Channeling my inner Grace Jones: vintage Vogue 1652 by Claude Montana

A woman wearing a black hooded dress, sunglasses, and boots poses in a wood. The dress has elaborate sleeves and a wrap front.

This dress is the least practical item in my 80s wardrobe plan but definitely the most 80s. It’s vintage Vogue 1652, a design by Claude Montana from 1985. Here’s the envelope art.

A photograph of a vintage sewing pattern envelope. On the left is a photo of a model wearing a black and brown hooded dress with the hood up, on the right a sketch of a woman wearing the same dress in yellow with the hood down.
Vogue 1652 from 1985 envelope art

I have searched and searched but haven’t found any contemporary images of this style other than the Vogue Patterns envelope photo. My best guess is that it is from the Montana autumn/winter 1984/1985 collection because that one contained several dresses and coats with similar pleating details on the arms, and at least one wrap dress with a hood, but the exact style remains elusive. The Vogue pattern itself was published in 1985 so the date is plausible.

It’s very reminiscent of the hooded dresses Grace Jones wore in A View To A Kill, also from 1985, although of course hers were by Alaïa.

A woman wearing a black hooded dress, sunglasses, and boots poses in a wood. She is looking over her shoulder.

My dress is made in black satin-backed crepe from Croft Mill. At the time of writing it’s still available here. I used the satin side for the contrast facings. I got very lucky with this one because I didn’t order quite enough fabric to cut the facings wrong side up, but Croft Mill sent such a generous cut that it all worked out. I only have scraps left.

A woman wearing a black hooded dress, sunglasses, and boots walks towards the camera. The satin dress lining is visible.

Here’s the back view. This really shows off those 80s shoulders. There are extra thick pads in there, and I added some wadding lower down to help the sleeve keep its shape. It’s not all padding though because they looked huge even before the pads went in. It’s the cut of the sleeve and shoulder that does it.

A woman wearing a black hooded dress stands with her back to the viewer. The dress has pleats on the hood and sleeves, and large shoulder pads.

The hood is surprisingly flattering and stays put very well. But here is the dress with it down. The big lapel doesn’t sit so well in this position.

A woman wearing a black dress, sunglasses, and boots stands looking to one side. The dress has a large satin lapel.

I added my usual 5cm length to the bodice and sleeves, and another 5cm to the skirt length, which it definitely needed to end in the same place as on the model. The hem allowance is 15mm so there’s no possibility of letting it down later if it’s too short.

This was a single size pattern so I also added a bit to the width below the waist. I normally trace a size larger on the hips in a multi size pattern so none of this was a surprise. I wasn’t quite sure if I should make the wrap front wider or not as I was adding to the hips. I did, and it seems to have worked OK. I can’t say it sits in place perfectly because it’s a narrow wrap skirt in a slippery fabric so of course it has its moments, but it’s not unwearable.

I am intending to make a belt to go with this from a Burda pattern, but in these photos I’m wearing a purchased one. It was a lucky find because it has a certain similarity to the one on the pattern envelope photo.

A woman wearing a black dress, a
wide belt, and sunglasses adjusts her hair. She is standing in a wood.

So the question is will I actually wear this? It’s a lot of look but it’s also a lot of fun, and unlike many fancy dresses I’ve made it’s comfortable. With a black slip underneath even the slightly fussy skirt isn’t a problem. The one thing it lacks is pockets. I’ve been wearing a pouch clipped onto my belt to deal with that. I’ll have to try it at work and see. I suspect it might also be wearable as a jacket over trousers.

Thanks to my husband for the photos.

52 thoughts on “Channeling my inner Grace Jones: vintage Vogue 1652 by Claude Montana

  1. This dress is absolutely perfect for you! I love it! Not everyone can carry this style but it was made for you. Enjoy wearing it!

  2. You look fantastic in this dress! The crepe works really well. The sleeves are especially cool.

  3. It looks gorgeous! I love it but could never wear it because of my current size. It is so dramatic and perfect for you. You look like a runway model in it and should wear it often.

  4. Absolutely perfect! Yes, Grace Jones would definitely wear this look. I love it!

  5. This is an amazing dress—And you carry it off with great panache. What did your colleagues say?

  6. Super fun to see you in action! Well posed. I hope you wear this dress out and about to bring some drama to the scene.

  7. Please do wear it to work and the grocery store and the park – wear it everywhere and enjoy the admiration. Another great project!

  8. Fantastic! This looks amazing on you and I’d love to see the reactions of your co-workers. You’ve inspired me to revisit the 80’s patterns in my stash, particularly the Montana’s and Miyake’s although I don’t have the same ones as you since I am a 5’2″ rectangular shaped short. The very large shoulder look never did me any favours. It’s encouraging to hear that the Montana designs are very wearable and user friendly.

  9. This is stunning – looks so fashion forward as well as true 80’s. If I ever consider making anything 80’s, it’ll be because of this dress. Fab posing and photography too!

  10. oui porte la elle te va tellement bien !! on dirait quelle a été faite pour toi
    j’adore !

  11. I love love love this on you, and the Issey Miyake cape that I too made decades back and never could quite get the angle of wearing. Thank you for making all these great things and looking so very stylish in them and then showing us!

  12. What an exciting dress, I’m so glad you shared it! Hood up or hood down, the silhouette is awesome. I imagine you’re tempted to say something dramatic every time you pull the hood back (I would be).

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