Fall 2019 Designer Pattern Highlights

Guinevere van Seenus in Rachel Comey Fall 2018. Photo: Annie Powers. Editor: Samira Nasr
Guinevere van Seenus in Rachel Comey Fall 2018. Photo: Annie Powers. Editor: Samira Nasr. Image: Vogue Runway.

This season, Vogue patterns have a new format. For Fall 2019, illustrations are out, and photography is in, even for the company’s house line. Also consolidated is the line branding and numbering, which used to differ between licensed and internal designs. Paris Originals, Designer Originals, even Vogue designer knockoffs — they all have the same new look.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2019 lookbook cover with V1633 dress
Vogue Patterns Fall 2019 lookbook. Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: Issuu.

Autumn means outerwear, and Laroche comes through with a chic trench coat with interesting details: a storm flap, arm band, and oversized belt carriers.

Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche FW 2017 trench coat pattern V1650
Vogue 1650 by Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche (2019) Model: Amber Mitchell. Image: McCall’s.

The coat is a design from Fall 2017, Adam Andrascik’s last collection for Laroche. The original also sports a collar hook and jumbo belt buckle.

Guy Laroche by Adam Andrascik, Fall 2017. Image: Vogue Runway.

Vogue noted the alternate version in tobacco leather — also seen in the Swiss magazine, Annabelle, which has a nice view of the shoulder dart.

Guy Laroche by Adam Andrascik, Fall 2017. Image: Vogue Runway.
Guy Laroche leather coat in Annabelle, October 2017. Image: Guy Laroche.

From the late Paco Peralta, a cropped jumpsuit with Custom Fit sizing (for multiple cup sizes). The contrast insets are a signature touch, also seen on the bestselling V1550.

Paco Peralta jumpsuit pattern V1647
Vogue 1647 by Paco Peralta (2019) Model: Lauren Buys. Image: McCall’s.

There are two new patterns by Rachel Comey. First, the coat ensemble at the top of this post: a collarless, raglan-sleeved coat and the Oscillate skirt, a gored, high-waisted skirt with notched waistband detail.

Rachel Comey coat and skirt pattern V1646
Vogue 1646 by Rachel Comey (2019) Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: McCall’s.

Comey’s Fall 2018 collection was modelled by Guinevere van Seenus, in a lookbook shot by Annie Powers and styled by Vanity Fair’s Samira Nasr.

Guinevere van Seenus in Rachel Comey Fall 2018
Rachel Comey Fall 2018. Model: Guinevere van Seenus. Photo: Annie Powers. Editor: Samira Nasr. Image: Vogue Runway.

The second Rachel Comey is the Steadfast jumpsuit, a cropped-leg style with square armholes and wrap overlay.

Rachel Comey Steadfast jumpsuit pattern V1645
Vogue 1645 by Rachel Comey (2019) Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: McCall’s.

For Pre-Fall 2017, the designer showed it layered, jumper-style, with a blouse.

Rachel Comey Pre-Fall 2017 Steadfast jumpsuit blouse look
Rachel Comey Pre-Fall 2017. Image: Vogue Runway.

As worn in white by the editor Giannie Couji:

Giannie Couji wears Rachel Comey's Steadfast jumpsuit in white
Steadfast jumpsuit in white Italian Foam. Model: Giannie Couji. Image: Rachel Comey.

Vogue’s latest Gucci adaptation includes a jacket, dress, and pleated skirt. (Also sized for petites.)

Gucci knockoff pattern V1643
Vogue 1643 after Gucci (2019) Model: Lauren Buys. Image: McCall’s.

Some will recognize the long, tan Gucci jacket from Peter Schlesinger’s photobook for Pre-Fall 2018 (last seen in my Summer post). Pair with a print dress and coronet for the full maximalist effect.

Unia Pakhomova photographed by Peter Schlesinger in Gucci Pre-Fall 2018
Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Pre-Fall 2018. Model: Unia Pakhomova. Photo: Peter Schlesinger. Image: Vogue Runway.

Gucci’s red, cardigan-style jacket and pleated skirt were a key look for Spring 2018.

Gucci by Alessandro Michele red jacket and white, pleated skirt, Spring 2018
Gucci by Alessandro Michele, Spring 2018. Model: Sarah Wilson. Image: Vogue Runway.

As seen in the brand’s digitally painted Spring ’18 ad campaign:

Gucci Spring 2018 campaign illustration by Ignasi Monreal
Gucci Spring 2018 campaign. Illustration: Ignasi Monreal. Image: Gucci.

Vogue’s other Custom Fit design for Fall is a version of Roland Mouret’s Royston dress.

Roland Mouret Royston dress knockoff pattern V1631
Vogue 1631 after Roland Mouret (2019) Model: Amber Mitchell. Image: McCall’s.

First presented for Resort ’18, the Royston is an update of the hit Galaxy dress. For an even more faithful copy, serge the sleeve edge and add an exposed zipper. The dress is currently available in navy, white, and red through Roland Mouret’s webstore, or at Selfridges in new-season pink:

Roland Mouret’s Royston dress in new-season pink, 2019. Image: Selfridges.

The Royston dress is also the basis for Mouret’s Clovelly bridal gown.

And rounding out the Fall collection, a version of an Alexander McQueen coat reminiscent of Spring ’99 Givenchy. (Includes petite sizing.)

Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton blanket coat knockoff pattern V1649
Vogue 1649 after Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton (2019) Model: Tatyana Cooper. Image: McCall’s.

Metamorphosis was the theme of Sarah Burton’s Fall 2018 collection for McQueen. Military touches in red and black referenced the Household Cavalry, the Queen’s bodyguard. Exhibit A: Burton’s asymmetrical blanket coat, as worn on the runway by Stella Tennant.

Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Fall 2018. Model: Stella Tennant. Image: Vogue Runway.

A closer look at the fringed edge reveals a meticulous finish on the reverse:

Detail, Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Fall 2018
Detail, Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Fall 2018. Image: Vogue Runway.

Those military colours are also seen in this season’s ad campaign featuring Kate Moss. McQueen Fall 2019 was inspired by the textile mills of Northern England, where Burton grew up.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2019 ad campaign. Model: Kate Moss. Photo: Jamie Hawkesworth. Art direction: M/M (Paris). Image: Alexander McQueen.

Spring 2019 Designer Pattern Highlights

©Paco Peralta
Paco Peralta’s design drawing for V1619. Image courtesy Paco Peralta.

After 99 years on the newsstand, and just as stores are receiving the new designer patterns for Spring ’19, Vogue Patterns Magazine is ceasing publication.

VPM’s final issue—and the Spring release—sees the return of Thai-American model and photographer Piyawan Chitsamran, a.k.a. Piya Wan.

Piyawan Chitsamran photographed in V1614 by Tom and Linda Platt by Jack Deutsch for the final issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine
The final issue of Vogue Patterns Magazine, February/March 2019. Model: Piyawan Chitsamran. Photo: Jack Deutsch. Image: McCall’s.

The late, great Paco Peralta was promoting this pattern just days before his death. (See his design drawing at top of post.) As released, it includes the duster coat, shown in waxed polyester with a cotton poplin lining, and high-waisted gaucho pants. But as he told me, his submission also included the bias top.

Vogue 1619 by Paco Peralta (2019)
Vogue 1619 by Paco Peralta (2019) Image: McCall’s.

Zandra Rhodes is celebrating her label’s 50th anniversary in 2019. This jumpsuit with contrast binding is a Zandra Rhodes staple. The original is silk crepe de chine.

Vogue 1617 by Zandra Rhodes (2019)
Vogue 1617 by Zandra Rhodes (2019) Image: McCall’s.

The archival design, done in lipstick-print chiffon, was part of Rhodes’ second Archive collection for Matches Fashion.

Zandra Rhodes Archive II Lipstick jumpsuit in screen-printed silk chiffon. Image: Matches Fashion.

A silver version, for Fall 2018, was shot by Bridie O’Sullivan, the filmmaker / photographer behind Rhodes’ upcoming Jubilee documentary. (More at O’Sullivan’s website.)

Char Ellesse in Zandra Rhodes Party collection, Fall 2018
Zandra Rhodes Party collection, Fall 2018. Model: Charnah Ellesse. Photo: Bridie O’Sullivan. Image: Zandra Rhodes.

Badgley Mischka’s formal gown features a halter neckline with lace décolletage overlay.

Vogue 1615 by Badgley Mischka (2019)
Vogue 1615 by Badgley Mischka (2019) Image: McCall’s.

Add a beaded overbodice for a variation on the V1615 look.

Badgley Mischka’s gown with beaded tulle overbodice. Image: Badgley Mischka.

The striped dress on the back cover of the Spring lookbook is adapted from Carolina Herrera Resort ’18.

Vogue 9357 after Carolina Herrera, Vogue Patterns lookbook, Spring 2019. Image: Issuu.

The sleeveless midi dress is a Vogue Easy Options Custom Fit pattern, meaning it is adjustable for 4 cup sizes.

Vogue 9357 after Carolina Herrera (2019) Image: McCall’s.

The original is a linen-cotton denim that Vogue called “the standout material” of the collection’s casual pieces. As Nicole Phelps wrote, “Best of all was the sleeveless dress with contrast stitching, white buttons, and deep pockets.”

Carolina Herrera Resort 2018. Image: Vogue Runway.
Carolina Herrera Resort 2018
Carolina Herrera Resort 2018. Images: Moda Operandi.

Chop off the bodice for a tea-length skirt:

Carolina Herrera Resort 2018
Carolina Herrera Resort 2018. Image: Vogue Runway.

Another Vogue Easy Options design, the hi-low V9360 is Vogue’s adaptation of young London label Palmer Harding.

Vogue 9360 after Palmer Harding (2019) Image: McCall’s.

The Spring 2019 runway version—called the Streep—had dolman sleeves and a gathered back. Red latex gloves optional.

Palmer Harding Spring 2019. Photo: Luca Tombolini
Palmer Harding Spring 2019. Photo: Luca Tombolini. Image: Vogue Runway.

Add some asymmetry to the hemline and you have the Split and Super shirts:

Image: Palmer Harding.
Image: Palmer Harding.

Roland Mouret’s navy Barwick dress was worn by a certain duchess. Vogue shot its adaptation in Mouret’s trademark Peppermint, but the envelope shows the navy dress front and centre.

Vogue 9355 (2019) Adaptation of Roland Mouret's Barwick dress, worn by Meghan Markle V9355
Vogue 9355 (2019) Version of Roland Mouret’s Barwick dress. Image: McCall’s.

The Barwick dress, from Resort 2018, is still available from the designer website (link). The original is double wool crepe.

Barwick dress, Roland Mouret Resort 2018. Model: Shujing Zhou. Photo: Maria Ziegelböck
Barwick dress, Roland Mouret Resort 2018. Model: Shujing Zhou. Photo: Maria Ziegelböck. Image: Vogue Runway.

The same front neckline is seen in Roland Mouret’s Noblethorpe dress:

Noblethorpe dress, Roland Mouret Resort 2018. Model: Shujing Zhou. Photo: Maria Ziegelböck. Image: Vogue Runway.

For a more faithful copy, adjust the back neckline and add an exposed zipper.

Back view of Roland Mouret's Barwick dress
Back view of Roland Mouret’s Barwick dress. Image: Roland Mouret.

Finally, although Cynthia Rowley is absent from Simplicity’s Spring release, the company has reissued a late 1940s stole dress from the Simplicity Designer’s Pattern line.

1940s vintage reissue Simplicity 8876 (2019)
Simplicity 8876 (2019) Image: Simplicity.

The original fabric suggestions were: Silk, rayon or wool jersey; silk or rayon crepes; monotone or figured pure silk; taffeta; faille.

1940s stole dress pattern Simplicity Designer's Pattern 8108
Simplicity 8108 (1949) Image: Etsy.

A History of the Paper Pattern Industry

Book cover - A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The home dressmaking fashion revolution by Joy Spanabel Emery
Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution. Image: Bloomsbury.

The new book by the curator of the Commercial Pattern Archive is the first comprehensive study of the sewing pattern industry. Published through Bloomsbury’s academic imprint, Joy Spanabel Emery’s A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution traces the history of commercial patterns from their beginnings in early modern tailors’ drafting systems to the 21st century.

Emery is Professor Emerita of Theater at the University of Rhode Island, where she also taught in the fashion department. In addition to her articles on commercial sewing patterns, she is the author of Stage Costume Techniques (Prentice-Hall, 1981).

The materials found in the University of Rhode Island’s Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA) and the personal archive of CoPA founder Betty Williams are the main sources for the book, which focuses on the pattern industry and its role in the production of everyday clothing. Emery presents her research in short, textbook-style chapters, ending each chapter with a brief summary. In the back, readers will find an index, endnotes for each chapter, and a detailed bibliography with sections for primary sources, secondary sources, and archival collections.

The first Vogue pattern: Louis XV Jacket, Vogue 1 (1899)
The first Vogue pattern: Louis XV Jacket, Vogue 1 (1899). From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

As a special inducement to those who sew, the book also includes an appendix with nine patterns, each laid out on a grid by Susan Hannel, the chair of the University of Rhode Island’s fashion department. The gridded patterns range from an 1850s Demorest basque [bodice], originally published as a pattern sheet supplement in a ladies’ fashion gazette, to a 1960s men’s Nehru jacket from Spadea.

Recent academic books on sewing have used the framework of gender studies to examine sewing as a cultural practice. Barbara Burman’s collection, The Culture of Sewing: Gender, Consumption and Home Dressmaking (Berg, 1999, to which Emery contributed a chapter, “Dreams on Paper: A Story of the Commercial Pattern Industry”), and Sarah A. Gordon’s “Make It Yourself”: Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture 1890-1930 (Columbia University Press, 2007) both present social histories of sewing that take into account changing understandings of femininity and women’s work.

Emery’s book takes a more conservative approach to the material culture of sewing patterns, aiming to lay the groundwork for further study by focusing on the historical timeline of commercial production and technical development. Each chapter traces the industry’s new technologies and companies, mergers and closures as the pattern business landscape shifted from early diversity to today’s conglomerates.

CoPA’s holdings are so extensive that they show not only the industry’s response to dramatic developments in fashion, like the New Look or youthquake, but also to historical events like the First and Second World Wars. A 1918 issue of Butterick’s magazine, The Delineator, shows two women in naval uniform (Butterick pattern no. 1101), while a 1943 McCall’s pattern for Victory aprons is printed with patriotic verse:

Official Yeowoman's Costume of the U.S. Navy, Butterick 1101. The Delineator, November 1918
Official Yeowoman’s Costume of the U.S. Navy, Butterick 1101. The Delineator, November 1918. From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

(For more on Butterick 1101 see Michelle Lee’s blog post.)

Ladies' and Misses' Victory Aprons: McCall 1090 (1943)
Ladies’ and Misses’ Victory Aprons: McCall 1090 (1943). From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Industry players competed to improve the sewing customer’s experience. We have McCall’s to thank for the printed pattern. Other pattern companies couldn’t duplicate the technique until McCall’s patent expired—although Pictorial Review found a creative workaround with patterns that were both printed and perforated.

"Why the ordinary pattern CANNOT be accurate / Why the McCall Printed Pattern MUST be accurate"
McCall Printed Pattern announcement, McCall Quarterly, Spring 1924. From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

It was during the economic boom of the 1920s that the industry produced the first fully conceived designer patterns. As Betty Williams found in her research, McCall’s interwar couture patterns were based on garments purchased from Parisian couture houses for copying purposes. When Williams shared an early McCall Patou pattern with staff at the house of Patou, they agreed that the design looked like the couturier’s work, but were unable to find documentation of a McCall-Patou relationship (Williams 1995).* Intriguingly, Emery mentions a business agreement model along the lines of today’s licensing, but does not go into further detail.

1920s couturier evening dress pattern by Madeleine Vionnet, McCall 5055 (1927)
A couturier evening dress pattern by Madeleine Vionnet: McCall 5055 (1927). From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Infelicities of layout and organization occasionally disrupt the flow. Including the discussion of interwar couture patterns in the 1920s chapter means that we read about the 1933 closure of the Paris Pattern Company, and see a 1930s example of a Paris Pattern, before reaching the 1930s chapter. Paris Patterns in fact survived beyond 1933: by the following year, the company seems to have merged with Style and was still releasing patterns for June, 1934.

A couturier dress pattern by Lucile Paray with cloth label: Paris Pattern 2243 (1933)
A couturier dress pattern by Lucile Paray with cloth label: Paris Pattern 2243 (1933). From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).
An Augustabernard design on the cover of a Paris and Style Patterns booklet, June 1934, from the T. Easton Co. Ltd, Canada
Paris and Style Patterns booklet, June 1934.

The text is sometimes marred by typographical errors, as well as errors traceable to data entry errors in the pattern archive. Schiaparelli’s first Vogue Paris Original (no. 1051) is included in the chapter devoted to World War 2 rather than the postwar chapter, and its date is given as 1947 when it should be 1949—the year Vogue Patterns, still owned by Condé Nast, launched its Paris Originals with great fanfare. (See my postwar Schiaparelli post here.)

Vogue 1051
Schiaparelli’s first Vogue Paris Original: Vogue 1051 (1949). From Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Countering the claim that commercial pattern designs are already out of fashion, Emery argues that patterns historically allowed their customers to keep abreast of trends, giving some interesting before and after examples of patterns adapted to reflect the new proportions of the postwar New Look.

The question of the relationship between high fashion and the commercial pattern industry is an interesting one. Contemporary high fashion adaptations in pattern form are relatively current. Roland Mouret’s Fall 2005 blockbuster, the Galaxy dress, was adapted in 2006 as Vogue 8280, and Carven’s dress for Spring 2013 was adapted for that season as Vogue 8900 (see As I Said…). Current adaptations can be seen in McCall’s #sewthelook series on Instagram.

Roland Mouret and Carven
Roland Mouret FW 2005 and Carven SS 2013. Images: style.com.

But licensed designer patterns are a different story. While trend-setting styles such as those from Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian and Ballets Russes collections could count on expedited production, more often there seems to have been a seasonal lag. A 1950s Laroche pattern discussed as typical in a contemporary report, Vogue 1450, is a design from the Spring 1959 couture that was released a season later, in late 1959.

Today, when the production time for a commercial pattern has been cut to as little as four weeks,** it’s still unusual for a new designer pattern to represent the current season. To take some recent examples: of Simplicity’s Cynthia Rowley patterns from the Summer 2015 release, Simplicity 1105 is unusual for being from the current season, Spring/Summer 2015:

Simplicity 1105 by Cynthia Rowley (2015) Tent dress with trapunto stitching and back ties, SS 2015
The originals for Simplicity 1105 by Cynthia Rowley (2015) – tent dresses with trapunto stitching, Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Images: style.com.

In Vogue Patterns’ Fall 2014 release, the Donna Karan, Guy Laroche, and Rachel Comey selections are from the Fall 2013 collections, while the Ralph Rucci coat, Vogue 1419, is from the Pre-Fall 2013 collection:

Vogue 1419 Ralph Rucci Pre-Fall 2013
Vogue 1419 (2014) from Ralph Rucci’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection. Images: Etsy / style.com.

The fashion industry has changed, and fewer designers are willing to enter into licensing agreements for commercial patterns, let alone license current-season designs. Historical analysis of the pattern industry shows how it has adapted in response not only to economic and social trends, but also to home sewers’ changing relationship with fashion. Emery has taken a much-needed look to the archives in this essential resource.

(Press release and interview here.)

Publication details:

Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

ISBN (cloth): 9780857858306

ISBN (paper): 9780857858313

9780857858313
9780857858313

ISBN (ebook): 9781472577450 (PDF) / 9781472577467 (EPUB)

Available online from Bloomsbury or your favourite independent bookstore. (Why I never link to Amazon.)

* Betty Williams, “1920s Couturier Patterns and the Home Sewer,” Cutters’ Research Journal 6.4 (Spring 1995).

** According to a Forbes article cited on p. 201.

For review purposes I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.