The Spring Vogues are out! Pause for hyperventilation.
In all honesty I wasn’t expecting to love this release. Spring pattern releases are almost always disappointing for me because so few of the designs are practical for the weather around here – spring in the UK requires long sleeves and lots of layers. And with this particular collection there was no immediate wow factor either. Normally there are a few knockout designer patterns that leap off the (web) page at me but not this time. This release requires a close look, but it’s worth taking the time to do so.
The designer section is normally full of spectacular dresses. And it still supplies a few: look at the amazing seam detail on the bodice of the Kay Unger design, V1432.
I’m not entirely sure why Vogue picked both V1434 (Isaac Mizrahi) and V1433 (Tracey Reese) for this release, as they are suspiciously similar princess seamed poufy skirted party dresses – surely one would have done and for my money it would have been V1433, which comes with a petticoat. But there’s also the much more grownup V1431 (Tom and Linda Platt), a long-sleeved pencil dress with a bodice overlay detail I’ve not seen elsewhere.
But this time around we’ve also got plenty of wearable but interesting separates. The Ralph Rucci pattern, V1437, is a case in point: jacket, skirt, and blouse with lots of detail.
And look at the back of the blouse in V1440, the Donna Karan pattern. This one also has an interesting jacket and it’s not alone; this is the best release for jackets I can remember.
There are two Marci Tilton Vogue Designer Originals this time around. V9089 is a romantic blouse, and V9081 is a colour-blocked dress and cardigan. Something about 9081 doesn’t really work for me – perhaps it’s the colours because I like the shape.
There are two Sandra Betzina patterns. V1442 is a knockout. It reminds me of something from Japanese pattern books or Burda when it goes wacky and nonetheless makes it work.
The other one, V1433, is also appealing – at least if you look past the sample fabrics to the line drawing. To me this design is crying out to be made in solids not prints.
Two vintage Vogues as usual – V9083 and V9082. No date that I can see, but they look like fifties designs to me – or thereabouts anyway. I presume this must be what sells best, but I’m afraid I’m thoroughly bored with these and long for something from the late sixties or the seventies.
There are two custom cup size patterns: V9078 is an Easy Options dress and V9092 is a Very Easy Vogue top, trousers, and dress.
9078 is a rare miss for Easy Options in that it doesn’t have many options. The two skirt variations are very similar indeed, and the other options are the usual short sleeve/long sleeve/sleeveless choice.
9092 is much more appealing, although it gets points taken off for having fake pockets. I vaguely recall a YSL look from a few years ago with a tunic top and slim trousers made up in a charcoal grey wool and although some of the details are different I think this would be a great starting point for knocking that off.
Very Easy Vogue is back on form. I love these culottes/palazzo pants (V9091). The designs in this section are all interesting, although I’m not sure how flattering the jumpsuit variation of V9075 will be in practice. That one hasn’t been photographed whereas the dress variation has, which may tell us something. (Edited to add: jne4sl and Isaspacey have pointed out I’m wrong, it is in fact the jumpsuit variation in the photos. I confess I didn’t look at the back view where it’s a lot more obvious!)
On the subject of photography it’s excellent, as it has been for the last few releases. More views of the garments than ever and plenty of detail shots. It really helps.
And as for the rest? There are some real gems this time around. V9077 is a very interesting shirt dress with enough variations that it really ought to have been the Easy Options pattern. I’m definitely buying this one; I love the bands.
I’m torn on V9097. I love the idea but I’m not sure how well it will work in practice and there’s no photo of it. The fabric suggestions given (Silk Crepe, Silk-like Broadcloth, Heavy Georgette, Lightweight Linen) don’t seem to lend themselves to making that top corner at the left neckline nice and crisp.
But the real standout is V9096, this amazing jacket. Do click through and have a look at the other views too because if the version below is too fussy there are not one but two simpler variations on the same idea. I like the middle one myself.
Overall I’m loving this release. There’s lot of patterns here that I could wear in real life, but with the sort of detail that inspires me to actually go out and sew. I’m already thinking about fabrics for some of them and they haven’t even hit the UK yet.