Farewell to Isabel Toledo, designer and seamstress. She will be missed.
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.
Autumn means outerwear, and Laroche comes through with a chic trench coat with interesting details: a storm flap, arm band, and oversized belt carriers.
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.
Vogue noted the alternate version in tobacco leather — also seen in the Swiss magazine, Annabelle, which has a nice view of the shoulder dart.
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.
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.
The second Rachel Comey is the Steadfast jumpsuit, a cropped-leg style with square armholes and wrap overlay.
For Pre-Fall 2017, the designer showed it layered, jumper-style, with a blouse.
As worn in white by the editor Giannie Couji:
Vogue’s latest Gucci adaptation includes a jacket, dress, and pleated skirt. (Also sized for petites.)
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.
Gucci’s red, cardigan-style jacket and pleated skirt were a key look for Spring 2018.
As seen in the brand’s digitally painted Spring ’18 ad campaign:
Vogue’s other Custom Fit design for Fall is a version of Roland Mouret’s Royston dress.
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:
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.)
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.
A closer look at the fringed edge reveals a meticulous finish on the reverse:
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.
I started this blog eight years ago this month. To celebrate, here’s a look at some all-but-forgotten licensing: patterns by Barbara Hulanicki for Biba.
Biba might be the biggest brand you’ll never see on a pattern. Born in Warsaw, Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki (b. 1936) grew up in Palestine and Brighton, where she attended Brighton Art School. She worked as a fashion illustrator before starting the Biba label with her husband, Stephen “Fitz” Fitz-Simon. Sometimes called the first lifestyle brand, Biba was a runaway success in Swinging London, selling everything from cosmetics to couture.
In 1970, Hulanicki licensed patterns with McCall’s as a way to launch her brand in North America. The main promotion was in Seventeen Magazine, as it was Seventeen editor Rosemary McMurtry who first approached Hulanicki about the idea. Hulanicki mentions the McCall’s deal in her memoirs, as well as The Biba Years, 1963-1975, which she co-wrote with Martin Pel
Around New Year’s, 1971, Seventeen readers could peruse the new Biba patterns in a dreamy Sarah Moon editorial shot in Paris. Among the models was Ingrid Boulting, the face of Biba Cosmetics (another Sarah Moon project). As Hulanicki writes in her memoir, From A to Biba, the setting for the shoot was the round tower of Au Printemps, the storied Paris department store. The printed fabrics — cotton satin, rayon crepe, cotton voile, twill, and broadcloth — were all Tootal for Biba, and available at retailers like Macy’s in New York. (More at Sweet Jane. Seventeen scans courtesy of Musings from Marilyn.)
The patterns were even covered more than once in Women’s Wear Daily.
The designs consisted of a top and skirt, separates and a hat, a long-sleeved dress and short-sleeved coatdress, and a midi or maxi dress, all in junior sizes only. Two included a matching choker. Customers could see the Biba logo in McCall’s retail catalogues, but the pattern envelopes give no indication they’re Biba designs.
McCall’s Pattern Fashions featured the Biba patterns in a four-page illustrated portfolio called “Seventeen Magazine Pattern Selections.” The write-up emphasizes Biba’s novelty in North America: Now Seventeen Magazine brings Biba to America … You, too, can be a Biba girl without crossing the Atlantic.
Curiously, the Biba patterns aren’t in McCall’s back index, but one of them appears in this croquet-themed textiles ad — at left, in printed Dacron crepe:
The peplum blouse with short “mushroom” sleeves (McCall’s 2725, view B) is very similar to a Biba evening suit seen in a 19 cover portfolio by David Tack. (Cover at top of post.) Like Seventeen, the British teen magazine also published its feature around the time of New Year’s, 1971.
Have you sewn any of the Biba patterns?
Have you seen the new summer patterns?
Cover look V1627 is an archival design by Zandra Rhodes, as worn by the Latvian-American model Ana Kondratjeva.
Rhodes reissued her 1973 Field of Lilies dress — renamed the Summer, in memory of Donna Summer — for Matches Fashion’s recent 30th anniversary. The designer commissioned Claire Rothstein to take the mother-and-daughter portrait at the top of this post, in which Pat Cleveland and her daughter, Anna, both model the dress. The original is printed silk chiffon.
Inspired by Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, the new Very Easy Vogue pyjama is illustrated with ribbon trim, and in a version of the Gucci Flora print.
For Gucci Pre-Fall 2018, in place of a more conventional lookbook, American artist Peter Schlesinger shot a photobook on location in Rome. Called Disturbia, it was inspired by the films of Dario Argento, the director behind the original Suspiria.
A variation of the Gucci Flora pyjamas in printed silk twill.
Michele paired a full-length version of the trousers, trimmed in the distinctive Gucci ribbon, with a faux-fur coat.
The Pre-Fall 2019 ad campaign features another version of the Gucci Flora pyjama, as seen in the ancient ruins of Selinunte, Sicily. Vogue’s reference kimono top and pant (on pre-order at Neiman Marcus) is silk georgette.
The new Tracy Reese sundress has a cowl neckline, criss-cross back, and midriff that extends into waist ties. (See WWD for recent news.)
Martha Graham was the inspiration for Reese’s Spring 2015 collection, where the dress was shown with a kimono jacket in the same botanical print.
There are two patterns from Rachel Comey. The first: the Willow peasant top and Basin pant with grosgrain waistband. Judging from the pattern number, it may have been delayed from the Spring release. Hopefully this doesn’t signal the wrapping up of the designer’s contract. (See: Laroche?)
Both pieces made their début in Comey’s country-and-western themed Pre-Fall 2016 collection, shot by New York street photographer Gus Powell. The original Willow top (right) is rayon gauze.
For Fall 2016, Comey showed the top in a cute print. Later, it could even be seen in a lace and gingham combo.
The second Rachel Comey is a pair of unisex shirts. The unisex / menswear angle is welcome, since Comey made her name with men’s shirts. (See my earlier post.)
The Selleck shirt is short-sleeved, with seam interest, while the Tre shirt is a long-sleeved button-down. Both were shown in Comey’s Spring 2017 15th anniversary collection, which saw the launch of her unisex line.
After a decade of licensing, Simplicity has released a swimwear design by Cynthia Rowley. The colour-blocked one-piece is called the Heather, and retails in Rowley’s signature neoprene.
The new pattern also includes a button-front maxi dress with ruffle sleeves. Add bodice tucks and you have the Nairobi kaftan — Rowley’s opening look for Spring 2017. The original caftan dress is 100% cotton.
Finally, a stealth bridal pattern: Very Easy Vogue V9373, a version of a Stella McCartney gown that was the first change of a newly minted duchess. (More at Vogue.)
The bride’s silk crepe, open-backed gown was an advance look at the Stella McCartney Made With Love collection, which launched in autumn, 2018.
Make in cruelty-free, sustainable fabrics for the authentic Stella McCartney touch.
Diana Ross turns 75 today. The iconic singer is celebrating tonight with a special show at the Hollywood Palladium.
In the 1980s, home dressmakers could buy official Diana Ross sewing patterns from Simplicity. The looks range from glam colour blocking to office chic.
Happy birthday, Ms. Ross!
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.
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.
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.
The archival design, done in lipstick-print chiffon, was part of Rhodes’ second Archive collection for 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.)
Badgley Mischka’s formal gown features a halter neckline with lace décolletage overlay.
Add a beaded overbodice for a variation on the V1615 look.
The striped dress on the back cover of the Spring lookbook is adapted from Carolina Herrera Resort ’18.
The sleeveless midi dress is a Vogue Easy Options Custom Fit pattern, meaning it is adjustable for 4 cup sizes.
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.”
Chop off the bodice for a tea-length skirt:
Another Vogue Easy Options design, the hi-low V9360 is Vogue’s adaptation of young London label Palmer Harding.
The Spring 2019 runway version—called the Streep—had dolman sleeves and a gathered back. Red latex gloves optional.
Add some asymmetry to the hemline and you have the Split and Super shirts:
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.
The Barwick dress, from Resort 2018, is still available from the designer website (link). The original is double wool crepe.
The same front neckline is seen in Roland Mouret’s Noblethorpe dress:
For a more faithful copy, adjust the back neckline and add an exposed zipper.
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.
The original fabric suggestions were: Silk, rayon or wool jersey; silk or rayon crepes; monotone or figured pure silk; taffeta; faille.
Paco Peralta, the beloved Spanish couturier and mentor to the online sewing community, died on Saturday in Barcelona. He was 57.
Adéu, Paco, dear friend. You will be greatly missed.
Francisco Peralta Rovira, known as Paco Peralta, born February 1, 1962, Huesca, Aragon, died February 2, 2019, Barcelona.