Inspirational Editorials: Tight Fit

Coat by Andrea Daimond. Yellow bodysuit by Fiorucci. Purple leather shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

Coat by Andrea Diamond. Yellow bodysuit by Fiorucci. Purple leather shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

I’m choosing to ignore the realness of the fur and just see these images as stunning tableaux portraying strong women in dominant poses. I hope you will too…

Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, November 1979

Coat by Frank Cooney. Black long sleeve leotard and black footless tights by Dansez from Topshop. Black leather sandals by Manolo Blahnik

Coat by Frank Cooney. Black long sleeve leotard and black footless tights by Dansez from Topshop. Black leather sandals by Manolo Blahnik

Coat by Zwirn. Gold trousers and bustier by Ritzy. Red and gold leather shoes by Caovilla from Rayne.

Coat by Zwirn. Gold trousers and bustier by Ritzy. Red and gold leather shoes by Caovilla from Rayne.

Coat from Konrad. Skintight pink trousers and matching top by Betsey Johnson from Howie, 138 Long Acre. Metallic blue sandals by Walter Steiger.

Coat from Konrad. Skintight pink trousers and matching top by Betsey Johnson from Howie, 138 Long Acre. Metallic blue sandals by Walter Steiger.

Coat from National Fur Company. Strapless sequined top with skintight trousers from Ace. Black suede belt by Maxfield Parris. Black leather sandals by Manolo Blahnik,

Coat from National Fur Company. Strapless sequined top with skintight trousers from Ace. Black suede belt by Maxfield Parris. Black leather sandals by Manolo Blahnik,

Advertisements

Inspirational Editorials: Valentine – Show Stoppers!

The boy's stripey sweater and white Oxford bags are from Tramps. Price is £7.50 from Gary Elliott; Edwardia of Manchester; Paul Smith, Nottingham. the sweater cost £4 and also comes from Paul Smith, as well as the George Best shops, and Quincy of the Kings Road. The girl's outfit is from a selection by Miss Mouse at Peter Robinson.

The boy’s stripey sweater and white Oxford bags are from Tramps. Price is £7.50 from Gary Elliott; Edwardia of Manchester; Paul Smith, Nottingham. the sweater cost £4 and also comes from Paul Smith, as well as the George Best shops, and Quincy of the Kings Road. The girl’s outfit is from a selection by Miss Mouse at Peter Robinson.

Not really Valentine themed (unless you’re planning to spend your day at the circus, which would actually be a pretty good way to spend it…) but scanned from teeny girl magazine Valentine which is largely filled with comic strip stories aimed at hormonal young ladies. I bought it mainly because I recognised the garment on the front cover as a Miss Mouse/Rae Spencer Cullen with distinctive bow print. I’m also a sucker for the circus theme, which seems to be a recurring favourite for late Sixties/early Seventies fashion stylists…

Photographer uncredited. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Valentine, October 1972

Star studded satin blazer and trousers comes in a choice of navy or brown from main branches of Girl and Chelsea Girl.

Star studded satin blazer and trousers comes in a choice of navy or brown from main branches of Girl and Chelsea Girl.

missmouse3

Yellow satin blazer in various colours from the Separates Dept., Peter Robinson. Blue denim jeans with embroidered flowers sewn on them from the Top Shop at Peter Robinson.

missmouse4

Sterling Cooper yellow angora sweater at Peter Robinson. Silver satin mini skirt by Clobber. From branches of Snob boutique.

missmouse5

Snazzy red polka dot skirt is from a selection at branches of Girl. ‘Boob tube’ in red is also from Girl.


Far From the Madding Crowd

Left to right: Dress, Jeff Banks, £9.90, P.R’s Top Shop. Dress, Ann Reeves, £9.25, Miss Selfridge,

Soft country girl dresses falling just below the knee in dark flowery prints ready for autumn, great for now. Looking sweet and old-fashioned with padded shoulders, sweetheart necklines or rever collars and cuffs – and all they really need is you and some romantic thoughts!

Very David Hamilton/Sarah Moon influenced shoot by John Carter. Scanned from Petticoat, July 1973.

Left to right: Beige dress, Jeff Banks, £9.90, Lady Tramp SW3. Mr Freedom hat, £2.50. Cream dress, Bus Stop, £9.95.

Left to right: Floral dress, Jeff Banks, £15.90, Irvine Sellars, sizal hat £2.50 from Biba. Black print dress, Ann Reeves, £9, Miss Selfridge.

 


Curious Coincidences: Wendy Brandes vs. Topshop

Swear rings, Wendy Brandes (created 2008)

Swear rings, Topshop (2012)

How very, very curious.

Please check out Wendy’s original post here, and feel free to boycott Topshop in solidarity with a noble (I would never have reacted so calmly) and talented designer.

I get angry enough when they copy beloved vintage pieces, but this…

This post is brought to you by Miss Peelpants’s Curious Coincidences, it’s turning into quite the series!

Edited to note that Topshop have now removed the offending articles from sale with a decidedly formulaic apology.


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…


A long, long time ago…

…Topshop didn’t exist. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It sprang from the loins of the Peter Robinson department store, which was originally located near the present Oxford Circus flagship site. Like a greedy devil child, it surpassed and devoured its progenitor.

This rant is brought to you by this gorgeous illustration from Vogue, April 1970. If only I could saunter up to Oxford Circus, enter an old-fashioned department store and buy myself such a delicious Ossie Clark dress today, I’d be a happy lady.


Biba, couture?

Safari jacket, 80 gn with jodphurs, 75 gn with skirt. Hat (without veil) 22 gn. Sam Browne belt, 20 gn.

It’s a funny old world. One of the main reasons the regular Biba relaunches have failed so dismally, each time since 1975, has been the price issue. Barbara Hulanicki, whether you agree with her or not, has always had a firm belief in affordable, fast fashion. £200 for a middling quality dress, as seen in the most recent attempts to reignite the brand, is simply not acceptable in an age of fast, cheap fashion and quirky high-end designers with real personality and bite. To whom are they appealing? I’m afraid I judge people who buy House of Fraser Biba. I just can’t help myself. So there can be little or no cachet to buying that gear, from either Biba geeks or fashion freaks. And the quality isn’t good enough to be seen alongside the likes of Jaegar and Hobbs for the ‘medium’ level appeal.

Trousers and cardigan, 60 gn. Blouse 25 gn. Hat, 25 gn.

Biba was cheap, cheerful, young and undeniably cool. Nothing has come close. Primark has the prices, Topshop supposedly has the cool and youth, but none of them have the quality or uniqueness of their oft-copied ancestor. Yes, I said quality. Biba might have had a reputation for badly-made clothes but it simply wasn’t true. It was an assumption, based on the price. And fair enough, it wasn’t couture-quality, but it was no worse than anything being produced by Saint Laurent for his Rive Gauche, Ossie Clark and other British Boutique designers of the era. Certainly a cut above anything being made by many big name designers, these days.

My vintage Bibas are beautifully well-made. They couldn’t have survived forty-odd years otherwise. A seam might have deteriorated here, a small moth-hole appeared there, and perhaps a zip has busted after a particularly raucous night out. But I’ve seen Paris couture from a mere ten years earlier in a far sorrier state than that.

Dress, 100gn. Hat, 10gn.

So if shop-floor Bibas are still doing the trick after four decades, can you imagine what a couture Biba must have been like? And if Barbara was baulking at a higher-than-usual price tag for a voluminous jersey dress (which I own) and feared it wouldn’t sell (it sold out), then what on earth was she thinking about offering a coat for 120 guineas?

Coat, 120 gn. Helmet (without veil), 14 gn.

I had heard vague things about Biba couture over the years, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever seen anything like this article before. I do so wish I could see some Biba couture pieces now. The original owners must have remembered they were such, so I would hope that the provenance would be forever attached to the piece as it passed from careful owner to careful owner.

Dress, 110 gn.

Dreamy. And certainly not hindered by some incredible photos by the legendary Helmut Newton and footwear by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Observer Magazine, 19th January 1969.