It’s all been a bit Thirties-glamour-heavy on the Vintage Inspiration front here lately, so I went roaming in my archives and decided that I needed to share these three images of Bebe Buell.
I was delighted to be at the opening of the Foale and Tuffin: Made in England exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum last Thursday night. F&T at the F&T, why have they not made more of this? Am I strange to find it quite cute? Perhaps…
Anyway, I sincerely hope that this exhibition (alongside the new book) will redress some of the scandalously unbalanced and limited modern views on Sixties British fashion. Foale and Tuffin completely rule over Mary Quant, no question. So there. Ner!
(How do you all like my very grown-up argument? Well I don’t want to repeat myself too much, so you can read a previous blog what I wrote way back in 2006.)
I was there in a few capacities, as it turned out, since a last minute dash (a week beforehand) ensured that a couple of my frocks ended up in the exhibition. Which is rather wonderful and I’m really rather stupidly proud. Sniff.
Firstly Natasha, which is a red plush skirt suit from the early Sixties with faux Astrakhan collar and hem. You can juuuuuuust see it in the teeny tiny photo above.
Secondly, and you’re likely to miss it because I think the gals aren’t all that fond of their work for Paraphernalia, the infamous Chrysler dress which was worn in plenty of publicity shots and footage by the magnificent Jenny ‘Juniper’ Boyd. Who was also in attendance, much to Miss Senti’s delight, looking utterly fabulous. In fact, I think she looks even more fabulous now than Pattie does. Controversial? I don’t care…
I had already met Marion and Sally a few years back (at a study day at the V&A; all the fashion students in their knock-off Topshop Bibas went swarming up to Barbara Hulanicki and Mary Quant and probably didn’t have a clue who F&T were), and then again when I rushed Natasha and Chrysler to the museum the week before, so I didn’t do my usual gibbering fangirl act that particular night. Which felt rather nice and meant I had a more relaxing evening than usual. They have been very sweet to me when I’ve met them, and seemed to like my sartorial choices, so I’m a very satisfied bunny indeed.
(Especially when I nabbed some of the chocolate ‘F’ shaped cake from Marion herself at the party, which was very, very yummy. The ‘T’ was lemon drizzle, which isn’t so much to my taste but I try not to play favourites with fashion double acts and their initial-shaped cakes…)
I should add that Miss Senti is the most extraordinarily fabulous spokesmodel a vintage dealer could ever hope for. She worked the room beautifully in a sequined top and trouser ensemble she bought from me ages ago (before we had even met in the flesh!) and generally out-sparkled everyone. We were scuppered photographically (me because my handbag was too small for my camera, and Senti by her batteries) so we didn’t get any shots of us that night. If any surface, I will be sure to post them.
There were also a few exceedingly well dressed men in the room; one in particular who managed to pick the night after I’d posted this blog to wear stripes in my presence. Wibble. But, again, I was photographically challenged and they’d have had major champagne-blur if I’d managed to take any…
Anyway, the exhibition is brilliant and, as per usual, I need to go back and have a non-champagne-addled look around. I particularly adore the way they’ve set up the ’boutique’ downstairs, but kept having to restrain myself from grabbing some frocks off the rails and running into the changing room. Yes, there’s an actual changing room. That’s just asking for trouble where I’m concerned.
Upstairs there are rails and rails of patterns, hanging behind loads of those divine Liberty print dresses they did so well in the Seventies. In fact, my only complaint would be that there were none of the notorious clown frill pieces which are absolutely by far and away my favourite F&T designs. One day I will own one, and I will wear it everywhere just to freak people out!
Fear not. Hell hasn’t frozen over just yet. I am referring to this one from back in the day. I don’t know how much it went for in the Kerry Taylor sale today, but my goodness!! Isn’t it fab? If they’re going to raid someone’s archives, why not start with their own; at least they own the copyright!
I generally ignore what’s going on in the High Street, and seem to have acquired an incredible Kate Moss-blindness, but Senti has been raving about the Yasmin Le Bon Wallis collection lately. I’m a devoted Durannie, and Yasmin is the bestest rock star wife you could ever wish to entrust your favourite to [unfortunately I have chosen John Taylor as my favourite, and Juicy Couture brings me out in a curiously pepto bismol-shaded rash], so I was prepared to take a gander with an open mind….and a careless memory.
There’s nothing radical in there, but it’s less obviously ‘ripped off’ (aside from the Careless Memories white blouse and black leather kecks look which Senti has blogged about already) and I must admit to being rather in love with this blouse. At £65 it’s too rich for my blood right now, but I can admire from afar and perhaps hope to nab one in a season or two.
(Although please, please learn to spell peridot before I punch something….)
The gorgeous Laurakitty posted a photo of Gene Tierney on her wonderful Sighs and Whispers blog, which reminded me that I’ve had this photo sitting in my ‘to do’ folder ever since I saw it a few weeks back. I’m completely in love with her look and specifically with this photo, and was just waiting for the right time to share.
I have a confession to make; I’m afraid I go weak at the knees for guys in stripes. Not any old stripey thing, I hasten to add, but nicely tailored Sixties or Seventies numbers (and a bit of early Eighties stripey shirt action, Duran-style). I’m not sure where it came from, or why it has such a strange effect on me, but I’m not sure I really care. I’m just enjoying the view…..
For various tedious reasons, I’ve been a bit quiet on the old website listing front in the past month. But I’m feeling much perkier now, more inspired and oh boy have I got a lot of goodies (just listed, and in the works…). Watch out world!
Right now I’ve just listed an incredible John Bates for Jean Varon dress (1973, just check out the original advert from Vogue), a chocolate brown rayon crepe Lee Bender for Bus Stop beauty, a Dove Clothing Company deep cobalt blue cord maxi dress (perfect for walking through wintry landscapes), a super romantic cream damask Clobber (a.k.a Jeff Banks) dress with flutter sleeves and trailing ribbons….and finally, a slinky blue Cathy McGowan dress with the most gorgeous sleeves and pleated front detail. Yeah, Cathy McGowan….that’s pretty darned rare!
My hair mood changes daily (last week I had an Austrian milkmaid moment) so my hair inspirations have to be quite varied in general. I was sorting through some of my books the other day and realised that a photo of Veronica Lake in a ‘Film Goddesses’ book I was given many moons ago, with her hair draped over a bearskin rug, must have been quite influential for me. She’s like the proto-Roxy Music girl, non? I have no intention of going blonde any time soon, unless I can magically get this nasty L’Oreal stuff out, but I do enjoy occasionally waving and side parting my hair….
Several years ago, when I was in the first throws of my New Romantic love affair, a friend told me about something she’d seen on ITV a few years prior, called Hunting Venus. It starred Martin Clunes as the floppy-shirted bassist and Neil Morrissey as the flamboyant lead singer of a New-Rom group called The Venus Hunters, who are kidnapped and blackmailed into reforming the group. Danny Webb appears to be doing a mighty fine impression of Andy Taylor, I’m not quite sure which drummer Ben Miller was inspired by but I’m fairly certain Mark Williams is only channeling Nick Rhodes sartorially. Either that or he’s seen some interview I missed out on….
She loved it so much that she bought the soundtrack and recently gifted it to me in a clear-out. By now I’ve got most of the tracks on there anyway, but it’s still a nice thing to have. I never did see it at the time, and I still can’t find any evidence of it having been released on DVD. I desperately want to see it now, of course, especially after finding it on YouTube. In poor quality and with the soundtrack disabled for several parts, I’m not sure I want that to be the first time I get to see it.
Anyway, because the title track (Starburst; co-written by Jools Holland no less) has been stuck in my head ALL day and making me laugh like a drain every time (yes, I have a childish sense of humour) I thought I would
inflict share a clip with you. Watch out for Simon Le Bon, Tony Hadley AND Gary Numan making cameo appearances. Why has this not been released? Why??
Okay, maybe I can only summon three to mind whilst writing this [will add more if I can think of them] but still…they do seem to be ageing rather well, don’t they? Recent concert photos of Mr Martin Kemp got me thinking about how dishy he and Mr Nigel Taylor still are – and then I remembered that Mick Karn isn’t doing too badly either. I’m more of a Sylvian kinda girl, but Karn comes a close second with interesting hair and make-up….