(Probably still applies, but now across the whole of London…trendy or not.)
The brilliant illustration is uncredited, but looks like a Malcolm Bird to me.
Clothes by Sylvia Ayton and Zandra Rhodes at The Fulham Road Clothes Shop.
There’s a lot more to wearing a see-through dress than at first meets the eye. What a girl intends to show through the see-through for instance.
Ever since the see-through craze started in London, Carnaby Street artist Audrey Watson has been rushed off her feet – designing instant paint-on bras.
It’s a pretty ticklish business as 24-year-old Audrey paints her bras straight onto the customers skin. And, since she started débutantes and office girls have been flocking to the Lady Jane Boutique where she works, to bare their bosoms for a multicolour, exclusive, painted-on picture.
Audrey, who quotes her prices as: “10s. 6d. a half; from 3 to 10 guineas for a whole body,” will paint on anything from just patterns to faces, street signs or mock tattoos.
“I’ve even done a whole street scene right across, complete with red London buses,” she said.
Where do the girls wear them? “I often ask that,” says Audrey. “Most of them are going to parties although several people have been on their way to the airport. They said they were flying out that night to New York or elsewhere, and wanted to arrive in their paint-on.”
Any men? “Yes, lots,” says Audrey. “They come in for patterns to wear with see-through shirts.”
Audrey, who has tried painting with everything from greasepaint to ink, says it takes skill as most things crack on skin. She is now experimenting with Tempera, powder mixed with egg white like the Renaissance painters used, but she mainly works with Leichner and coloured inks gently powdered over. “It isn’t dangerous as not enough of the body is covered up, and it comes off with cold cream,” she says.
“It’s always a bit strange when I start on a new bust,” says Audrey, modest and quiet with long blonde hair, “but I like doing it for aesthetic reasons, though I know that basically it is just a fashion thing.”
Does Audrey herself wear a see-through?
“Certainly not,” she said. “Business apart – I’ll be pleased when the cover-up look comes back!”
Petticoat Magazine, November 1968.
The Lady Jane boutique maintained something of a reputation for shock value; see-through clothing, body paint and scantily clad models in the windows were staple gimmicks throughout the late Sixties and early Seventies. Some things never change, do they?
Things happen after a Badedas bath? Like realising that the only thing scarier than a Peeping Tom intruder in your garden is a Peeping Tom intruder wearing a puffy coral-hued shirt and white slip-on shoes! Advert from 1971.
* Because, as someone pointed out, I have missed two weeks of mensday! The horror!!
Somehow I missed that Pat Booth passed away in 2009. Alongside her then boyfriend James Wedge, Booth helped “create” the Chelsea fashion scene in the Sixties and Seventies with the boutiques Top Gear and Countdown. She had started out as a model, before and during the boutiques’ lifespans, and would become both a photographer and a novelist in later years. She was married twice; first to psychiatrist Garth Wood and second to advertising guru Sir Frank Lowe, a short year before her death from cancer. Pattie Boyd and Cliff Richard were the only attendees.
The reason I was looking her up was because I found and scanned this lovely shot of her from Vogue Boutique, February 1971. I’m still posting it, but I feel a bit sad to know that another key figure from the period has gone.
“Pat Booth strides out, left, in front of the recharged Countdown, 137 King’s Road, wearing the striped shorts she has made for the shop. All colours, 5½ gns, sweater the same, cape about 25 gns.”
Some gorgeous new listings over at Vintage-a-Peel, including two pairs of amazing original late Sixties boots; one white pvc and one dark blue canvas. Both have been prised from my hands by dint of being just a smidge too small for me. Curses!!
As a wise man said to me very recently, it should have been mandatory for publications to identify their models back in the Sixties and Seventies. Luckily, some of you are very good at this anyway. (I am not). Also luckily, such features as this exist. From Honey, July 1967, we have a handy feature on some up-and-coming models of the time.
Twiggy, obviously, needs no introduction. The glorious Grace Coddington, Paulene Stone, Shirley Anne Hayes and the ethereally lovely Charlotte Martin feature amongst some lesser-[to me]-known beauties. If any of them ever do an ego-search on Google and find this blog, please do email me and let me know what you’re up to now!
Helen Mirren has been playing since October in Lindsay Anderson’s repertory experiment at the Lyric, as Nina in The Seagull, and as”a foolish girl out for a fast buck” in the highly successful Ben Travers’ farce, The Bed Before Yesterday. It is a hard life, and she doesn’t seem to weaken. With the adrenalin shots of at least one performance a day, she goes on to eat, to drink and to dance the night away; only retiring early when there is a good late-night movie on television. She did think a new regime was needed: “I’m about to go out and buy a book on yoga”. Now she might do ten minutes of the Canadian PTX exercises, and eat a lot or nothing at all. Her clothes are pretty, secondhand market pieces mixed with things from shops like Che Guevara. She uses Tarn Hows Otto scent which she buys by mail order from the Lake District. What she really enjoys is make-up.
“I wear masses during the day but tend to take it off for the stage, it can look overdone so easily. I mix my own foundation because no one product is perfect, and they do seem to vanish into my skin. One is the right colour, one the right consistency, and I go on mixing them with my lovely Borghese powder till it works. Make-up can be daunting, all the big names, so I buy most in Boots, use kohl and a particular Mary Quant violet eye tint.”
She is hardly a new name; twelve years ago as a schoolgirl she received dazzling notices in the National Youth Theatre. Born in London, 28 years ago, “the fastest birth on record at Queen Charlotte’s”, she grew up in Leigh-on-Sea. Her family, she says, could not be described as theatrical-”though my Auntie Olga was a showgirl, briefly, and my father is a musician; he used to play the viola but couldn’t raise a family on that.”
Films have been The Age of Consent, Savage Messiah, Oh! Lucky Man, and she has appeared as Miss Julie and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on television. She would like to do more filming—if she can escape the stage—but if she belts out her Teeth ‘n’ Smiles’ role with as much bottle as she did at the Royal Court, the show could run well past October. “I’ve never stayed in one place for a whole season, but I suppose it will be good for the garden.” The garden grows behind the green and yellow painted house she shares with a friend in Fulham. Inside are signs of builders just passed through, paisley and faded Japanese silk cushions, busy lizzies, a Christmas present piano and Rosie, her black and white rabbit, who joins her here to be photographed by Lord Snowdon.
Helen making up at her dressing table wearing her own silk kimono and made-up wearing Krizia’s flowered pink crepe de chine. Helen and bicycle outside her Fulham house, left, wearing Krizia’s flowered pink silk crepe de chine pyjama suit, £219, at Buffy, Conduit St. With Rosie, the rabbit, right, among the cushions of her living-room sofa, wearing Albini’s smoked stained- glass print crepe de chine pantaloon suit with camisole top and buttoned ankles, £80.90; matching sandals. All by Albini for Trell, at Elle Italian Shops. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Her hair by Leslie at Smile.