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.
Photographed by Maude.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, October 1972.
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.
Add a bit of extravagance to your life with freaky shaggy jackets in flamboyant fur fabrics — everything from bold plaids and curly poodle wools to mock animal prints. Dress up everyday skirts and trousers with short boxy boleros and bottom-skimming jackets with wide 40s shoulders. Best of all, go vampy with shiny satin trousers or shorts and add a final sparkling touch of diamante.
Photographed by Brian Downes.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, November 1971
This photoshoot, featuring the brilliantly named Celestia Sporborg, is another one of my all-time favourites, and one I have put off scanning for a long while because Vanity Fair is actually a rather painful magazine to scan. The gummed spine, with age, does not enjoy being flattened so it requires extra effort to maintain some kind of structural integrity. I couldn’t NOT scan though. I love these images. I love the blurriness, her natural facial expressions, the very domestic backdrop and, of course, the completely mind-blowingly fabulous clothes. I don’t know where to start. That Stirling Cooper above is just so modern. And the Radley playsuit, so very Glam. And the Ossie… Plus Alice Pollock, Foale and Tuffin and a Ritva sweater I sold on Vintage-a-Peel a few years back…
It also identifies the shots from Vanity Fair’s Guide to Modern Etiquette, ‘Nice Girls Do’, which I posted about before. To contextualise this shoot, the entire June issue is dedicated to feminism and liberation. Certainly one of the main reasons I love Vanity Fair almost above all other magazines of the period is the fact that they would theme all the contents of an issue, including the fashion spreads.
Celestia Sporborg is now a casting director herself, with over a hundred film credits on IMDB. She married theatre and film producer Robert Fox (brother of James and Edward) in 1975 and they had three children together.
Photographed by Frank Horvat.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, June 1971
But before you start chucking him back, remember the average British male is all you’ve got to work on. So get working on him. Tell him you think his barber stinks. Say you’ll scream if he turns up in that seedy safari jacket, with those baggy drainpipes, and bunion-hugging shoes again. Meantime, wear this pale blue hooded coat £45, matching poloneck with red chevron front £21, and matching trousers £28. All by Sonia Rykiel at Browns.”
This is a quite-frankly-amazing little photo story from Vanity Fair, which sees our Cinderfella hero being taken from baggy drainpipes to novelty-print-shirted Hard Rock Cafe God, via the Kensington Church Street branch of Mr Freedom and Leonard of Mayfair.
Photographed by Marc Leonard. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, January 1972
…swap the chat for action. Shove him into Mr. Freedom, 2- Kensington Church Street, W8. Strip off his drainpipes and fit him into a pair of red velvet jeans, £7.75. Rip off his jacket and zip him into a red-and-white satin top, £7.95. (It’s got FAR OUT splashed over the shoulders to make sure he gets the message). And while you’re there, buy yourself some pale blue satin trousers, £5.25, a furry acrylic leopard-skin blouse, £9.95, and a black pom-pom beret, £4.”
He’s at Leonard, 6 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1 (even if you had to frog march him there), being tactfully handled by Peter. Wash, cut and blow-dry costs £3.75, beard 5-p. extra – not much when you consider it’s made a mean-moody-magnificent out of that surly yobo of yours.”
Sitting in the Hard Rock Cafe in his grey wool barathea Stirling Cooper suit, £28.00 with a waistcoat, and his tiny-man-patterned shirt, £4.90. Both from Way-In, Hans Crescent, SW1. You’re in your Missoni four-piece (orangey battledress top, matching trousers, orange silky blouse and toning striped tank top). £75 from Browns. Thinking what a perfect couple you make. Except that now he’s thinking: ‘Blimey mate, you could do a lot better than her if you tried.'”
Welcome to my fashion brain as it is at the moment, particularly the first and last images. This spread is everything I love about late Sixties/early Seventies style, and more. No change is permanent, I still wake up in a different mood each day, but for the most part I am feeling the need to cover up, tune out and drift around…
“Take the whirl of lace petticoats and the swirl of countrified prints. Add gypsy flowers, baubles, bangles and beads. Find yourself a long, lazy spring afternoon, relax – and think nothing but beautiful…”
Photographed by John Carter. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, March 1970