Patterns in Vogue: Gia in Versace, 1979

Gia Carangi in Genny by Versace, Vogue, July 1979
Detail, Gia Carangi in Vogue, July 1979. Photo: Alex Chatelain.

2017 is officially the year of Versace. To mark the 20th anniversary of her brother’s death, Donatella Versace has been returning to the house’s heritage, most notably with a surprise finale to her spring runway show. But if it’s that ’90s supermodel moment—glamazons lip-synching George Michael—that we remember best, let us not forget Versace’s equally glamorous beginnings.

Early in Gianni Versace’s career, Vogue magazine featured one of his Vogue patterns, as worn by the young Gia Carangi. The pleated blouse, pants, and cummerbund were shown in black and white silk taffeta.

Gia Carangi in Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace, 1979
Gia Carangi in Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace. Vogue, July 1979. Photo: Alex Chatelain.

The pattern is a Genny design:

Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny
Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny (1978) Model: Karen Bjornson.

For more on Versace’s licensed patterns from the late ’70s and early ’80s, see my 2-part series: 1. Versace for Genny and Complice and 2. Gianni Versace.

photo and biography of Gianni Versace from pattern envelope flap: "GIANNI VERSACE the Milanese master of fashion! His is the biggest ready-to-wear business in Italy and his clothes are sold around the world from Germany to Japan to the United States. Art, cinema and young people's tastes all influence his modernistic fashion approach."

Patterns in Vogue: Red Hot

Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller in a red Montana trench - Vogue, June 1994
Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller, Vogue, June 1994.

It’s Kate Moss Month at SHOWstudio, so I was able to update my “Courrèges Edge” post with a newly released, early fashion film by Nick Knight featuring video of Kate Moss from the 1995 patterns shoot.

An earlier Kate Moss editorial shows the model in sophisticated summer looks, all made up in red using Vogue patterns. Photographed by Juergen Teller, “Red Hot” appears in the June, 1994 issue of Vogue magazine.

Here Moss models a simple, silk charmeuse gown, Vogue 8689; on the right she wears a sheer nylon shirt, Vogue 8447, with a pair of Ray-Ban mirror shades (click to enlarge):

Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller - Vogue June 1994
Vogue, June 1994. Photos: Juergen Teller. Fashion editor: Camilla Nickerson.

On the left, Moss’ silk charmeuse romper was made using Vogue 9765, a 1980s bias lingerie pattern; on the right, the jacket from Vogue 1326 by Claude Montana becomes a short, patent leather trench coat:

Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller - Vogue June 1994
Vogue, June 1994. Photos: Juergen Teller. Fashion editor: Camilla Nickerson.

Here Moss’ basic silk tank is Vogue 1342; on the right, her silk satin pantsuit is Vogue 1402 by Genny, worn with a black, silk charmeuse cami made with another ’80s lingerie pattern, Vogue 2146:

Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller - Vogue, June 1994
Vogue, June 1994. Photos: Juergen Teller. Fashion editor: Camilla Nickerson.

As always, in the back of the magazine readers could find all the details on the patterns used in the shoot:

Patterns used in the Kate Moss / Juergen Teller shoot, Vogue, June 1994
In This Issue, Vogue, June 1994.

Click the Patterns in Vogue tag for more posts in the series.

Gianni Versace for Genny and Complice: Vogue Patterns

detail of Vogue 2080 - late '70s pattern by Gianni Versace for Complice

This month marks 15 years since the death of Gianni Versace. This week’s post will be the first of two on Versace sewing patterns, in memory of the late designer.

photo and biography of Gianni Versace from pattern envelope flap

Before he founded his own company, Gianni Versace (1946–1997) was the designer for the Milanese brands Genny, Complice, and Callaghan, and his first boutique sold his designs for those labels. These editorial images from L’Officiel, photographed at the Tivioli showroom in Milan, show designs from all three, as well as Versace’s new label:

Gianni Versace for Complice / Gianni Versace for Callaghan; Gianni Versace. Editorial, Spring 1979
Left: Gianni Versace for Complice and Gianni Versace for Callaghan. Right: Gianni Versace. L’Officiel, February 1979. Photo: Michel Picard. Image: jalougallery.com.
Gianni Versace and Gianni Versace for Genny - Spring 1979
Gianni Versace and Gianni Versace for Genny. L’Officiel, February 1979. Photo: Michel Picard. Image: jalougallery.com.

The earliest Versace sewing patterns are drawn from the designer’s work for Genny and Complice. Vogue Patterns welcomed Versace to their designer licensees in 1978, the year he founded his business:

Viva Versace Vogue Patterns November/December 1978
VIVA, VERSACE! Versace in Vogue Patterns, November/December 1978. Image: Etsy.

(The headline reads, “Viva, Versace! Welcome to Vogue’s world! Gianni Versace, the Milanese master of fashion, opens exciting vistas into your sewing life.”)

Vogue Patterns’ first four Versace patterns were designs for Genny and Complice, two from each label.

Genny

Rosie Vela wears Genny by Versace on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine, 1978.
Vogue 2025 by Versace for Genny on the cover of Vogue Patterns, November/December 1978. Photo: Albert Watson. Model: Roseanne Vela. Image: Make Mine Vogue.

Versace was the designer for Genny, a label owned by the Girombelli family, from 1973. Vogue 2025 (also shown in the “Viva, Versace” photo above) is an ensemble consisting of a pleated blouse or tunic, tapered pants, and pleated cummerbund:

1970s Gianni Versace for Genny pattern Vogue 2025
Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny (1978)

The cummerbund is tucked rather than pleated in Vogue 2026, an evening suit that also includes a short, double-breasted jacket with contrast lapels, bias camisole, and sheer skirt with shaped front hemline:

1970s Gianni Versace for Genny evening suit pattern Vogue 2026
Vogue 2026 by Gianni Versace for Genny (1978)

Here’s the Vogue 2026 evening suit made up in white for a 1979 editorial:

Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny in Vogue Patterns, Jan/Feb 1979
Vogue 2025 by Gianni Versace for Genny, Vogue Patterns, January/February 1979. Photo: Arthur Elgort. Model: Michelle Stevens. Image: The Fashion Spot.

Complice

Complice was a line Gianni Versace developed for the Girombellis. Vogue 2048 looks forward to the Eighties silhouette with its loose dress or top with standing band collar and slim, tapered pants. As the envelope says, “Purchased belt forms desired blouson”:

1970s Gianni Versace for Complice pattern Vogue 2048
Vogue 2048 by Gianni Versace for Complice (1978) Image: PatternVault shop.

Vogue 2080 is a military-style ensemble consisting of pleated, tapered pants and a blouse with standing collar, button epaulets, and contrast piping trim:

1970s Gianni Versace for Complice pattern Vogue 2080
Vogue 2080 by Gianni Versace for Complice (1978) Image: PatternVault shop.

Update: this Complice design was also photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for the cover of Vogue Patterns:

Vogue 2080 by Versace for Complice photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for the cover of Vogue Patterns, 1979
Vogue 2080 by Versace for Complice on the cover of Vogue Patterns, January/February 1979. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Model: Karen Bjornson. Image: Make Mine Vogue.

Just for fun, here are some Versace for Complice campaign images. Guy Bourdin was the photographer for Complice campaigns during this period. These first two, very Interview with the Vampire images are from August 1977:

Gianni Versace for Complice campaign photographed by Guy Bourdin, Vogue Paris, August 1977
Gianni Versace for Complice campaign, Fall 1977. Photo: Guy Bourdin. Image: Black Album.
Gianni Versace for Complice campaign photographed by Guy Bourdin, Vogue Paris, August 1977
Gianni Versace for Complice campaign, Fall 1977. Photo: Guy Bourdin. Image: Black Album.

This one I’m not sure of the date:

Gianni Versace for Complice campaign image by Guy Bourdin
Gianni Versace for Complice campaign. Photo: Guy Bourdin. Image: guybourdin.net.

You can see more Guy Bourdin/Versace for Complice photos here.

Next: Vogue patterns by Gianni Versace.