I briefly mentioned the Argentinian pattern magazine, Look, when I told you all about buying magazines in Argentina last month, but it’s time to take a deeper look into what’s inside!
I totally love sewing pattern magazines – you get so many fashion-forward styles for such a low price, and it’s fun to see what fashions are like in different parts of the world. So far I’ve bought pattern magazines from Germany (Burda!), The Netherlands (KnipMode and My Image), Belgium (La Maison Victor), France (Fait Main), Spain (Patrones), Italy (La Mia Boutique), Brazil (Manequim, Moda Moldes, and Molde & Cia), and now Argentina, how exciting! It doesn’t matter if I can’t speak the language the magazine is written in – as long as I can translate enough to pick the right size and fabric, and identify the pattern pieces, I can sew together most garments without instructions (though usually you can just look at another similar pattern’s English instructions and follow along with those instead). The Google Translate app can translate most text on-the-fly if you point your phone’s camera at the magazine text, too, which saves you from having to type in all the text yourself.
But back to Look! This was the current issue when we were in Argentina in August, along with a “mother and baby” issue from the previous month which I didn’t bother to buy (having several kids pattern magazines already and nieces and nephews into adult sizes now). This particular issue just captured my heart, as it features a huge amount of SS15 runway designs! Remember back in the 1990s and early 2000s when Burda used to do International Collections magazines knocking off all the runway looks? Well that’s precisely what this issue of Look is all about!
I’d say a good half of the patterns in this issue are straight off the runways. Look is a bit different from the other pattern magazines in that the instructions are in a separate booklet from the glossy magazine and the pattern sheets. This means you kinda have to have both open at the same time to see tech drawings next to the runway photo, but is a bit easier than flipping back and forth in the same magazine. If you buy Look on a newsstand, make sure you get all three pieces! Even though the instructions are in their own booklet, these are the briefest I have ever seen in any pattern magazine, so clearly they’re not intended for beginners…
Another observation – like Manequim magazine, most of the Look patterns are only offered in one or two sizes, and the sizes are tiny!! Like, Japanese tiny. Which is strange because even in Buenos Aires the people on the streets seemed to be fairly normal European-sized… Seriously, I’m a size 48 in this magazine, which means I could only fit into one or two of the patterns in this entire issue. (By comparison, I’m a 42 in Burda, La Mia Boutique, La Maison Victor, and KnipMode, and 44 in Patrones and Manequim). Usually with Manequim, most patterns I like are either in my size or a size up or down, which makes it easy to just fudge into fitting, but grading up a bunch of sizes is just too tedious to me.
Is it weird that I actually kinda like this boxy Derek Lam leather shirt dress? Maybe it’s the colour, or the fact that I recently unearthed my 5 year old leather stash when I moved into my new sewing cave. Such soft hides…
This striped, 70s-inspired Valentino dress initially grabbed my eye (even though I usually hate 1970s fashion), but it was the tech drawing that made me include it in this roundup. Check out the tech drawing vs the pattern pieces that are provided, particularly the back… The attention to detail is not great in this magazine, which makes me kinda wary that the drafting might be wack, too…
No, you’re not experiencing deja vu – we really did see this exact same photoshoot in a Manequim magazine earlier this year!. Which confirms my suspicion that both magazines (and Patrones, for that matter) don’t sew up any samples of the patterns they produce, but create patterns based on high street or designer garments, and may not even style the photoshoots themselves, either.
And since I always like to show the pattern sheet when I review a new-to-me pattern magazine, here’s a peek at a corner of Look’s. It’s about as dense as Manequim magazine to my eyes – in other words, it requires a lot more concentration to trace than Burda, Patrones, or KnipMode!
I’m having a hard time finding issues for sale on eBay (as lots of unrelated magazines like to put “Look” in their title to draw attention to it, err, thanks), but the publisher’s site is here if you fancy getting yourself a subscription. I’ve got two more older issues of Look magazine to show you over the next few weeks, so we can get a better idea of the non-runway content!