It’s spring in the southern hemisphere, and Australian Vogue is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The festivities kicked off in Canberra last week with the opening of Women in Vogue: Celebrating 60 years in Australia (at the National Portrait Gallery to November 24, 2019). A special anniversary issue of the magazine will hit newsstands in December.
The late Tania Mallet graced the cover of Vogue Australia’s first issue in spring, 1959. (Click the image for a history published for the magazine’s 55th anniversary.)
Vogue Australia editor Edwina McCann sits on the board of directors of the new Australian Fashion Council, and the magazine’s cover archive is a gallery of famous faces, especially Australians like Cate Blanchett.
Vogue Patterns counts two Australians among its current designers: Rebecca Vallance and Nicola Finetti.
Vogue Australia was still in its first decade when Butterick introduced two Aussies—Norma Tullo and Prue Acton—to its Young Designers line.
In the 1980s, Carla Zampatti and Frederick Fox both signed licensing deals with Style Patterns. The milliner to the Queen contributed more than one bridal design in classic Eighties style.
Peter Lindbergh died yesterday. He was 74. (Read the WWD obituary.) The German photographer was a frequent collaborator of Grace Coddington’s. In these images, the duo captured Naomi Campbell and Anna Getaneh in silk pyjamas made from Vogue Patterns.
I started this blog eight years ago this month. To celebrate, here’s a look at some all-but-forgotten licensing: patterns by Barbara Hulanicki for Biba.
Biba might be the biggest brand you’ll never see on a pattern. Born in Warsaw, Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki (b. 1936) grew up in Palestine and Brighton, where she attended Brighton Art School. She worked as a fashion illustrator before starting the Biba label with her husband, Stephen “Fitz” Fitz-Simon. Sometimes called the first lifestyle brand, Biba was a runaway success in Swinging London, selling everything from cosmetics to couture.
In 1970, Hulanicki licensed patterns with McCall’s as a way to launch her brand in North America. The main promotion was in Seventeen Magazine, as it was Seventeen editor Rosemary McMurtry who first approached Hulanicki about the idea. Hulanicki mentions the McCall’s deal in her memoirs, as well as The Biba Years, 1963-1975, which she co-wrote with Martin Pel, curator of Brighton’s Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki.
Around New Year’s, 1971, Seventeen readers could peruse the new Biba patterns in a dreamy Sarah Moon editorial shot in Paris. Among the models was Ingrid Boulting, the face of Biba Cosmetics (another Sarah Moon project). As Hulanicki writes in her memoir, From A to Biba, the setting for the shoot was the round tower of Au Printemps, the storied Paris department store. The printed fabrics — cotton satin, rayon crepe, cotton voile, twill, and broadcloth — were all Tootal for Biba, and available at retailers like Macy’s in New York. (More at Sweet Jane. Seventeen scans courtesy of Musings from Marilyn.)
The patterns were even covered more than once in Women’s Wear Daily.
The designs consisted of a top and skirt, separates and a hat, a long-sleeved dress and short-sleeved coatdress, and a midi or maxi dress, all in junior sizes only. Two included a matching choker. Customers could see the Biba logo in McCall’s retail catalogues, but the pattern envelopes give no indication they’re Biba designs.
McCall’s Pattern Fashions featured the Biba patterns in a four-page illustrated portfolio called “Seventeen Magazine Pattern Selections.” The write-up emphasizes Biba’s novelty in North America: Now Seventeen Magazine brings Biba to America … You, too, can be a Biba girl without crossing the Atlantic.
Curiously, the Biba patterns aren’t in McCall’s back index, but one of them appears in this croquet-themed textiles ad — at left, in printed Dacron crepe:
The peplum blouse with short “mushroom” sleeves (McCall’s 2725, view B) is very similar to a Biba evening suit seen in a 19 cover portfolio by David Tack. (Cover at top of post.) Like Seventeen, the British teen magazine also published its feature around the time of New Year’s, 1971.
Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park is one of the latest additions to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In 1990’s “Polar Effects,” the Vatnajökull glacier and Jökulsárlón glacial lake co-star with supermodels Karen Mulder and Kirsten Owen, and two Vogue patterns.
Both patterns are Very Easy designs. In the opening image, Karen Mulder’s unitard is made from an unspecified “shiny” stretch knit from B&J Fabrics. Kirsten Owen’s double-width dirndl skirt is silk taffeta from Jerry Brown Fabrics.
Leombruno-Bodi photographed three models, including Nena von Schlebrügge and Dorothea McGowan, in airy loungewear made from Vogue patterns.
Left: Red polka dots printed on white cotton: brief panties, a top swung briskly from red ribbon shoulder straps. In Crown Soap n’ Water fabric. Centre: Candy-striped silk, slipping into a perfect fall from narrow, softly bowed ribbon straps. Pink and orange stripes skimming white silk; the ribbon, orange. A.P.Silk fabric. Right: White cotton batiste, embroidered with white medallions; single touch of colour, the trailing, sweet-blue ribbon. Emanuel Roth fabric. All ribbon by Century.
The patterns are Vogue 9774 and 5032, a ruffled breakfast coat and nightgown / short pyjamas and nightcap.
SHOWstudio’s latest Design Download is a dress by Dutch wunderkind Iris van Herpen.
The sheath dress is from Hacking Infinity, Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2015 ready-to-wear collection, which explored the idea of terraforming. (Read more at the designer’s site, or see Suzy Menkes on her 2015 studio visit.) The collection’s leather and 3D-printed shoes are by Noritaka Tatehana.
Science, technology, and science fiction are strong influences for Van Herpen, and Vogue’s reviewer cited Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall as an intro to the terraforming concept. Several looks referenced the stillsuits from David Lynch’s Dune.
The plissé material, seen in the SHOWstudio piece, appeared both as one element in a mix, and for entire garments in black and bronze.
For Fall 2015, Van Herpen developed a fine, metallic fabric woven from silk and stainless steel. The translucent silver material was coaxed into “a sheen of nebula-like colors” with heat and hand-burnishing. Plisséed and pleated into circular forms, it evoked planetary bodies and infinity.
The pattern download comes in A4 sheets, with a test line to check the scale.
Notes: Prints on 100 A4 sheets. Plissé panels are hand-sewn to base dress.
Fabric recommendations: Plissé panels: plissé or printed fabric on a cotton base fabric. Stretch fabric is recommended for the skirt. Straps & facings: silk, non-stretch fusible interfacing. Lining: silk or cupro.
Notions: Back zipper.
The competition is still open. Will you be entering?