Fashion Tribes: Spring Vogue, From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

I did mean to blog about the rest of the new Vogue patterns, and they seem to fall clearly into Fashion Tribes this time.

First the ridiculous

Art is a Mans Name

Art is meant for galleries and museums, as far as the art in art-to-wear is concerned, only couture embodies true art in fashion. I really question the wearability of this stuff, and Ill argue that most American women cant wear designs like these, because truthfully, only skinny people can wear baggy clothes. Every single one of these patterns reminds of the typical Brookline-Cambridge art-to-wear enthusiast. She is a chunky baby boomer who is a tenured professor in Womens Studies married to a tenured economics professor who hasn’t had a real world job since the first Bush administration. She favors lots of oversize funky jewelry. Hair is a brassy Pat Field red. Despite the outlandish clothes and accessories she always wears sensible low heeled shoes, Naturalizer or Easy Spirit.

Yes the white outfit on the left is Ralph Rucci, but its also a bit Star Trek. This might look good if you’re going to a party on a boat but this is so memorable it almost cant be worn more than once. As for the Issey Miyake on the right; he is masterful in his couture, but he hasn’t done anything good for Vogue Patterns in quite some time. This thing looks like drapery.

Party like its 2005

I guess Vogue didnt get this memo either that the Duro and all of its many iterations are passé. The dress on the right is DKNY and Im beginning to believe this acronym now stands for Donna Karan is Never a Yes.

Miss Kittys Bordello

Why arent these in the lingerie section? Good luck wearing them if you’re over a B-cup, especially the one with the boob ruffle.

Step Away from the Caftan

Every time I see a Koos Van Den Akker pattern I have the same reaction: good luck finding fabrics that work. I grant you, his designs are interesting in an intellectual way, but it is SO difficult to coordinate fabrics like this when they are not custom manufactured for the design. Run-of-the- mill quilting cottons are not the same thing, this design needs authentic ethnic fabrics like true batiks, Japanese chirimen cottons or true mud cloth. And dont make it from polar fleece or sweatshirt knit!

Lets do the Time Warp

The two on the left look like housework and/or maternity clothes. The top on the right is 1/2 of a mid 1980s fast food uniform. Thats all I have to say about these.

Now the Sublime

V8574 (left) is great for poolside or shopping in hot weather and v8570 (middle) is a great summery dress that looks good on women of any age as long as youre lithe enough to wear it. V1107 (right) is the other Ralph Rucci, I love this pattern, and cant wait to open up the envelope to find out why it requires almost 5 years of fabric!  In my stash I have some dotted silk that is just perfect.

Every one of these designs is just fine without the bow. The bows add nothing. The bows are on the back for v1102 (left) and v8573 (right).

This is a beautiful dress; a very Yves St. Laurent or Laura Bennet design. For the full effect though this needs to be made from silk jersey and success hinges on finding a great closure for the front, fortunately M&J Trimming has lots of them and in fact the closure on the dress mostly likely came from M&J because they have one that is identical. The waist needs to be stabilized with an inner belt because a heavy rhinestone closure will distort silk jersey. The pattern envelope notes this and given Anns recent experience with Vogue we can only hope this crucial construction detail has not been omitted from the instructions.

This is very cute in the sleeveless version but kind of dowdy and I Love Lucy in the sleeved version. I think McCalls 5801 is a better full skirt sleeved shirtwaist.