He’s twenty-five. He’s wearing boots. He has this smile that makes you think of your pony back home in Sussex. He asks you out. You’ve been in London three weeks. You’ve been to the movies alone five times. You’ve eaten thirteen tins of baked beans. You think he looks dangerous. You accept. He takes you for a meal—one they used to put on expense accounts and now write off to personal sex accounts.
He’s wearing a snakeskin suit. It has the insidious imprint of the King’s Road Own Seduction Corps. King’s regulations are strictly for the birds and you’re barely hatched. You’ve made the first move backwards by wearing a very almost-not-there dress which Mummy said was common when you were home last weekend.
His car smells of polished leather and Brut and you were warned that Devon Violets is suspect, in spite of granny-chat. It’s a cover-up for you-know-what. You murmur among the traffic lights. You park among the foreign number plates. The CD’s scream their immunity from dangerous corners, double yellow lines and fire station forecourts.
The restaurant is sadly assembled. Small and dull, you share the regulation banquet with eight others. Tables have to be shuffled every time some-one wants to move.
You trail fringes in and out of your neighbour’s potage au pea and, again, later, through the empty plate, scooping and spinning the spoon.
You have a dry martini because they do in TV serials and in TV commercials with suave celebrities and because your father suggested it when his advice was sought. His reasons are probably the same.
You restrain a shudder as your larynx dehydrates and grab at the whitebait as it arrives like a marooned sailor would whistle for mermaids. Similarly. you wish the tiny heads were less wistful, the tiny tails less anguished. But you’re absorbed in the effort to show interest in your Mate’s Progress whilst trying to clean up the soupy and fringy bits without appearing to be scratching the bottom of the bowl.
You order something that looks like Coq au Rising, because it’s one of those witty places where the menu is badly chalked on an old slate with remarks like, `sorry drakes, the duck’s night off—try our Boeuf Havitoff instead’.
Everything is going to be disguised in tomato sauce with chopped peppers to hush it up and a few mushrooms, tired of waiting, to tone it down.
The creamed spinach has bits of the label off the tin concealed in it. After guiding it on a tour of your teeth, you swallow it rather than eject it from tongue to table. The sherry trifle is reminiscent of school lunches. Mucky, spongy left-over in a thin sauce.
The coffee is aggressive. It scrapes the protesting throat. Nevertheless, sour and stewed, down it has to go, setting up a sacrificial reaction ‘from the wine, something red and spiteful, which could have been emulsion with thinners. The martini is already forgotten but not forgiven.
Your head blows off when it meets Fulham freshness.
The flat—his—is in a block where the central heating boasts with absurd exaggeration and there’s no air to need conditioning! It’s on the fourth floor. The lift is silent with warning.
You drop your coat on the hall chest, which itself has a mistletoe bough threat from its Peter Jones mock studdery. He leads you to maturity via a Conran sofa where, with all those occasional tables and two plastic poufs, romance would perish even between Heloise and Abelard.
He says you’re very lovely, aren’t you? Enigmatically you smile at him as you unhook the fringe tethering his pocket zip to your prudent bust. He adds that you’ve an untouched quality. Enigma changes to wistful nostalgia for opportunities lost and then you feel a sudden, terrifying attack of wind. Losing your virginity is one thing, the risk of losing control of digestive outlets, is quite another.
Your muscles assume a rigidity in their counter-attack, which he assumes is modesty. He murmurs softly to relax, little girl, you can trust him. Trust him for what? A tablet to bring express relief? But the moment passes. Relief prompts honesty so you admit that you are, indeed, untouched.
He gently pulls at your shoulder strap. Here it comes. The pay-off. Your neckline was designed for display rather than subtlety and the slide of the shoulder strap suggests gar-rotting rather than seduction.
The wine, the warmth, the hum of collective combustion below, make soporific nonsense of energetic passion. Virginity is never its own reward, only someone else’s, but we must have something to tell Sue and all the others.
Zips slip. The silence is describable. Like heavy breathing or deep down from an eider. More compelling, much more inviting, more mysterious, more exciting than Mantovani’s melodious mood music.
Eyes close slowly. Langour is your mantra.
Moment of truth . . . a novice in the Yearling Stakes, you surge forward on the thrust of optimism. But the whitebait and the chicken stew and the trifle rise, too, in defence of your honour and purity.
Hold it! The sour coffee, the sauce, the one martini—yes, even and the almost dry martini, forgiven. Control is ruined and so is the Conran gingham. But not, dear, your virginity!
Text by Diana Cooper.
Illustration by Malcolm Bird
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, April 1972.
Illustration by Alan Aldridge.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, July 1968.
Skinny spencer vests or ready-to-buy matching shirts—here’s two ways round the problem of what to wear under hotweather bib shorts when you want to look cool and neat or pretty and summerfresh—with enough cash left over to enjoy wearing them as well …
Illustrated by Alan Cracknell.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, 26th June 1971.
Never had any nice undies? Then we’ve picked out a few, Of the best that are new, To do you from Mondays to Sundays.
Illustrations by Michael Roberts.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, April 1971.
It is of the greatest frustration that this incredible work of art is uncredited. I love every little detail…
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Over 21 magazine, April 1975.
… I’m always at home … it’s such a bore going out when there are such fabulous slink-at-home clothes … well, I mean … who wants to get oyster-satin wet? I’ll just cuddle up in a clutch-close wrap in front of the fire… and sling on a few jewels, and how’s about it, pal-sie ? See you soon soon…
Illustrated by Philip Castle.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey Magazine, November 1968.
Who are the people who go in for body painting, and does it really exist? Bodies are not the easiest or the most obvious things to paint. And yet as party decoration, and a more exciting way of modelling clothes and jewellery, painted bodies seem to be definitely fashionable.
Though the recent vogue was first adopted by the hippies (where better to put your flowers than painted on your body?) the artist and designer Alan Aldridge is credited with having started the trend in London. In 1964, when he was named Art Director of Penguin Books, he designed a: publicity poster using his wife painted in bright colours as a model, with the caption: “We can’t offer you girls, but we can offer you Penguins.”
“We got a pretty fantastic response,”-says Alan Aldridge. “And then I started doing it commercially in a big way. Too much in fact. The break came when I painted a girl all over but I had to get her drunk on brandy for the occasion.”
Since then sporadic parties have featured painted bodies. Public relations director David Wynne-Morgan had the idea of launching a book, The Exhibitionist, by using cheerfully painted models. The book had a painted girl on the cover, and models at the publicity party sported the title in luminous paint across their backs. Later, guests were encouraged to join in the game, and splattered their dates with paint.
At one of his last collections fashion designer Ungaro showed his models with vivid designs painted around their eyes; and it has now become fairly common in the model world to wear a sparkling snake wound round your leg, or a flower imprinted on yourforehead. Full body painting is a more esoteric art. Jim O’Connor, a graduate of the Royal. College of Art, is one of the artists who took it up ; he recently painted a body in the new landscape style now popular for fabrics: his back view of a girl showed a house rising above a fence, and. clouds floating off behind some trees.
As usual, the advertising world has been quick to catch on. A poster for Ultra’s Bermuda colour television set shows a girl lying on her stomach, naked except for a rough map of Bermuda sketched over her back. The caption invitingly reads: “Win two weeks in Bermuda”.
Another person to use body painting was Andrew Grima, the Jermyn Street jeweller, who commissioned an Italian artist, Alberto Villar, to paint a naked model in wild colours; afterwards she was scattered with jewels. Though the result was exotic, Grima has not repeated the experirnent: “It was a bit too poppish for us; the paint did not show up the jewellery to its best advantage.”
Several London shops now cater for this new trend. Joan Price, of the Face Place, 26 Cale Street, SW3 is prepared to body paint for 2 gns. She recommends two makes of paint which are non-irritant and do not smear or stain clothes. They can be used together, and are put on with special cosmetic brushes: Colour Me Cloud 9 Body Paints, which cost 5s 6d for a 2in bottle (any four for £1), or the complete set for £2 17s 6d from Cloud 9 Cosmetics, 14 Boltons Close, Woking, Surrey. Their colours range from jade green to deep purple and glistening copper to a pearlised white, which is said to be good for highlighting. The second recommended wake is Innova-tion by Coty, who have produced four subtle see-through shades, which, though not originally intended for body wear, are very suitable for staining wide areas of skin. These cost 10s 6d and can be bought from all Coty stockists.
Next year the Face Place are bringing out a range of body stencils in a variety of patterns. Until then you can make do with Alice Pollock’s Paint Box for the face, from Quorum in the King’s Road, which comes in 12 colours at £3 19s 6d.
I was so sad to hear of the death of Alan Aldridge the other day. One of the most influential artists and illustrators of his generation, his work has always been a huge inspiration to me. There seems to be no better time to share this article from 1969, in which he is credited with starting the whole body-painting phenomenon which defined the late 1960s and shown doing his thing on the ever-lovely Jane Birkin.
And in case that wasn’t enough for you, also featured are Veronica Carlson, Marsha Hunt, Imogen Hassall, Peter Blake, John Astrop and Ralph Steadman.
Photographed by John Marmaras. Text by Caroline Moorehead.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Telegraph Magazine, December 1969.