About Time: Fashion and Duration

Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984). Dress, fall/winter 2012–13 haute couture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Iris van Herpen, in honor of Harold Koda, 2016 (2016.185). Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978). Ball Gown, 1951. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Coulson, 1964 (2009.300.1311). Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Dresses by Iris van Herpen and Charles James, 2012 and 1951. Photos © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Costume Institute.

The PatternVault blog turns nine today! It’s been a pleasure writing about vintage fashion for you, for almost a decade.

Speaking of the passage of time, this year’s major Costume Institute show, About Time: Fashion and Duration, also considers questions of style and temporality.

Planned to mark the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, the spring-summer exhibit has been postponed to open on October 29, 2020 (closing February 7, 2021). Luckily, thanks to Yale University Press, the exhibition catalogue is available to purchase, or preview online.

Book cover for About Time: Fashion & Duration by Andrew Bolton, 2020
Andrew Bolton, About Time: Fashion & Duration (Metropolitan Museum of Art 2020) Design: Joseph Logan and Anamaria Morris. Image: Yale / Google Books.

The preview — and exquisite black-and-white photography by Nicholas Alan Cope — gives a taste of the garments selected for the now-postponed exhibition. Curator Andrew Bolton pairs Drecoll with Rick Owens, and a WW1 Red Cross uniform with current-season Margiela by Galliano.

Dinner dress by Christoph Drecoll, ca. 1912. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Dinner dress by Christoph Drecoll, ca. 1912. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.
Rick Owens Fall/Winter 2007-8. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Rick Owens Fall/Winter 2007-8. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.
American Red Cross uniform, 1918. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
American Red Cross uniform, 1918. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.
John Galliano for Martin Margiela Spring 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
John Galliano for Martin Margiela Spring 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.

As I noted on Twitter, About Time also includes a look at the McQueen dress that is SHOWstudio’s latest Design Download.

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.
Detail, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope
Detail, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020. Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope. Image: Yale / Google Books.

Happy blogiversary to me, and happy sesquicentennial to the Met!

Vogue Paris 100

Vogue Paris, vol. 1 no. 1, 15 juin 1920 - Gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France
Inaugural issue of Vogue Paris, June 15, 1920. Illustration: Helen Dryden. Image: Gallica / BnF.

Today is the 100th anniversary of Vogue Paris. To celebrate, here’s a decade-by-decade look at Paris and patterns from the 1920s to now. (Click the images for more.)

In the 1920s, designs by Chanel and other Paris couturiers were available from the McCall Pattern Company. (See my article in the new issue of Selvedge.)

1920s Chanel pattern McCall 4464 - Ladies' and Misses' Evening Dress, "Original Creation by Chanel, Paris"
McCall 4464 by Chanel (1926) Evening dress.

In the 1930s, the Authentic Paris Pattern company sold French designs exclusively, like this ensemble by Schiaparelli.

Authentic Paris Pattern 1647 - schiaparelli, 4 rue de la paix, paris
Paris Pattern 1647 by Schiaparelli (ca. 1931)

Vogue joined the party with its Paris Originals in 1949.

Vogue 1078 by Marie-Blanche de Polignac for Lanvin (1949) Image: eBay.

In the 1950s, the company released its first Dior patterns, by the young Yves Saint Laurent.

1950s Yves Saint Laurent for Dior dress and jacket pattern Vogue 1470
Vogue 1470 by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior (1959) Model: Isabella Albonico. Photos: Leombruno-Bodi.

The couture of André Courrèges caused a sensation in the 1960s. Courrèges didn’t license patterns, but that didn’t stop the American pattern companies from producing a wealth of knockoffs.

McCall's 7923 after Courrèges in McCall's Pattern Fashions, Fall-Winter 1965-66.
McCall’s 7923 after Courrèges (with Marcel Barbeau painting) in a Crompton Corduroy ad, 1965.

In the early 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent shook up the Paris couture with his ’40s-inspired Libération collection.

Vogue 2598
Vogue 2598 by Yves Saint Laurent (1971) Image courtesy of Paco Peralta.

In the late 1980s, when Christian Lacroix left Patou for the prêt-à-porter, his Vogue patterns were conspicuously photographed in Paris.

Vogue 2176 by Christian Lacroix (1988)

John Galliano’s mid-1990s tenure at Givenchy signalled a massive shift for the Paris couture. This ready-to-wear design was available from Vogue Patterns.

John Galliano for Givenchy advertising campaign, Summer 1997. Image: styleregistry.

Guy Laroche was the last, and longest running, label with Vogue Paris Originals. This suit from the aughts was designed by the late Hervé L. Leroux, formerly Hervé Léger.

Guy Laroche Vogue Paris Original V2937 by Hervé L. Leroux ©2006 - Backless jacket and pants pattern
Vogue 2937 by Hervé L. Leroux (Hervé Léger) for Guy Laroche (2006)

Today, Vogue Paris Originals are no more, and you’re more likely to see versions of styles shown on the Paris runway, like this coat adapted from Sarah Burton for McQueen.

Tatyana Cooper in Vogue 1649 coat pattern after Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton (Fall 2018)
Vogue 1649 after Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton (2019) Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: McCall’s.