Vogue Australia at 60

Elle Macpherson, Vogue Australia, March 1995. Photo: Andrew Macpherson. Image: Vogue Australia.

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.

Fernanda Ly, Akiima, Charlee Fraser, and Andreja Pejić on the cover of Vogue Australia, 2018
Fernanda Ly, Akiima, Charlee Fraser, and Andreja Pejić on the cover of Vogue Australia, April 2018. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Editor: Christine Centenara. Image: Vogue Australia.

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 AU Spring Summer 1959
Tania Mallet on the cover of the inaugural issue of Vogue Australia, Spring/Summer 1959. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image: Vogue Australia.

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 Australia, January 2006
Cate Blanchett on the cover of Vogue Australia, January 2006. Photo: Richard Bailey. Image: Vogue Australia.

Vogue Patterns counts two Australians among its current designers: Rebecca Vallance and Nicola Finetti.

V1524 by Rebecca Vallance design on the cover of Vogue Patterns lookbook, Winter 2016
A Rebecca Vallance design on the cover of Vogue Patterns lookbook, Winter 2016. Image: Issuu.
V1587 by Nicola Finetti on the cover of the Vogue Patterns lookbook, Summer 2018
A Nicola Finetti design on the cover of the Vogue Patterns lookbook, Summer 2018. Image: Issuu.

Vogue Australia was still in its first decade when Butterick introduced two Aussies—Norma Tullo and Prue Acton—to its Young Designers line.

Butterick 5126 by Norma Tullo
Butterick 5126 by Norma Tullo (ca. 1968) Image: Etsy.
Butterick 5617 by Prue Acton (1969) Image: Etsy.

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.

1980s dress pattern by Carla Zampatti - Style 4438
Style 4438 by Carla Zampatti (1986) Image: Etsy.
1980s Frederick Fox bridal hat pattern Style 1249 with the royal warrant
Style 1249 by Frederick Fox (1987)

In the 1990s, Richard Tyler briefly designed for Anne Klein. It’s possible that an Anne Klein pattern or two showcases Tyler’s work.

Nadja Auermann in Richard Tyler for Anne Klein, Vogue February 1995
Nadja Auermann in Richard Tyler for Anne Klein, Vogue, February 1995. Photo: Juergen Teller. Editor: Camilla Nickerson.
Australian model Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight
Australian model Gemma Ward in Junya Watanabe, 2005. Photo: Nick Knight. Image: SHOWstudio.
Vogue coverup photographed by Helmut Newton at Wanda Beach, Australia (May 1964)
Vogue coverup (Adolfo hat), Wanda Beach, Australia. Photo: Helmut Newton. Vogue, May 1, 1964.

The Fantastic Mr Fox: Style Patterns by Frederick Fox

Queen Elizabeth II wears a Frederick Fox hat to the Silver Jubilee celebrations, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II wears a Frederick Fox hat with 25 “bells” to the Silver Jubilee celebrations, 1977. Photo: Douglas Kirkland. Image: Royal Hats.

Ascot begins today. To celebrate, this post is dedicated to commercial patterns by the late milliner to the Queen, Frederick Fox.

(Last year I featured a free pattern for a Stephen Jones hat; see it here.)

Diana, Princess of Wales wears a 'flying saucer' hat by Frederick Fox during the Royal Tour of Italy, 1985
Diana, Princess of Wales wears a ‘flying saucer’ hat by Frederick Fox during the Royal Tour of Italy, 1985. Photo: Tim Graham/AP. Image: People.

Born in Australia to a large family, Frederick Fox (1931-2013) showed an early interest in millinery, refashioning hats for his mother and five sisters in rural New South Wales. After training with several milliners in Sydney, in 1958 he moved to London. By 1964, Fox had taken over Langée to open his own salon.

Fox’s royal commission for Queen Elizabeth II grew out of his work with Hardy Amies in the mid-1960s. Shortly before this commission began, he designed the white leather crash helmets in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Fox was known for his witty designs, made with fine materials and great technical skill; he is credited with inventing the fascinator. (For more on Frederick Fox, see the recent D*Hub article and Stephen Jones’ reminiscence for British Vogue.)

Edwina Carroll in Kubrick's 2001 wearing a Frederick Fox crash helmet
Edwina Carroll as a PanAm space stewardess in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Costume by Hardy Amies; crash helmet by Frederick Fox. Image: eBay.

In the mid- to late 1980s, Frederick Fox millinery patterns were available from Style Patterns. Frederick Fox patterns display the Royal Warrant,* which he held from 1974 until his retirement in 2002.

Style 4788 is a pattern for bridal headpieces and veils. Included are both double- and single-layered veils, attached to three bases: a rose circlet edged with Russian braid, a beaded Juliet cap, and a twisted fabric headband. (The rose circlet may be worn alone.) View 1 was photographed with Style 4787, a bridal gown by Murray Arbeid, Fox’s companion of over 50 years:

1980s Frederick Fox bridal veils and headpieces pattern - Style 4788
Style 4788 by Frederick Fox (1986) Bridal head-dresses and veils.

Style 1072 is a pattern for a set of hats, including a beret, a turban, and a turban headband:

1980s Frederick Fox hat pattern - Style 1072
Style 1072 by Frederick Fox (c. 1986) Image: eBay.

Do you remember the ’80s hair ornament trend? Style 1157 is a pattern for a set of hair ornaments: a rosette with attached veil, a hair slide with large or small bow in 2 fabrics; and a headband with 2-fabric bow with optional diamante trim:

1980s Frederick Fox hair ornament pattern - Style 1157
Style 1157 by Frederick Fox (1987) Hair ornaments.

Style 1249 is unusual for offering a set of bridal hats: a hat with attached veil and narrow brim turned up at the back, and two wide-brimmed, crownless hats (both attached to headbands):

1980s Frederick Fox bridal hats pattern - Style 1249
Style 1249 by Frederick Fox (1987) Bridal hats.

The original owner of my copy of Style 1249 had enclosed magazine pages showing these bridal designs. The text reads, “Head Turners: Hats for that special day by Frederick Fox exclusively for Style.” It could be that, like McCall’s designer patterns in the 1950s, these hats, veils, and headpieces were designed especially for Style Patterns.

* The Queen’s current milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan is the only milliner on the current list of warrant holders.