Inspirational Illustrations: The eternal elegance of knitwear

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers Bazaar, October 1969

Illustration by Mouchy


Wet Stuff

No, no mild sauce prefix (arf arf!). It’s been rather damp in dear old Blighty lately, which has actually done the unthinkable/unbearable and forced me into actual shops where you buy actual new clothes (I needed some kind of trench-y raincoat thing and was starting to think I would have to wait forever to find the perfect vintage one I wanted) and obnoxious people push you away from the full-length mirrors and waft a disdainful hand at you (I kid ye not, my expression was pretty much the same as the photo immediately below…). Anyway, I’ve been meaning to scan this frankly awesome shoot from Honey magazine for simply ages. And given the current climate, it finally seemed very appropriate. 
Photos by Monty Coles. Honey magazine, February 1974

It’s a striking shoot. Rather modern-feeling (which just goes to prove that modern is rarely as modern as it seems…) and really affecting. Not emotionally, but physically. I can almost feel the models’ pain…

Peek Inside The Boutique: marrian-mcdonnell

Christopher McDonnell in the South Molton Street boutique. The model wears a blouse and layered culottes in organza, 42 gns.

I love these sparse and splendid boutique insights you can occasionally glean from vintage magazines. A while ago, to my shame, I promised that I would scan the entire of this July 1970 Telegraph Magazine article on London boutiques. Slap my wrist and call me Kate Moss, I clean forgot. I intend to amend, starting with marrian-mcdonnell.


45 South Molton Street, W1 and 80 Sloane Avenue, SW3

The first Marrian-McDonnell boutique opened in Sloane Avenue in April 1966. Christopher McDonnell, who had been a fashion editor with Queen magazine, where he met Mary Ann Marrian, designed clothes that were casual but elegant. A whoesale range was produced soon afterwards to meet the demand from other stores, and now the partners export to the U.S. and Scandinavia, too.

In 1968 the second boutique opened in South Molton Street, and its success emphasises Christopher’s flair for giving a touch of glamour to classic fashion.

The Daily Telegraph Magazine, July 17th 1970

(This photo by Guy Cross) Safari jacket, 13 gns, knitted trousers and floor length coat, 19 gns.

Typical Marrian-McDonnell ensemble is this cotton midi-dress with matching sleeveless coat, 20 gns.

Outside the dressing rooms, jersey jumpsuit, 13½ gns, worn with zip-fronted snakeskin jacket, 45½ gns.

Hair by David at Michaeljohn. Photos by Duffy.

Designers and models

One of my favourite Telegraph magazine spreads (May 25th, 1973) featuring some of my favourite designers (and, for a few, their partners) with their favourite models, wearing favourite pieces from that season.