It’s nearly the equinox: time for my Spring patterns report. As I mentioned back in December, I’ve been busy with other projects. I’m happy to share that my campaign to save Hanrahan’s, a historic Hamilton hotel turned tavern, was successful! (Read my latest op-ed | front page news | local news coverage.)
Huge thanks to now-retired columnist Paul Wilson, who first got the word out about this fascinating Edwardian hotel.
Recently, there’s also been some major pattern industry news. More on that in a moment — but first, a look at the first patterns of the decade.
Vogue’s second pattern by Richard René, the new designer for Laroche, is an oversized, colour-blocked pantsuit from the Spring 2019 collection.
Last June, British Vogue’s Venetia Scott paired the Laroche jacket with trousers by Issey Miyake.
From Rachel Comey, the Agave pantsuit, as worn for the Spring 2019 lookbook by Guinevere van Seenus.
The Divide pant also comes in cropped and colour-blocked versions, or embellished with sequins:
Comey’s licensing with Vogue Patterns began in Spring, 2010. A decade later, the company finally gave the popular designer a catalogue cover.
The new Zandra Rhodes pattern is a boho bias dress with contrast sleeve and hem flounces. Fine finishing details include narrow hems and a bias-bound neckline.
McCall’s has a fresh new logo for 2020, when the company celebrates its 150th anniversary. But thus far, no new designer patterns.
And this month, Britain’s IG Design Group Plc completed its acquisition of CSS Industries, the parent company of McCall’s and Simplicity. (Details at Design Group’s site and Business Wire.) CSS acquired The McCall Pattern Company in 2016 and Simplicity Creative Group in 2017.
Will Design Group revive Vogue Patterns Magazine, a storied publication that dates back a century, or divest the pattern side of the business entirely? Stay tuned for more coverage of McCall’s 150th and other milestones for 2020!
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.)
This season, Vogue patterns have a new format. For Fall 2019, illustrations are out, and photography is in, even for the company’s house line. Also consolidated is the line branding and numbering, which used to differ between licensed and internal designs. Paris Originals, Designer Originals, even Vogue designer knockoffs — they all have the same new look.
Autumn means outerwear, and Laroche comes through with a chic trench coat with interesting details: a storm flap, arm band, and oversized belt carriers.
The coat is a design from Fall 2017, Adam Andrascik’s last collection for Laroche. The original also sports a collar hook and jumbo belt buckle.
Vogue noted the alternate version in tobacco leather — also seen in the Swiss magazine, Annabelle, which has a nice view of the shoulder dart.
From the late Paco Peralta, a cropped jumpsuit with Custom Fit sizing (for multiple cup sizes). The contrast insets are a signature touch, also seen on the bestselling V1550.
There are two new patterns by Rachel Comey. First, the coat ensemble at the top of this post: a collarless, raglan-sleeved coat and the Oscillate skirt, a gored, high-waisted skirt with notched waistband detail.
Comey’s Fall 2018 collection was modelled by Guinevere van Seenus, in a lookbook shot by Annie Powers and styled by Vanity Fair’s Samira Nasr.
The second Rachel Comey is the Steadfast jumpsuit, a cropped-leg style with square armholes and wrap overlay.
For Pre-Fall 2017, the designer showed it layered, jumper-style, with a blouse.
As worn in white by the editor Giannie Couji:
Vogue’s latest Gucci adaptation includes a jacket, dress, and pleated skirt. (Also sized for petites.)
Some will recognize the long, tan Gucci jacket from Peter Schlesinger’s photobook for Pre-Fall 2018 (last seen in my Summer post). Pair with a print dress and coronet for the full maximalist effect.
Gucci’s red, cardigan-style jacket and pleated skirt were a key look for Spring 2018.
As seen in the brand’s digitally painted Spring ’18 ad campaign:
Vogue’s other Custom Fit design for Fall is a version of Roland Mouret’s Royston dress.
First presented for Resort ’18, the Royston is an update of the hit Galaxy dress. For an even more faithful copy, serge the sleeve edge and add an exposed zipper. The dress is currently available in navy, white, and red through Roland Mouret’s webstore, or at Selfridges in new-season pink:
The Royston dress is also the basis for Mouret’s Clovelly bridal gown.
And rounding out the Fall collection, a version of an Alexander McQueen coat reminiscent of Spring ’99 Givenchy. (Includes petite sizing.)
Metamorphosis was the theme of Sarah Burton’s Fall 2018 collection for McQueen. Military touches in red and black referenced the Household Cavalry, the Queen’s bodyguard. Exhibit A: Burton’s asymmetrical blanket coat, as worn on the runway by Stella Tennant.
A closer look at the fringed edge reveals a meticulous finish on the reverse:
Those military colours are also seen in this season’s ad campaign featuring Kate Moss. McQueen Fall 2019 was inspired by the textile mills of Northern England, where Burton grew up.
Mugler himself never signed with Paris Originals, but there are still some Vogue patterns with a connection to the designer. The Dutch-born Mei Xiao Zhou (who, like Mugler, is a former ballet dancer) was hired by Laroche after six years as Mugler’s assistant in the 1990s.
Zhou designed two collections for Laroche in the early aughts, resulting in a handful of Vogue patterns, circa 2002. Even if the pattern envelopes downplay it, his designs for Laroche have a vampy futurism that gives them a Mugler-esque edge. For more see my post.
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.
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.
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.)
That’s Kennington in Emmanuelle Khanh’s dress pattern in Queen magazine. (Previously seen in my Butterick Young Designers post.)
Here she models some mod knitwear by Mary Quant:
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:
In Vogue 1707 by Fabiani:
More Vogue Paris Originals and Couturier patterns featuring Kennington:
In a flight-themed British Vogue editorial, wearing Young Fashionables hooded jumpsuit Vogue 6376:
Like fall’s V1561 jacket, the two Zandra Rhodes offerings are from the Fall 2016 collection, which was sponsored by Kraftangan Malaysia. (Kraftangan is Malay for ‘handicraft.’) As always with Rhodes’ work, the focus is on textiles, here on a double-sided fabric such as metallic jacquard: