The Pierre Cardin suit – having second thoughts about Vogue 1636

I am about to move on to this 1966 Pierre Cardin pattern, but having laid out the purple boucle wool that you can see on the right, I am having second thoughts. Here are my concerns

  • The skirt and jacket are cut on the bias
  • I don’t know what to trim the purple fabric with – white? silver pu? silver leather?
  • Due to the wonderful pointed front on the jacket it is not as versatile as more traditional shapes and won’t combine as nicely with other SWAP outfits
  • I like the blouse but the shoulders are very cut in which again is rather nice, but not really suitable for work except on a very hot day
  • A slight feeling that I ought to make this suit in a different fabric – possibly with a check to make the most of the bias, or a more vibrant colour.

Here are two Cardin dresses from the 1960s with a more extreme cut-in shoulder. It is a flattering look that I feel I could get away with – but not at work.

The dresses below show the use of contrasting colours by Cardin in the 1960s (colour blocked) . I love these looks and the strong colour palettes used. My purple looks a bit muted next to them (although the model picture for Vogue 1636 is shown in a soft light orange)

Finally here two final references. The first picture shows a Cardin suit from the same year made up in a purple check and it is easy to see the bias in this colourway. The light pink skirt and the base of the jacket in the second picture is also cut on the bias. I started a Cardin suit from the same year – 1966 – and while I made the skirt and wore it for a while I took it to the Charity shop after Christmas. I can’t say I really like wearing a bias cut skirt. So I never progressed to the jacket (which is very similar to this light pink one).

I haven’t decided against this suit yet. I do love it. I love my fabric too. I am itching to get started. It is radical but also quite conservative – which makes it very me. And yet. This may not be right outfit for me. I am going to delay getting started on this. I have sent for some silver leather swatches and I may make up the blouse for fun in another piece of fabric. Oh gosh. I would ask for advice but I on this occasion a split opinion will only reflect where my mind currently sits.

If I dump it I need another three piece set, and I will have to substitute another blouse pattern for the painted silk. Not too big an issue as I am doing draped blouses this term at Morley.

9 Responses

  1. felicia

    Okay,I’m feeling a little argumentative this evening, so I’ll ask, what do you really love about this suit? I see a simple a-line skirt, of which there are millions of patterns. And a blouse you’re not taking seriously because it’s not suitable for work. So it must be the jacket you love? If so, why not make the jacket with a favourite skirt pattern? Or make it to go with that pink dress, which could use a shortish jacket to go over it. If you did that, you could trim it with pink. So I guess I’m responding to your conflictedness with a question (or even a demand 🙂 ) that you provide an itemized list of what you love about this outfit. Erm, does that help?

  2. Sam

    I agree with Felicia, I think you need to work out what it is that you love about the suit. You’ve said you don’t like wearing bias cut skirts and the top, while lovely, isn’t really suitable for work. So like Felicia says, it seems like it is the jacket you are in love with.

  3. Joanne

    Gosh, there’s no messing with Felicia and she makes excellent points. I think a suit in your fabric would look great but maybe not this suit then. I do love the outfits you have posted – the purple check and the green are gorgeous. Happy deliberating!

  4. Mem

    That jacket is very stylish. I would make it and then make a simple shell top to wear to work, and the other one to wear at other times. Don’t go all conservative. You will regret it I think.

  5. Stephanie

    Woah, good comments! I am very interested to see what you will do next, as you always have so many interesting ideas. Love the cut-in shoulder tops although unfortunately I avoid tops and dresses like this because of the strapless bra issue. Very curious to hear other remarks about this.

  6. Lynn Mally

    You could use self fabric for the trim, giving it the effect of the last images you show. Or you could use another fabric but in the same color. That would increase the versatility of the jacket. I don’t know about the top. Make it for the historical integrity of the project? Wear it to a summer wedding? I don’t make things I won’t wear a lot.

  7. Mary

    I really, really, really think that blouse with cutaway shoulders would look great on you. Not for work, but you could wear it a lot in summer and look and most likely feel quite smashing! For the trim on the coat have you considered bias cut linen? I have seen many suits from the 60’s that have bias linen trim. It would be a hefty weight and your color choices endless. Plus, linen would give the crisp corner point.
    I am really loving your SWAP and am inspired for my own. It is interesting how thoughtful considering has led me all over the place. I’m very focused on details this year and every pattern is being examined and it is a great mental exercise. I am currently sewing for other people (costumes) but that finishes end of February and then my needle will hit fabric for me, me, me!

  8. Amanda

    I think that the jacket would actually be quite versatile on its own – it could be worn with the matching skirt, but you could also pair it with black trousers, a pair of jeans, or over a LBD. I say, go for it!!! ^_^

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