Paris Originals were marketed as line-for-line duplications of Paris couture garments. The couture association commanded a higher price; the price printed on Vogue 1137 is 9 / 2 (9 shillings and 2 pence), although it is stamped “7 / 6 Tax Free”. A normal Vogue pattern from the same year cost 3 / 6. A 1951 Vogue Couturier pattern cost 7 / 4, or 6 / - tax free.
For comparison with today’s prices, in pounds and US dollars:
9 / 2xxxxxx£14.18xxxxx$17.87
7 / 4xxxxxx£11.34xxxxx$14.29
3 / 6xxxxxx£5.41xxxxxx$6.82
Unlike Vogue Couturier patterns, Paris Originals were illustrated with a photograph as well as a line drawing. And here lies the answer to the question at the top of this post.
Well, that’s obviously photographed in Paris. Clearly the 1950s was a much more trusting age. Either that or Vogue assumed that customers who bought Paris Originals patterns were far less cynical than I am.
A few years later, any dressmaker who knew Paris well could have hours of fun playing, ‘Guess the location’.
|'Somewhere in Paris', Patou, 1954|
And a year after that Vogue removed all doubts and provided a backdrop which was undeniably Parisian.
|Outside the Patou atelier, with bonus photobomb, 1955|
So on the basis that if it’s good enough for Vogue, it’s good enough for Black Tulip, I’ve reviewed a few photographs of recent makes.
|Photographed in Paris|
|Photographed in Milan|
|Photographed in New York|
|Photographed in Venice|
* - For the history of Vogue’s special pattern ranges I'm indebted to Blueprints of Fashion – Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940s by Wade Laboissonnier.