An Exploration into the World of Designer Sewing Patterns

Category: Valentino

Logos.

I’ve never been a big fan of logos on clothing, especially when they are blatantly plastered on an otherwise ordinary t-shirt or sweat top, however I am comfortable with a subtle embroidered monogram or insignia on a pocket or a button, or when logos are applied in an imaginative or an amusing way.

I’ve put together some patterns that utilize a logo or a monogram as a design feature and I had to ask myself  “would I apply the logo if I were to make the garment from the pattern? Would I be trying to convince the world that it was a genuine designer garment?”.

If anyone asked I’d probably be proud to say that I’d made the garment from a vintage designer pattern and that I’d hand embroidered it myself to the pattern’s specifications. I think there’s a certain charm in that, and I’ll admit, I have actually done it.

For Christmas of 2011, I made my first nephew a pair of jeans from Vogue 2721, the Calvin Klein for kids jeans and skirt pattern, for his first Christmas at six months old. I made the jeans to be worn once he was a bit older, but the smallest size available is a 3, so to save having to wait until he was nearing three years old before he could wear the jeans I graded the size 3 down to a size 2 by using an Australian Standards childrens’ clothing measurements table. I used a light-weight dark indigo denim which I pre-washed for any possible shrinkage and also to eliminate any excess indigo dye. I used heavy beige top-stitching thread, especially to best show the Calvin Klein signature stitching on the back pockets!

Everyone loved the jeans, how could they not? They were so cute! My nephew is almost two years old now, and the jeans have been worn a few times already and they look great. And I must admit that whenever someone was told that I’d made them, I couldn’t help mentioning that “I made them from a vintage Calvin Klein for kids pattern from the early ‘80s”. I didn’t take any photos of the jeans when I made them or while they were being worn, but I’ll try to get some pictures the next time I’m at my Sister’s house and update this post with the pics.

Below is the Calvin Klein for kids jeans and skirt pattern 2721, which was available in size 3, 4, 5, 6, and 6x. It was also available as 2708 for girls in sizes 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14. These two patterns were released in 1981 and featured in the May/June 1981 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine.

27212721 - Pocket

Shortly before 2721, Vogue pattern 2442, the pattern for jeans and skirt for women by Calvin Klein, was released in 1980 and featured in the March/April 1980 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine. The kids’ and womens’ patterns are practically the same styles but proportioned accordingly, and the kids’ jeans and skirt have an elasticized back waist.2442

2442 - Back Envelope

Vogue’s 2442 had it’s own unique sizing chart which must have matched the sizing of the original Calvin Klein Jeans line. The Calvin Klein size 8 body measurements were equivalent to those of the Vogue Patterns regular size 12, so I suppose if you fit into a size 8 pair of Calvin Klein jeans then you would go and buy the size 8 Vogue pattern. Still, I’d bet that this created some confusion back in the day.

2442 - Pocket

The pocket pattern piece and the pocket construction instructions for Vogue 2442.

Below is one of the most famous advertising images from the 1980 Calvin Klein Jeans ad campaign featuring Brooke Shields as model, but below it is one from the 1979 ad campaign with Patti Hansen modelling. As the 1979 ad came out the year before Vogue pattern 2442 did, then it is more likely that we are seeing the same style of jeans on Patti as we are on the Vogue 2442 envelope, and the color of the denim and the stitching seems to be identical, as opposed to the jeans that Brooke Shields modelled which seem to be a lighter colored denim and a more beige or tan stitching.

1980 Ad Campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans with Brooke Shields as model.1979 Ad Campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans with Patti Hansen as model.

Next is a Vogue pattern for men, 2798 by Pierre Cardin. This pattern for mens’ pyjamas and robe features the stylised Pierre Cardin ‘P’ logo on the chest pocket of the robe.

2798

Vogue 2798 was released in the first half of the 1970s, I can’t say exactly when as I must not have that issue of the Vogue Pattern Book. Anyhow, the 1970’s was a time of mass expansion for, and worldwide licensing agreements made, by many fashion houses of the period, and probably most infamously by Cardin. His name and logo eventually appeared on not only clothing and accessories but almost any kind of object you can think of. Cardin was a very inventive Couturier of his day, most remembered for his ‘space age’ designs from the 1960’s, but he also designed some extremely elegant and unique clothes, particularly in the first decade of his career.

2798 - Pocket

The pocket pattern piece and the pocket construction instructions for the Robe of Vogue 2798.

Now for the Valentinos…

Vogue released three patterns of Valentino designs in 1972 that feature an optional monogrammed ‘V’ on a breast pocket as a design feature. 2743 and 2746 featured in the Early Autumn 1972 issue (U.K.). and 2779 featured in the Autumn 1972 issue (U.K.).

27432759    2746

The letter ‘V’ has been used as a graphic element in variations of Valentino’s logo over the decades, and also appeared in the form of hardware on belts, bags, and accessories, as a trim on clothing, and even subtly in the form of design lines in his clothing. A ‘v’ shaped waist seam was a common feature on many of Valentino’s designs from at least the 1960s to the 1980s.

2743, 2746, and 2759 pockets.

The pocket pattern pieces for Vogue 2743, 2746 and 2759, and the pocket construction instructions for Vogue 2743. The embroidery method is a satin-stitch and it is the same for all three patterns. Notice how the style of the ‘V’ varies between the three?

Valentino Garavani and his designs as published in HARPER'S BAZAAR, MARCH 1972.

This editorial photo of Valentino Garavani and two models wearing his designs was shot in the Valentino salon and was published in the March 1972 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. The models are wearing short sleeved tops over blouses similar to those from patterns 2743, 2746 and 2779, only in more vibrant colors and without the monogrammed pockets.

 Last, but not least, YSL!

1836Close-up of the embroidered 'YSL' motif.

Vogue 1836 by Yves Saint Laurent is a little different to the previous patterns as the embroidery motif is printed as an iron-on transfer. The heat-transfer ink was printed onto regular pattern tissue and a total of four transfers, including one test transfer, were included. When I first became aware of this pattern on the internet I assumed that a ready-made embroidered iron-on/fusible motif was included with the pattern, but since purchasing the pattern I have evidently discovered that was not the case. If I’d paid close attention to the list of required notions on the back envelope I would have realized that the logo had to be hand embroidered from a skein of embroidery floss. Below is a scan of the iron-on transfers.

'YSL' Iron-On Embroidery Transfer1836 - Back Envelope

Below: The instructions for 1836 include much more detailed and explicit directions for the application of the embroidery than the Valentino patterns do, which is very useful to someone like me who has never embroidered before. The recommended application method of the monogram is chain-stitch embroidery.

1836 Instructions - Sleeve Embroidery.

It is odd that the placement of the YSL motif is not determined on the pattern tissue, as I did check the tissue of the sleeve pattern and there are no placement lines oe marks, and that it is up to the sewer to decide on the placement. I would find this very irritating if I were to make the jacket.

1836 Transfer Instructions.   1836 Embroidery Instructions.

Yves Saint Laurent, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1984-85

Here is another example of the house of Yves Saint Laurent using its logo as a design feature, in this case it’s for an evening ensemble from the Fall/Winter 1984 Haute Couture collection, and the ‘YSL’ motif is embroidered with rhinestones and executed by Lanel.

Vogue 1836 was featured in the January/February 1987 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine, so it must have been designed by Yves Saint Laurent for 1986, about the same time that Karl Lagerfeld was emblazoning the number ‘5’ and double ‘C’s’ on anything and everything over at Chanel, making big designer logos fashionable. So we shouldn’t be surprised that this may have been happening at other fashion houses and that the trend even made its way into a Vogue designer sewing pattern. Here’s to hoping that anyone who made the jacket of 1836, and applied the transfer and embroidered the YSL motif, made it from a fabric and a level of skill worthy of bearing the YSL logo!

Valentino: Alta Moda Primavera-Estate,1970.

2362  24032439  2381

Here are are four Vogue patterns of Valentino designs from the Alta Moda (Italian for Haute Couture) Spring/Summer 1970 collection. The photographs on all four pattern envelopes really were ‘Photographed in Rome’ as they were taken in the salon of the Valentino atelier, so the garments and accessories, including hats, shoes, earrings, and even hosiery, must be those which were originally shown in the fashion show. Even the model appears to be the same one that appears in some of the archival and editorial photos pictured below. The hat must have been the signature accessory for that collection as each and every look is shown with one.

I used to wonder whether the garments photographed for the pattern envelopes were the originals or the reproductions made from the Vogue pattern by Vogue Patterns. Evidently in this case the garments were the originals. It would have been most logical as the original samples had already been crafted and fitted to a model and Vogue Patterns wouldn’t have had to take the time and great expense of recreating the Haute Couture look by making their own versions, not to mention the delay it could cause in getting the pattern envelopes and promotional materials printed in time for the release of the patterns. I imagine that, at one time, that once the preffered looks of each designer’s collection were chosen by Vogue Patterns they would have scheduled a time to borrow the samples, and often  accessories, to photograph them on location or in the studio in Paris, Rome, London, New York, and Madrid (or sometimes generalized to ‘Spain’ on some pattern envelopes), just like the fashion magazines would have done. Anyhow, it would have been most impractical financially, logistically and time-wise for reproductions to be sent all the way back to Europe just to be photographed on location.

In this case, for the sake of the home sewer, it’s great to be shown the authentic put-together, head-to-toe look as intended by Valentino. I suppose, if budgets allowed, what the home sewer saved by making her own dress, she might have spent on some authentic Valentino accessories from the nearest department store to complete the look! Just look at all of those fabulous accessories strewn all over the runway in the photograph of 2381.

The four patterns were released toward the end of or after the passing of the 1970 Spring/Summer Season. Patterns 2362 and 2403 were featured in the August/September 1970 issue of the Vogue Pattern Book, and 2439 in the December/January 1970/1971 issue. Depending on fabric choice, patterns 2362 and 2439 may have had to wait until more appropriate weather the following spring to be worn, since they were either short-sleeved or sleeveless.

2362 - Back Envelope.    2439 - Back Envelope.    2381 - Back Envelope.

Above: Back views and information from the back side of the envelopes for 2362, 2439 and 2381.

2362 - Pintuck Instructions

The pintucking at the waist of 2362 is such an interesting detail and fitting technique, and can be seen in two other garment variations below. Incorporated with and hidden behind the pintucks of 2362 are triple contour darts on each side of the body, front and back, to provide the extra fitting required through the waist. The back instructions are not shown but the method is the same as the front. The side-front panels are eased into the centre-front panel at bust level to provide extra fitting for the bust.

Below you will find some images of the Valentino Alta Moda Spring/Summer 1970 collection from the book ‘Valentino: Thirty years of Magic’ from my personal library of fashion books (details for the book can be found at the end of the post). I get such a thrill from recognising the designs of vintage patterns in the history books!

Two looks from the Valentino Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection.

The pintuck detail of 2362 was also used for the coat and jacket of the above two looks from the Valentino Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection.

Two more looks from the Valentino Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection.

Two more looks from the Valentino Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection. On the left, the model portrays a very fashionable mother!

Two looks featuring animal prints from the Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection. Photo by Oliviero Toscani.

Two looks featuring animal prints from the Alta Moda Spring-Summer 1970 Collection. Very few could afford to dare to picnic and risk grass stains and spilled wine while wearing Valentino Haute Couture!
(Photo by Oliviero Toscani).

Valentino Atelier, 1967.

The salon of the Valentino atelier, as can be clearly seen in the background of the photographs for patterns 2362 and 2381, however the image above is a photograph of the Alta Moda Fall-Winter 1967-1968 collection.

Photographs other than the pattern envelopes were sourced from the book ‘Valentino: Thirty years of Magic’ by Marie-Paulle Pellé/ Patrick Mauriès, published by Abbeville Press, June 1991 (out of print), ISBN: 1558592377. It was published to coincide with the exhibition of the same name in 1991. This book should not be confused with the Rizzoli publication of the same name which is a different book altogether.

Valentino: Thirty Years Of Magic.