Oooh. I’ve just noticed, and will totally forget to mention it unless I post right now, that the random dude in the aforeposted Ram Jam video is wearing a satin jacket with deco embroidery bits which Miss Senti bought from me AGES ago. Always nice to see guys in girly Glam Rock gear.
Right, I’m off to get ready to see The Who tonight. At The Albert Hall. Very exciting!!
Betty Barclay, that is. I’ve had that song going round and round in my head while I’ve been working on this today. So I thought I ought to inflict it on you all, as well as showing this gorgeous new listing. Oh how I wish this dress were my size…
Ok, I officially love whoever is doing these weird music/fashion video crossovers, all seemingly taken from London Aktuell.
Mary Quant (in her best period, IMVHO, of the early Seventies), Biba and Mr Freedom (I love the shots actually outside the shop! Insanely groovy.). Lushness…..
And lastly, fashion by Laura. Whoever that might be. Love the red coat towards the end though….
Oh my goodness*, I am in fashion and music heaven….
*I cannot use the abbreviation ‘OMG’ any more. Not since I found myself scanning a book in a strange Brighton bookshop which used it as an abbreviation for ‘Oversized Male Genitalia’. Hilarious but impossible to put out of my head now….
Clip taken from a German documentary, London aktuell, from 1970. Someone has overlaid some very groovy music onto an incredible, surreal clip of models and mannequins in Ossie Clark gear. Le swoon…
It is long since sold, but I used to have the ‘Harlequin’ dress…
Some new listings in the Separates department of Vintage-a-Peel. Enjoy!
And here’s the Divine Dame Diana singing You’re The Top from Evil Under the Sun. Despite the German dubbing, that’s her real singing voice. Camp-tastic!
This really perplexed me. How you can still come across a film from over forty years ago, which you and most people you know (who happen to be film geeks) have never heard of, featuring a cast list to die for, which then turns out to be pretty damn good? At what point did it blip off the radar?
I was given Woman Times Seven (1967) for Christmas, along with another curio I have yet to watch, by my film buff uncle. He had never heard of it, but was entranced by the cast list. It’s been on my ‘to do’ pile ever since, and finally got around to watching it with another film buff (also never heard of it) this weekend.
While certainly not perfect, in that the style of the film can feel somewhat ‘bitty’ and stagey, it’s a wonderful series of vignettes covering various aspects of love and adultery. Starring Shirley Maclaine at her most beautiful, she takes on seven roles with a host of cameos from the likes of Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, Anita Ekberg and Michael Caine. Costumed by Pierre Cardin (Wasn’t he a busy chap? What with making Steed’s suits for the colour Avengers episodes at around the same time…), you see a wide range of personas from mousey housewife, to haute couture diva (having an haute couture strop Naomi Campbell would be proud of), to naked interpreter, to grieving widow…. I also have to give some serious kudos to the almighty hairdos by Louis Alexandre Raimon, who also puts in a cameo appearance.
You may (or may not…where have you been hiding??) know of my love for the work of John Bates. He’s a pretty important designer to me, and [via The Avengers and subsequent research] is a big part of why I have gone down this career path. I’ve met him twice and he has also, more recently, completely unwittingly and indirectly changed another part of my life. For which I’m very grateful, and which he will have no idea about.
Senti will be witness to the fact that I nearly fainted when I read what he had written in my copy of Richard Lester’s book about him. I had been wearing an early red chiffon Varon to the launch, and he wrote ‘Love the red chiffon and it fits perfectly!’. Perhaps that wouldn’t affect other, normal, people in the same way. But it was like a slice of heaven for me.
Anyhoo. I don’t post a lot about my personal collection these days. To be honest with you, I’ve let go of a few things here and there. Other things need re-photographing. And several are still sitting in a no man’s land of ‘maybe I ought to sell this, really’. Hence I removed those sections from the website before I relaunched and haven’t reinstated them yet.
I am still trying to thin down the Bates collection. Which is hard. You can’t even imagine how much so. It’s easier to sell an Ossie, frankly, because I know I can get a fair market value for it. But Bates is still very ‘all over the place’ and I don’t want to gamble with such gorgeous frocks.
My plan is to have a comprehensive mid-Sixties array of his work. The varied, inspirational designs of his early years. Plus a decent selection of everything from then on, but minimalised greatly from what it has been. If I was having any doubts about this idea, they were swiftly removed by my most recent acquisition.
The really good, really early and representative Bateses don’t turn up very often. And you often forget that, for example, you’ve personally never seen an example of his panelled crepe work turn up. Or a dress with laced panels (which I also acquired last year, and need to photograph, sorry!). I’m very lucky to own a PVC example, and a dress with foil trim – those are pretty scarce as well. I love this dress. Passionately. I can’t find a direct photographed example, but it’s got to be from the same year as the Twiggy and Grace Coddington photos (below and at the top of the post).
Or something even more
lousy amusing than that. If you can imagine it. Any takers?
Dear old grumpy Bailey, he amuses me greatly.
There are a few people for whom I would dearly love to go back in time, purely to engulf them in the biggest hug of their life. Ossie Clark is one. Barry Evans is another. If I didn’t think he’d have me arrested for harassment, I’d go and find Richard O’Sullivan (Man About The House) and do it right now.
High up on my list is Ronnie Lane. Definitely my favourite Face, both Small and otherwise, and an absolute genius. He had it pretty rough in his later years, and he was just so gorgeous and fabulous, and all in all…very huggable.
I’ve been feeling a bit down lately, for various reasons, and a little under the weather too. But I happened to fling Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake on today, and it cheered me up good and proper. I love the footage of them performing the album as well, and Happy Days Toy Town is just such a brilliantly uplifting song. Both lyrics and performance. So here it is, and I hope it cheers up anyone else who might be feeling gloomy out there…
Life is just a bowl of All-Bran
You wake up every morning and it’s there
So live as only you can
It’s all about enjoy it ‘cos ever since you saw it
There aint no one can take it away.
So life is just a bowl of All-Bran – very true!
What you say has made it very clear
To be sure I’ll live as best as I can
But how can I remember to keep it all together
When half the moon is taken away?
Well, I’ve got the very thing
If you can laugh and sing
Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smiles
Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while
When you’re untogether and feeling out of tune
Sing this special song with me, don’t worry ’bout the moon
Looks after itself
Steve: Can I have a go?
Ron: Sing now:
Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smile
Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while
Well now you’ve got the hang of it
There’s nothing you can’t do with it
If you’re very tuned to it you can’t go wrong.
The other weekend, when Senti and Charley were in town, we wiggled along to the South Bank to watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with my friend Laura (with whom I have regularly duetted, drunkenly and soberly; in public and in private, in brilliant renditions of Just Two Little Girls from Little Rock and When Love Goes Wrong…) which has formed part of their ‘Blonde Crazy’ film season.
I was genuinely astonished by the quality and clarity of the print they were showing. There were all kinds of details I had missed on years of ropey VHS copies and even my current DVD. Background artistes, details on costumes…. But most noticeable was how utterly camp and ridiculous the Olympic athletes look in Jane Russell’s big number, Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love, to which I was newly alerted by the giggles around me in the cinema. I have been watching this film since I was about 10. I never batted an eyelid at their flesh-tone swimming trunks and I certainly never noticed the borderline pornographic incident which occurs at 2.40 in the following clip….
I’m a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, and always take on her huskier tones in my duets with Laura, but I also just realised how much Jane steals the show. She’s raucous, sharp, hilarious and [controversially] probably a hell of a lot sexier than the blonde.
“The chaperone’s job is to make sure no one else has any fun. But nobody chaperones the chaperone. That’s why I’m so right for this job.”