I’ve mentioned several times in the past what a great resource the old American Fabrics magazine is for people who love old clothes and textiles. The inclusion of fabric swatches give a much more complete picture of what a fabric was actually like as to texture and color. And while, as the name suggests, most of the fabrics were of American manufacture, the publication did sometimes feature fabrics from other countries. But to see the crème de la crème of European fabrics, the publication to get was Elegance.
I never knew about this gem until fellow vintage fan Susan let me know she had three of these that she is selling from an extensive collection of vintage clothing related items. From her email about them:
…they appear to be a collaboration between Elysee Fabrics, a German company that supplied couturiers and clothing manufacturers, and Vogue patterns; typically, the magazine has full page, full color photos of Paris couture by really famous photographers like Helmut Newton, with an actual swatch of the Elysee fabric the couturier used, and then a sketch of a Vogue pattern that resembles the photographed couture garment, plus , other, similar Elysee fabric swatches that would also make up well in that pattern. Sometimes they just make up a Vogue pattern out of the fabric and have it photographed.
These are now for sale at ebay, and yes, they are a bit pricey. That is because they are very desirable and hard to come by. Even if you can’t afford to buy them, definitely take a look at all the lovely photos. And if it leaves you wanting more, you might check out Paper Pursuits, where they have quite a few issues for sale. And be sure to put this magazine on your shopping radar. You just never know when a few copies might show up at the local Goodwill.
Here are a few pages that I loved. Be sure to click for the enlarged image.
All photos copyright Susan Grote