Today we’re used to a firm division between fashion magazines and sewing magazines. But for several decades after Condé Nast sold Vogue Patterns, editorials featuring sewing patterns could still be seen in Vogue magazine—editorials with the same models, photographers, and fashion editors as Vogue’s high fashion shoots. This post is the first in an occasional series on these editorials.
Launching the series is “Courrèges Edge,” a 1995 editorial photographed by Nick Knight and showing Kate Moss in clothes made using patterns from Vogue and Butterick. The shoot covers the Sixties trend with all-white, Courrèges-style looks while playing with the theme of surveillance.
Royal Ascot begins tomorrow. What better way to celebrate than with a free designer millinery pattern, for a Stephen Jones hat called “Nice Package”?
The hat pattern Stephen Jones recently shared with SHOWstudio was released in early 2012, on the last day of the Paris couture calendar. An exaggerated beret inspired by his lilac hatboxes, the original hat is lilac moiré with a sparkle-embellished, pink satin bow. Here’s a colour photo:
The design was drawn from Stephen Jones’ Fall/Winter 2011 collection, Topsy Turvy, which also included a stiletto take on Schiaparelli’s shoe hat. Here is a collection image from the milliner’s website:
SHOWstudio’s image gallery gives “aesthetic hints” on the assembly (click for more):
To celebrate this week’s opening of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute in New York, I’ll be posting about two free patterns for punk-inspired designs. (Kristen McMenamy called last night’s Met gala “a costume party for punk”; see Vogue’s red carpet coverage here.) First up is an example of Junya Watanabe’s “heavy-duty couture”: the dress pattern he shared with SHOWstudio.
The Watanabe Design Download was part of SHOWstudio’s Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down project, which saw model Liberty Ross being dressed for a live photo shoot by an online audience. The project—whose name refers to the English title of Pedro Almodóvar’s Átame, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)—was inspired by pornographic video chats and had the goal of “exploring the idea of control in fashion image-making.” As well as images and video, the project also had a discussion component, with interviews and short essays on fashion and pornography, including an Andrea Dworkin excerpt. In its appropriation of pornographic conventions, the SHOWstudio project can be linked to punk fashion and art like that of Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti (recently seen in Pop Life: Art in a Material World).
The Watanabe design was chosen by Liberty Ross from stylist Jonathan Kaye’s draft selection for the June 2005 SHOWstudio event. The dress is from Junya Watanabe’s Fall/Winter 2005 women’s collection—the coming season at the time of the project. The original dress was made in red mohair plaid with a PVC bodice:
Watanabe also showed a black version of the dress:
These dresses’ play with textural contrasts carried through the Fall/Winter 2005 Junya Watanabe women’s collection, which paired cotton and textured woolens with synthetics like nylon and PVC. The models wore full-skirted dresses, the skirts sometimes bunched up with ripcords, white shirts with exaggerated collars and ruffles, and coats and jackets made with tweed fused with synthetics. Watanabe referred to the clothes as “hard-core couture.” (See Cathy Horyn, “In Paris, Tweed Tangles With Tulle.”) Here’s the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles:
Alexander McQueen would have been 44 today. On the occasion of his birthday, here’s a look back at the free pattern McQueen shared with SHOWstudio: the Scanners kimono jacket.
The original kimono jacket was made of black silk, and was shown on the runway with a matching pencil skirt and long gloves (worn by a pre-Outlander Caitriona Balfe):
The kimono jacket is drawn from Scanners, Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2003 collection. (The invitation to the show was printed with brain scans—CAT scans of the designer’s brain.) This was the year McQueen received his CBE from Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the CFDA’s International Award and his fourth British Fashion Designer of the Year. The models walked across a snowy tundra and along a raised wind tunnel; the design references represented a journey eastward through Siberia, Tibet, and Japan, mixed with geometric prints and McQueen’s signature tailoring. (See Suzy Menkes, “The Collections / Paris: A stellar McQueen; elegance at Viktor & Rolf.”)
Watch the runway video (kimono jacket at about 6:10):
Kimono-inspired designs are a thread running through McQueen’s work. Here are a few more kimono looks by Alexander McQueen, from Eclect Dissect—Givenchy couture, Fall 1997 (as on the McQueen / Nick Knight album cover for Björk’s Homogenic); La Dame Bleue, in memory of Isabella Blow; and the posthumous Fall 2010 collection:
The latest project in SHOWstudio’s Design Download series is a dress by Giles Deacon. The Design Download project aims to “demystify the fashion process by offering prestigious designer garment patterns for download via the Internet.”
Past Design Downloads have had an interactive component, with people submitting their versions for inclusion in a gallery on the SHOWstudio website. This time it’s a contest, and the winning dress—to be chosen by Giles Deacon and Nick Knight—will be featured in a special SHOWstudio fashion film.
The free pattern design, called the ‘Troubadour’ dress, is drawn from the Fall/Winter 2007 Giles collection. The original was made in green double-faced silk duchesse satin. Here’s the dress on the runway (the late Anna Piaggi is visible in the audience):
The collection also included a similar dress in orange satin:
The Fall/Winter 2007 Giles collection was inspired by savage nature, with lots of feathers, leather, and pops of tropical colour. Deacon said his conceptual starting point was “Google Earth—and then I went off on so many tangents.” (See Suzy Menkes, “School’s Out for Saint Martin’s Master Class.”) Here’s the collection image from L’Officiel 1000 modèles (click to enlarge). The headpieces are by Stephen Jones: