Charlotte Rampling: Handle with care

Charlotte Rampling, who has made the headlines by living with two men and "loving them equally" - Randall Lawrence here is one - has recently married the other, Brian Southcombe. But there's no breakup in what she calls "her family". Here Charlotte cuddles up to her Best Man, a champagne girl in a pop outfit. Pepsi top and trousers by Harriet.

Charlotte Rampling, who has made the headlines by living with two men and “loving them equally” – Randall Lawrence here is one – has recently married the other, Brian Southcombe. But there’s no breakup in what she calls “her family”. Here Charlotte cuddles up to her Best Man, a champagne girl in a pop outfit. Pepsi top and trousers by Harriet.

Some stunning photos of the divine Charlotte Rampling, wearing some incredible clothes, scanned from [a slightly crinkly copy of] Cosmopolitan, April 1972. Shame the copy is so utterly, horridly anti-feminist. What gives, Deirdre McSharry? This is Cosmo, after all…

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, April 1972. Photographed by Barry McKinley.

Even the most liberated, jeans-uniformed, free-thinking women will be melting at the seams this summer. She’ll be babying herself in cheesecloth, swathing her shoulders in chiffons, oozing into tight, bright “message” clothes and generally dressing up as if she hadn’t got the vote. If your mind is ticking over OK, what’s the matter with appearing as “woman-as-a-sex-object”? A little female fragility never hurt a good fight yet … If you dress in a fragile manner you’ll be handled with care.

Stirling Cooper blazer and trousers. Wavy Navy shirt by Browns.

Stirling Cooper blazer and trousers. Wavy Navy shirt by Browns.

How to be tatooed while staying a lady. Charlotte has the art in this cheesecloth t-shirt and leather trousers. Tattoos turn a lot of men on - but if not you can just slip this lot off. By Henry Miura.

How to be tattooed while staying a lady. Charlotte has the art in this cheesecloth t-shirt and leather trousers. Tattoos turn a lot of men on – but if not you can just slip this lot off. By Henry Miura.

Cream flannel trousers with straps by Ossie Clark

Cream flannel trousers with straps by Ossie Clark

Blouse printed by Celia Birtwell and designed by Ossie Clark

Blouse printed by Celia Birtwell and designed by Ossie Clark


In praise of [slightly] older women

Diana Rigg in the early Seventies (in her mid-thirties)

They were all beautiful in their twenties, and they remain beautiful to this day, but I have come to the conclusion that many of my favourite women looked their very, very best in their thirties and early forties. Which may or may not be somewhat biased by my own entering of my thirties. Ok, so I entered them three years ago but still… I think it is an important thing to notice, when all around are becoming consumed by vanity and their faces destroyed by undesirable injectables.

The puppy fat has fallen away, the features now more defined and enhanced by laughter lines and emerging cheekbones. They look relaxed; as if the pressure of ‘looking good’, which so restrains a teen or twenty-something, has lifted with the knowledge that none of it really matters a great deal. Maybe they’ve had a baby, maybe they don’t want to, maybe they’re still waiting for the right moment (Diana Rigg was 39 when she had Rachael). They know any man worth his salt won’t mind seeing them without make-up, and that he doesn’t really care about the size of their breasts or backsides. They know how swiftly life is passing, how much has been missed already, and how relatively little retains its importance ten or twenty years later. They don’t try to make up for their age by ignoring it or trying to behave like teenagers, they simply embrace the things which are worth embracing. They still make mistakes, but can handle them with good grace.

I realise I am making the cardinal mistake of putting words into people’s mouths and making sweeping generalisations, but I wanted to express how looking at these women makes me feel. And how it reminds me of why it is ok for me to have changed, to have matured and to have grown into my appearance. We all have moments when we wish we still had all that youth on our side, but a few quick glances at things I wrote, men I dated or photographs of myself ten years ago – soon remind me that I didn’t know anything, had very poor taste in men and was quite chubby in the face. All things I am glad to have [hopefully] grown out of.

So whether you are here (there) already, or have it yet to come, I hope you can remember these incredible women and weep for the stupidity of the likes of Lindsey Lohan, Lara Flynn Boyle or Carla Bruni. Plus, don’t forget to check back in with me in ten years time and see if I’ve started saying that ‘actually they looked better in their fifties…’.

Apologies for vague dating of some pictures, the tumblr effect means that very few are dated for me and I’ve had to do a certain amount of guesswork… Also, certain people I think looked lovely in their thirties have gone on to have pretty lousy work done to their faces and have, consequently, not been featured here. That’ll teach ‘em!

Jane Birkin, 1982 (aged 36)

Brigitte Bardot in 1972, aged 38

Jean Shrimpton in the mid Seventies, in her early thirties

Charlotte Rampling in 1984 (aged 38)

Jacqueline Bisset in 1977 (aged 33)

Veruschka in 1972 (aged 33)

Françoise Hardy in the early Eighties (in her late thirties)

Grace Coddington in 1974 (aged 33)

Brigitte Bardot in the late Sixties (in her mid thirties)

Jacqueline Bisset in 1984 (aged 40)

Diana Rigg c.1974 (aged 36)

Charlotte Rampling in 1977 (aged 31)

Twiggy in 1983 (aged 34)

Françoise Hardy in the late Seventies (in her mid thirties)

Jean Shrimpton in 1979 (aged 37)

And in case you needed any more evidence, please see Duran Duran’s now infamous supermodel-stuffed video for Girl Panic!. Personally I believe they all look far, far better than they did in their modelling heyday.


Inspirational Images: Charlotte Rampling, 1974

Photographed by Ewa Rudling, 1974. Domaine du Cap, South of France.

Scanned from Charlotte Rampling: With Compliments.


Weekend Inspirations: Thinking of springtime…
















Weekend Inspirations: The Furry Variations


Big Hair

Big Hair

A celebration of big Sixties hair. Because, if you’re anything like me, Big Hair is the only hair you can possibly manage in summer humidity…

Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair

Big Hair

Big Hair
Big Hair

Big Hair

Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair
Big Hair


Inspirational Images: Charlotte Rampling

Can it be…? That chain dress so beloved of Diana Rigg, and which I’m still desperate to identify? The dress colour and texture is different, but the chain effect looks very similar.

I love this shot of Charlotte Rampling; it’s a familiar pose. Me, sitting on the pouffe in front of my beloved art deco dressing table, wondering how on earth I’m going to do battle with my hair today…. Except I have genuine problems and clearly Ms Rampling does not.

by Philip Townsend

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