Playsuits: All at Sea

Playsuits all at see - Hans Feurer - Vogue - May 71 - a

Sundress in deep blue rayon crepe with matching shorts by Stirling Cooper. Bikini in hand by Alistair Cowin. Sandals by Ravel.

Simply wizard playsuits. Sundresses with slightly flared shorts. Plenty of straps crossing bare backs. Lots and lots of buttons. Super colours. Cotton, crepe and jersey. Wish you were here and looking like this.

Photographed by Hans Feurer.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, May 1971.

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Playsuit in chocolate jersey, ginger edged. By Copper Coin. Straw hat by Buckle Under. Shoes by Ravel.

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Sunsuits in Madras patch cotton by Marielle. Sunhats by Titfers. Canvas shoes by Masotti. Right: Playsuit by Bus Stop. Sandals by Ravel.

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Playsuit in canary yellow on dark brown cotton by Alistair Cowin. Shoes by Ravel.

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Playsuit in Liberty print by John Marks. Liberty flower hat by Titfers Shoes by Ravel.

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Playsuit by Toto.


Happily Ever After

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White lawn dress printed with butterflies and flowers by Thea Porter. Straw hat by Buckle Under. Red wedge shoes by Kurt Geiger. Belt by Shape.

There’s a good reason why Vanity Fair is possibly my favourite magazine of this period. They were relatively conventional in the 1960s, and would ‘merge’ with Honey magazine around 1972, but in their death knells they were just about the most innovative magazine in the UK. Issues were often themed around ‘issues’, for example this one is entirely themed around break-ups and divorces (including a story on what a divorced man should wear when taking his kid out for the day).

Nor did they shy away from more expensive designer names, such as Thea Porter and Zandra Rhodes here, mixing them happily with the more affordable but still iconic boutique names like Stirling Cooper and Mr Freedom. Adding Foale and Tuffin, Pablo and Delia and Terry de Havilland into the mix for good measure, and all those stunning illustrations by Michael Foreman… this is one of my favourite editorials of all time.

Vanity Fair is also, frankly, a nightmare to scan because it falls apart at the binding with the lightest touch, which is why I don’t scan them as often. So enjoy the heaven of Harri Peccinotti’s work while I gently shuffle all the pages back into the magazine…

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Illustrations by Michael Foreman.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, April 1971.

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Long grey crepe dress patterned with purple, green and red birds by Shape. Pablo and Delia suede thong necklace. Blue suede shoes at Sacha.

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Beige suede skirt with applique shapes and matching shawl by Mary Quant. Necklace from Buckle Under. Beige suede boots by Guy Humphries.

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Blue and white feather printed chiffon dress by Zandra Rhodes.

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Left to right: Chiffon blouse and multi-coloured skirt by Foale and Tuffin. Painted rainbow shoes from Mr Freedom. Painted belt by Shape. // Cream and red jersey catsuit (top only showing) and banded red and cream skirt both from Stirling Cooper. Red shoes by Kurt Geiger. // Cream, yellow and red jersey dress by Stirling Cooper. Pull on hat by Janice Peskett. // Red cotton t-shirt by Erica Budd. Cream dungarees from Stirling Cooper. Red python sandals at Elliotts.

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Above: Mauve satin cotton pinafore dress and blouse by Gladrags. Right: Bottom half of Alistair Cowin calico trousers with green printing. Green and yellow shoes by Terry de Havilland. Far right: Black velvet dungarees with white satin applique heart from Mr Freedom. Chiffon blouse from Foale and Tuffin. Mauve canvas boots at Charles Jourdan.


Designer Focus: Alistair Cowin

Alistair Cowin photographed by John Carter for 19 Magazine, April 1969

Alistair Cowin photographed by John Carter for 19 Magazine, April 1969

You might not have heard of Alistair Cowin before. Like many other superbly talented designers in the 1960s and 1970s, he has rather fallen off the radar in recent years. But all it takes is a little article from a contemporary magazine, and an original garment, and I’m hooked. I’ve just listed this dress over on Vintage-a-Peel, and it’s a beauty. A vision in white chiffon, and very reminiscent of designs by his contemporaries John Bates and Gerald McCann. I only have one other piece by Cowin so far, so I think it’s safe to say his work doesn’t show up very often. And how often does a wearable collectable piece, in a non-teeny tiny size ever pop up?

Available now over at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Alistair Cowin 1960s chiffon mini dress at Vintage-a-Peel

Alistair Cowin 1960s chiffon mini dress at Vintage-a-Peel


Inspirational Editorials: Knits, socks and clogs

Puff sleeve sweater from Harrods. Small turquoise Acrilan bib sweater at Stop the Shop. Both by John Craig. Khaki ribbed bermuda shorts by Donald Davies. Tapestry clog boots by Jan Jensen.

Puff sleeve sweater from Harrods. Small turquoise Acrilan bib sweater at Stop the Shop. Both by John Craig. Khaki ribbed bermuda shorts by Donald Davies. Tapestry clog boots by Jan Jensen.

A perfect winter look.

Photographed by Elisabeth Novick. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, February 1971.

Dusty pink puff sleeved sweater over a beige linen sweater. Both by Harold Ingram. Thick purple wool trousers at Biba. Striped socks, Ruskin at Kensington Market. Knit cap by Margaret Howell at The Sweet Shop. Rose in glass pin, Marie Middleton at Chelsea Antique Market. Jacquard sweater by Toto at branches of Crowthers. Mushroom beige sweater underneath by Harold Ingram. Royal blue cashmere shorts, McGregor of Dublin. Over the knee socks by Donald Davies.

Dusty pink puff sleeved sweater over a beige linen sweater. Both by Harold Ingram. Thick purple wool trousers at Biba. Striped socks, Ruskin at Kensington Market. Knit cap by Margaret Howell at The Sweet Shop. Rose in glass pin, Marie Middleton at Chelsea Antique Market. Jacquard sweater by Toto at branches of Crowthers. Mushroom beige sweater underneath by Harold Ingram. Royal blue cashmere shorts, McGregor of Dublin. Over the knee socks by Donald Davies.

Vest and pullover both by Alice Pollock at Quorum. Pink knitted shorts by Alistair Cowin at Grade One. All clogs from Mayfair Market. Puff sleeved sweater in stripes of tuqouoise, pink and navy, acrylic tibbed dark blue polo neck undeneath, dark blue knitted trousers rolled up. All by John Craig at Stop the Shop.

Vest and pullover both by Alice Pollock at Quorum. Pink knitted shorts by Alistair Cowin at Grade One. All clogs from Mayfair Market. Puff sleeved sweater in stripes of tuqouoise, pink and navy, acrylic tibbed dark blue polo neck undeneath, dark blue knitted trousers rolled up. All by John Craig at Stop the Shop.


Short and Sweet

I feel sad for the summer which never quite came to these shores. We had some nice days early on, but nothing consistent. I’m no sun worshipper, and I freely admit to preferring autumn, but it would have been nice to have been out and about a little more frequently in a little less clothing. I’m considering a little seaside jaunt in October, so I’ll just have to wear this kind of gear with some thick tights, hat and a coat over the top.

Stunning illustrations from 19 Magazine, May 1971, by Michael Roberts. I did a little reading up on Roberts, and he seems like a fascinating, Renaissance-style man. I pay far more attention to the names of illustrators these days, for obvious reasons, and it’s always nice to discover something about these all-too-often unsung artists.