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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Grace would be proud! I looks really great Catherine. I love the way the hood and collar fall.
Thanks! As always with Montana it’s brilliantly drafted. It looks a mess on a dress form but comes alive on a body.
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!
Thanks! Maybe I’ll wear it to the office next week and see if my colleagues notice anything unusual 🙂
What a cool dress! I love the hood and collar. It looks really wearable too, for all its drama! Love the belt too!
Thanks! I’m coming to the conclusion that Montana’s clothes are surprisingly user friendly.
You might just start an 80s revival with that dress alone. Definitely a statement piece and you wear it beautifully!
You look fantastic in this dress! The crepe works really well. The sleeves are especially cool.
Thanks! The sleeves are amazing although they were a bit of a beast to sew.
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.
I love this dress 😍
Thanks! I’m wondering if I can get away with it at work
ROCK IT GIRL!!
Thanks! Think I will wear it to the office and see if anyone notices 🙂
Wow, that’s fantastic. I love it.
It looks really good. I definitely think you should wear it.
Thanks! I think I’ll try it in the office next week
Absolutely perfect! Yes, Grace Jones would definitely wear this look. I love it!
This is an amazing dress—And you carry it off with great panache. What did your colleagues say?
Thanks! I’ll report back 🙂
extremely cool!!! wow!
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.
Thanks! It’s certainly dramatic
Please do wear it to work and the grocery store and the park – wear it everywhere and enjoy the admiration. Another great project!
Thanks! I did wear it to the play park this weekend, and was quite glad of the hood to keep the sun off
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.
Thanks! I really like that he made clothes that are comfortable as well as beautiful
Stunning on you. I hope you wear it a lot.
I love the hood, and the belt is spot on–I wouldn’t change a thing!
Thanks! Really pleased with the belt, I was having no success finding anything I liked online and then came across this quite by chance
Absolutely fabulous look! Great job as usual.
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!
Thanks! I have the other half’s art direction to thank for the posing 🙂
oui porte la elle te va tellement bien !! on dirait quelle a été faite pour toi
You look amazing in it. Only you can pull that look off 😊
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!
I remember going to see that movie in Germany as a teen! You look fabulous in that dress. It’s got drama and flair.
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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