Beautiful

Beautiful - Sumiko - Cosmo - May 74

“Lucy expected her lovers to obey the rules. If Alex dared to disrupt the perfect pattern of her life, he must be destroyed.”

Illustration by Sumiko. From a short story ‘Beautiful’ by Rachel Billington.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, May 1974.


Prints for Evening by Jim Lee

Photographed by Jim Lee. Scanned from Flair, February 1970.

Pastel printed close fitting dress with long, swinging peplum and matching fringed scarf by John Bates at Jean Varon. All jewellery by Adrien Mann.

Something of a dream combination for me, with two of my favourite designers, Janice Wainwright and John Bates, with one of my favourite photographers, Jim Lee. I don’t see Lee’s work often enough for my liking…

Photographed by Jim Lee.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Flair, February 1970.

Photographed by Jim Lee. Scanned from Flair, February 1970.

Left: Softest pastel printed jersey cardigan coat with white, slightly flared crepe pants by Janice Wainwright at Simon Massey. Scarf by Lida Ascher. Right: Sprawling flower-printed cardigan coat with matching pants by Janice Wainwright at Simon Massey


Fly High

Fly High Petticoat May 71

Madras check skirt in Jones Ross cotton, tee shirt and specs by Biba, belt and choker by Ruth Conick.

Whether you’re embarking on an unforgettable journey to the Caribbean islands or making some of these smashing Style summertime separates, you’ll find that it’s just about as easy as flying – when you’ve got the know how!

Photographed by John Carter. Fashion by Sue Hone.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, May 1971

Fly High Petticoat May 71 c

Left: Snowflake shorts in Herz Trevira, vest by Kadix, clogs by Elliott, choker by Ruth Conick. Right: Butterfly shorts in Herz fabric, blouse in plain Herz, clogs by Ravel.

Fly High Petticoat May 71 b

Pinafore skirt in Herz Trevira, blouse in Madras, hat by Titfers, sandals by Elliott.


Three Designers in Britain: Thea Porter

thea porter in britain

If I were an elegant lady Jet-Setter, with empty closets to be filled and a blank chequebook – where in the world would I buy my clothes? Italy, for divinely coloured mix-match knitted tweeds and marvellous bags and shoes. Then Paris for shirts and skirts and trousers, made the way only the French know how, signed Dior and Lanvin and Eres and you-name-it. New York, why not, for the perfect sporty shirtwaister, signed Halston. And for that absolutely smash-hit long thing to wear any time after 6pm? London, without hestitation. Signed Bill Gibb. Or Zandra Rhodes. Or Thea Porter. How or why London suddenly happens to possess three such blazing talents in this specialised field is a mystery: but there they are, all three of them turning out dresses of such individuality and beauty that if I just spotted the name in a sale I’d snap it out almost without pausing to examine it: alas I could hardly afford it otherwise, for these designers are hardly typical. They are absolutely top-of-the-tree.

I was delighted to find this piece in a copy of ‘In Britain’ magazine, which appears to have been a magazine specifically for the high-end tourist market (perhaps for airports or travel agents?). Written by the Fashion Editor of the Daily Mail, Barbara Griggs, it covers three of Britains most ‘couture’ designers: Thea Porter, Bill Gibb and Zandra Rhodes. Firstly I bring you, Thea Porter.

Thea Porter is small and auburn-haired and quiet. She works flat out, dressed in ankle-length black velvet, in her small Soho shop crammed with precious scraps of brocade and prints and embroidery. There are rails full of her beautiful robes: the abayas – floaty dresses cut almost in a square – the clinging printed chiffons, the lavishly embroidered jackets to be worn with a plain black shirt, the silky pyjamas. Hallmark of the  perfect Thea Porter: an oriental richness. If the fabric is an exotic print or mix of them, the seams of the dress are piped in gold, or the belt encrusted with embroidery, or the skirt trimmed with frilled pleating. But Thea insists: “They’re meant to be worn very, very simply – with just a little real antique jewellery, perhaps.” Many of her dresses are sold straight off the peg: more are made up to order for favourite customers like Sarah Miles and Eartha Kitt.

Photographed by Peter Kent.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from In Britain, May 1973.

thea porter in britain 2thea porter in britain 3


A Quick Step to Lovely Legs (& Co)

Legs and Co

For the uninitiated (and, if so, how? Why?.. Please acquaint yourself with some of my favourite performances below.) Legs & Co were a dance troupe on the BBC’s Top of the Pops from 1976-1981. They followed on from the short-lived Ruby Flipper, and also from the legendary Pan’s People. Formed and choreographed by original Pan’s Person Flick Colby, Sue Menhenick (seen here second from the right) was the only member of all three troupes.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, September 1978.


Summer in the Age of Aquarius

Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith. Scanned by Miss Peelpants.

Handpainted landscape on silk light as air. By Hilary Floyd, painted by Ross Ball.

Back to the beginning, back to the elements: these dresses are air and water in both of those blues, mingling handwork and waves of sheer silk in dresses of destiny.

Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, July 1970.

Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith. Scanned by Miss Peelpants.

Waves of Aquarian blue in tremulous layers. By Zandra Rhodes.


All Tied Up

Jersey midi dress by Crowthers. Paisley pinafore by Angela. Knitted hat by Susan Locke.

Jersey midi dress by Crowthers. Paisley pinafore by Angela. Knitted hat by Susan Locke.

Schoolgirls smocks gently looped, schoolmarm denims firmly tied and gypsy ribbons bowed: the perverse way to keep you ahead – all tied up behind!

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat Magazine, 3rd April 1971.

All Tied Up 2

Muslin midi dress with ribbons and velt tied at back by Mog. Adrien Mann raffia and bead choker.

Black crepe skirt and jacket with tie in the back by Bus Stop. Red shoes by Sacha. Van der Fransen rope around head.

Black crepe skirt and jacket with tie in the back by Bus Stop. Red shoes by Sacha. Van der Fransen rope around head.

Grey midi dress by Mary Quant. Peach and orange scarf by Jean Howell.

Grey midi dress by Mary Quant. Peach and orange scarf by Jean Howell.


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