Silhouette News for Fall, 1956

McCalls PB Fall 1956
Anne St. Marie in McCall’s 3793, McCall’s Pattern Book, Fall 1956. Photo: The Dodenhoffs.

There are only two weekends left to catch Balenciaga: Master of Couture at the McCord Museum. Anne St. Marie’s look (above) was inspired by Balenciaga.

From the inside note: “The new straight-coat fashion favored by Balenciaga, fall and winter coverage for its own sheath dress and everything else in your wardrobe. In colorful Anglo tweed and coordinated red wool, interfaced with Armo hair canvas to hold its line. Earl-Glo Sanitized taffeta lining; B.G.E. buttons. Emme hat; Mark Cross bag; Superb gloves.”

Pattern: McCall’s 3793.

Mary Quant: Butterick Patterns

Tania Mallet wears Mary Quant and James Wedge on the cover of British Vogue, October 1, 1963
Tania Mallet wears Mary Quant (hat by James Wedge) on the cover of British Vogue, October 1, 1963. Photo: Brian Duffy. Image: eBay.

Nothing says Swinging London like Mary Quant. The pioneer of the Chelsea Look will receive a major retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2019. (An earlier exhibit, Manchester Art Gallery’s Mary Quant: Fashion Icon, had to close early due to conservation issues.)

Design for a cowl neck minidress with mustard yellow tights by Mary Quant, about 1967, London. Museum no. E.525-1975. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Mary Quant sketch, ca. 1967. Image: V&A.

The V&A is seeking vintage Quant for the show, including garments — or even photos of garments — made with Mary Quant patterns. See here for more details, or email the curators at maryquant@vam.ac.uk. Update: submissions are now closed.

Ensemble of bolero waistcoat and skirt, Mary Quant, about 1964. Museum no. T.34-2013. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Celia Hammond and Jean Shrimpton in Mary Quant, ca. 1964. Photo: John French. Image: V&A.
Mary Quant London - Made in England for Lord & Taylor 100% PVC label at the Costume Institute
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Butterick licensed Mary Quant patterns from the mid-’60s to the early ’70s. (See my Mad Men-era post.)

Mary Quant pantdress pattern 4779 in the Butterick retail catalog, November 1969
Right: Mary Quant pantdress pattern 4779 in the Butterick retail catalogue, November 1969. Image: Etsy.

For knitters, there were also ultra-mod knitting patterns. Some of these vintage booklets are available as official reissues, like these ones from Mary Maxim. (More on Ravelry.)

1960s Patons Courtelle knitting patterns by Mary Quant
1960s Patons Courtelle knitting patterns by Mary Quant. Images: Mary Maxim.

Mary Quant and her husband were profiled in Life magazine as early as 1960. (View story here.)

Mary Quant and Alexander Plunkett-Greene photographed on Park Avenue by Ken Heyman for Life magazine, 1960
Mary Quant and Alexander Plunket Greene on Park Avenue, LIFE, December 5, 1960. Photo: Ken Heyman. Image: LIFE archive.

For his 1963 Life feature on the Chelsea Look, Norman Parkinson photographed Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington in these Mary Quant dresses:

Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington photographed by Norman Parksinson in Mary Quant's Bank of England and Eton striped wool dresses, LIFE magazine, 1963
Melanie Hampshire and Jill Kennington in Mary Quant’s Bank of England and Eton dresses, LIFE, October 18, 1963. Photo: Norman Parkinson. Image: Iconic Images.

Butterick released its first Mary Quant patterns in fall, 1964. Here’s Celia Hammond on the cover of the retail catalogue:

Butterick catalogue cover showing 3288 by Mary Quant - October 1964
Butterick 3288 by Mary Quant. Butterick catalogue, October 1964. Photo: Terence Donovan. Model: Celia Hammond. Image: eBay.

The Butterick Home Catalog hailed Quant as the originator of the Chelsea Look.

London: Mary Quant. A new group of Butterick designs by the originator of the Chelsea Look and winner o the International Fashion Award for Great Britain. Butterick Fall 1964 Quant
Mary Quant in the Butterick Home Catalog, Fall 1964.

The earliest Mary Quant patterns pre-date the Young Designer line. This dress pattern even includes the rosette:

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 3499
Butterick 3499 by Mary Quant (1965) Image: PatternVault shop.

British copies of this dress pattern say “featured in Queen magazine.” Jill Kennington wore this and other Butterick Young Designers in what was billed as “The Queen’s first ever make-it-yourself fashion.”

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 3716
Butterick 3716 by Mary Quant (ca. 1965)
1960s Jean Muir of Jane & Jane and Mary Quant dress patterns Butterick 3722, 3707, 3716
“How to be a self made sensation.” Right, Jill Kennington in Butterick 3716 by Mary Quant. Queen magazine, August 11, 1965. Image: eBay.

Here Moyra Swan models a mod scooter dress. Suggested fabrics include linen, jersey, lightweight wool, and knits.

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 4578
Butterick 4578 by Mary Quant (ca. 1967) Image: PatternVault shop.

This jumpsuit or playsuit came with a matching mini skirt — “the latest put-togethers”:

Butterick 5404 by Mary Quant (1969) Image: Etsy.

What to wear with a Mary Quant mini dress? Why, go-go boots, of course:

1960s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 5475
Butterick 5475 by Mary Quant (1969)

By 1970, a Quant jumpsuit was more fluid, with a pointed collar; this pattern also includes a maxi-length cardigan. The catalogue gives a better view of the inflatable chair:

1970s Mary Quant jumpsuit and cardigan pattern Butterick 5857
Butterick 5857 by Mary Quant (1970) Image: Etsy.
Mary Quant's Butterick 5857 jumpsuit in the Fall 1970 catalogue
Mary Quant’s Butterick 5857 jumpsuit in the Fall 1970 catalogue. Image: tumblr.

Mary Quant in a more romantic mode means a sheer tunic worn with knickers. View B is a maxi dress.

1970s Mary Quant pattern Butterick 6256
Butterick 6256 by Mary Quant (ca. 1971)

After 1971 or so, Butterick Young Designer patterns had illustrations, not photos. This Mary Quant dress dates to circa early ’73.

1970s Mary Quant dress pattern Butterick 6916
Butterick 6916 by Mary Quant (ca. 1973) Image: Etsy.

Have you made anything from a Mary Quant pattern?

Maren Greve in Butterick 4128 by Mary Quant, 1966
Butterick 4128 by Mary Quant, Butterick catalogue, October 1966. Model: Maren Greve. Image: Instagram.

In memoriam: Joy Emery

Joy Spanabel Emery, A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The home dressmaking fashion revolution
A History of the Paper Pattern Industry, by Joy Spanabel Emery. Image: Bloomsbury.

Joy Emery, Professor Emerita of the University of Rhode Island and curator of the Commercial Pattern Archive, has died. She was 81.

Emery is the author of Stage Costume Techniques (Prentice-Hall, 1981) and A History of the Paper Pattern Industry (Bloomsbury, 2014), which I reviewed for this blog. Memorial donations may be made to the Joy Spanabel Emery Endowment Fund.

Read her obituary, or a 2016 URI profile upon winning USITT’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Costume Design and Technology.

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.

New Look

Vogue 1245 1Jan1954

I’m delighted to introduce my blog redesign. Bear with me as I tweak seven years’ worth of content.

The new format has a more streamlined navigation, as well as increased space for images and an improved mobile experience.

I’ve also added a tip jar. Your contribution can help me maintain this blog without advertising. Thank you!

Let me know what you think, and stay tuned for updates on the shop and other new features.

Lamont O'Neal illustration, "Timeless Style... Vintage Vogue." Vogue Patterns Sept/Oct 1999 catalogue back cover with Vogue 2321 illustration

Free Designer Pattern: Callot Soeurs Pyjamas

Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas, ca. 1913
Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas, ca. 1913. Image: LACMA.

This week, a free couture pattern from Callot Soeurs.

Callot Soeurs was one of the old couture houses of Belle Époque Paris, founded in 1895 by the four Callot sisters. Not many Callot Soeurs garments survive, and the house is best remembered for its role in the early career of Madeleine Vionnet. But in 2015, the New Yorker published an article on a collection of Callot Soeurs dresses found stored in Villa La Pietra, a Florentine villa that was once home to American heiress Hortense Mitchell Acton. (See Jessamyn Hatcher, “Twenty-One Dresses.”) Click the image below to see the gallery of Acton’s Callot Soeurs gowns.

Callot Soeurs label inside one of Hortense Mitchell Acton's commissions found at Villa La Pietra, Florence. Photo: Pari Dukovic
Callot Soeurs label inside one of Hortense Mitchell Acton’s commissions found at Villa La Pietra, Florence. Photo: Pari Dukovic. Image: The New Yorker.

LACMA’s Callot Soeurs pyjama ensemble includes a delicate top and harem pants—a radical element of the new women’s silhouette. (See my sarouel post here.)

Here are the museum notes:

This thoughtfully crafted hand-sewn and machine-stitched lounging pajama was made bifurcated by the attachment of the skirt length from the center front of the waist to the center back through the legs. Vertical side-front seams of the skirt were sewn with openings for the feet to create a stylized harem pant. The silk charmeuse skirt draped and outlined each leg while silk tassels at the foot openings would have drawn attention to the wearer’s ankles as she walked. A bifurcated garment of any style during the early 1900s was a provocative fashion that challenged ideas about established gender-appropriate dress.

Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas, ca. 1913
Detail, Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas, ca. 1913. Image: LACMA.
Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas; silk satin embellished shoes, London, England, ca. 1913
Detail, Callot Soeurs lounging pyjamas, ca. 1913. Image: LACMA.
Callot Soeurs sketch by Thomas John Bernard
Callot Soeurs sketch by Thomas John Bernard. Image: LACMA.

Download the pattern here.

Note: Gridded pattern. Does not include seam allowance.

Back waist length: 52 3/8″ (133 cm)

Notions: 10 spherical buttons, 4 5″ (12.7 cm) tassels, cord, 1/2″ (1.3 cm) bias tape, 3/4″ (1.9 cm) trim, ribbon for plackets, hooks and eyes.

For more historical patterns, see the LACMA Costume and Textile Pattern Project.

Inspired by Lost Horizon

Olivia Hussey in Lost Horizon (1973) Image: Pinterest.

Olivia Hussey has an autobiography out, reminding us of a legendary bomb: the musical Lost Horizon. Naturally, there was a pattern tie-in.

Ross Hunter’s Lost Horizon (1973) was adapted from James Hilton’s bestselling novel about Shangri-La, with costumes by the great Jean Louis.

Lost Horizon illustrated movie poster by Howard Terpning
Lost Horizon poster by Howard Terpning. Image: eBay.

There had been another Lost Horizon, in the 1930s, but it didn’t have music by Burt Bacharach.

Lost Horizon original soundtrack on vinyl - music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David
Lost Horizon original soundtrack LP. Image: eBay.

McCall’s released at least ten patterns in its Lost Horizon-inspired series. The film opened in March, but the patterns came out later in the year. Two Carefree and Extra-Carefree styles from the series in the Fall 1973 Carefree catalogue:

3739 and 3700 - vintage McCall's patterns inspired by Lost Horizon
Lost Horizon-inspired designs in McCall’s Carefree Home Catalog, Fall 1973. Image: Etsy.

The pattern envelopes bear a tiny version of the film graphics.

Did the hippie trail reach Tibet? Some of the Lost Horizon-inspired patterns look like contemporary western clothing, but most nod to Jean Louis’ fantasia of traditional Tibetan dress, textiles, and embellishment.

1970s McCall's 3701
McCall’s 3701 (1973) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.
McCalls 3679
McCalls 3679 (1973) Image: Etsy.
McCall's 3684
McCall’s 3684 (1973) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.
1970s McCall's 3697
McCall’s 3697 (1973) Image: Etsy.

Of the two designs for men and women, this robe was the most popular. The men’s and women’s caftan came with its own embroidery transfers.

M3738A
McCall’s 3738 (1973) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.
1970s Lost Horizon inspired men's and women's caftan pattern, McCall's 3685
McCall’s 3685 (1973) Image: Etsy.

Unfortunately there’s no pattern for Hussey’s saffron robes.

Olivia Hussey's saffron robes in Lost Horizon (1973) via the Fuck Yeah Olivia Hussey tumblr
Olivia Hussey’s saffron robes in Lost Horizon (1973) Image: Pinterest.