Manequim magazine

If you were building your dream pattern magazine, what would be in it? Maybe some swoon-worthy evening gowns? Designer fashion homages? Patterns from exotic locations? An upmarket twist on casual fabric? Or maybe just some really sharp Fall/Winter fashions?

Well, someone clearly saw my wishlist, because all of this is in the April 2009 issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim!

The first feature in the magazine is Oscar fashion! I don’t know how they did such a short turnaround, but they took six designer dresses that big celebrities wore to the 2009 Oscars in late March, and made patterns to replicate them! Included are the dresses that Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel, and Meryl Streep wore (I wasn’t as keen on Ms Hathaway and Biel’s dresses)!

Next up, there’s a huge homage to Yves Saint Laurent, giving patterns for his trademark trousers (13) and jacket (12), Mondrian-style shift dress (6) and pin-tucked shirtdress (4)! The following pages show a big mix & match spread on how to wear the pattern garments alongside the rtw pieces so you can get a bunch of different looks from it all.

There’s also a big feature on winter fashions that includes a knitted bolero sweater, jumpsuit (that actually looks flattering!), sheath dress, cropped trousers, jacket, and incredible downloadable pleated dress pattern, but my favourite of all is this biker jacket (downloadable) and voluminous skirt!

There’s another full feature on Indian garments and styling, taking Bollywood actresses and highlighting their clothes and accessories. Patterns include the traditional choli and tunic/trouser combo, but also more modern designs like a sleeveless shirtwaister, a belted, embellished tunic, and my favourite, this knotted satin dress:

But out of all the features, the one that got me most excited was the one named “Sweatshirt chic”! Remember how much I adore my Patrones couture sweatshirt?? SQUEAL!

Everything in the feature is made from sweatshirting, but it is anything but sportswear! There’s a cool, pleated, wrap-over trouser, a blazer, even a formal dress with long sleeves and a silk collar, but the two I loved the most are this wrap jacket and its corresponding simple trousers, and the tie collar dress that just looks SO easy to wear!

Off on its own (despite the “Indian skirt” title, it wasn’t in the Indian feature) was this really simple-looking wrap skirt with four layers that really didn’t look like anything from the tech drawing. But with a few clever twists and ties, it became clear that this is actually an “Infinite skirt”, and you could get a multitude of really cute looks from it depending on how you style it. I’m not one for maxi dresses, but I love the “Drapeado” look on the right.

And finally, at the back of the magazine they have a bunch of pages like this one showing How to Wear all the different magazine patterns (minus the Oscars dresses) combined with the download patterns combined with rtw clothes and accessories, which is actually really well thought out and gives you a chance to see a different view of the garments.

I really liked this page because it shows my favourite sweatshirt wrap jacket with tatty old jeans (less matchy-matchy and more real life!), that knotted satin dress with an ace cropped jacket, the traditional Indian tunic with very modern jeans and handbag, and the sweatshirt trousers punked up with an elaborate jacket, vintage tee, and shoe boots. And I’d wear any four of these looks!

the catch…

Ok, not really “a catch”, but more the downsides to Manequim…

  • Most patterns only come in one size, and a couple come in three sizes. So if your favourites aren’t your size, you’ve got some grading to do! At least the size chart is pretty similar to BWOF and Knip, I just have to go up one size here.
  • The pattern sheets are like BWOF to the migraine power of ten. Holy balls, have a look at this: Even for an experienced magazine pattern tracer like me that looks like hard work!
  • Even the downloadable patterns are available in one size, and instead of having the pieces spread out like, say, BurdaStyle, they’re overlapping so even after you print them out, you’ve still got to trace!
  • Since Brazil’s in the Southern hemisphere, the seasons are backwards to me. But this will be welcome news to the Australians amoung us (are there any other Southern hemisphere pattern mags out there?)
  • I have no idea where to buy this. None at all. I was extra lucky to have Tany send me this issue, but she said they’re really hard to find in Portugal and sell out really quickly, so it doesn’t sound like I’d get much success asking holidaying relatives to find some for me. And I’ve never seen it on eBay or in any online shops, so apart from inquiring to their official site, I have no clue how you’d get yours hands on a copy!

So extra big thank yous to Tany for sending me this issue that I could share with you all, adding to my lust for pattern magazines, and bringing South America into the giant pattern-publishing family!

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