Thanks to Jessica Hastings of myvintagevogue for confirming the number.) This photo shows a full-length view of the dress:

An Emmanuelle Khanh dress made from a Butterick sewing pattern in heavy turquoise blue wool jersey. The striped blue, grey and black stockings are by Corah and the suede buttoned gaiters and shoes by Rayne. The white stitched crepe hat is by Simone Mirman.
Jill Kennington in Butterick 3718 by Emmanuelle Khanh, Queen magazine, 1965. Image: Amazon.

It’s interesting to see an established company like Butterick responding to contemporary Sixties youth culture, facilitating access to Youthquake and yé-yé fashion in the process.