Illustration by Sumiko. From a short story ‘Beautiful’ by Rachel Billington.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, May 1974.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.