How to Dress with Drama

helen mirren by james wedge

Far Left. Printed Italian voile dress with smocked bodice and medieval sleeves, grey/blue, 8-14, Gina -Fratini, £49, from Harrods ; Chic, Hampstead, NW3 ; Sheila Worth, Kendal Street, W2. Centre. Wraparound kimono in Lurex printed with Zandra Rhodes design, pink/lilac/silver or green/ orange/gold, 10-16, Hildebrand, £23, from Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1 ; Kendal Milne, Manchester : Strava-ganza, Harrogate. Right. Crepe de chine dress, se-quinned bodice, black only, 10 and 12, by Alice Pollock, £62.50, from Fifth Avenue, King’s Road, SW3 ; or enquiries to Quorum, 6 Burnsall Street, SW3. Suede wedge-soled sandals, 3-8, f5.99, from branches of Sacha.

Clothes currently in fashion are of such contradictory styles that they seem to demand of the wearer a talent for acting beyond the capacity of most women. It takes a skilled actress to switch easily from cool Japanese geisha girl to 1940s tart and remember which part she’s playing. Helen Mirren, associate member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, shows how it’s done, with a toss of her head, a quick change in facial expression, a swivel of hip and heel. The dresses she wears here all have sleeves that require dramatic gestures : medieval pointed sleeves, kimono sleeves, and sleeves slashed from the shoulder. You don’t have to be an actress to wear these dresses, but it does help.

Photographed by James Wedge.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Observer Magazine, 11th July 1971.


Haven’t got a thing to wear…

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-1

The leopard cannot change his spots, And that’s the fix I’m in, So come an sit by me, my love, For some highly original skin. <<<<<<>>>>>> Fake-fur bikini and bangles from Biba. Boots by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Don’t give up – this could be the year when what goes on underneath could be your major investment.

Another extraordinary example of James Wedge’s wonderful work in the art of hand-tinting and further adventures in the world of Seventies-does-Fifties-pin up. Notable for including shoes and a petticoat from ‘Let It Rock’ which was Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s first shop in the Kings Road. The influence of rock and roll on and crossover between both glam rock and punk is perfectly encapsulated in this editorial, right slap bang in the middle of the Seventies.

Fashion by Liz Smith. Photographs by James Wedge.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, January 1975.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-2

When I’m awakened from my slumber It does seem rather mean – It’s always the wrong number and never Steve McQueen. <<<<<<>>>>>> Satin bra and panties from Biba.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-3

Watch out for life’s banana skins, And wear your prettiest slip, So you can say to passing men “I did enjoy my trip”. <<<<<<>>>>>> Bra by Gossard. Petticoat and stilettos from Let It Rock.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-4

When I went in for Crufts with my doggy, I didn’t know how it would go, But it proves the importance of grooming – We’ve been voted the best in the show! <<<<<<>>>>>> Corselette by Janet Reger. Scarf from Femina Furs. Gloves and hat by Biba.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-5

A girl can’t have too many furs, They give her an inner glow. But when it omes to trapping them How fur should a nice girl go? <<<<<<>>>>>> Bra, panties and suspender belt from Fenwick. Cape by Femina Furs. Mules from The Chelsea Cobbler.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-6

If you watch the girls men watch, You’ll see, The girls they watch watch their weight like me. // Look me over closely, Tell me what you see. But if you kiss and tell, you rat, I’ll swear it wasn’t me. <<<<<<>>>>>> Essences camisole. Shoes by Terry de Havilland. Nightgown by Finewear. Shoes by Zapata.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-7

A birthday gift for me, my dear? Come in and close the door. I do like them sending my presents, With a man from Securicor. <<<<<<>>>>>> Nightie and pantie set from Dorothy Perkins.

havent-got-a-thing-to-wear-cosmo-january-1975-james-wedge-8

Men used to say I was forward, But I’ll tell you this, for a fact: Since I chose to look pure, and a little demure, I simply haven’t looked back. <<<<<<>>>>>> Abecita body stocking. Negligee by Martin Emprex. Glove and bag from Biba. Shoes by Let It Rock.


Inspirational Editorials: The Bride Wore Black

Dress by David Fielden.

Dress by David Fielden.

So much to love about this editorial, but I was delighted to spot the Jane Kahn ‘Kahniverous’ dress below – mainly because I have it in both black and white. Yes, yes, I know…

Photographed by James Wedge.

Styled by Monique Bourdon. Make-up by Amanda Jackson-Sytner. Hair by Jo O’Sullivan.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Face, June 1986.

Dress by Khaniverous at Hyper Hyper

Dress by Kahniverous at Hyper Hyper

Dress by David Fielden

Dress by David Fielden

Suit by David Fielden

Suit by David Fielden

Dress by Anna Cloowan at Lucienne Philips

Dress by Anna Cloowan at Lucienne Philips


New listings: Rive Gauche and more

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

Plenty of new listings at Vintage-a-Peel (also available on Etsy) at the moment, including a superb 1970s Saint Laurent Rive Gauche silk wrap dress. There’s also a Celia Birtwell-print Radley dress, a Zandra Rhodes-print Hildebrand dress, Ossie-esque Janice Wainwright maxi, a rare James Wedge hat and the loveliest chiffon Jean Varon dress. Enjoy!

John Bates for Jean Varon

John Bates for Jean Varon

James Wedge

James Wedge

Hildebrand with print by Zandra Rhodes

Hildebrand with print by Zandra Rhodes

Radley of London with print by Celia Birtwell

Radley of London with print by Celia Birtwell

Jeff Banks

Jeff Banks

Chelsea Girl

Chelsea Girl

Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey

Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey


Inspirational Images: Throw a Party

throw a party

Don’t you love a party… especially when you’re a guest and don’t have to do the washing up? But think of the satisfaction of throwing your own party and knowing it’s a great success… like the headline-hitting party Bianca Jagger gave for Mick’s thirty-second birthday when the guests stayed until the morning papers landed on the doorstep. Cosmo’s party didn’t quite last the whole night through, but it proved that you don’t need months of planning. We invited our guests just three days in advance, asked them to wear red and white to celebrate our first wine offer and could hardly belieev it when everyone turned up on time and stayed on.

Back row, left to right: Gai Pearl, John Siggins and John Bates of the John Bates fashion team; David Clay, model and athlete; Cristina Viera, Brazilian model girl; Janis Raven, fashion co-ordinator at Swan & Edgar; Richard du Ploc of Electric Fittings. In the centre: Pattie Barron, Cosmo’s fashion assistant; Carola Standish, PA to Cosmo’s publisher; fashion designer Bruce Oldfield. In the front: model Juan; Serena Schaffer who owns Electric Fittings; Michael Roberts, Sunday Times writer; Pat Booth, stylish and Terry Raven, property consultant.

There’s almost TOO much fabulousness going on in this image. Including the fact that it was taken by James Wedge. I’m particularly fond of the Johns Siggins and Bates in their dapper white suits, and the remarkably unappetising spread of food in front of them all. Still, looks like there’s plenty of wine and, really, that’s all that counts…

Photographed by James Wedge. Produced by Linda Kelsey.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, November 1974


Inspirational Images: Gina Fratini in Quadriptych

fratini wedge harpers feb 73

Photographed by James Wedge. Modelled by Lady Annunziata Asquith. Dress by Gina Fratini.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, February 1973


Mild Sauce: For Two Pins

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Another glorious underwear editorial by the always saucy, always perfect Mr James Wedge.

Photographed by James Wedge. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, October 1978

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.