The Folk Art Craze

The Folk Art Craze - Frank Horvat - Jan 71 b

Every designer is saying it loudly, clearly, boldly, prettily… the hand-made look is here. Maybe it started as a reaction against the badly-made, thrown-together, hotch-potched dolly era; maybe this reaction set the tide running for antique markets where painstaking workmanship could be picked up still; maybe it’s that elusive feeling in the air that a designer’s sensitive seismograph picks up and translates in his own distinctive handwriting. Whatever it is – it’s here.

Jorn Langberg of Christian Dior – London plots it out in warm brown velvet, got together with a brief, embroidered waistcoat and a deeply embroidered peasant skirt… at the other end of the scale the Dress Den at Kensington Antique Market tops a thick aubergine cotton skirt spilled with bright wool flowers with a scrap of bolero, pictorially embroidered over every centimetre of the scalloped front. If you’re skilled with a needle, have a good eye for colour and shape there’s no reason why you can’t put yourself ahead of the game. But this is a painstaking look, a one-off original look that can’t be tossed off in an evening by a hopeful but bodgy amateur needlewoman.

Both shirts by Jeff Banks; all accessories from Kensington Antique Market.

Fashion by Lorna Cattell.

Photographed by Frank Horvat.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, January 1971.

The Folk Art Craze - Frank Horvat - Jan 71 a

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Designers have their say.

fashion forum - sheridan barnett

Sheridan Barnett at Simon Massey, stripe bloomers and coloured top, £10.50 at Clangers, Shrewsbury. Mary Quant tights, 75p. Quant socks, 50p. Biba wedgies, £4.90. Sheridan Barnett stripe taffeta pants, £5.50 with dress to match £6.75.

Sheridan is twenty-five and very much a designer’s designer. He lives clothes to such an extent that honestly he has no clear idea at all of the sort of person who might wear his things. At the moment he is working for Simon Massey doing his thing, while Janice Wainwright, their other designer, does hers. He does have to compromise with Simon Massey because when he designs he goes the whole way, cutting out, naturally, a large part of the more conservative public, so he produces some simpler clothes with each new range. His summer range certainly needs a lot of confidence to carry it off. When we saw it, a great big profusion of bright clown clothes, the only other people to pass come rent had been the press who loved every little bit. It’s a happy melee of taffeta stripes, little dresses to wear with frilly bloomers underneath. Vogue had photographed them and 19 were anxious to use them at the very same time as we were. Yet in December when we spoke to him, the powers at Simon Massey were having thoughts about the range, feeling that clowns might be too ‘avant garde’ for the moment. But mainly on the strength of all the publicity they are getting, Simon Massey put them through with their fingers crowd for their success. It would certainly have been a pity if they hadn’t. He has also organised some clown hats to go with them and he is talking about wafer-thin sandals or great big clogs. When we met him he was wearing Oxford bags, spotted bow tie and a beautiful satin blazer with a clown-inclined fuzzy feather button-hole.

The job of the designer starts long before anyone else’s. They have to be able to think ahead to judge the mood of the public, but more, at this stage to sort out their own feeling as to the coming moods.

As Mary Quant says, a designer lives with an idea for so much longer than everyone else, he or she naturally progresses from it on to the next thing. It’s a very slow, deliberate progress and a very natural one.

If you look at the trends over the last year or so you can see how and why the evolution has been such as it is.

Most designers see their year split down the middle. They usually work for spring and summer, keeping those two seasons quite closely connected and then for autumn and winter, again co-ordinated with each other.

What is a designer? As Philip Bergman pointed out as one of the six people we interviewed for this feature, a designer is actually one of many things. He could be a ‘designers’ designer’ thinking clothes as totally related to himself and his own feelings or he could be very much commercially-minded. In other fields you can see a lot of design work, bearing the mark of their owner, obviously performing a task as a pure art form. With clothes designing, a man or a woman must be able to do far more than just draw nice-looking sketches.

In actual fact the six we talked to were far more down-to-earth – and aware of the industrial/business side of their trade than we had imagined. We could have expected to find them living with their heads in a creative cloud, one hand on the drawing board, the other scratching their chins in bemusement at us worldy fashion morons. That wasn’t anything like true. Most of them have either gained a specific technical knowledge and gone in to design or accumulated it through years of experience.

It’s this technical knowledge that is essential to today’s successful designer. After all, there’s no point in him or her designing some fabulous creation that everyone would go crazy over, only to find it totally unpractical and extortionately expensive to produce. It’s difficult for any creative person to work in industry because basically it is almost impossible to compromise aesthetics with the practicalities of living.

The readers complained last week that either prices were too high or quality must be improved, but fashion is very much a business. A manufacturer is concerned with producing as many garments as he can at the lowest cost so that might mean a slightly lower quality fabric or faster production. The buyer, too, is chiefly concerned that sales and stores do put quite a high `mark-up’ on clothes (that’s the profit they make between the price they buy the clothes at from manufacturers and the cost of the garment in the shops). There really isn’t a lot the designers can do about the state of the affairs, other than use their technical knowledge to keep prices down.

Some of the letters we receive here at Petticoat from readers complain that all anyone’s thinking about is what people in London are wearing, that the clothes they see in the shops in London they just couldn’t find in the provinces. In actual fact, as the buyers and designers agreed, the image of London being the place is dead and gone. No buyer buys anything different for her provincial branches and likewise, no designer has the image of ‘a London girl’ in mind when he’s sketching.

Stylewise all the designers were agreed with our readers that girls should start looking like girls again. Some of the designers turned to the fabrics that will help, like Jeff Banks, others to feminine styles, like Mary Quant and Lee Bender. Take a look and read their comments on fashion. . . .

Fashion by Sue Hone. Photographed by Steve Hiett.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, February 1972.

fashion forum - lee bender

Lee Bender wool smock with toggle fastening, £6.50. Cord half mast pants, £3.95. Quant cover-ups, 75p. Stirling Cooper sox, 95p. Bata shoes, £4.99. Bermona madras print Mother Hubbard hat, £2. Bus Stop cord pants, £3.95. Angora top, £8.95. Russell & Bromley shoes, £4.95. Quant sox 50p. Stirling Cooper sox, 95p. Biba hat, £2.

Lee Bender, synonymous with the name of Bus Stop which started as a tiny shop five years ago, is now thirty-three and with eight big Bus Stops around the country. “Honestly,” she says, “it’s taken over my life now!” She’s famous for producing clothes that are right up to the minute fashion-wise but very positively wearable ones both as regards price and style. She is every inch a designer as such, doing her own thing and interpreting the current moods as she feels them, usually working on the idea that her customers want to look feminine. “I’m right off this butch thing,” she says, “and since the designers have so much more living time with an idea and consequently get fed up with it before anyone else we can always think ourselves into the next thing quite safely. Fashion is a natural evolution and a slow one and its definitely getting softer and prettier.” At the beginning of each season, Lee sits down and runs off about thirty sketches. They’re all talked through, leaving about twelve which then go to the toile-maker, and on to a design meeting for the final selection. “We don’t have many complaints about quality here,” she said, “because we have a very stringent passing department, but when you’re cutting thousands of garments there’s bound to be something faulty on one or two, isn’t there? “I try hard to maintain a standard of quality,” she said, “but the fabric and the manufacturing costs have gone up. Anyway when the Swinging London thing started everyone just wanted fashion regardless of quality, but surely that whole scene has gone now, hasn’t it? Now we’re back to the really good stuff.”

fashion forum - sarah dare

Gordon King pants with turn ups, £5.75 with smock top, £4.50 write to Gordon King, 106, Gt. Portland St., W1, for stockists. Biba felt hat, £2. John Plenders Leith bangles. Gordon King pants, £6.25 with collared top, £5.25

Sarah, at the age of twenty-seven, is responsible, along with two others, for the sort of separates that have made Gordon King’s name in the rag trade. To Sarah, the fabrics are all important, and, especially where trousers are concerned, the cut. “Fashion isn’t just a gimmicky culture any more — it’s more important,” she says. “It’s not just putting badges and more badges on things, it’s producing clothes the best way we can within the right price limits.” Her spring range saw really neat-looking sailor clothes and she’s taking the freshness of the range on into summer but in some pretty floral prints. She tries to design clothes that are flattering rather than sexy as such and as a woman thinking clothes for women she knows how much difference a simple seam somewhere can make. “Well,” she says, “people do wear things that don’t suit them, don’t they ?” There are plenty of pants in her summer range, just as well-cut but much more feminine. ‘Trousers have been so butch for such a tong time now, haven’t they?” she said, “so I’ve put in waistbands and lots of back zips. It’s taken a while for some of the buyers who’ve seen them to get used to them but I think that if by putting a seam scooping round the hip, it’s a nice way of looking good and staying in fashion . ” She’s also brought out a great new shirt range for summer, something she really wanted to do, “I wanted to take shirts away from the usual collar, cuffs and button-front image.” That’s just what she has done. In bright floral cottons, in greens, pinks, oranges, her shirts have sailor collars, huge kimono sleeves flap shoulders or frills and tie belts. You can always rely on a woman to know what women want, can’t you?

fashion forum - jeff banks

Yellow shirt, £4.50, Miss Selfridge. Jeff Banks velvet pants, £8.25 and zip up cardigan, £6.50, both from Stop The Shop, SW3. Bata shoes, £4.99. Edward Mann blue hat, £2.80. Jeff Banks drill pants, £5.75, Smock top, £5, both at Stop The Shop, SW3. Blue shoes, £4.90, Biba W8. Edward *Mann Main hprat .7f1

Of all the designers in fashion today, Jeff probably has the best reputation, not only for possessing tremendous perception but also for his ability to carry out his designs into production in a truly pr-fessional manner. His knitwear range can take him as long as seven or eight months to see completed, involving trips to the north where his knitters are, endless discussions on technicalities and constant checking. He sees his summer collections as being a natural follow-on to the spring one so if spring was cheesecloth, summer will be some amazing Lancashire striped cotton. “An honest six quid’s worth, these are, not just to wear on high days and holidays.” He starts each season with about twenty-four designs, ends up with eight when he sees how they’re working out. “What I try to do,” he says, looking pretty comfortable himself in a beautiful shirt, funky knit waistcoat, unobtrusive pants amid all the finery of his amazing offices, “is to give girls one or two pieces of clothing to start them off. They don’t simply want to zip on la dress and a look for the day. They want lots of nice things that are comfy.” The shirts he showed us were basic, but with something ‘alien’ about them like frills, bright ric rac or cream lace. They were the sort of thing you could wear to a “summer pop festival without being hot and sticky.” His knitwear you can see a sample of here, where he has gone all out for funky colours (“sickly” he calls them), like these and a lot of beautiful quilting. Generally he likes them to look loose and long with wide sleeves to wear over his shirts with butcher-striped pants. Jeff says he is more pleased with this collection than with any other he has done – no prizes for guessing why!

fashion forum - mary quant

Mary Quant skirt and top, £13.85, from Simpsons, Piccadilly, Wl. Quant tights with seams, 75p. Kangol beret, 80p. Silky pants with top, £18.75, Escalade, SW3, Lucinda Byre branches. Dranella spot brim hat, £3.81. Van der Fransen flower brooch, £l.

She’s now thirty-seven and come a very long way since she opened her first shop, Bazaar in the King’s Road in 1955. In those days it was the clothes she’d learnt to produce at Gold-smiths and accessories she’d go all over the place to pick up. Two more Bazaars and the Ginger Group Production Co. later. She has a range of beautiful knitwear, a world-wide cosmetics firm, a hosiery organisation which includes bras and pants, shoes in her name and a domestic textile range for I.C.I. Mary was the first designer to think about the layered look, so naturally she is one of the first to feel that maybe we’ve had enough of “putting things together rather haphazardly” and that we really want to look a bit more grown up now. Her latest range is the slickest for many seasons, she’s using plenty of functional cotton from seersucker, through some amazing cotton spots and stripes to some fine, lined denim. Unlike other designers Mary doesn’t work totally from sketches. Sometimes she doesn’t sketch at all. An idea might occur to her and she’ll carry it in her head to their workroom, explain to the girls there what she is thinking about, watch it growing on a model. She’s really more of a “builder.” As to her prices, well, “she’s not actually price-conscious,” said her public relations officer, Heather Tilbury, “she’s more realistic.” Anyone can wear Mary’s designs, “just as long as they’re slim,” Her colours for the range are the brightest ones—really poisonous greens, shocking reds and yellows and plenty of pretty prints on fabrics that she travels all over the world to find. Mary’s seen a lot of her dreams come true, not in the least her year-old son Orlando making his presence very widely known.

fashion forum - phillip bergman

Henry Lehr for Muria leather pants, £32, from Muria Club at Harrods. Green jersey with stripes, £10, designed by Phillip Bergman for Muria at Hedgehogs, SW3. Kangol yellow beret, 80p. Paul Stephens belt. Henry Lehr for Muria yellow pants in leather, £32. Leather waistcoat with poppers and appliqué, £35, at Muria Club. Sweater with red. yellow and blue stripes, £12, by Philip Bergman.

To Phillip Bergman, technical knowledge must be the guiding light to a designer. He himself trained for four years as a fabric designer at St. Martin’s college, then went on to the fabric side of fashion at Marlborough Dresses then to designing tee-shirts at Miss Impact. “It’s like any business,” he says, “you must have a thorough technical knowledge. If you don’t there are a number of things you’ll never think of designing anyway!” He doesn’t actually think of himself as a designer at all. I “I simply take the elements needed at the time and produce them.” “There are very few actual designers. There are stylists who produce and editors who co-ordinate. Take these sweaters I’m designing for Muria’s new spring skin range. I told the knitter the colour and shape she knitted them– so who’s the ‘designer’?” Designs must be, above all else, functional. To Phillip, the biggest and strongest influence on fashion in recent years has come from America, whose basic culture has produced the most functional clothes ever. “Basically America has the most powerful media influence in the world. From there the look was emphasised in Paris and mass-produced over here. Every so often you get ethnic feelings creeping in, like the Japanese look or the peasant thing, but the American culture, the Andy Warhol pop thing and Mr. Freedom are the strongest influences. The naval look is a spin off the sort of genuine combat gear the kids in the States were wearing but now we’ve really taken away the whole point of the look.” It’s opinions like these that produced the beautiul sweaters pictured here.


Clothes to raise his temperature

Clothes to raise his temperature 7

Playsuit and skirt by Ossie Clark for Radley. Shoes from Russell and Bromley.

An incredible editorial, photographed in and around Nice. I dream of returning to Nice with a wardrobe full of these frocks…

Photographed by Bill King.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, November 1973.

Clothes to raise his temperature 1

Cire raincoat by Andre Ledoux. Peeptoe shoes by Saint Laurent. Sunglasses by Dior.

Clothes to raise his temperature 2

Forties dress by Jeff Banks. Perspex shoes from Russell and Bromley.

Clothes to raise his temperature 3

Dress by Bernshaw. Fur coat by John Bates for Austin Garritt. Shoes from Russell and Bromley.

Clothes to raise his temperature 4

Lurex dress by Mary Quant. Shoes by Saint Laurent.

Clothes to raise his temperature 5

Tie back jumpsuit by Electric Fittings.

Clothes to raise his temperature 6

Silk dress and jacket from The Suliman Shop.


Welcome Summer

Welcome Summer - 5 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Gladrags printed shirt with cotton satin knickerbockers. Plastic and raffia choker by Adrien Mann. Gladrags cotton satin shorts with bib.

Just a quick glance at any of these new mid-year fabrics can lead to all sorts of sunny ideas. Will you take to squashysoft quilting or fall in love with countryside madras printed denim and shiny new satinised cotton? For the romantic there’s beautiful embroidered lawns and more than enough nostalgia in the turn-of-the-century jacquard crepes, woven on precisely the same machines as those of sixty summers past. All ready for you to wear tomorrow — or to keep aside for that long hot summer . . .

Photographed by Jean Claude Volpeliere.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, April 1971.

Welcome Summer - 7 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Little bird print shirt and skirt from Biba. Suede wedge shoes from Sacha. Angora brim hat from Browns.

Welcome Summer - 2 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Blue quilted shorts and shirt, both from Feathers. Blue suede shoes by Sacha.

Welcome Summer - 3 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Clobber stars and stripes jacket at Stop the Shop. Bermona denim cap.

Welcome Summer - 1 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Gillian Richard printed dungarees, smock and matching hat from ’27’. Gillian Richard calico smock with matching dungarees from Snob and Irvine Sellars shops. Herbert Johnson hat. .

Welcome Summer - 4 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Angela smock dress at Stop the Shop.

Welcome Summer - 6 - Jean Claude Volpeliere

Angela calico farmers smock worn with denim jeans, wellington boots and hat.


Sentimental Journey

sentimental journey - gian barberis - 1

Striped top and matching crepe cardigan. Cream crepe trousers, all by Jackie Ross at Jon Elliot. Clutch bag by Biba. Blue and white striped scarf from Essences. Beige straw hat by Diane Logan / Green,, white and black striped cardigan is a 19 Magazine knitting pattern. Long cream gored skirt by Brave New World. Cream strappy straw sandals from Chelsea Cobbler.

back to romance with nostalgia and nostalgic clothes in romantic settings. Long, flowing scarves, mysterious veils and soft, sensuous fabrics for Sunday strolls or super dates — a wardrobe for summer sentimentalists

Hair by Robert at Ricci Burns.

Photographed by Gian Barberis.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, May 1974.

sentimental journey - gian barberis - 2

Green straw hat by Diane Logan. Green and cream printed crepe de chine dress by Gillian Richard. Cream knitted cardigan from Essences. Grey suede shoes from Bombacha. / Dark green chip straw ht by Diane Logan. Green and cream printed crepe de chine dress by Gillian Richard. Navy blue shoes from Bombacha.

sentimental journey - gian barberis - 3

Cream beret by Kangol. Halter top, matching white and blue silk knitted long cardigan. Matching calf-length knitted skirt all by Lison Bonfils at Joseph. Grey suede shoes from Bombacha. / Salmon pink beret by Kangol. Cream crepe sleeveless top with sequin motif. Matching below-the-knee culottes. Both by Jackie Ross for Jon Elliot. Salmon pink silky cardigan from Essences. Sandals from Chelsea Cobbler.

sentimental journey - gian barberis - 4

Brown felt hat from Nostalgia. Black and white crepe de chine dress by Jeff Banks. Cream cardigan by Essences. Shoes from Bombacha. / White suit with black pattern and reverse on cuffs and collar from Essences. Black suede shoes from Bombacha. Black scarf from Bus Stop.

sentimental journey - gian barberis - 5

Pink straw hat by Diane Logan. Crepe crepe jacket and matching mid-calf skirt by Bus Stop. Cream straw shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. / Black and tan cloche from Diane Logan. V neck top and matching crepe jacket and skirt all from Bus Stop. Straw shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Scarf to match suit from Bus Stop.


Mirror, Mirror by Helmut Newton

Mirror Mirror - Helmut Newton - Observer April 69 - 2

Wet-look cire bikini, also in red, with gilt link on bra top and belt of pants, 59s., from main branches of C & A. Paste tiger brooch from the Paris flea market.

Pause for reflection before you buy your swimsuit for this summer. If you’re going to be in the picture, you must get your exposure right : make it the most your shape will take. Because this is a narcissistic year. More girl, less swimsuit. Bikinis will be back with us again this summer — and they’ll be barer than ever. But the fabrics, not to be outshone, are glistening wet-look cires, metallic golds and silvers. And as adornments for the bare body, there is simple animal jewellery —snake bracelets, stalking-tiger brooches, that sort of simple thing.

Hair by Didier at Jean-Louis David, Paris.

Photographed by Helmut Newton.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Observer Magazine, April 1969.

Mirror Mirror - Helmut Newton - Observer April 69 - 1

Silver crochet bikini (also in other colours), £5 15s. 6d.; all cobweb crochet jacket, £5 15s. 6d.; both by Clobber, from Miss Selfridge, Oxford Street, W1 ; Just Looking, Kings Road, SW3; J. T. Parrish, Newcastle; Contrary, Burton Square, Manchester ; Silver cord lacing up jacket, 5d. yd. from John Lewis, Oxford Street, W1. Paste tiger brooch from the Paris flea market.

Mirror Mirror - Helmut Newton - Observer April 69 - 5

Tobacco-brown bikini with fine chain straps and belt, by Tiktiner, £10 15s., from the Summer House at Simpsons, Piccadilly, W1. Gold leather sandals fastening above the ankle, f7 17s. 6d. from Elliotts, 76 New Bond Street, W1, and Kings Road and Knightsbridge branches. Snake brace-lets, 42s., frog ring, 12s. 6d.; by Corocraft, from Marrian-McDonnell, 45 South Molton Street, W1, and 80 Sloane Avenue, SW3; Kendal Milne, Manchester.

Mirror Mirror - Helmut Newton - Observer April 69 - 4

Barely one-piece swimsuit, cut away at the back like a bikini, in sand-coloured towelling, and in other colours too, by Jersea, £4 15s., from Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1 ; Lynette Claire, Kensington High Street, W8; Marshall & Snelgrove, 24-30 New Street, Birmingham; Darling & Co., Bath ; Impact, Salisbury. Gladiator boots, by Mary Quant, 89s. 11d., from Lilley & Skinner.

Mirror Mirror - Helmut Newton - Observer April 69 - 3

White Nylon Helanca and Antron bikini with clear perspex links, by Ruben Torres for Tweka, 5gn., also in lilac, black, pink, turquoise or gold, from D. H. Evans, Oxford Street, W1 ; Lady Jane, Carnaby Street, W1 ; Birn & Son, Southend-on-Sea ; Rackhams, Birmingham; Reid & Todd, Glasgow. Summery boots laced up the back by Mary Quant, 89s. 11d., from Lilley & Skinner, 360 Oxford Street, W1. Gilt snake chain around waist, by Corocraft, 2gn., from Way In, Knightsbridge, SW1 ; Kendal Milne, Manchester.


The Grand Affair

Grand affairs call for grand clothes, and provide a welcome opportunity to get out of our peasant blouses and jeans and dress accordingly. The nicest thing about fashion at the moment is that everyone is so confused as to what they should be wearing, that you can wear exactly what you like. We opt for the romantic Garbo fashion, tarted up in the ’71 style, because girls are beginning to look like girls again and, although we sympathise with Women’s Lib., we don’t believe you have to look like a fella to get equal rights!

Possibly the most perfect encapsulation of the Seventies-does-Thirties aesthetic, this homage to Art Deco features some of the most lust-worthy clothes from my favourite designers and boutiques. Including Biba, Ossie Clark and some rare Antony Price for Stirling Cooper!

Photographed in the home of interior designer Graeme Gibson rather than in a studio, the authenticity is heightened by the location and the props, and then finished with the sweet illustrated photoframes.

Photographed by David Tack.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, January 1971.

grand affair 3

Crepe dress by Antony Price for Stirling Cooper. T-strap shoes from Sacha.