In honour of the new series of Ashes to Ashes starting tonight (I’m currently pausing for a moment to resist the urge to bounce around….oh what the hell, bounce bounce bounce!) here are some random early Eighties images….if you like that kind of thing!
I just realised how grey my blog is looking currently. And since I was leafing through my Boutique book this morning, in an attempt to cheer my poorly self up (revenge of the spring snuffles), and realised I had never scanned in the photo of Alice Pollock wearing my Alice Pollock blouse….I thought I ought to share. And brighten this place up a bit. Because it is seriously yellow.
I once made the mistake of wearing this blouse to the theatre. I hadn’t realised how tiny the theatre would be, that I would end up in the front row – practically on the stage, and that John Simm would quite possibly be blinded by my sartorial choice that night. Whoops!
I did it! I left the house with a modest amount of backcombing last night, albeit kept in place with a couple of clips – but it’s certainly progress!!
In case anyone didn’t see the lovely Miss Senti’s advice on my post further down, re. Drew Barrymore, here it is for anyone who, like me, may be struggling with the idea of leaving the house with backcombing in place and being unable to control it. I’m lucky enough that I will have the lady herself here to help me soon enough, so for everyone else…..
tips for windy days for authentic 60s girls
* set the hair on large rollers with major rootlift so that the hair stays big with minimal backcombing
* always backcomb the hair neatly in thin sections and then ease the sections together with a tail comb so that the overall teasing stays together.
* if you have long hair pin it back before you go out and take it down again when you go indoors. Usually perfectionist 60s girls curl their hair under and pin it so that you get a gentle curl under effect when it’s been in a while instead of a messy line where the hair has been put in a ponytail.
* get a decent hairspray which will hold after a thin layer of spray. If you have to spray half the bottle on your hair you’ve got the wrong hairspray. Choose one with added shine otherwise your hair will end up looking like plastic.
* wear a headscarf! Choose something unbelievably glamorous of course.
Or if you were very lucky, you’d be a stewardess and have one of these things specifically designed by Pucci to keep your fab hairdo neat on the walk from the terminal to the plane:
I must admit that I don’t have a great many copies of Queen magazine in my possession. But a conversation about Alice Pollock the other day reminded me that I have one, frankly awesome, copy from 1969 with an entire fashion spread dedicated to Pollock’s clothes – photographed by Helmut Newton. It’s entitled The Mill on the Floss.
When the London rat-race is too much for you…you can retire to the calm and order of the country and gaze peacefully, restfully, into the depths of a mill-race. Ideal wardrobe for mill-racing – catch of floaty granny-dresses from Quorum. (Yes we do mean that long; we are rather serious about this.) Wear your granny-dresses with suede boots; after all, the climb through the mill may be rugged.
It’s funny really, how few Pollock pieces turn up nowadays. And the ones which do are usually the more Ossie-esque. I’ve had a few, all blouses I might add, and currently only own one labelled piece. But this spread shows you a bit more of her range, beyond pretty crepe blouses. Apparently her knitwear was extraordinary, and one person described it as possibly superior to Bill Gibb. Which is high praise indeed.
She had less of a defined style than Ossie, but her clothes were, by all accounts, exceedingly wearable and feminine. Less aggressively sexual, which is why it’s so interesting to see them photographed by someone like Helmut Newton.
It made me wonder if a lot of female designers in the Sixties had that problem, and why so few (aside from the idiosyncratic Zandra Rhodes, and master self-publicist Mary Quant) have remained in the public consciousness since the Sixties and Seventies. My own favourites at least, it would seem. The male designers were often the biggest drama queens, and have ensured their notoriety continues to this day. Whether through the strength of their designs, their lifestyles or just a knack for self-publicity. I’m sure there are countless exceptions to this rule, but it’s been occupying my mind today.
Anyway, enjoy the Pollocks! I for one wish I could be running around a mill, in the countryside, in Quorum clothes right now.
I have been trying this look for weeks now. Each time I find I’m perfectly happy with my endeavours, but somehow I keep chickening out of leaving the house like this. I can’t quite work out why. I’ll leave the house with curls, crimping and weird plait things on the odd occasions I can be bothered to do them in the first place. But the backcombing is proving to be more of a challenge for me. Perhaps it’s something to do with having big hair anyway, and a life-long struggle to keep it under control.
Regardless, I clearly need a good talking to from Drew Barrymore. She’s looking pretty damn fab and retro all over the place right now, era after era, but I think this may be my favourite so far. But then again, I am biased.
Extremely entertainingly, one news report described her hair as buffon. Do we think someone has only ever heard the word bouffant and was making a poor stab at spelling it?
I can’t promise this will be a terribly long or informative blog post, because there’s so little information out there about the label. It opened in 1967 and, needless to say, Sandie didn’t design the dresses and shoes (although she had full ‘approval’). I suspect it didn’t last very long, much like Twiggy and Cathy McGowan’s boutique labels. Perhaps there was deemed a conflict of interests when she married designer Jeff Banks in 1968?
I will make Sandie one of my Fashion Icons at some point, whereupon I shall write more comprehensively (if I ever do such a thing) about her and her style. But if any of you are not familiar with our girl, I should probably tell you that her trademark was to sing barefoot. So much was made of the fact that her label was producing shoes!
The images have been taken from footage shown in the BBC’s Queens of Pop programme.
Did anyone see the BBC1 Queens of Pop programme the other night? Neither did I. Now I know I don’t watch a lot of telly these days but, when I do, I see every other show being trailed to death. Yet I had no idea this had been on. Luckily I was able to use iPlayer, so hopefully any other UK readers who might have missed out can get to see it.
It’s not exactly earth-shatteringly interesting, more a fluffy bit of eye candy. But oh what eye candy! It was almost quite John Bates-tastic, what with Dusty Springfield in her empire line beaded hobble skirt gowns, and Sandie Shaw wearing what I’m certain is a Bates here.
They also briefly touched on the Sandie Shaw Boutique, even showing some clips of the opening and the designs. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. There’s hardly any information around about this little venture, so to suddenly have the footage was fabulous. I have one, very groovy, Sandie Shaw dress which I recently had cleaned’n'pressed and shall photograph’n'blog about very soon.
So team Dusty and Sandie, with Marianne, Suzi, Siouxsie and Kate….and you’ve pretty much got a perfect line-up of awesome music and even more awesome (what? I’m a fashion girl…not a musician….) clothes and make-up.