- Advance 9480, MISSES’ ONE YARD SEPARATES, no copyright date, Advance Pattern Co. Let’s say it was published mid-1960’s.
- Simplicity 6313, MISSES’ SUIT WITH AND WITHOUT SLEEVES, OVERBLOUSE AND SCARF…DESIGNER FASHION, copyright 1965 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc.
- McCall’s 5585, MISSES’ UNLINED JACKET IN TWO LENGTHS, copyright 1991 The McCall Pattern Company
- Simplicity 8836, MISSES’/MISS PETITE JACKET, PANTS AND SKIRT, copyright 1999 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc
Ok, so, these patterns. I pulled them all out the other day when I was thinking about jackets, and thought they’d be fun to share and discuss. All have elements of the Chanel jacket, the two on the left definitely, the two on the right, maybe. Let’s admire some of their Special Qualities.
In terms of Nods To Chanel, the winners are Advance 9480 and McCall’s 5585.
Chanelisms: wool, no collar, applied trim, chain as trim, metal buttons, pockets, pocket-flaps, pocket-flaps with metal buttons and applied trim, hip length, boxy shape, soft yet slightly military look.
Simplicity 6313 has the collarlessness and the pocket flaps, plus the boxy shape and length, but is not overtly Chanel, while Simplicity 8836 has the collarlessness and a sort of luxuriously spartan feeling that seems pretty Chanel-like to me. Plus, Simplicity 8836 has hooks as the center front closure, which is an observable phenomenon in the Chanel world.
In terms of cover appeal, Advance 9480 is the clear winner of my affections, as Advance patterns always are.
This is a beautiful image, this is the one I immediately want to make and wear and be.
That heavy vs. thin line-weight, I mean, it’s so beautiful it almost blinds me to the fact that the garment is not exciting. The jacket has the applied trim and the boxy shape that we think of when we think Chanel Jacket, but no pockets, no buttons, no secret chain-weights sewn into the hem to give the jacket the right hang…kinda no nothing.
It is, however, the only one of these four patterns that is unafraid to speak the name Chanel. The back cover reads,
Blouse, skirt, jacket, of smartly coordinated fabrics plus some gay trimming, together have the unbeatable Chanel look. BUT the really big news here is that each can be made from only one yard of 54″ fabric!
Which I kind of love, that the pattern is like, ‘yeah, fine, Chanel, whatever, But Guys! Check Out How Much Yardage You’ll Save!!!!!!’
Simplicity 6313 calls itself Designer Fashion but stops short of naming any names, and by 1991 when McCall’s 5585 comes along, this look is referred to as a Fashion Basic, with no mention of designers, nameless or otherwise.
So in terms of name-dropping, Advance 9480 wins.
Interesting side-note: I read somewhere that Chanel herself was amused by and tolerant of this sort of style-biting. Modern day Chanel-The-Establishment, not so tolerant. There has sprung up a whole vocabulary of oblique ways to refer to this style, without raising the lawsuit-y ire of Chanel Inc. Vocabulary such as “the french jacket”, “the classic couture Parisian jacket made of bouclé…” and so on, you get the idea.
Another side-note: Despite being published within Karl “King of the Bustier” Lagerfeld’s era at Chanel, neither McCall’s 5585 nor Simplicity 8836 includes a matching bra top with self-fringed trim. So sad about that.
The winner of Least Attractive Cover Art goes to McCall’s 5585, but that’s not really fair of me as I’m generationally predisposed to be grossed out by 1991.
In terms of What Might Look Nice On A Real Person, I think Simplicity 8836 might be the winner. Minus the shoulder pads.
The shaping through the waist is forgiving, unlike the square silhouette of Advance 9480, which kind of demands slim waist and narrow hips.
The bummer is that Simplicity 8836 is the least Chanel-like of my little collection, so making it would lack some of the retro-homage excitment that these other jackets bring.
So that’s it.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite? Or a least favorite? Do tell.