Motherhood, 1971

May 14, 2017 § 3 Comments

Maternity dress pattern Vogue 7952 photographed by Art Barclay, 1971

Vogue 7952 in Vogue Pattern Book, August/September 1971. Photo: Art Barclay.

In honour of Mother’s Day, some maternity images from an early ’70s Vogue Pattern Book.

That’s Vogue 7952 by the red Volkswagen bug. (Shoes: Charles Jourdan.) The other maternity patterns are Vogue 7382 and Vogue 8079.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Maternity dress pattern Vogue 7382 photographed by Art Barclay, 1971

Vogue 7382 in Vogue Pattern Book, August/September 1971. Photo: Art Barclay.

Maternity top and pants pattern Vogue 8079 photographed by Art Barclay, 1971

Vogue 8079 in Vogue Pattern Book, August/September 1971. Photo: Art Barclay.

1970s family road trip maternity editorial with VW beetle - Vogue Pattern Book, Aug/Sept 1971

“Motherhood” in Vogue Pattern Book, August/September 1971. Photos: Art Barclay.

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Nena von Schlebrügge and Uma Thurman

May 12, 2014 § 6 Comments

Autumn 1960 Vogue Pattern Book (UK edition)

Nena von Schlebrügge on the cover of Vogue Pattern Book, Autumn 1960. Image via eBay.

(A late Mother’s Day post since I was under the weather yesterday.)

In honour of Mother’s Day, this models post is devoted to a mother and daughter who both modelled for designer sewing patterns: Nena von Schlebrügge and Uma Thurman.

Nena von Schlebrügge (b. 1941) was born in Mexico City to German-Swedish parents who had fled Nazi Germany. In 1957, two years after she was discovered by Norman Parkinson, she moved from her native Stockholm to London to pursue modelling, later moving to New York to sign with Eileen Ford.

Norman Parkinson test shot of Nena von Schlebrügge, Stockholm, 1955

Nena von Schlebrügge, first test shots, Stockholm, 1955. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image via artnet.

Nena von Schlebrügge appears on a number of Vogue Pattern Book covers and Vogue patterns from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Here she models one of Vogue’s first Dior patterns by Yves Saint Laurent—Vogue 1472, a skirt suit and full coat with big, shaped collar:

1950s Christian Dior coat and suit pattern featuring Nena von Schlebrügge - Vogue 1472

Vogue 1472 by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior (1959). Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Von Schlebrügge can also be seen on Vogue 1484 by Madame Grès, a 3-piece ensemble that includes a voluminous coat with three-quarter sleeves, loose back panel, and elegant contrast lapels and lining:

Vogue 1484 by Grès (1960) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Nena von Schlebrügge on a 1960 Grès pattern - Vogue 1484

Detail of Vogue 1484 by Grès (1960) Image via Etsy.

Uma Thurman (b. 1970) is the daughter of Nena von Schlebrügge and her second husband, Robert Thurman. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Uma Thurman dropped out of her prep school there to pursue acting in New York City, where she worked as a fashion model before landing her breakout roles in Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).

Patrick Demarchelier photo of Uma Thurman on the cover of British Vogue, December 1985

British Vogue, December 1985. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Image via Vogue UK.

Uma Thurman is featured on a handful of 1980s Simplicity patterns, including two by Cathy Hardwick. (These may date to Tom Ford’s time at the company.)

Here Thurman wears Simplicity 8054, a wrap dress with halter back and capelet sleeves, in classic red:

1980s Cathy Hardwick dress pattern featuring Uma Thurman - Simplicity 8054

Simplicity 8054 by Cathy Hardwick (1986) Image via Etsy.

Here she models a pure ’80s LBD with big shoulders and flutter sleeves, Simplicity 8055:

1980s Cathy Hardwick dress pattern featuring Uma Thurman - Simplicity 8055

Simplicity 8055 by Cathy Hardwick (1987) Image via Etsy.

Nena von Schlebrügge later became a psychotherapist and director of Tibet House and the Menla Center; Uma Thurman is an Academy Award nominee for her role in Pulp Fiction (1994). Thurman’s presence is already evident in her Simplicity patterns. Isn’t the family resemblance striking?

Mamma Mia: Designer Maternity Patterns

May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Detail of Vogue 1689 strapless, black maternity dress by Lauren Sara

Detail of Vogue 1689 (1995) Image via Etsy.

Last year, Peter of Male Pattern Boldness posted a general survey of vintage maternity patterns. Sewing patterns for designer maternity wear have a different history. In honour of Mother’s Day, here is a selection of designer maternity patterns from the ’70s to the ’90s.

Some of the earliest patterns for designer maternity wear that I have seen are by Lady Madonna. (Yes, it’s named for the Beatles song.) A 1971 article in Time magazine, “Modern Living: Bellies Are Beautiful,” partly credits the Lady Madonna label with changing attitudes to maternity wear:

“Maternity clothes have always been designed like the Trojan horse: to hide, disguise and deceive. The wider the dress, the more pleats and folds, the less identifiable the condition—or so traditional pregnancy fashions would have it seem. Lately, however, the shape of things to come has undergone some happy alterations, supplanting voluminous tents and overhanging blouses with jumpsuits and knickers, low-cut evening gowns and even hot pants. Largely through the intervention of the Lady Madonna Maternity Boutique, women can now look great with child.”

Vogue Patterns released Lady Madonna patterns in the late 1970s. (The label later made the switch to Simplicity patterns.) Vogue 2157 is a long, Empire-waisted slip dress; the model is Pat McGuire:

1970s Lady Madonna maternity dress pattern - Vogue 2157

Vogue 2157 by Lady Madonna (1979) Image via PatternVault on Etsy.

Update: this maternity dress pattern by Geoffrey Beene dates to the previous year:

1970s Geoffrey Beene maternity dress pattern - Vogue 1943

Vogue 1943 by Geoffrey Beene (1978) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

American designer Carol Horn also licensed some maternity designs to Vogue Patterns:

1980s maternity pattern by Carol Horn - Vogue 2394

Vogue 2394 by Carol Horn (c. 1980) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

1980s maternity dress pattern by Carol Horn - Vogue 2395

Vogue 2395 by Carol Horn (c. 1980) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Around the same time, McCall’s had maternity patterns by Evelyn de Jonge, like this one for maternity separates:

1980s designer maternity pattern by Evelyn de Jonge, McCall's 7193

McCall’s 7193 by Evelyn de Jonge (1980) Image via the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

As Peter points out, in the Eighties, even non-maternity styles could be roomy enough to be worn during pregnancy. Style patterns released a number of patterns by Jasper Conran, including this one for a maternity dress or tunic and skirt:

1980s Jasper Conran pattern - Style 4751 maternity separates

Style 4751 by Jasper Conran (1986) Image via Etsy.

In the early 1990s, Vogue Patterns had designer maternity patterns by Manola, an established New York maternity boutique. This Manola design uses front yokes to control the volume of the dress:

1990s maternity Manola dress pattern - Vogue 1124

Vogue 1124 by Manola (1993) Image via Etsy.

Designer Lauren Sara already had some non-maternity patterns with Vogue Attitudes when she licensed her maternity line, M by Lauren Sara. This design for an evening-length dress includes a formal, strapless version:

1990s Lauren Sara maternity evening dress pattern - Vogue 1689

Vogue 1689 by Lauren Sara (1995) Image via Etsy.

Like swimwear, a decade’s maternity wear reveals a lot about its attitudes to the female body. The absence of designer maternity patterns before the late 1970s seems telling. Yet today, Vogue Patterns has again phased out maternity designs…

Girls’ Patterns, 1926

May 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

In my collection of Twenties patterns I have a group of children’s patterns that are shown in the McCall’s Quarterly for Winter 1926-27. (Many thanks to Debby for sharing the images.) I noticed something interesting about the envelope engravings. Observe:

McCall 4666 1920s girl's dress and coat pattern by Lina Mouton

McCall 4666 by Lina Mouton (1926) Girl’s ensemble.

McCall 4666 small size 1920s ensemble costume pattern by Lina Mouton

McCall 4666 by Lina Mouton (1926) Younger girl’s ensemble.

Special engravings for the smaller sizes! Here’s another example from my collection:

McCall 4640 1920s girl's coat designer pattern by Mignapouf

McCall 4640 by Mignapouf (1926) Girl’s coat.

McCall 4640 1920s younger girl's coat designer pattern by Mignapouf

McCall 4640 by Mignapouf (1926) Younger girl’s coat.

Have you seen this on children’s patterns from other decades?

Happy Mother’s Day!

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