Photographed by Duffy.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, September 1975.
Further adventures in mild sauce by Duffy for the Janet Reger catalogue.
Undated, probably from the early Seventies. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Chastity in Focus, 1980.
Photographed by Duffy. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, June 1972.
I am now the proud owner of ‘Chastity in Focus’, which was a book produced in 1980 by the Janet Reger underwear company to celebrate the photography of its catalogues. Janet Reger underwear was truly revolutionary at the time, mixing practicality and comfort (the bras are often non-wired and non-padded) with sensual silks and delicious, edible colours. No scratchy red and black nylon lace, no boring white cotton.
Many of the images are by Bob Carlos Clarke, who photographed the catalogue I already own, but I was blown away by some of the Duffy pictures. More to come soon. In the meantime, here’s the book’s dedication:
This book is dedicated to all those who worship the female form in all its gracefulness, who indulge in the joys of its inner sanctum and who are forever drawn by its promise of sensual ecstasy.
I also have some Janet Reger pieces for sale over at Vintage-a-Peel in my ‘loungerie’ section
Excitement is building for the upcoming Biba and Beyond exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which I have already blogged about here, helped by Visit Brighton‘s fascinating short documentary video about Barbara Hulanicki.
The exhibition will be celebrating the Biba look and lifestyle, so much admired and coveted forty-odd years later, but also looking at Barbara’s career beyond her most famous creation. I’m certainly looking forward to more coverage of her illustration and interior design work.
If any of you are visiting specifically for the exhibition, don’t forget that you are welcome to pop in to my new studio to say hello, browse the rail (yes, there’s Biba!) and have a cuppa. Just email me a bit in advance so I can make sure I’m there, armed with tea and biscuits…
Always happy to bring you another ‘lost’ shoot by the late, great Brian Duffy. Since Duffy destroyed his own archive, we are left to piece together a career from what was published in magazines or retained in other people’s archives. I try to scan and share whenever I can… I covet both Alice Pollock pieces in this spread, and love the man’s style. Definitely how all men should dress, always.
Photographed by Duffy. Fashion by Deirdre McSharry. Modelled by Greta Norris and Cyril Hartman.
Scanned from Cosmopolitan, July 1972.
As an aside, apologies for sporadic blogging at the moment. There are a few changes afoot and it is distracting me a little from my usual magazine scouring and scanning. I will tell you when everything, hopefully, falls into place in the next few weeks.
Although you’ll all have long since forgotten that I promised to review the fantastic Duffy book (published by ACC. RRP £45 but currently £31.98 on Amazon.co.uk), I certainly haven’t and it’s been rather weighing on my mind. In fact, I’m troubled by the fact that I rarely seem to have the energy to type long, rambling blog posts at all these days.
So, as I often do, I will largely leave the photographs to do the communicating. Which is rather the point of the book itself. It is not a weighty tome about the life of the man, rather it is a weighty tome about the talent of the man. The talent which made him world-famous, but eventually left him feeling so trapped he had to [pretty much literally] destroy it in order to escape it. Page after page of gorgeous women, swinging dudes of the highest and lowest order and generally Interesting People. But it also covers the later period, the advertising and the selling-out, or ‘prostitution’ as he honestly described it.
I have to admit, I’m always on the look out for new Duffy shoots in my magazines because I’m almost rather bored of seeing the same ones shown again and again. And to be fair, of course, in Duffy’s case there is the genuine problem with the complete lack of original source material. His son Chris has spent years reassembling the archive, and I have to respect the labour of love that this project has become. Thankfully, the book is more varied than the exhibition I attended earlier this year would lead you to believe. I have scanned a few of my personal favourites, which I hope will communicate the beauty of his work.
A pet hate must be noted at this point, which is that these books rarely identify the designer of the clothes worn in the pictures. I know it doesn’t seem like much to a non-clothes obsessive, but I want to know if that dress really was by so-and-so and I find it infuriating for such information to be left out when surely it must be known?
Obviously, luxuriously printed and sized books such as this require the highest calibre of image quality for reproduction purposes, but it would be nice, in a few years time, to see a book which features more obscurities, more magazine tear-sheets and clippings; covering the lesser-known styles and techniques he used. For there are many. I mean, David Bailey has had enough books about him to last a lifetime; Brian Duffy certainly deserves another one.
Definitely one for the Christmas list. And watch out, because I’m going to be reviewing more books to put on your Christmas list over the next few weeks. Yes indeed.