The Great German Pattern Obsession
Vintage German Fashion Magazine With Patterns - 1927
Let me start by admitting that I have an addiction to vintage fashion. I love anything and everything to do with it. I have some eras that I like more than others — and anything newer that mid-1950’s is right out for me.
Added to my addiction is that I’m also a collector. So it’s pretty easy for me to justify snapping up another period pattern, or tailoring book, or sewing manual . . or . . . . Well, you get the picture.
Fashion magazines with overprinted pattern sheets were the first thing I ever bought. Some copies of Harper’s Bazar from the 1890’s with the pattern included came home with me from a book sale – and I was hooked.
The French fashion magazines pre-1920 will always be near and dear to my heart. La Mode Illustree with its beautiful pictures captivated me. The 1912 – 1916 issues reflect many of the changes in social structure, and are a wonderful slice of history.
But after about 1920, La Mode Illustree seems to start to falter. The issues are smaller and there are fewer and fewer patterns in each magazine.
Luckily the German fashion industry seems to have really stepped up their game about then. And political history aside (which we won’t delve into here) – German fashions from the 1920’s through the 1950’s are some of the most striking I’ve seen.
This series of blog posts will take a look at a number of different German publications, to contrast and compare their styles, formats and who the target market might have been. We will take a peek at advertising and non-fashion content as well.
Note that I’m not a native German speaker, and most of the pre-1940 publications are in Fraktur – a gothic font – which makes direct translation a bit tricky. I’ll do my best – but will happily add any corrections you would care to submit.