Rings in Sculpture

Wendy Ramshaw is married to David Watkins. He is a sculptor and jeweller. She is a jeweller too. His electrically acrylic work is a collar dyed blue and sculpted to whoever will wear it. With the hinges and opening and band concealing them of 18 ct yellow gold, it is £880. Wendy Ramshaw makes rings, sculptural ones that fit into one another, with domed stones, smooth metal, finely judged architectural projections. She now makes ring stands so the ring is as handsome off as on. On the brass stand, turquoise and lapis blue enamel ring with outstanding green moonstone, £298 together. Nice work if you can collect it. It is on show at the Craft Centre of Great Britain at 43 Earlham Street, Covent Garden and the Electrum Gallery, 21 South Molton Street. Hair by Maggie Brew.

Photographed by Lester Bookbinder.

Scanned from Vogue, February 1974.

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Out of Focus

Illustration by Wendy Buttrose for a short story by Jennifer Caffrey.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, February 1970.


Herode

Photographed by Guy Bourdin for Charles Jourdan.

Scanned from Vogue, September 1977


Show a Little Spirit

Metallic leather battle jackets by Fifth Avenue. Green jacket worn with black crepe trousers by Gordon King. Lilac jacket worn with black crepe trousers by Highlight. Aldbrook scarf.

Bewitch: Try a bit of witchcraft, a bit of magical charm. Cast a spell or two with slinky black velvet, bedecked with sequins. Or glamorise in shiny coloured satins. But if you are going to bewitch you must…

Bother: to wear the same startling accessories. Wear strings of shiny necklaces, an interesting belt or sash. Tie a scarf the gipsy way, around your hips or head. For maximum effect shine your face with gold or silver powder.

And be wilder: in everything you wear.

Fashion by Sue Hone. Modelled by Madeline Smith and unknown model.

Photographed by Vic Singh

Scanned from Petticoat, November 2nd 1968.

Bright yellow satin trouser suit by Kleptomania. Ronald Keith patent shoes. Shimmering black battle-dress jacket and trousers by Bus Stop. Mauve and yellow belt by Martha Hill. Mauve lace scarf by Browns. Lilley and Skinner shoes.
Spooky black outfit by Bus Stop. Red crepe shirt and silk scarf by Biba.
Little black velvet dress by Biba. Sequined waistcoat by Gordon King. Indian pendant by Kleptomania.
Black crepe dress by Marlborough. Indian silk scarf by Aldbrook. Black waistcoat and skirt by Shelana. Blue shirt by Ivor Wahl.



Time For Make Up

Scanned from 19 Magazine, September 1971.


The Girls in the Band: A New Look for Cabaret

The Moodies – a group of art students who started the parody the current obsession with nostalgia, then found themselves being taken seriously

The numbers that The Moodies perform are firmly anchored in the Fifties and Sixties and ignore the current pop obsessions for necrophilia, drugs, suicide and the like. But under their bizarre make-up they are entertainers of the Seventies, rather than a group of decadent kids living off the nostalgia for ‘golden oldies’. On a good night, when the audience is firmly on their side, they create an atmosphere more like that of a private party than a sterile public performance; they earn their laughs through the juxtaposition of songs, their eccentric make-up, their idiotic props and their energetic dancing.

About a month ago, when they were playing at the tiny Moderna Theatre in Munich’s Schwabing district (surely the cleanest ‘quarter’ in the world), we noticed that the audience of all ages, shapes and sizes, were neatly dressed to the last man and woman; even their jeans had the knife-edge creases of an expensive boutique — the complete opposite of the people they had come to watch, who were described recently in Time Out as “looking like half a dozen friendly whores after a hard night in the Reeperbahn”.

“Everyone here tries to get us to mend our sweaters, they feel sorry for us. They think a hole is a sign of poverty. They wear the gear but they don’t understand what it’s about.

Perhaps that’s why we appeal to them,” said Anne Bean, who is a deceptively homely-looking girl off-stage and a powerhouse of energy on. She is one of the leaders of the group, though she denied that anyone actually led : “We are totally democratic -not that there is such a thing.” All art students at Reading, it was the second time they had played Munich. They banded together to play professional dates after they had sat their finals; they all passed except for buxom Suzy Adderley, who is on one year’s leave of absence and goes back soon to complete her course. They tried their luck at the Edinburgh Festival along with the rest of the Fringe: this was successful enough to land them their first book-ing in Munich.

“Actually, we were offered an Arts Council grant but we turned it down as we thought that it might restrict us,” said Rod Melvin, the pianist and the only man in the group. They still don’t have a pro-ducer, director, manager or agent. The only non-performing person to travel with them is Mickey Ekers who is a stage-manager-cum-electrician-cum-prop-master.

In the early days there were six girls, Anne Bean, Marianne Holliday, Polly Eltes, Suzy Adderley, Annie Sloan and Becky Bailey, but Becky Bailey deserted the group to paint. Anne Bean explained: “We really did the show as part of our finals.” Did this help them pass ? “Quite the contrary. It nearly sank us.”

At the start they followed the traditions of what was happening in pop music at that time: “Even the names we chose were just send-ups of those currently fashionable girlie groups like Lulu and the Luvvers and Martha and the Vandellas” said Anne Bean. “At one time we called ourselves Frank and the Furters” (she looked suitably ashamed) “then Lulu and the Lesbians, then prior to becoming The Mooches we were The Menstrual Seven.”

Before returning to Munich they had been playing at the Theatre at New End, Hampstead, where they had become quite a cult with late-night audiences. The group do num-bers like Gingold’s and Chevalier’s duet Ah Yes, I Remember It Well from Gigi and some of the more aggressive Presley songs, but they interpret these rather than imitate the originals. They make no announcements and use no words in spite of ‘gag fur gag’ written on the pink stars advertising the show. And they are very funny. Thank You For Being An Angel sung with melancholic grace by Rod Melvin became farce as the angel who drifted around stage shedding sequins at every step turned out to be a cross between Mae West and Jayne Mansfield. (Melvin is a talented pianist; the rest of the group are not musicians, but rely instead on improvisation and innovation.)

The make-up is startling. Polly Eltes said: “I really don’t quite know how we arrived at this present look. We started off quite simply looking brown and rather natural with perhaps blue eyelids, but gradually we progressed to what you see now.” They wear water-based wet-white foundation and then draw their features on to these masks. Anne Bean takes it the furthest by banding strips of coloured feathers to her eyebrows, while Rod Melvin, with his great carmine mouth and black sad eyes, looks somewhere between a clown and a Kabuki artist.

“I suppose we do reflect fashions, but I think it’s quite unconscious,” said Annie Sloan. “When Germaine Greer’s book came out (The Female Eunuch) we all wore strict little mannish suits, but somehow we have come to this.” ‘This’ is fishnet tights (with holes), gold-painted lace-up boots, long gloves and clothes they say they make themselves (which no-one would challenge). During the performance they swap clothes so that they look different but don’t use more costumes.

“I suppose that what we wear might seem eccentric and exaggerated; everyone marvels at Rod’s shoes but they came from Dolcis and mine came from Biba’s, so we are only picking up what’s around.” They admit that their art training and observations have probably influenced their act — the masks they wear at one point are exactly like those shown on some of John Davies’s sculptures shown at the Whitechapel Gallery a couple of years ago : “But we don’t want to intellectualise what we do,” said Annie Sloan, “or we might become self-conscious and unable to perform.”

The group pool their money; so much goes on running expenses, the rest on food and necessities. They were scheduled for seven more weeks on the road, ending at the Schiller Theatre in East Berlin. “When we are out of work we all do other things. I model, though I’m not much good at it,” said Polly Ekes. “I can’t really take it seriously, so when I go for jobs I mostly get turned down.” Rod and Anne teach, and sometimes Rod plays the piano for a girl singer and Marianne does typography and pho-tography. It is doubtful whether they will stick together : one has the feeling that they are enthusiastically filling in time before they move on to some-thing else.

Photographed by Hans Feurer. Report by Meriel McCooey.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 23rd 1974


Zandra’s Christmas Present Idea

If it’s blue hair and pink eye make-up, it must be Zandra Rhodes. And if it’s a diamante studded chiffon kerchief, it must be Zandra’s Christmas present idea. Inscribed ‘Zandra Rhodes for X’, it costs from £12.50, witchball blue satin shirt, £40, at Zandra Rhodes. Blue quiff on a black wig coloured by Daniel, cut by John, at Leonard. Golden arrow pin by Mick Milligan for Zandra Rhodes. Make-up by Richard Sharah using Mary Quant.

Photographed by Barry Lategan

Scanned from Vogue, December 1975.