I don’t write a lot about haute couture here at The Vintage Traveler. The careers of most of the 20th century greats are so well documented that there’s just not a lot I can add. But I just could not let the recent death of Hubert de Givenchy pass by without mentioning one of my favorite ever sewing pattern lines. In 1966 the movie, How to Steal a Million staring Audrey Hepburn and a wide cast of Givenchy creations, led to four of the suits Audrey wore in the movie being adapted into sewing patterns by McCall’s.
The patterns rated three pages in McCall’s magazine, all with publicity stills of Audrey, rather than pictures of the patterns. In the McCall’s Home Catalog, however, there were sketches of the pattern designs. By comparing the two sets of images you can see that the patterns are very faithful to the original designs as worn in the movie. All four designs were either suits or coat and dress ensembles.
Over the years I’ve managed to find three of the four patterns. An interesting note is that neither Audrey Hepburn nor the movie were mentioned on the actual pattern envelopes. I find that a bit odd as the connection between the patterns and the movie were well publicized in the magazines.
This is the pattern that I do not own. I need this pattern in my life.
I’ve been telling myself for years to make this coat. Maybe now is the time.
I don’t even try to collect couture clothing, as my interests don’t really run in that direction. I have been known to pick up the rare (inexpensive) piece though when lucky enough to find it. In fact, one of the few pieces of couture I own is a Givenchy suit, which dates to 1967.
7 responses to “Givenchy For McCall’s Patterns, 1966”
I need that pattern for the dress and jacket in my life too! Wasn’t Givenchy known for that type of waistline, that is slightly higher in front. Didn’t they call that a birdcage waistline? The coat you mention, Lizzie, 8346, would be super fashionable for this coming Fall as it seems they are showing oversized coats. This one is full, but not overpowering. So beautiful!
I don’t know what the waistline is called, but I have seen it on quite a few Givenchy dresses. I’d love to make that dress just to see if it is as flattering as I think it would be.
Such lovely lines! Make the coat.
Well, since you insist, okay.
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I like that many of his patterns could be adapted and worn by those with larger figures. You could look good in them no matter what! That, to me, is the sign of classic lines, they could be worn by anyone not just those who were model thin and tall.
Such beautiful tailoring!
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