Tania Mallet

Tania Mallet photographed by Brian Duffy for British Vogue, 1963
Tania Mallet wears Mary Quant and James Wedge on the cover of British Vogue, October 1, 1963. Photo: Brian Duffy. Image: eBay.

Model and Bond girl Tania Mallet (b. 1941) was born in Blackpool to English and Russian-English parents. (Her mother, Olga Mironoff, was Helen Mirren’s paternal aunt.) She began working as a model in the late 1950s after taking a course at the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy. You may recognize her from her role as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964).

Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964)
Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964). IMDb image ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Mallet’s modelling work in the 1960s included editorials for Vogue patterns and Vogue Knitting Book.

Tania Mallet in Vogue Knitting Book no. 60 (Jubilee edition), 1962
Tania Mallet in Vogue Knitting Book no. 60 (Jubilee edition), 1962. Image: Etsy.

The earliest patterns I’ve found featuring Mallet are by French and Italian designers—Jacques Heim and Simonetta:

1960s Jacques Heim suit pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Paris Original 1258
Vogue 1258 by Jacques Heim (1963) Image: Pinterest.
1960s Simonetta dress and coat pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1265
Vogue 1265 by Simonetta (1963) Image: eBay.

Later patterns are by London designers like Ronald Paterson and Jo Mattli:

1960s Ronald Paterson dress pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1391
Vogue 1391 by Ronald Paterson (1964) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.
1960s Jo Mattli dress and coat pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1407
Vogue 1407 by Jo Mattli (1964) Image: Etsy.
1960s Jo Mattli two-piece dress pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1661
Vogue 1661 by Jo Mattli (ca. 1967) Image: Etsy.

This daffodil evening ensemble was featured in my Bellville Sassoon post:

1960s Belinda Bellville evening ensemble pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1677
Vogue 1677 by Belinda Bellville (ca. 1966) Image: Etsy.

Here Mallet wears a goddess gown by John Cavanagh:

1960s John Cavanagh evening gown pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1687
Vogue 1687 by John Cavanagh (ca. 1966) Image: eBay.

In this ad for Sekers Fabrics, she wears Forquet gown Vogue 1693 in striped ‘Hero’ lurex:

Tania Mallet wears Vogue 1693 by Federico Forquet in striped lurex (with Vogue 1758 by Ronald Paterson and Vogue 7158)
Tania Mallet wears Vogue 1693 by Federico Forquet (with Vogue 1758 by Ronald Paterson and Vogue 7158). Sekers Fabrics advertisement, 1967.

Full marks for hats and coiffure, don’t you think?

Tania Mallet photographed by Eugene Vernier for the cover of British Vogue, 1961
Tania Mallet in Pucci on the cover of British Vogue, July 1961. Photo: Eugene Vernier. Image: Vogue UK.
Tania Mallet photographed by Harry Meerson forthe cover of Jardin des Modes, 1962
Tania Mallet in Pierre Cardin on the cover of Jardin des Modes, March 1962. Photo: Harry Meerson. Image: Jardin des Modes Covers.
Tania Mallet photographed by Henry Clarke for the cover of British Vogue, 1962 (Brania earrings)
Tania Mallet on the cover of British Vogue, July 1962. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: eBay.

Vintage Bridal Patterns

1930s Blanche Rothschild illustration of a bridal gown, McCall 9284 circa June 1937
McCall 9284 illustration by Blanche Rothschild, ca. June 1937. Image: PatternVault shop.

Vintage bridal patterns offer a unique alternative to modern bridal designs. Even if you’re already married, they provide a glimpse into past bridal fashions’ sometimes exotic vintage details—making them tempting even for those not in need of a wedding dress. (Can we expect Debi Fry to make her 1940 bridal pattern, McCall 4004?)

Now that wedding season is in full swing, here’s a selection of vintage bridal patterns, from the Twenties to the Eighties.

1920s

In the Twenties and Thirties, bridal patterns usually did double duty as patterns for formal dresses. This 1920s Peerless Patterns sign features a wedding illustration promoting a number of patterns:

1920s Peerless Patterns advertising poster with bridal scene
1920s Peerless Patterns advertising poster. Image: PatternVault shop.

This fantastic bridal or evening dress is short, in keeping with the current fashion, and may have one or two extended side panels that give the effect of a train:

1920s evening or bridal dress pattern - McCall 4985 CoPA-KLS
McCall 4985 (1927) Image: Commercial Pattern Archive, Kevin L. Seligman collection. For research purposes only.

1930s

Thirties bridal patterns have the same glamour we associate with the decade’s evening wear. This pattern for a bridal gown or dinner dress dates to circa June 1934:

1930s bridal gown or dinner dress pattern - McCall 7852
McCall 7852 (1934) Image: Etsy.
McCallFBJunMidSummer1934
McCall 7852 on the cover of McCall Fashion Book, Mid-Summer 1934. Image: eBay.

A reproduction version of this pattern for a bridal gown or afternoon dress is available from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library:

1930s bridal gown or afternoon dress pattern - McCall 8331
McCall 8331 (1935) Bridal gown or afternoon dress.

A copy of McCall 8331 recently seen on eBay was accompanied by this wedding portrait, which shows the dress made up:

San Francisco estate wedding portrait showing McCall 8331
1930s wedding portrait from a San Francisco estate. Image: eBay.

1940s

In the Forties the bride begins to take centre stage on pattern envelopes, although evening and bridesmaid versions are still included. This bridal or evening dress was reissued in the Vintage Vogue line as Vogue 2384:

1940s Vogue Special Design wartime bridal pattern S-4532
Vogue S-4532 (1944) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

This strong-shouldered, postwar design has a sweetheart neckline and waist piping detail. The pattern also includes a bridesmaid’s dress with short, shirred sleeves (click image for the technical drawings):

1940s bridal pattern - McCall 6353
McCall 6353 (1946) Image: Etsy.

1950s

By the 1950s the bride, in her full-skirted glory, dominates the pattern envelope. This Jacques Fath design for a bride’s or bridesmaid’s dress has a bustled back and tiny shawl collar. The bridesmaid’s version simply lacks a train:

1950s Jacques Fath bridal pattern - Vogue 1331
Vogue 1331 by Jacques Fath (1956) Image: carbonated on flickr.

John Cavanagh was known for his connection to the English court. He licensed several bridal patterns with Vogue, and designed the Duchess of Kent’s wedding dress in 1961. (See my earlier post here.) This short-sleeved Cavanagh design has a simulated train; the smaller figures show bridesmaid’s and evening versions:

1950s John Cavanagh bridal pattern - Vogue 148
Vogue 148 by John Cavanagh (1958) Image: VADS.

1960s

Also by John Cavanagh, this 1960s bridal design with a cathedral-length Watteau train was modelled by Jean Shrimpton:

1960s John Cavanagh wedding dress pattern - Vogue 1347
Vogue 1347 by John Cavanagh (1964) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

No bridal pattern survey could be complete without this Halston pattern for bridal headpieces:

Vogue 7082 Halston of Bergdorf Goodman 1960s bridal headpieces pattern
Vogue 7082 by Halston of Bergdorf Goodman (c. 1965) Image: eBay.

1970s

From the early 1970s, this Pierre Cardin bridal gown, shown in a silk knit, has an optional overskirt with handkerchief train:

1970s Pierre Cardin bridal gown pattern - Vogue 2520
Vogue 2520 by Pierre Cardin (1971) Image: eBay.
Vogue 2520 Pierre Cardin back
Illustration and technical drawing for Vogue 2520. Image: eBay.

Although it isn’t for everyone, Yves Saint Laurent’s couture bridal design for a gathered, bias dress, filmy coat, and five-yard veil distinguishes itself by showing the bride as wayward Vestal virgin (see Paco Peralta’s post here):

1970s Yves Saint Laurent bridal pattern - Vogue 1590
Vogue 1590 by Yves Saint Laurent (c. 1976) Image: Patrones Costura on Etsy.

1980s

Released in 1980, this opulent Dior design for a bell-skirted bridal gown, complete with bias necktie, cummerbund, and bow-embellished headpiece, is drawn from the Christian Dior Haute Couture collection for Fall 1979 (read Dustin’s post here):

1979 Christian Dior couture bridal gown pattern - Vogue 2545
Vogue 2545 by Christian Dior (1980) Image: PatternVault shop.

Perfect for steampunk weddings, Vogue 2180 by Bellville Sassoon has an elaborate bustle that gives it a neo-Victorian flair:

1980s Bellville Sassoon bridal or evening pattern - Vogue 2180
Vogue 2180 by Bellville Sassoon (1989) Image: eBay.

For more on the history of bridal fashion, see the V&A Weddings page and Edwina Ehrman’s The Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions (V&A, 2011).

Mad Men Era 3: London’s Old Guard

English expats Lane and Rebecca Pryce (Jared Harris and Embeth Davidtz) in Mad Men, Season 3
Lane (Jared Harris) and Rebecca Pryce (Embeth Davidtz) in “Love Among the Ruins” (Mad Men, Season 3)

This week my series on designers of the Mad Men era continues with four couturiers associated with London: Ronald Paterson, John Cavanagh, Michael Donéllan, and Edward Molyneux. The first three, as heads of London couture houses in the postwar period, had their licensed designs released through Vogue’s Couturier line. (These designers aren’t all that well documented online; a useful print source is Amy de la Haye, ed., The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997.)

Ronald Paterson (1917-1993)

Born in Scotland, Ronald Paterson moved to London in 1936 to attend the Picadilly Institute of Design. After winning a fashion design contest judged by Elsa Schiaparelli, he worked briefly at a London couture house until the beginning of the Second World War. Paterson established his own house in London in 1947. Following its 1968 closure the designer turned to costume work for films including the Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977). Paterson was known for his tweeds and tailoring.

Vogue 1302, modelled by Jean Shrimpton, is an example of one of my favourite types of early sixties ensembles: the suit consisting of a dress and matching jacket. The sleeveless dress has a bodice that’s gathered into the dropped back waistline, and the short jacket has a fabulous funnel neck, cuffed sleeves and the option for self bow trim at the waist:

1960s Ronald Paterson dress suit jacket pattern feat. Jean Shrimpton Vogue 1302
Vogue 1302 by Ronald Paterson (1964) Dress and jacket. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

John Cavanagh (1914-2003)

The Irish-born John Cavanagh trained with Molyneux in London and Paris from 1932 to 1940. Starting in 1947 he worked as design assistant at Balmain until he established his own house in 1952. Cavanagh had an early success in his 1953 ‘Coronation’ collection, and his royal commissions included the Duchess of Kent’s wedding dress in 1961. (See photos and video of the Duke and Duchess of Kent’s wedding here.) In 1966 he shifted his focus from couture to ready-to-wear, and the house closed in 1974. Cavanagh was esteemed for his classic tailoring and evening wear.

Vogue 1347, another design modelled by Jean Shrimpton, is a wedding dress with optional cathedral-length train. The dress has a raised waist, wide three-quarter sleeves, and a rolled, stand-up collar. I love the extravagance of the Watteau train, and how the rolled cuffs match the collar:

1960s John Cavanagh wedding dress pattern - Vogue 1347
Vogue 1347 by John Cavanagh (1964) Wedding gown. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Michael Donéllan (1915-1985)

Another Irish-born designer, Michael Donéllan is called Michael of England and, later, Michael of London on Vogue patterns. From the 1940s he was head designer at the venerable London house of Lachasse before establishing his own couture house, Michael of Carlos Place, in 1953. (Carlos Place was also home to the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers.) From 1961 Mr. Donéllan also worked as a design consultant for Marks & Spencer. The house closed in 1971. Michael Donéllan was called the Balenciaga of London for his elegant, uncluttered tailoring.

Vogue 1437 is an evening ensemble consisting of a short, bias evening dress and matching jacket with three-quarter sleeves and welt pockets. I like to think the hat serves to advertise the design’s Britishness:

1960s Michael of London (Michael Donéllan) evening suit pattern - Vogue 1437
Vogue 1437 by Michael of London (c. 1964) Evening dress and jacket. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Molyneux (1891-1974)

Although Edward Molyneux is today’s most senior designer, I’ve left him to last because the house closed during the postwar period and didn’t reopen until the mid-1960s. The London-born Molyneux worked as a sketcher at Lucile from 1911 until the outbreak of the First World War. During his military service he lost an eye, and in 1917 he was made Captain, so you’ll sometimes see him referred to as Captain Molyneux. He established the house of Molyneux in Paris in 1919, moving his business to London during the Second World War. The house closed in 1950, with the Paris studio passing to Jacques Griffe; however, in 1964 Molyneux announced the relaunch of his label, presenting his first collection in early 1965. (For more on Molyneux’s comeback see Worn Through‘s recent post.) The designer retired a couple years later, leaving the business in the hands of his nephew. Molyneux’s work is famous for its spare, modern lines and understated luxury.

Vogue 1502, modelled by Simone D’Aillencourt, is a day dress with a contrasting ascot that’s framed by the shaped, stand-up collar. (Click on the image to see the technical drawing.) The design also features contrast trim inside the neck and sleeves (barely visible in the photo):

1960s Molyneux dress pattern with ascot - Vogue 1502
Vogue 1502 by Molyneux (1965) Dress with ascot. Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

The London College of Fashion has some pictures of Molyneux’s later work online, including this photo of the Vogue 1502 design:

Edward Molyneux 1965 dress model photo Vogue 1502
Dress by Molyneux in navy wool crepe by Nattier, 1965. Image via VADS.

It may be a truism to say that tailoring and evening wear are British strengths, designed for aristocratic social life, but Vogue’s selections do look perfect for the Season’s requirements…

Next: Old House, New Designer: Lanvin, Patou, Nina Ricci, and Dior.