The Matrix Costume Patterns

The Matrix costume, 2017 D0801 envelope - Simplicity, "The Leaders in Cosplay Sewing"
Simplicity D0801 (2017) Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Ready for a cybergoth revival? The Matrix is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Variety has just announced that there will be a Matrix 4, to be directed by Lana Wachowski and again starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The costumes in the first Matrix were hugely influential. Working within a tight budget, costume designer Kym Barrett (Romeo + Juliet, Us) placed the emphasis on texture and movement, using low-cost materials like PVC and a wool blend for Neo’s coat. The rebels were also outfitted in custom accessories, with boots by Barrett and bespoke eyewear by Richard Walker.

On March 31st the fight for the future begins. Poster for The Matrix (1999) Image: IMDb

The first Matrix film even inspired John Galliano’s Fall 1999 couture collection for Dior. Presented at Versailles, the collection mixed futuristic raver-couture with more fanciful references like “Gainsborough in Persia.” (“The dresses are evil, evil,” Galliano was quoted saying. “But you have to have the Romantic. They die for that, my ladies.”) As Vogue’s Hamish Bowles wrote, the couture clients warmed more to the 18th-century looks than to “Matrix cybervixen.”

Dior By John Galliano - Couture Collection Fall Winter 1999-2000. Le 19 juillet 1999, dans la cadre de la présentation de la Collection haute couture Automne- Hiver, 1999-2000 de Christian DIOR par John GALLIANO à l'Orangerie du château de Versailles. ici le styliste posant avec un groupe de jeunes mannequins androgynes, dont certains sont des hommes torse nu, portant un maquillage épais et charbonneux de longs cheveux lisses, trois filles portent des bérets. (Photo by Jean-Claude Deutsch/Paris Match via Getty Images)
John Galliano with models backstage at the Dior couture show, the Orangerie at Versailles, July 19, 1999. Photo: Jean-Claude Deutsch. Image: Paris Match via Getty Images.
Dior evening dress in satin and lime green glitter PVC, L'Officiel Sept 1999
Dior haute couture by John Galliano, L’Officiel, September 1999. Photo: Randall Bachner. Editors: Bernât Buscato and Luciano Neves. Image:
Molly Sims photographed in Christian Dior haute couture by John Galliano by Ruven Afanador
Dior haute couture by John Galliano on the cover of Vogue Paris, September 1999. Model: Molly Sims. Photo: Ruven Afanador. Image: Molly Sims.

It wasn’t until 2003’s big-budget sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, that Neo got his famous cassock coat.

Keanu Reeves as Neo on the cover of French Premiere, October 2003. Image: Famous Fix.

The first Matrix-inspired costume patterns came out in 2003.

Trinity, Neo, and Morpheus in a promo image for The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Promotional image for The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Image: Foxtel Movies.

Simplicity’s Neo and Morpheus / “Men’s and Teen’s Duster” must have sold well: the pattern was rereleased with an updated envelope in 2017. (See top of post.) Now backlisted, it’s still available from the company website.

Morpheus and Neo costume pattern (The Matric Reloaded) - Simplicity 5386
Simplicity 5386 (2003) Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Thanks to the sequel’s higher budget, Barrett designed Trinity’s pieces for better-quality PVCs (then newly available), with patent leather used for closeups. For the women’s pattern, Trinity’s PVC bustier-coat ensemble effectively devolves into its separate elements: a princess-seamed duster, corset top, and pants. The pattern calls for stretch vinyl, leather-like fabrics, and synthetic patent leather.

Trinity costume pattern (The Matrix Reloaded) - Simplicity 5380
Simplicity 5380 (2003) Matrix costume. Image: Etsy.

The following year, Butterick and McCall’s released men’s and children’s Neo patterns, but none for Trinity. Both cassock coats share an authentic, if painstaking touch: lots of covered buttons.

Witch + Neo from the Matrix costume pattern - Butterick 4314
Butterick 4314 (2004) Image: eBay.
Adult and children's Neo / Matrix costume - McCalls 4546
McCall’s 4546 (2004) Matrix costume. Image: eBay.

It would be another decade before Andrea Schewe designed a more accurate Trinity duster. Released in Simplicity’s 90th anniversary year, the PVC duster was paired with a Kingdom Hearts cosplay coat.

Kingdom Hearts and Trinity from the Matrix costume pattern - Simplicity 8482 (2017)
Simplicity 8482 (2017) Kingdom Hearts and Matrix costumes. Image: Etsy.

Here’s S8482 with more sci-fi (Firefly and Rogue One) in the seasonal catalogue:

Trinity, Zoe Washburne, Jyn Erso, and Kingdom Hearts costume patterns. Find the Adventure - Simplicity Autumn 2017 catalogue
Find the Adventure – S8482 and S8480 in Simplicity’s Autumn 2017 catalogue. Image: Simplicity.

There’s no word on the costume designer yet, but production on the new Matrix begins in 2020.

Trinity character poster featuring Carrie-Anne Moss - The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Reloaded Trinity character poster (2003) Image: IMDb.

John Galliano Patterns: Roundup

Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2015 couture by John Galliano
The closing look from John Galliano’s Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2015 couture collection. Image: Vogue Runway.

Today John Galliano presented his first collection as creative director at Maison Martin Margiela: the Spring/Summer 2015 couture. It was the first time Margiela showed in London; the collection will also be viewable by appointment during Paris couture week. (See Suzy Menkes, “Galliano for Maison Martin Margiela” and Melanie Rickie, “John Galliano: penitent return of an enfant terrible.”)

A toile shown in the postscript to Galliano's Spring 2015 Margiela couture collection
A toile shown in the postscript to Galliano’s Margiela couture collection, Spring 2015. Image: Business of Fashion / Twitter.

The show comes four years after Galliano’s last runway presentation. It’s been nineteen years since his first couture collection, for the house of Givenchy in January, 1996.

vogue paris mars 1996
Shalom Harlow in Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, Vogue Paris, March 1996. Photo: Mario Testino. Image: Vogue Paris.

To celebrate the designer’s return, here’s a roundup of my posts on sewing patterns by John Galliano, both for Givenchy and his own label:

1990s Vogue Patterns by John Galliano for Givenchy: 1887, 1889, 1978, 2061

Galliano FW2001 look35 Galliano SHOWstudio FW2001

For a retrospective look at Galliano’s career, see this Vanity Fair slideshow or British Vogue’s editorial gallery.

Free Designer Pattern: John Galliano Jacket

Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket, photographed by Craig McDean
Louise Pederson in John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Image: SHOWstudio.

This week’s second punk-inspired pattern puts the ‘couture’ in Chaos to Couture. (The first punk-inspired pattern was by Junya Watanabe—see my post here.) John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket is the most challenging of SHOWstudio’s Design Downloads, with 63 pattern pieces, all hand-labelled in French. But not to worry: 11 are guide pieces, and most of the French is translated.

Here are side and back views of the jacket:

Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket - side view
Side view of John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Model: Louise Pederson. Image: SHOWstudio.
Louise Pedersen models the John Galliano 'Pirate' jacket - back view
Back view of John Galliano’s ‘Pirate’ jacket. Photo: Craig McDean. Image: SHOWstudio.

The ‘Pirate’ jacket is from John Galliano’s Fall/Winter 2001 collection, entitled Techno Romance. Here it is on the runway:

Angela Lindvall models the John Galliano Techno Romance / SHOWstudio jacket, 2001
Angela Lindvall in Galliano Fall 2001. Image: Vogue Runway.

The collection mixed glossy synthetics (techno) with delicate sheers and florals (romance): jaunty double-breasted jackets and long coats worn with sailor trousers, and long skirts and dresses, many with the same romantically skewed, off-the-shoulder, one-sleeved bodices as the SHOWstudio jacket. (See Suzy Menkes, “Techno Romance.”) In her short essay to accompany the Design Download, Jane Audas conjures an imaginary history for the SHOWstudio version of the jacket—a story of rebellion in which it was fashioned from the Union Jack, “the flag torn off a captured ship and hijacked as clothing, held together with sail rivets and ties.”

Here are the collection images from L’Officiel 1000 modèles (click to enlarge):

John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear - Techno-Romance
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear. Image: jalougallery.
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear - Techno Romance
John Galliano Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear. Image: jalougallery.

Fashion Channel has posted runway video of the collection on YouTube in three parts (jacket at 3:50 of part 2):

John Galliano Techno Romance pattern at SHOWstudio
Image: SHOWstudio.

Download the ‘Pirate’ jacket pattern

Fabrics requirements: approx. 3 yards of 60″ fabric and 3 yards of lining; interfacing.

Notions: grosgrain ribbon, D-rings, large metal stud, press studs, 2 buckles, eyelets, snaps, cord, elastic, 53 cm (21″) separating zipper.

See the SHOWstudio submissions gallery here. Carolyn E. Moore made the jacket twice. Weatherpixie has posted process photos of her red, white, and blue version on Flickr.

A Fourth Givenchy Pattern by Galliano

Givenchy by John Galliano ad campaign Fall 1996
Detail, Givenchy Fall 1996 advertising campaign. Image: eBay.

Thanks to a runway video posted by blogger Fubuki, I’ve been able to identify a fourth Givenchy pattern designed by John Galliano. (See my post on the other patterns here.)

For a while I’d wondered about Vogue 1887, a tailored, mock wrap jumpsuit. Caveat emptor: an unscrupulous online dealer has been selling V1887 as Alexander McQueen, but the pattern appears in Vogue Patterns magazine prior to McQueen’s first Givenchy show in January 1997. My copy is copyright 1996 and, although the fabric requirements weren’t yet available, Vogue 1887 was first shown in the November/December 1996 issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine, in a trends forecast on jumpsuits. By the January/February 1997 issue it’s featured in an editorial.

John Galliano for Givenchy tailored pinstriped jumpsuit pattern, Vogue 1887 (1996)
Vogue 1887 by John Galliano for Givenchy (1996) Jumpsuit.
Technical drawing for Vogue 1887 jumpsuit
Technical drawing for Vogue 1887 jumpsuit

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ jumpsuit. Loose-fitting, straight-legged, cuffed, mock wrap, partially lined jumpsuit has self or contrast collar, shoulder pads, upper welt, flap, lower welt pocket, side seam pockets, concealed front pleat/zipper and long, two-piece sleeves.

Fubuki’s runway video of Galliano’s Fall 1996 prêt-à-porter collection for Givenchy shows two versions of the mock-wrap jumpsuit. (For a review of the collection see Suzy Menkes, “A Neat, Cool Take on Couture for Fall.”) The Vogue 1887 version is worn under a long, white jacket; the second version has a front drape and is shown with a single, embellished gold epaulette:

runway video still, Givenchy by John Galliano FW 1996 ready-to-wear flannel jumpsuits
Flannel jumpsuits, Givenchy by Galliano Fall 1996 RTW.

This matador look gives a better view of the epaulettes:

runway video still, Givenchy by John Galliano FW1996 ready-to-wear grey suit with black montera and gold matador epaulettes
Nadja Auermann in John Galliano’s suit (and black montera) for Givenchy Fall 1996 RTW.

Here’s an editorial photo of another jumpsuit from the same collection, from L’Officiel’s ready-to-wear special issue. The runway version was modelled by Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin:

Givenchy bustier jumpsuit by John Galliano in L'Officiel no. 807, August 1996.
“All in one, a bustier jumpsuit in white-striped grey tennis flannel. To be worn with an ivory silk cape, Givenchy.” L’Officiel no. 807, August 1996. Photo: Bruno Bisang. Image: jalougallery.

John Galliano for Givenchy: Vogue Patterns

Shalom Harlow in Givenchy Fall 1996 couture by John Galliano.

John Galliano’s designs for Givenchy were the first to alert me to the fact that Vogue designer patterns can replicate high fashion designs. When I saw this dress—on Shalom Harlow on the runway and later on Linda Evangelista in Vogue

John Galliano's dress for Givenchy Haute Couture Steven Meisel photo Grace Coddington stylist Linda Evangelista model
John Galliano designs a hand-pleated, double-layered mousseline dress with Juliet sleeves. Dress by Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano. Vogue, December 1996. Photo: Steven Meisel. Fashion Editor: Grace Coddington.

and this Vogue Paris Original in my mother’s subscription copy of Vogue Patterns

1990s Givenchy dress pattern by John Galliano - Vogue 1978
Vogue 1978 by John Galliano for Givenchy (1999) Empire dress. Image: PatternVault shop.

I felt the thrill of discovery and rushed off to buy the sewing pattern. I still have it, and still plan to make it up. At the time, I thought Vogue Patterns had altered the design by adding the bodice inset, but it’s actually from a different collection.

John Galliano produced only four collections for the house of Givenchy before he left for Dior in late 1996. He was replaced at Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, who shared the British Designer of the Year award with him in 1997. (Read my Alexander McQueen series here.) Because of Vogue Patterns’ production schedule, Galliano was already leaving the house by the time the first Galliano/Givenchy pattern was ready. The January/February 1997 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine included an article on the Galliano-McQueen transition (“Givenchy’s Fashion Illusions”) that actually notes the collectability of the Galliano/Givenchy patterns.

During 1996 Galliano presented a full cycle of collections for Givenchy: two couture and two ready-to-wear. Vogue Patterns’ Galliano/Givenchy designs seem to be drawn from three different collections for the house. In this post I’ll review the patterns in their sequence of release.

Update, 2019: Collection titles added from Kerry Taylor’s forthcoming book, Galliano: Spectacular Fashion.

1. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1996–97 (Toreador, shown March 1996)

Galliano’s first ready-to-wear collection for Givenchy reinterpreted motifs from his first, couture show for the house, which included gray flannel and bow pockets. (See Suzy Menkes, “A Neat, Cool Take on Couture for the Fall” [The Princess and the Pea] and Amy M. Spindler, “Givenchy in the Galliano Era: Clean Looks, Few Surprises” [Toreador].) Vogue Patterns’ first selection is a skirt suit with bow pockets (called a top and skirt on the envelope):

Givenchy by John Galliano pattern Vogue 1889 top and skirt
Vogue 1889 by John Galliano for Givenchy (1997) Bow-pocket skirt suit. Image: PatternVault shop.
Vogue 1889 schematic
Technical drawing for Vogue 1889

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ Top & Skirt. Semi-fitted, partially interfaced, lined top has collar, slightly extended shoulders, shoulder pads, side panels, no side seams, middle front extending into bows with pleated knot, button fly closing and long, two-piece sleeves with mock vent. Semi-fitted, straight, lined skirt, above mid-knee, has waistband and back zipper/slit. Featured in the January/February 1997 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine.

Vogue 1889 was featured in the Vogue Patterns article mentioned above with the matching runway photo from the Fall 1996 ready-to-wear show.

These Corbis photos show Karen Mulder and Amber Valetta in Givenchy dresses with bow pockets; the first is couture, the second ready-to-wear:

Givenchy Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996
Karen Mulder in Givenchy Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996 by John Galliano. Photo © Stephane Cardinale / Sygma via Getty Images.
Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1996-97
Amber Valetta in Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Fall/Winter 1996-97 by John Galliano. Photo © Pierre Vauthey / Sygma via Getty Images.

Bow pockets also reappeared in the Fall couture, as may be seen in this WWD runway image of Guinevere Van Seenus:

Guinevere Van Seenus in Givenchy couture Fall96 WWD
Guinevere Van Seenus in Givenchy Haute Couture Fall 1996 by John Galliano. Photo: WWD.

As Amy Spindler observed, these “tidy little suits with bow pockets” seemed designed to meet expectations of what an established Paris house should produce. Compare the bow pockets on McCall’s 5550, an early ’60s design by Pierre Cardin:

1960s Pierre Cardin skirt suit pattern - McCall's 5550
McCall’s 5550 by Pierre Cardin (1960) Image: PatternVault shop.

2. Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 1997 (Jane Austen goes to Marrakech, shown October 1996)

Vogue 1978 (1997), the Empire gown pictured at the beginning of this post, is a ready-to-wear version of an Empire gown from Galliano’s Fall couture collection for Givenchy, Empress Josephine. Here’s the technical drawing for Vogue 1978:

Givenchy by John Galliano pattern Vogue 1978 empire gown schematic
Technical drawing for Vogue 1978

The envelope description reads: Misses’/Misses’ Petite Dress. Lined dress, mid-calf or floor length, has neckbinding, contrast yokes, close-fitting bodice, raised waist, semi-fitted, bias, A-line skirt, back zipper and short sleeves. Featured in the July/August 1997 issue of Vogue Patterns.

Collection images from L’Officiel show Nadja Auermann in the black version of the Vogue 1978 design and Eva Herzigová (who was the face for two Givenchy fragrances) in the floral print version:

Nadja Auermann in Givenchy Spring 1997 rtw by John Galliano. Photo © Daniel Simon / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
Eva Herzigová in Givenchy ready-to-wear SS 1997
Eva Herzigová in Givenchy Spring 1997 rtw by John Galliano. Image:

A more casual variation, photographed for L’Officiel, has pockets, self belt, and the bodice inset in the main dress fabric:

Givenchy dress in L'Officiel, February 1997
Givenchy by John Galliano in L’Officiel, February 1997. Photo: Hiromasa. Stylist: Anne Dupas de Vertamy. Image: jalougallery.

The Vogue 1978 dress was even featured in the summer advertising campaign:

Galliano's black empire dress in Givenchy advertising campaign SS 1997
Givenchy advertising campaign, Summer 1997. Image: styleregistry.

Suzy Menkes noted the echoes of Galliano’s first, couture collection for the house in the Spring ready-to-wear collection’s “empire dresses with puff sleeves, high waists and a sweet flower print, inspired from the Empress Josephine look in Givenchy’s January haute couture show” (Suzy Menkes, “Yamamoto Steals Couture Crown: Galliano Strikes Out“). Of course, Galliano’s second couture collection had also featured Empire silhouettes, the most photographed of which seems to have been the white pleated gown at the top of this post. Here are a couple L’Officiel images from the Fall 1996 couture collection; the dress on Naomi Campbell in the first image (with stole: bottom, centre right) seems closest to the Vogue 1978 design:

L'Officiel 1000 modèles 1996
Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, Fall 1996. Image:
L'Officiel 1000 modèles 1996
Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, Fall 1996. Image:

Just for fun, here are a couple editorial images of Fall 1996 Givenchy Couture. The first, from W magazine, features Esther De Jong (slightly cropped by my scanner), the second is from an editorial in L’Officiel showcasing the season’s Givenchy couture:

"Painted Ladies" - Esther De Jong in Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano photographed by Mario Sorrenti
Givenchy’s hand-embroidered mousseline Empire dress with floral appliqué, by John Galliano. W magazine, October 1996. Photo: Mario Sorrenti. Stylist: Alexandra White.
Givenchy couture in L'Officiel William Laxton photo Monica Pilozzo stylist
L’Officiel, septembre 1996. Photo: William Laxton. Stylist: Monica Pilozzo. Image: jalougallery.

As seen in Vogue Italia:

Kylie Bax in Galliano / Givenchy haute couture for British Vogue, 1996
Kylie Bax in Givenchy couture by John Galliano, Vogue Italia couture supplement, September 1996. Photo: Steven Meisel. Stylist: Nicoletta Santoro. Image: Bellazon / Malicious Glamour.

3. Givenchy Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1996 (Empress Josephine, shown July 1996)

Vogue Patterns’ third selection, a blue velvet evening dress with bow bodice and bias back, was featured in their holiday issue:

Givenchy by John Galliano pattern Vogue 2061 evening gown 1997
Vogue 2061 by John Galliano for Givenchy (1997) Gown with bow bodice. Image: PatternVault shop.
Technical drawing for Vogue 2061
Technical drawing for Vogue 2061

Here’s the envelope description: Misses’ dress. Fitted and flared, lined dress, above mid-knee or floor length, has front pleated bodice forming bow effect, center front pleated skirt with asymmetrical seam, bias back and side zipper. B: back seam detail. No provision for above-waist adjustment. Featured in the November/December 1997 issue of Vogue Patterns.

Update: the design was also featured on the back cover of the retail catalogue:

All About Evening! Vogue 2061 by John Galliano for Givenchy, Vogue Patterns catalogue, Jan/Feb 1998
Vogue 2061 by John Galliano for Givenchy, Vogue Patterns catalogue, January/February 1998. Image: eBay.

I’m not certain, but Vogue 2061’s bow bodice and velvet fabric make me think it’s from the Fall/Winter 1996-97 couture collection. The bow bodice is very similar to that on a dress shown on Kirsty Hume in the Fall 1996 couture:

Kirsty Hume in Givenchy Couture by John Galliano
Kirsty Hume in Givenchy couture by John Galliano, Fall 1996. Image:

One other Givenchy pattern appeared during the time frame matching Galliano’s tenure at the house, but it is not by John Galliano. It’s from Hubert de Givenchy’s final collection, Givenchy Prêt-à-porter Spring/Summer 1996:

1990s Hubert de Givenchy cocktail dress pattern - Vogue 1931
Vogue 1931 by Hubert de Givenchy (1997) Image: PatternVault shop.

Vogue 1931 was featured in the May/June 1997 issue of Vogue Patterns (Shop Vogue). Details of the pattern’s runway photo match images from the Spring 1996 ready-to-wear show, including this Corbis image by Laszlo Veres of the models with Hubert de Givenchy. Update: Getty image here.

Although Galliano produced only a handful of collections for Givenchy, with a correspondingly small number of licensed designs for Vogue Patterns, his Givenchy designs are clearly consistent with his other work—both for his own label and for the house of Dior. It’s interesting to see Galliano’s trademark bias dresses and Directoire references in designs available to home sewers.

Update: I’ve identified a fourth Galliano/Givenchy pattern—see my post here.

Bonus: SHOWstudio also has a free Galliano pattern download, an intricate jacket from Techno Romance (FW RTW 2001-2).