The Gathering of the Clans

April 6, 2018 § 1 Comment

The Gathering of the Clans, vintage tartan girl's dress pattern McCall's 2083 by illustrator Sydelle Hall

The Gathering of the Clans, McCall’s Pattern Book, Fall 1956. Illustration: Sydelle Hall.

In honour of Tartan Day, a mid-century schoolgirl in the Royal Stewart tartan.

Pattern: McCall’s 2083.

In the Orchard

March 1, 2018 § 4 Comments

Miss Vogue dress pattern 8103 photographed by Arthur Elgort for Vogue Pattern Book, 1971

Vogue 8103 in Vogue Pattern Book, 1971. Photo: Arthur Elgort.

Arthur Elgort photographed this Miss Vogue design, Vogue 8103, ca. 1971. Shown in Abraham sheer wool challis, and apparently cut on the bias to play with the check. Note the covered button detail.

Betsey Johnson: Butterick Patterns

August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

Betsey Johnson sketch for Paraphernalia, 1965. Image: CFDA / Pinterest.

Betsey Johnson turns 75 today. Four decades on, the designer’s 1970s Butterick patterns are still very popular. Here’s a look at Johnson’s early work, with an emphasis on more seldom seen archival images.

Betsey Johnson (b. 1942) has made a career of creating irreverent, youth-oriented clothes that stand a bit outside the mainstream. She learned sewing and pattern drafting while running a dance school as a teen, but got her official start in the business designing for Youthquake boutique Paraphernalia. By 1970 she was the designer for Alley Cat, a junior sportswear label. (For more see Vogue.com and Anne-Marie Schiro, “Betsey Johnson: Honor for a Life of Celebrating Youth.”)

Dale Fahey, Birgitta, and Renée Roberts in Betsey Johnson neon satins (Golo sandals) photographed by Howell Conant, 1966

Models wear Betsey Johnson neon satin dresses in Piper’s Alley, Chicago. Life magazine, November 11, 1966. Photo: Howell Conant. Image: LIFE archive.

Juggler stands in front of Steel Pier's mystery ride and wears fancy-sleeved mini (Betsey Johnson, $34). Life magazine, May 24, 1968

Juggling in a Betsey Johnson mini dress in front of Steel Pier’s mystery ride, Atlantic City. Life magazine, May 24, 1968. Photo: Richard Davis. Image: LIFE archive.

In 1971, Johnson won a Coty Award for her work at Alley Cat (see the New York Times notice). The following year, Butterick launched its Betsey Johnson patterns in the Spring 1972 catalogue. The designs were also cross-promoted (along with Cyrus Clark cotton chintz) with a Barbara Bordnick editorial in Seventeen magazine.

Sunny Redmond in Butterick 6530 Betsey Johnson dress

Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1972. Model: Sunny Redmond.

1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick editorial "The Betsey Girl," photographed by Barbara Bornick

Butterick 6533 by Betsey Johnson in “The Betsey Girl,” Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

Butterick 6530 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

1970s Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson photographed by Barbara Bordnick for Seventeen

Butterick 6535 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

Butterick 6532 by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, January 1972. Photo: Barbara Bordnick. Image: Gold Country Girls.

The earliest of Johnson’s Butterick Young Designer patterns refer to her as Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, and most seem to predate the founding of her company in 1978. Here’s Butterick 6979 on the cover of the March 1973 issue of Butterick’s news leaflet:

1970s Betsey Johnson Butterick 6979

Butterick 6979 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1973. Image: eBay.

The young Patti Hansen in Alley Cat:

pink Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson acetate/cotton velvet dress with two Red Cobra necklaces, pink Lurex and stone bracelets by P.C. Designs

Patti Hansen in Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson, Glamour, December 1973. Photo: Rico Puhlmann. Image: Getty.

One of the first items I sold on Etsy was this 1975 issue of Butterick Fashion News with a Betsey Johnson cover. (Click to see inside.) The same embroidered pinafore was featured on the home catalogue cover:

The Romantic Pinafore: Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Fashion News, March 1975. Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975

Butterick 4090 by Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1975. Image: eBay.

The pinafore also appears in this cute advertisement with Butterick 4088:

Butterick 4090 and 4088 by Betsey Johnson, 1975

Butterick Betsey Johnson ad in Seventeen, February 1975. Image: Carmen and Ginger.

This Butterick ad shows three Betsey Johnson designs that came with transfers for DIY embellishment (dress Butterick 4679, knit tops Butterick 4676, and skirt/pants Butterick 4678):

Butterick 4676, 4678, 4679 by Betsey Johnson

Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, 1976. Image: Gold County Girls.

The Spring 1976 catalogue used illustrated photographs to present this DIY series, which also included a hat and shoes (1st page, Butterick 4680; 3rd page Butterick 4681, with Joyce Walker on the right):

Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976

Butterick 4680 by Betsey Johnson, Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.

1970s Betsey Johnson patterns in Butterick 4679, 4676, 4678; 4676, 4681

Betsey Johnson patterns in the Butterick Home Catalog, Spring 1976.

Another 1976 Butterick ad shows a Betsey Johnson jumper (Butterick 4956) with deep ribbon trim—perfect for a late-summer Cape Cod getaway:

Butterick ad for Betsey Johnson patterns in Seventeen, August 1976. Image: Pinterest.

Happy birthday, Betsey Johnson!

Cotton ad feat. Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen magazine, August 1973

Cotton ad featuring Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson in Seventeen, August 1973. Models: Sunny Redmond, Betsey Johnson. Image: FinnFemme.

With thanks to Heidi at Gold Country Girls.

Tania Mallet

June 6, 2017 § 1 Comment

Tania Mallet photographed by Brian Duffy for British Vogue, 1963

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

Model and Bond girl Tania Mallet (b. 1941) was born in Blackpool to English and Russian-English parents. (Her mother, Olga Mironoff, was Helen Mirren’s paternal aunt.) She began working as a model in the late 1950s after taking a course at the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy. You may recognize her from her role as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964).

Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964). IMDb image ©Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Mallet’s modelling work in the 1960s included editorials for Vogue patterns and Vogue Knitting Book.

Tania Mallet in Vogue Knitting Book no. 60 (Jubilee edition), 1962

Tania Mallet in Vogue Knitting Book no. 60 (Jubilee edition), 1962. Image: Etsy.

The earliest patterns I’ve found featuring Mallet are by French and Italian designers—Jacques Heim and Simonetta:

1960s Jacques Heim suit pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Paris Original 1258

Vogue 1258 by Jacques Heim (1963) Image: Pinterest.

1960s Simonetta dress and coat pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1265

Vogue 1265 by Simonetta (1963) Image: eBay.

Later patterns are by London designers like Ronald Paterson and Jo Mattli:

1960s Ronald Paterson dress pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1391

Vogue 1391 by Ronald Paterson (1964) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

1960s Jo Mattli dress and coat pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1407

Vogue 1407 by Jo Mattli (1964) Image: Etsy.

1960s Jo Mattli two-piece dress pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1661

Vogue 1661 by Jo Mattli (ca. 1967) Image: Etsy.

This daffodil evening ensemble was featured in my Bellville Sassoon post:

1960s Belinda Bellville evening ensemble pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1677

Vogue 1677 by Belinda Bellville (ca. 1966) Image: Etsy.

Here Mallet wears a goddess gown by John Cavanagh:

1960s John Cavanagh evening gown pattern feat. Tania Mallet, Vogue Couturier Design 1687

Vogue 1687 by John Cavanagh (ca. 1966) Image: eBay.

In this ad for Sekers Fabrics, she wears Forquet gown Vogue 1693 in striped ‘Hero’ lurex:

Tania Mallet wears Vogue 1693 by Federico Forquet in striped lurex (with Vogue 1758 by Ronald Paterson and Vogue 7158)

Tania Mallet wears Vogue 1693 by Federico Forquet (with Vogue 1758 by Ronald Paterson and Vogue 7158). Sekers Fabrics advertisement, 1967.

Full marks for hats and coiffure, don’t you think?

Tania Mallet photographed by Eugene Vernier for the cover of British Vogue, 1961

Tania Mallet in Pucci on the cover of British Vogue, July 1961. Photo: Eugene Vernier. Image: Vogue UK.

Tania Mallet photographed by Harry Meerson forthe cover of Jardin des Modes, 1962

Tania Mallet in Pierre Cardin on the cover of Jardin des Modes, March 1962. Photo: Harry Meerson. Image: Jardin des Modes Covers.

Tania Mallet photographed by Henry Clarke for the cover of British Vogue, 1962 (Brania earrings)

Tania Mallet on the cover of British Vogue, July 1962. Photo: Henry Clarke. Image: eBay.

Bad Girls Do It Well

January 12, 2017 § 1 Comment

Late 1950s Eastman Fibers Chromspun ad feat. McCall's 5020 and Pierre Cardin suit McCall's 5099

C’est Vous! 1959 Eastman Fibers advertisement featuring McCall’s 5020 and McCall’s 5099 by Pierre Cardin.

A 1959 Eastman Fibers ad brings a note of intrigue to McCall’s patterns by photographing them in a nightlife setting, on a pair of vampy women.

The patterns are McCall’s 5020, a strapless cocktail dress, and McCall’s 5099, a skirt suit by Pierre Cardin, both shown in Wesco Chromspun fabrics.

Chromspun is the trademark for Eastman colour-locked acetate yarn from Eastman Chemical Products Inc., then a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak—in those days headquartered on Madison Avenue.

Create Your Brilliant Season

December 21, 2016 § 2 Comments

Dovima wears McCall's 4425 for Celanese, 1959

Dovima wears McCall’s 4425 for Celanese, 1959.

A Celanese advertising insert from the late 1950s shows McCall’s festive styles in the latest synthetic silks—top models and more than one tiara from the multinational chemical company that brought you cellulose acetate.

"Create your brilliant season with opulent fabrics of Celanese Contemporary Fibers" - 1959 Celanese insert

Celanese Contemporary Fibers advertising booklet, Fall 1959.

The booklet frames small, full-length photos of McCall’s designs with close-ups showing off the “brilliant” textiles. Here, McCall’s 4999 is shown in Belding Corticelli’s rayon-acetate matelassé, with McCall’s 5057 in Cohama’s Arnel triacetate faille. The model on the right is Simone D’Aillencourt:

1950s dress patterns McCall's 4999 and McCall's 5057

Left, McCall’s 4999 in Belding Corticelli matelassé; right, McCall’s 5057 in Cohama faille. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

The blue ensemble on the left is McCall’s 5023, made in Celanese Celaperm acetate satin faille from the David Hecht Co. Anne St. Marie poses in McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga rayon-acetate brocade:

1950s dress and jacket ensemble patterns McCall's 5023 and McCall's 5029

Left, McCall’s 5023 in David Hecht Co. satin faille; right, McCall’s 5029 in Onondaga brocade. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Here, Dovima wears a shimmering gold version of McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin acetate, while McCall’s 4870 evokes Princess Grace in aqua acetate satin from William Skinner and Sons:

1950s evening dress patterns McCall's 4425 and McCall's 4870

McCall’s 4425 in Lawrence and Klauber printed crepe satin; right, McCall’s 4870 in William Skinner and Sons satin. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

Dovima closes the booklet in McCall’s 5012, an at-home trouser ensemble shown in orange and tangerine Celaperm acetate satin peau from Wedgwood Fabrics.

Dovima wears McCall's 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics' satin peau

Dovima wears McCall’s 5012 in Wedgwood Fabrics’ satin peau. Celanese insert, Fall 1959.

For more on the history of Celanese (est. 1918), see the company website.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Patterns in Vogue: How to Make the Most of a Beautiful Print

September 18, 2016 § 2 Comments

Ann Schaufuss photographed by Clive Arrowsmith for British Vogue, autumn 1970

Detail, British Vogue, October 1, 1970. Photo: Clive Arrowsmith. Model: Ann Schaufuss. Image: Youthquakers.

How to make the most of a beautiful print? As an early ’70s British Vogue editorial puts it, “Cape it… blouse it… kilt it.”

The Clive Arrowsmith editorial features Ann Schaufuss in three Vogue patterns that present the silhouettes of fall 1970 in glowing, ink-coloured prints. From Nina Ricci, Vogue 2406 is an “enveloping berber cape” and sleeveless dress made from two Staron fabrics in the same “glass-flower” print: a luxurious wool-viscose-polyamide for the cape and panne velvet for the dress, available at Harrods and Gasmey, London.

Ann Schaufuss in Vogue Paris Original 2406 by Nina Ricci, photographed by Clive Arrowsmith, 1970

Vogue 2406 by Nina Ricci, British Vogue, October 1, 1970. Photo: Clive Arrowsmith. Model: Ann Schaufuss. Image: Youthquakers.

The second look pairs a yoked, full-sleeved blouse, Vogue 7538, and long Miss Vogue kilt Vogue 7889. The blouse is turquoise silk crepe de chine from Gasmey, while the kilt is Bombyx rayon panne velvet in a green and jewel-toned print, available at Liberty (boots to order at The Chelsea Cobbler):

Ann Schaufuss wears blouse Vogue 7538 and skirt Miss Vogue 7889, photographed for Vogue UK by Clive Arrowsmith

Vogue 7538 and 7889 in British Vogue, October 1, 1970. Photo: Clive Arrowsmith. Model: Ann Schaufuss. Image: Youthquakers.

The boho Baba Yaga look may not be to everyone’s taste, but velvet and early ’70s style are trends for fall 2016… Time to dig out some vintage prints?

(See Youthquakers for more of the October issue.)

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