Dressing gowns should be comfortable, glamorous and practical. Here we show you what you might wear if you want to potter about the house in style, from towelling to satin, the pick of the bunch.
Modeled by Anjelica Huston.
Photographed by Steve Hiett.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Flair, December 1971
L-R Beardsley print slinky dressing gown by Georgina Linhart; Red voluminous nightie and peignoir by Biba; White and black kimono by Jasper.
Photographed by Clive Arrowsmith.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, April 1969
For some reason, I have shied away from posting about my collection much in recent years. I suppose it’s always been somewhat fluid; things come and go when times are hard or when something better comes along. But recently I acquired something which had always been a bit of a ‘holy grail’ for me, and it reminded me of exactly why I love fashion history, collecting and researching.
One of the most important books on my road to total geekery was Marnie Fogg’s Boutique: A ’60s Cultural Icon. Amazon kindly (and terrifyingly) informs me that I purchased it exactly ten years ago. Although clearly not comprehensive, something I am now realising is probably impossible, it was my main gateway into understanding the boutique phenomenon as a whole. I already knew many of the designers – and was delighted to see how much space was dedicated to John Bates – but several were new names to me. One of these was Georgina Linhart. Another graduate of St Martin’s College of Art and Design, Linhart set up her label in 1964 and, while she was frequently featured in the top magazines of the period, her business only ran for ten years. She later worked for Quorum, Jaeger, Wallis and Chelsea Girl. All four of which are favourite vintage labels chez Vintage-a-Peel.
The more time went on, the more I realised how rare examples of her work must be these days. My eBay search was empty 99% of the time, and only occasionally turned up magazine features and a couple of jackets. The most distinctive dress pictured in Fogg’s Boutique book was ‘Glitterbug’ (see above). A sequined halterneck mini dress, gossamer light and substantial in its insubstantiality; so quintessentially of its time, the epitome of the permissive age.
So my heart was in my mouth when Glitterbug turned up on eBay a couple of months ago. It was slightly out of my price range at the time, and the recent events in my life had forced me to re-evaluate what was important (and worth getting into debt for). So I sat and watched it. Every day I would log into eBay, with one eye shut, and check if anyone had bought it. Every day it was still there, but my nerves were getting beyond frazzled. So the day I finally felt marginally less broke than normal, was the day I logged in and put in a cheeky best offer. I am impossibly grateful to the seller for accepting it and making my collector dreams come true. It has been a long time coming, and it has come a long way from the USA, but Glitterbug is finally in my collection. Plus, it fits me – which I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have done ten years ago. What are the odds?
It’s such a shame that towelling has been so roundly bastardised and rendered unwearable by the likes of Juicy ‘Pepto Bismol’ Couture and consequent high street replicas. Even Ossie was using it in the late Sixties!
“High summer towelling” feature scanned from Petticoat, August 1970. Photos by David Hurn. Scanned by Miss Peelpants.
From a spread entitled “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Flair magazine. I covet the dress and scarf so badly. The dress is called ‘Oh Darling’ but they’ve forgotten to credit a photographer! Tsk… (June, 1970)
As a wise man said to me very recently, it should have been mandatory for publications to identify their models back in the Sixties and Seventies. Luckily, some of you are very good at this anyway. (I am not). Also luckily, such features as this exist. From Honey, July 1967, we have a handy feature on some up-and-coming models of the time.
Twiggy, obviously, needs no introduction. The glorious Grace Coddington, Paulene Stone, Shirley Anne Hayes and the ethereally lovely Charlotte Martin feature amongst some lesser-[to me]-known beauties. If any of them ever do an ego-search on Google and find this blog, please do email me and let me know what you’re up to now!