Ralph Lauren: 50 Years

Linda Evangelista in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, September 1991
Linda Evangelista in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, September 1991. Photo: Arthur Elgort. Editor: Grace Coddington. Image: TFS.

Tonight at New York Fashion Week, Ralph Lauren celebrates his company’s 50th anniversary. Here’s a look at highlights of Ralph Lauren patterns from the ’70s to the ’90s.

Ralph Lauren: 50 Years (Rizzoli book)
Ralph Lauren: 50 Years (Rizzoli, 2018) Image: Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren started out in menswear, and Vogue Patterns’ first licensing with the brand was for men’s designs. The company released its first Polo by Ralph Lauren patterns in the summer of 1975.

1970s Polo Ralph Lauren men's patterns Vogue 1237 and 1238 spring 1975 photographed by Steve Horn
Vogue 1237 and 1238 by Polo Ralph Lauren in Vogue Patterns, May/June 1975. Photos: Steve Horn. Image: Make Mine Vogue.

That’s Polo Ralph Lauren on the right in Vogue Patterns’ American Bicentennial issue:

America the Beautifuls 1976
America the Beautifuls. Vogue Patterns, January/February 1976. Image: Etsy.

This Polo trench is classic for any gender:

1970s Polo Ralph Lauren menswear pattern Vogue 1581
Vogue 1581 by Polo by Ralph Lauren (ca. 1977)

Vogue’s licensing of Ralph Lauren women’s wear began in 1979. The earliest Ralph Lauren women’s patterns are for Annie Hall and Western looks like those shown in his Fall 1981 Santa Fe collection—prairie skirts, fringe, and serapes worn with cowboy boots and concho belts.

Clotilde in Ralph Lauren’s Fall 1981 ad campaign. Photo: Bruce Weber. Image: Ralph Lauren.
1981 Santa Fe Ralph Lauren dress pattern Vogue 2881
Vogue 2881 by Ralph Lauren (ca. 1981) Image: eBay.

Ralph Lauren’s Spring 1984 Safari collection is said to have been inspired by Out of Africa, perhaps with a dash of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Clotilde in Ralph Lauren’s Spring 1984 ad campaign. Photo: Bruce Weber. Image: Pinterest.
Brooke Shields in Ralph Lauren / Ralph Lauren for Hat Attack, Vogue, May 1984
Brooke Shields in Ralph Lauren / Ralph Lauren for Hat Attack, Vogue, May 1984. Photo: Richard Avedon. Image: Pinterest.
Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren (1985) Image: Etsy.
Ariane Koizumi photographed by Elisabeth Novick in Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren, 1985
Ariane Koizumi in Vogue 1547 by Ralph Lauren, Vogue, May 1985. Photo: Elisabeth Novick. Image: TFS.

Late ’80s Vogue Career designs by Ralph Lauren feature British model Saffron Aldridge, then the face of the brand.

1980s Ralph Lauren career romper or dress pattern Vogue 2255 feat. Saffron Aldridge
Vogue 2255 by Ralph Lauren (1989) Image: Etsy.

Tartan was one of the main takeaways from Ralph Lauren’s Fall 1991 collection. (As L’Officiel observed, “For Ralph Lauren, tartan isn’t a fashion, it’s a lifestyle.”) Vogue released two patterns from this collection, a dress and trouser ensemble.

1990s Ralph Lauren pattern Vogue 2780
Vogue 2780 by Ralph Lauren (1991)
Vogue 2782 by Ralph Lauren (1991) Image: eBay.

Although the envelope for the dress shows it in solid red, the tartan looks had pride of place on the holiday covers, both Vogue Patterns Magazine and the December catalogue.

VPM NovDec1991 Great Scot! Ralph Lauren embraces the youthful spirit of tartans to balance the bold shape of a fit and flare jacket. Wear it with his elegant slim pant to create the season’s perfect ensemble
Cathy Fedoruk in Ralph Lauren, Vogue Patterns, November/December 1991. Photo: Christopher Micaud. Image: Etsy.
Vogue 2782 by Ralph Lauren, Vogue Patterns catalogue, December 1991
Ralph Lauren dress on the cover of the Vogue Patterns catalogue, December 1991. Image: Etsy.

The tartan pieces had already been promoted that same season in the Fall ’91 advertising campaign and a Grace Coddington / Linda Evangelista cover and editorial (“A Shot of Scotch”) in Vogue’s September issue.

Ralph Lauren ad campaign, Fall 1991. Model: Kim Nye. Image: Pinterest.
“A Shot of Scotch,” September 1991. Photo: Arthur Elgort. Editor: Grace Coddington. Image: Pinterest.

Some later covers showing Ralph Lauren in a less WASP-y mode:

Eva Green in Ralph Lauren photographed for L'Officiel by Satoshi Saïkusa, 2011
Eva Green in Ralph Lauren, L’Officiel, Dec/Jan 2011-2012. Photo: Satoshi Saïkusa. Editor: Monica Pillosio.
Rooney Mara in Ralph Lauren FW 2011
Rooney Mara in Ralph Lauren, Vogue, November 2011. Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Editor: Tonne Goodman.

Fall 2018 Designer Pattern Highlights

Anne Klein FW2015
Vivien Solari in Anne Klein’s Fall 2015 ad campaign. Photo: Nathaniel Goldberg. Editor: Laura Ferrara. Image: Instagram.

Have you seen the new Fall patterns?

1597 Vogue Patterns lookbook Fall 2018
Scarlett Schoeffling in Vogue 1597 by Anne Klein, Vogue Patterns lookbook Fall 2018. Image: Issuu.

Vogue’s cover look is a cropped trench jacket by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein. Trousers also included:

La Sena cropped trench - Vogue 1597 by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein
Vogue 1597 by Sharon Lombardo for Anne Klein (2018) Image: McCall’s.

The cropped trench is a signature Anne Klein piece, seen in the Fall ’15 (above) and Fall ’16 campaigns. (See my post on Vogue’s Winter/Holiday release.)

Anne Klein Fall 2016 ad campaign
Anne Klein Fall 2016 ad campaign. Photo: Annemarieke van Drimmelen. Model: Guinevere Van Seenus. Image: Behance.

From Badgley Mischka, a day-to-evening sheath dress, with cuffed sleeves cut in one with the bodice:

Vogue 1595 by Badgley Mischka
Vogue 1595 by Badgley Mischka (2018) Image: McCall’s.

The original is a navy poly-spandex crepe.

Navy crepe dress by Badgley Mischka. Image: Rent the Runway.

Brocade with a rose gold sparkle is the star of this Badgley Mischka cocktail dress with pleated sleeve flounces.

Vogue 1596 by Badgley Mischka
Vogue 1596 by Badgley Mischka (2018) Image: McCall’s.

A closeup view on the designers’ site, with a different pattern placement:

Detail, bell sleeve brocade cocktail dress by Badgley Mischka
Detail, bell sleeve brocade cocktail dress. Image: Badgley Mischka.

The flounce sleeve featured prominently in Badgley Mischka’s Fall 2017 collection—in black lace for the opening look.

Badgley Mischka FW 2017
Two looks from Badgley Mischka Fall 2017. Photos: Umberto Fratini / Vogue Runway.

Paco Peralta’s new design is an edgy LBD with two-way separating zipper.

Vogue 1593 by Paco Peralta
Vogue 1593 by Paco Peralta (2018) Image: McCall’s.

Plus, a men’s shirt from the team at Koos van den Akker. Make in a single fabric if print mixing isn’t your thing.

Vogue 1599 by Koos van den Akker
Vogue 1599 by Koos van den Akker (2018) Image: McCall’s.

Free Pattern: Incroyables Tailcoat

Incroyables ensemble, ca. 1790-95
Incroyables ensemble, ca. 1790-95. Image: LACMA.

Happy quatorze juillet! For Bastille Day, here’s a pattern for an Incroyables tailcoat.

The tailcoat, which dates to Revolutionary France, was part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 2016 Reigning Men exhibit, currently on view at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

Incroyables and Merveilleuses were the dandies and fashionistas of the revolutionary period. Today, Directoire style evokes glam rock, Marat/Sade, and John Galliano. The style famously inspired Galliano’s 1984 graduation collection, entitled Les Incroyables, as well as his work for Givenchy.

Adam and the Ants, Prince Charming (1981)
Adam and the Ants, Prince Charming (1981) Image: Discogs.
David Bowie 50th birthday distressed frock coat 1997
David Bowie at his 50th birthday concert, 1997. Image: Pushing Ahead of the Dame.
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Peter Brook's motion picture "The Persectution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade, by Peter Weiss
John Steiner and Glenda Jackson in Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade © 1967 United Artists.
Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, 1996. Steven Meisel / Grace Coddington
Linda Evangelista in Givenchy Haute Couture by John Galliano, Vogue, December 1996. Photo: Steven Meisel. Fashion Editor: Grace Coddington.

Here are the museum notes:

This handsewn silk tailcoat, with its high collar, wide lapels, short front, and long back exemplifies how French fashion extremists (incroyables) adopted and exaggerated traditional wool riding coats from England. The sleeves of this tailcoat, set unnaturally close together, forced the wearer to hold his shoulders back and thrust his chest forward to create a “pouter pigeon” silhouette which was fashionable in the late eighteenth century.
Detail, 1790s Incroyables ensemble
Detail, 1790s Incroyables ensemble. Image: LACMA.
1790s Incroyables tailcoat, back view
1790s Incroyables tailcoat, back view. Image: LACMA.
Back detail sketch by Thomas John Bernard
Back detail sketch by Thomas John Bernard. Image: LACMA.

Download the pattern here.

Note: Gridded pattern. Does not include seam allowance.

Length at centre back: 49″ (124.5 cm)

Notions: 14 1 1/8″ (2.9 cm) buttons for front and coattails; 6 3/4″ (1.9 cm) buttons for cuffs.

Alexander McQueen Fabric, Part 2: Tartan

McQueen tartan dresses from Widows of Culloden (FW 2006)
Dresses in the McQueen tartan from Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2006-7 collection (Widows of Culloden). Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Everything Just So.

If Alexander McQueen’s innovative prints reveal his interest in technology, the designer’s work with tartan shows his engagement with history. Continuing our celebration of Savage Beauty at the V&A, this post looks at McQueen’s use of tartan. (See Part 1: Prints, or my roundup post here.)

The MacQueen clan tartan appears extensively in the designer’s breakthrough collection, Highland Rape (Fall 1995). The collection—which used Lochcarron tartan and lace found in Brick Lane—was a highly personal response to the violence of the Highland Clearances and fashion’s appropriation of Scottish culture (watch Tim Blanks’ show video here).

McQueen wool tartan jacket and skirt from the collection of Isabella Blow - Alexander McQueen FW 1995
Jacket of McQueen wool tartan with green wool felt sleeves; skirt of McQueen wool tartan; both from the collection of Isabella Blow. Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1995-96 (Highland Rape). Photo: Sølve Sundsbø. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Highland Rape runway photos - Alexander McQueen FW 1995
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1995-96 (Highland Rape). Images: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen also used his family tartan at the house of Givenchy. In his second couture collection, Eclect Dissect (Givenchy haute couture Fall 1997), which was built on the idea of a mad scientist, the McQueen tartan was cut on the bias for tailored pieces overlaid with black lace:

Two tartan looks from Eclect Dissect - Givenchy couture FW 1997
Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Fall/Winter 1997-98 haute couture (Eclect Dissect)

The McQueen tartan reappears the following year in Joan (Fall 1998). Named for Joan of Arc, with an opening soundtrack of burning wood and runway covered in cinders, the collection thematized martyrdom, with the McQueen tartan referencing the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (see Constance C.R. White, Review/Fashion, and Kate Bethune’s note; full collection at firstVIEW):

Joan - Alexander McQueen FW1998
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1998-99 (Joan)
Joan - Alexander McQueen FW 1998
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1998-99 (Joan)

McQueen also worked with other tartans. The check pattern might be manipulated to appear blurred or bleeding, or it could be overlaid or embellished as in Eclect Dissect. In The Overlook (Fall 1999)—named for the haunted, snowbound lodge built on a Native American burial ground in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)—a long, grey tailcoat was lined with tartan to match loose trousers, and an overlaid tartan jacket was paired with a balloon skirt in a large blanket check with tartan accents (full collection at firstVIEW):

Sunniva Stordahl and Hannelore Knuts in grey checks and tartan in Alexander McQueen FW 1999 (The Overlook)
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1999-2000 (The Overlook). Models: Sunniva Stordahl and Hannelore Knuts.

McQueen’s 1960s-inspired collection, The Man Who Knew Too Much (Fall 2005), included bias-cut separates in a wool ombré check, together with a black, white, and pink check party dress covered in beaded fringe:

Raquel Zimmermann and Carmen Kass in tartan looks from The Man Who Knew Too Much - McQueen FW 2005
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2005-6 (The Man Who Knew Too Much). Models: Raquel Zimmermann and Carmen Kass. Images: style.com.

The Girl Who Lived in the Tree (Fall 2008), a fanciful narrative of the British Empire, had several bias-cut pieces in a black, white, and red tartan, and two coats in a grey mohair tartan for a bleeding effect:

Alexander McQueen FW 2008
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2008-9 (The Girl Who Lived in the Tree). Models: Sara Blomqvist and Alanna Zimmer. Images: style.com.

There were several pieces in the McQueen tartan in Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2006 menswear collection, which was inspired by vampire movies Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and Interview With the Vampire (1994). Vogue editor Hamish Bowles wore the appliquéd kimono-and-pants ensemble to the Costume Institute gala in 2011 (see the collection and read Tim Blanks’ review on style.com vogue.com; video at AlexanderMcQueen.com):

McQueen menswear FW2006 tartan
Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2006-7 menswear. Images: style.com.

The same season, McQueen returned to Scottish history with Widows of Culloden (Fall 2006), a romantic collection commemorating the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The show invitation had the title in Gaelic: Bantraich de cuil lodair (see Kate Bethune on Widows of Culloden). As in the Givenchy couture, the McQueen tartan was cut on the bias, embroidered, and trimmed with lace and tulle (click to enlarge):

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

Widows of Culloden - Alexander McQueen runway lookbook FW 2006

For more see Jonathan Faiers, McQueen and Tartan, and Ghislaine Wood’s essay, “Clan MacQueen,” in the V&A catalogue.

Like other traditional tartans, the McQueen tartan can be ordered from Scottish textile mills in different weights and fibre contents. (It’s often listed as ‘MacQueen.’) Alexander McQueen used tartan from Lochcarron, a mill established in the mid-nineteenth century in the Scottish highlands.

McQueen / MacQueen tartan swatch
MacQueen Modern tartan swatch from the Scottish Tartans Authority.

As a memorial to the late designer, Scotweb owner Nick Fiddes designed a mourning version of the MacQueen clan tartan.

What would you make in the McQueen tartan?

Sourcing Tartan Fabric

  • Lochcarron has an online shop; Lochcarron tartans are also available through Mackenzie Frain and other suppliers.
  • My swatch is from the Scottish Tartans Authority.
  • The House of Edgar’s MacQueen Modern tartan is available from the mill’s retail site, tartankilts.com.
  • If you prefer ordering locally, many Scottish shops stock fabric and can special-order tartans they don’t have in stock.

Update: In an apparent nod to Alexander McQueen, Outlander costume designer Terry Dresbach dressed Bonnie Prince Charlie in the MacQueen tartan.

Prince Charles Stuart (Andrew Gower) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughans) in "Prestonpans" Outlander, season 2 episode 10
Bonnie Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughans) in Outlander, season 2. Image: New York Times / Starz.

Alexander McQueen Fabric, Part 1: Prints

Jack the Ripper McQueen sketch
Sketch by Alexander McQueen, Central Saint Martins MA graduate portfolio, Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims, Fall/Winter 1992. Pencil on distressed paper with fabric swatches. Image: Alexander McQueen.

As part of this blog’s celebration of Savage Beauty in London, I’ll be devoting two posts to Alexander McQueen fabrics. (See my earlier roundup post here.) First: a look at McQueen’s distinctive prints.

McQueen’s fellow Central Saint Martins student Simon Ungless, who went on to become director of the School of Fashion at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, designed the barbed hawthorn print in McQueen’s graduate collection, Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims (Fall 1992; interview here. Oberto Gili photographed Isabella Blow in the coat for British Vogue.) Ungless also designed the swallow print in The Birds (Spring 1995):

Coat in pink silk satin printed in thorn pattern, Alexander McQueen FW 1992
Coat, pink silk satin printed in thorn pattern by Simon Ungless, lined in white silk with encapsulated human hair, Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1992 (Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims). Photo: Sølve Sundsbø. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mr Pearl and Plum Sykes in two swallow print looks, Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1995 (The Birds)
Two swallow print looks, Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1995 (The Birds) Models: Mr. Pearl and Plum Sykes.
Silk jacket with swallow print, Alexander McQueen SS 1995 (The Birds)
Silk jacket, Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1995 (The Birds). Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Freelance print designer and Central Saint Martins Textiles tutor Fleet Bigwood designed fabrics for Alexander McQueen’s first three seasons. (See Fleet Bigwood: Breaking the Rules at Texprint, or the BBC’s Blast videos.) The top in this ensemble from Nihilism (Spring 1994, McQueen’s third collection) was printed using an iron filing paste that was rusted through exposure to air and salt water (see Louise Nutt on Pinterest; full collection at the Fashion Spot, or video here):

Fleet Bigwood rust-printed top, Alexander McQueen SS 1994
Ensemble featuring a Fleet Bigwood print for Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1994 collection (Nihilism). Image: Pinterest.

In 2002, immediately after presenting his award-winning Central Saint Martins graduate collection, Jonathan Saunders was hired to design prints for Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2003 collection, Irere. Working with designer Christopher Pearson—a member of the Alexander McQueen design team from 2001 to 2006 and a founding member of the company’s fashion print department—Saunders produced Irere’s celebrated Bird-of-Paradise prints (see the V&A on Irere):

Jonathan Saunders bird-of-paradise feather print for Alexander McQueen, SS 2003
Feather print for Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2003 (Irere). Image: Christopher Pearson / Cargo.
Alexander McQueen Irere SS 2003 prints by Jonathan Saunders
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2003 (Irere). Models: Frankie Rayder and Roos van Bosstraeten. Images: style.com.

The following year, Pearson co-designed the Alexander McQueen skull scarf with Jennefer Osterhoudt, who was head of accessories for McQueen at Givenchy and later at Alexander McQueen. The pattern is based on a skull scarf found in Camden Market:

Skull print by Christopher Pearson and Jennefer Osterhoudt for Alexander McQueen, 2002
Skull print by Christopher Pearson and Jennefer Osterhoudt for Alexander McQueen, 2002. Image: Christopher Pearson / Cargo.

For McQueen’s later collections, the prints were produced by a team of designers that included textile design interns who might be hired back after graduation. From 2006 to 2011, the company’s head print designer was Central Saint Martins graduate Holly Marler, who is now head of embroidery, fabric, and print design at Temperley London.

Lilly Heine, now head of print fabric development at Dries Van Noten, interned with Jonathan Saunders and later Alexander McQueen as a textiles student. (See her profiles in the Frankfurter Allgemeine [German only] and the Independent.) During her internship at Alexander McQueen, Heine designed some prints for La Dame Bleue (Spring 2008). The collection’s rainbow bird-of-paradise print appeared on several looks including the feather-collared Bird of Paradise dress—recently worn by FKA twigs to perform at the V&A’s Savage Beauty gala:

Alexander McQueen bird-of-paradise prints, SS 2008 Isabella Blow collection
Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2008 (La Dame Bleue). Models: Taryn Davidson and Viviane Orth. Images: style.com.

Torunn Myklebust, today a senior print designer at Givenchy, also did a textile design internship at Alexander McQueen. As an intern, Myklebust worked on prints for Natural Dis-Tinction Un-Natural Selection (Spring 2009), and she rejoined the company in late 2009. (Read an interview in Natt&Dag [Norwegian only]; see Myklebust’s tumblr.) The wood-grain digital print from the Spring 2009 collection was later used for the endpapers of Andrew Bolton’s Savage Beauty catalogue:

Wood-grain digital print, Alexander McQueen SS 2009
From a silk/synthetic ensemble by Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2009 (Natural Dis-Tinction Un-Natural Selection). Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In her review of the Spring 2009 collection, Sarah Mower identified engineered prints as a trend out of London: “bright, multicolored allover prints, engineered to fit around jackets, leggings, and cocoon dresses—new on the Paris runway, but also part of a general trend emanating from London’s young designers.” The Spring 2009 advertising campaign, shot by Craig McDean, features a jacket and leggings in one of the collection’s crystalline digital prints:

Heidi Mount in Craig McDean's Spring 2009 campaign for Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen Spring 2009 ad campaign. Photo: Craig McDean. Image: styleregistry.

In her Savage Beauty interview with Tim Blanks, Sarah Burton discusses McQueen’s meticulous design process when working with patterned fabrics such as prints or jacquards. From Fall 2009 on, McQueen would drape the initial design using a rough version of the fabric, with the team producing miniature, 3-D paper dolls to show the pattern placement. When a working version of the fabric was ready, he would finalize the pattern placement on a mannequin, after which the print or jacquard would be re-adjusted to match at the seams. Only then would it be sent into production. (See Andrew Bolton, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, pp. 229-30.)

Frederic Alexander, who worked as an assistant to Holly Marler and now designs for his own label, Saint Etienne, worked on prints for Alexander McQueen’s Pre-Fall 2009 and Fall 2009 collections. The Escher-inspired magpie houndstooth print recalls Simon Ungless’ swallow print:

Floral and magpie houndstooth prints, Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall and FW 2009-10
Floral print design for Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2009; magpie houndstooth print design for Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2009-10 (The Horn of Plenty). Images: Saint Etienne / Cargo.
Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall and Fall 2009
Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2009 and Fall/Winter 2009-10 (The Horn of Plenty). Images: style.com.

Advances in inkjet technology enabled the thirty-six circle-engineered digital prints in Plato’s Atlantis (Spring 2010). (For further technical discussion of textiles in Plato’s Atlantis, see the Savage Beauty section of the Alexander McQueen website.) Freelance textile designer Chinsky Cheung interned at Alexander McQueen and returned to the company for several collections, including Plato’s Atlantis. In an article published in Hong Kong’s Milk magazine, she shows aspects of the design process including pattern placement:

Alexander McQueen SS 2010 look 3 print placement
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010 (Plato’s Atlantis). Model: Karmen Pedaru. Images: style.com and Chinsky Cheung / Milk magazine via Augustine Wong.

(For more scans see Augustine Wong’s post, The Queen of the Prints.)

Dress, digitally printed silk satin and silk chiffon, Alexander McQueen SS 2010
Dress, digitally printed silk satin and silk chiffon, by Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 2010 (Plato’s Atlantis). Image: Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Fall 2010 menswear (An Bailitheoir Cnámh – the Bone Collector) and women’s Pre-Fall 2010 collection had the same catacombs print:

Catacomb print, Alexander McQueen Fall 2010 men's / women's Pre-Fall 2010-11
Two catacomb print looks, Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010-11 menswear (An Bailitheoir Cnámh) and Pre-Fall 2010. Images: style.com, Alexander McQueen.

The textiles in McQueen’s posthumously presented Fall 2010 collection (known as Angels and Demons) were patterned with digitally manipulated images drawn from early religious painting and sculpture. (See Dazed Digital and the V&A on the collection.) Some of the patterns were not prints but jacquards, while the reworked Old Master prints looked back to pieces like the Fall 1997 Campin crucifixion-printed jacket:

Richard Fairhead's photo of Alexander McQueen Byzantine lion jacquard, Dazed magazine 2010
Alexander McQueen Byzantine lion jacquard, Dazed magazine, October 2010. Photo: Richard Fairhead. Image: Dazed Digital.
Alexander McQueen dress with print based on Stefan Lochner's 15th-century Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Köln,
Dress, silk print based on Stefan Lochner’s Dombild Altarpiece with underskirt of gilded feathers, Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010-11. Image: Victoria and Albert Museum.
Alexander McQueen jacket with Robert Campin 15th c. crucifixion print, FW 1997-98
Jacket, Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 1997-98 (It’s a Jungle Out There). Photo: Sølve Sundsbø. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For more on digital prints, see the webpage for the Phoenix Art Museum’s 2013 exhibit, Digital Print Fashion (more in Corbin Chamberlin, “Phoenix Art Museum Embraces New Technology with ‘Digital Print Fashion’ Exhibit“). If you’re interested in designing your own digital prints, Kathryn Brenne recently wrote a primer for Vogue Patterns magazine’s February/March 2015 issue, and Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac have published a textbook on the subject, Digital Textile Design (Laurence King, 2nd ed. 2012).

With thanks to Kate Bethune.

Next: Alexander McQueen and tartan.

Vintage Designer Menswear: Vogue Patterns

1970s Bill Blass men's jacket, sweater, shirt and necktie pattern with vintage Nikon camera - Vogue 2917
Vogue 2917 by Bill Blass (1973) Image: PatternVault shop.

It’s been some time since Vogue offered designer menswear patterns. In the 1970s and 1980s, home sewers could choose from licensed designs for everything from men’s shirts to outerwear and three-piece suits. In celebration of Father’s Day, here’s a selection of vintage menswear patterns from Vogue Patterns.

1970s

Vogue introduced designer menswear patterns in the early 1970s with designs by Bill Blass and Pierre Cardin. From Cardin, Vogue 2918 is a double-breasted coat in two lengths:

1970s Pierre Cardin men's coat pattern - Vogue 2918
Vogue 2918 by Pierre Cardin (1973) Image: Etsy.

1975 saw the release of some his-and-hers Valentino patterns. Vogue 1180, a men’s jacket and pants pattern, was photographed with a women’s Valentino ensemble, Vogue 1178:

1970s Valentino men's jacket and pants pattern - Vogue 1180
Vogue 1180 by Valentino (1975) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Polo by Ralph Lauren was introduced to Vogue customers in the summer of 1975. The safari-style Vogue 1237 and 1238 were photographed in India:

Polo Ralph Lauren men's patterns in Vogue Patterns May June 1975
Vogue 1237 and 1238 by Polo Ralph Lauren in Vogue Patterns, May/June 1975. Photos: Steve Horn. Image: Make Mine Vogue.

Also by Polo Ralph Lauren, Vogue 1581 is a double-breasted trench coat with detachable lining:

1970s Polo Ralph Lauren trench coat pattern Vogue American Designer 1581
Vogue 1581 by Polo by Ralph Lauren (c. 1977)

This Christian Dior shirt-jacket and pants is the only men’s Dior pattern I’ve seen:

1970s Christian Dior men's shirt-jacket and pants pattern - Vogue 1609
Vogue 1609 by Christian Dior (ca. 1977) Image: PatternVault shop.

This snappy three-piece suit is by Bill Blass:

1970s Bill Blass men's 3-piece suit pattern - Vogue 1620
Vogue 1620 by Bill Blass (1977) Image: patronescostura on Etsy.

There were two menswear patterns by Yves Saint Laurent: safari suits photographed by Chris von Wangenheim (see Paco’s related post here):

Yves Saint Laurent men's patterns in Vogue Patterns March April 1977
Vogue 1645 and 1644 by Yves Saint Laurent in Vogue Patterns, March/April 1977. Photos: Chris von Wangenheim. Image: Paco Peralta.

Givenchy licensed a trim three-piece suit, Vogue 2112:

1970s Givenchy menswear pattern - Vogue Paris Original 2112
Vogue 2112 by Givenchy (1979) Image: PatternVault shop.

In 1979 the company released a trio of menswear patterns by Calvin Klein—separate patterns for a shirt, jacket, and pants. Vogue 2256 is a pattern for slim, tapered men’s pants; view B is low-rise and flat-front:

1970s Calvin Klein men's trousers pattern - Vogue 2256
Vogue 2256 by Calvin Klein (1979) Image: Etsy.

1980s

The menswear releases tapered off in the 1980s. 1980 saw the release of two Bill Blass men’s patterns, for a three-piece suit and close-fitting shirt:

1980s Bill Blass men's shirt pattern - Vogue 2586
Vogue 2586 by Bill Blass (1980) Image: Etsy.

In 1988 Vogue released three menswear patterns by Perry Ellis, for a jacket, shirt, and pants. Vogue 2207 is a loose-fitting jacket:

1980s Perry Ellis men's jacket pattern - Vogue 2207
Vogue 2207 by Perry Ellis (1988) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Just for fun, I’ll close with this Pierre Cardin robe and pajamas, which included a logo appliqué:

1970s Pierre Cardin men's pajamas and robe pattern - Vogue 2798 - moustachioed man on telephone
Vogue 2798 by Pierre Cardin (c. 1972) Image: Etsy.

With menswear sales catching up with womenswear, perhaps Vogue Patterns will capitalize on this trend by restoring menswear to its designer licensing. I’d be first in line for a Saint Laurent pattern…

Happy Father’s Day!