The Saturnalia begins today. To mark the ancient Roman festival, here’s a look at patterns inspired by Saturn’s grandson, Hercules.
Rumours are swirling about a live-action Disney Hercules. The studio’s animated Hercules came out over two decades ago in summer, 1997. By the fall, the pattern companies were ready with Hercules-inspired costumes for children and adults.
Hercules and Megara is still a popular couple’s costume. Here is Butterick’s unofficial costume pattern:
The easier-to-find children’s version:
Before Simplicity held the Disney license, the company combined unofficial Hercules costumes with its take on Xena, Warrior Princess.
Meanwhile, McCall’s had this design — “Princess, Gladiator, and Female Warrior.”
My Winter patterns report comes a little late: I’ve been busy working to save a historic hotel-turned-tavern here in Hamilton. (Read my op-ed | #SaveHanrahans) Without further ado, here’s a look at the last patterns of the decade.
Vogue’s cover look is a white jersey gown from Badgley Mischka. As worn on the pattern envelope by new model Shaya Ali:
The new Guy Laroche — a minimalist pantsuit with contrast trim — is the company’s first by Richard René.
René’s second collection for Laroche was inspired by art brut and the graphic potential of a blank sheet of paper. According to Vogue, he showed structured pieces for strong personalities, with details like “stand-up edging that adds a cape-like extra inch or two to the shoulders.”
From Cynthia Rowley, a pattern for the Eden dress and top.
The original Eden dress in polished cotton. (The top version is a lightweight printed cotton: webstore | Rent the Runway.)
This flounced dress by Cynthia Rowley is seen variously in the designer’s Inverness Fish print and bias-cut silk lamé.
Rowley’s longtime collaborator William Eadon photographed the lookbook in her hometown of Barrington, Illinois. The lookbook was styled by her daughter, Kit Keenan.
For a subtle variation, close the front bodice seam.
These pleated trousers are adapted from Celine by Hedi Slimane.
McCall’s chic cover look is a version of Max Mara’s hooded cape coat.
Here’s the Max Mara original in cashmere twill:
Vogue Couturier patterns are the original Vogue designer knockoffs. The new Vintage Vogue is a Couturier coat from 1949:
The new Custom Fit patterns are also designer adaptations. View A of V1654 is after Gucci.
And V1667 is a version of Prabal Gurung’s tulip sleeve jacket. (Trousers not included.)
Ready for a cybergoth revival? The Matrix is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Variety has just announced that there will be a Matrix 4, to be directed by Lana Wachowski and again starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.
The costumes in the first Matrix were hugely influential. Working within a tight budget, costume designer Kym Barrett (Romeo + Juliet, Us) placed the emphasis on texture and movement, using low-cost materials like PVC and a wool blend for Neo’s coat. The rebels were also outfitted in custom accessories, with boots by Barrett and bespoke eyewear by Richard Walker.
The first Matrix film even inspired John Galliano’s Fall 1999 couture collection for Dior. Presented at Versailles, the collection mixed futuristic raver-couture with more fanciful references like “Gainsborough in Persia.” (“The dresses are evil, evil,” Galliano was quoted saying. “But you have to have the Romantic. They die for that, my ladies.”) As Vogue’s Hamish Bowles wrote, the couture clients warmed more to the 18th-century looks than to “Matrix cybervixen.”
It wasn’t until 2003’s big-budget sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, that Neo got his famous cassock coat.
The first Matrix-inspired costume patterns came out in 2003.
Simplicity’s Neo and Morpheus / “Men’s and Teen’s Duster” must have sold well: the pattern was rereleased with an updated envelope in 2017. (See top of post.) Now backlisted, it’s still available from the company website.
Thanks to the sequel’s higher budget, Barrett designed Trinity’s pieces for better-quality PVCs (then newly available), with patent leather used for closeups. For the women’s pattern, Trinity’s PVC bustier-coat ensemble effectively devolves into its separate elements: a princess-seamed duster, corset top, and pants. The pattern calls for stretch vinyl, leather-like fabrics, and synthetic patent leather.
The following year, Butterick and McCall’s released men’s and children’s Neo patterns, but none for Trinity. Both cassock coats share an authentic, if painstaking touch: lots of covered buttons.
It would be another decade before Andrea Schewe designed a more accurate Trinity duster. Released in Simplicity’s 90th anniversary year, the PVC duster was paired with a Kingdom Hearts cosplay coat.
Here’s S8482 with more sci-fi (Firefly and Rogue One) in the seasonal catalogue:
There’s no word on the costume designer yet, but production on the new Matrix begins in 2020.
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.
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.