Some Like It Cluttered

1970s, cosmopolitan, david bowie, interior design, interiors, kevin whitney, Lorenz Zatecky, luciana martinez de la rosa
It takes more nerve than money to achieve this level of decorative clutter: Kevin and Luciana at home.

Contessa Luciana Martinez dela Rosa and Kevin Whitney, Esquire don’t sound like your average suburban couple. So it’s not sur-prising that they don’t live like one. And unless you share their passion for flea market decor, feathers around as well as under the bed, lace curtains that make for romantic gloom, and a bed that is bigger and obviously better used than the kitchen, you might not fancy their life-style either. You cannot but admire it, though. This talented couple clearly thrive in the hot-house atmosphere; they are not married, though Kevin couldn’t be more domestic : “He’s the cleaning lady,” says Luciana firmly. Better still, he also does the cooking.

Kevin, a painter, has exhibited in Turin and New York, as well as in London; his pictures are in a vivid, realistic style which fetch approximately £1,500 each. The subject is, as often as not, Luciana; her portrait, ranging from life- to poster-size, is the focal point of every room.

Luciana designs in beads which she makes into shimmering mermaid hats, wigs and exquisite pictures. She also draws in a strong style of her own. “Kevin works in oils, I work in pastels,” she explains. Two people with such a definite life-style clearly have a great deal in common. Kevin says: “We’re each other’s best inspiration.”

Luciana, as the model-in-residence, can pose at a moment’s notice; her walk-in wardrobe of flea market and second-hand clothes is hung in racks with gloves, scarves and hats carefully arranged on top. Black stockings tangle with lace shawls on the testers of the brass bed. “I wear black or red, turquoise in the summer, and when I’m tanned I’ll wear my purple silk Scarlett O’Hara crinoline gown. I like feathers and poppies in my hair, adore hats, and ‘Thirties satin nightgowns, but I don’t bother with underwear.”

Each room is carefully arranged around its use. Luciana’s museum of clothes forms a shifting collage in the blood-red bed-room (Kevin says: “She woke up one morning and said I’m going red—I got up a ladder . . . and we did”). They have a studio each and the materials of their work are laid out in patterns. On one wall is pinned the front page of the Daily Express showing them making a stylish entrance to an Andy Warhol party.

Everywhere there are notes, scraps and photographs of their almost equally decorative friends; David Bowie, for instance, who is a chum as well as patron. A shell on a shelf, the placing of a peacock feather, the way a length of silk is thrown over a lamp makes a statement. Even when claustrophobia sets in, the eye is caught by new ways of presenting objects. The flat has been put together on a modest budget; Woolworth’s kitsch co-exists with arts deco and nouveau. Nothing costs more than a few pounds, except for the bed which cost £50.

Although Luciana explains the enclosed atmosphere (the lace that keeps out the views of West London) with the remark that she doesn’t much like the world outside, there are times when they long to escape the trendy gloom and clutter. Then they go. He to New York or Italy, she to the Seychelles. Says Luciana: “I need some tropicality in my life. When I’m away I love the out-doors, riding a motor-bike, lying in the sun. But I always come home . . .” Home is where the dust is, even for this exotic pair.

Photographed by Lorenz Zatecky.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, May 1976.

Portrait-in-progress of Luciana dominates Kevin’s studio.
Luciana’s hats double as decoration.
..and her brass bed displays her shawls.
Hot-house living-room with arch, poppies and shawl – all in red.

Calico Futures

1970s, Adrian Mann, Andreas Heumann, Averil B, Badges and Equipment, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, Colette Nivelle, Corinne Bricaire, Country Casuals, Crochetta, Dorothy Perkins, Dunhill, Edy Lyngas, Fiorucci, French Connection, Inspirational Images, Ivory, jap, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, jeff banks, Joseph, Kasparian's Contracts, Kenneth Grange, Lawrence Corner, Leah Hertz, lee bender, Midas, Mulberry, Pierre D'Alby, Sacha, Steve Rothholz, Sun and Sand, Vintage Editorials
Woven waistcoat ,cotton trousers and towelling lined calico jacket, all by Corinne Bricaire from Browns. Necklace from Adrien Mann. Belt from the Mulberry Company. Flat canvas sandals from Sacha. Headphones from Leisure Sounds of Wigmore Street.

The time: mid-morning coffee-break The place: The Post Office Confravision Studios, Euston Tower* The clothes: At last, working gear (you’ll be delighted to see) to cope with both formal and permissive working environments. The fabric: calico, strong and hard-wearing, cotton-based, so it’s comfortable for over-heated offices. Add a dash of towelling, team it with crocheted string vests, scarves, tights and bags for a little wit. The colour: cream—soothing and harmonious for worn executives. Enliven it with a touch of colour here and there (and to pick you out from beige office walls — remove if you need the camouflage).

* One of five office studios provided by the Post Office for its conference-by-TV service. Designed by Kenneth Grange of Pentagram.

An incredibly apposite photoshoot featuring the Post Office’s futuristic ‘Confravision’ studios. To read an original brochure, click here.

Photographed by Andreas Heumann.

Scanned from Over 21 Magazine, April 1976.

Cream short sleeved shirt, quilted waistcoat, cream jacket and trousers from Country Casuals.
Cream skirt and jacket by Jeff Banks from Averil B, Fulham Road. Scarf by Edy Lyngas. Canvas espadrilles from Sacha.
Calico jumpsuit by French Connection. Vest from Lawrence Corner. Leather bound hessian purse by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Belts from the Mulberry Company. Stack of chairs from Kasparian’s Contracts Ltd, 288/290 Euston Road.
Strapless shorts suit by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac from Joseph. Silver table croquet game from Dunhill.
Cream tube dress by Leah Hertz from Crochetta. Trousers by Jap from Jap & Joseph. Chelsea Cobbler shoes. Cigars from Dunhill.
Cream sweater by Ivory from Roberta, 94 Golders Green Road. Cream calico tabard by Colette Nivelle from Elle. Calico trousers from Dorothy Perkins. Suede espadrilles from Midas. Bracelets by Adrien Mann. Gilt soda syphon by Dunhill.
Cream short sleeved t shit by Sun & Sand from Conspiracy, 170 Kensington High Street. String vest from Badges & Equipment, The Strand. White shorts from Laurence Corner. Calico jacket by Pierre D’Alby. Clear plastic braces by Steve Rothholz from Fiorucci. Watch by Trafalgar.

Smell-a-Vision

1970s, Honey Magazine, Illustrations, Lynn Gray

Illustration by Lynn Gray accompanying an article about smell.

Scanned from Honey magazine, May 1975.

Must See Vintage Films: Games That Lovers Play

1920s, 1930s, 1970s, Films, haute naffness, joanna lumley

Games That Lovers Play (1970) is one of my favourite types of period films, where the hybrid of period detail in its setting is completely meshed and mangled with the incidental period detail of the year in which it was made. These films must be at least forty years old for me to not rant and rave about the inaccuracies, of course, otherwise I will let rip for eternity. But, much like The Boyfriend, Games That Lovers Play is an homage to the Twenties – with some very Seventies sensibilities. Except it’s even looser than The Boyfriend. And I mean loose in both senses of the word.

It is also a classic example of a film currently held in very low regard, which I maintain would be feted if it was French or Italian. It is kitsch, camp and aesthetically fascinating, even if it is rather a failure as a coherently plotted or acted film. The plot revolves around two rival Madams, who each wager that their ‘best’ girl is the best by challenging them to seduce unseduceable men.

The costumes are, naturally, my main interest. They play extremely fast and loose with the Twenties look, creating a slight difference between the more Edwardian domain of Lady Chatterley (yes, I know) and the more modern Deco feel of Fanny Hill’s residence. (Yes, Fanny Hill…) The costumes are credited as being from Bermans and the ‘Wardrobe’ to one Ray Beck. They are a glorious, glorious mishmash of Edwardian, Twenties, Thirties and definitely plenty of 1970. My particular favourite is Lady Chatterley’s Edwardian wrap dress (possibly house coat), exquisitely embroidered and trimmed with ostrich feathers. She strips it off, puts it back on and generally flounces around the grounds like something out of my wildest sartorial dream. In fact I adore this dress so much that I turned it into a gif.

But it also needs to be seen from all angles, so here are some more:

It even has a butterfly on the bum for goodness sake! I really hope this piece still exists somewhere out there. In fact, I might have to make it my life’s work to recreate it.

Fanny Hill’s wardrobe is rather more Twenties/Thirties in style and with rich colours:

Oh, did I not mention that Fanny Hill is played by Joanna Lumley? To be honest, from what I’ve read I think she’d rather it never saw the light of day but I reckon it’s one of the most interesting things she ever did. She also co-stars with her future husband, Jeremy Lloyd. Incidentally, Lady Chatterley is played by Penny Brahms, and I can’t help but wonder if she was the inspiration behind ‘Miss Brahms’ in Jeremy Lloyd’s Are You Being Served.

Lloyd plays her first seduction target: a gay drag artist, which leads Fanny Hill to pose as a man dressed as a woman – in full Georgian regalia. This party scene is also populated with genuine drag artists of the time and has an incredibly authentic feel. The credits read The “Queens” : Played by Themselves!, and I would dearly love to know who these people were because it must be incredibly ahead of its time in depicting this scene.

Lady Chatterley’s target is a Bishop, and she starts to look a little more Thirties-does-Seventies at this point.

From here on I won’t ruin the plot for you, such as it is, so will just post some more of my favourite outfits and hope that I have whetted your appetite. I appreciate that I have a very high tolerance for weird films, but I did really enjoy it.

“If I didn’t know you were a man I’d run a mile!”
It’s hard to capture but this outfit is a crop top and trouser ensemble.

Jap

Catkin Villiers, Dagamar, Graham Hughes, Inspirational Images, jap, kenzo, manolo blahnik, ritz magazine, Vintage Editorials, zapata
Shoes from Jungle Jap

Intriguingly styled editorial from 1978, with the latter two images rather suggestive of the Westwood ‘Pirate’ collection that came a mere three years later. Also featuring some shoes by Manolo Blahnik under his ‘Zapata’ brand. I’m also surprised to see them still using the name ‘Jungle Jap’, which had been changed to Kenzo around 1976 I believe, but perhaps Jungle Jap was still the preferred name in the UK.

Clothes and Jewellery from Jungle Jap.

Shoes from Zapata and Jungle Jap.

Model Dagamar at Laraine Ashton.

Styled by Catkin Villiers.

Hair by Robert at Schumi.

Photographed by Graham Hughes.

Scanned from Ritz, No.18 1978.

Shoes by Zapata
Red mules from Zapata.

Hotfoot!

1970s, bill klein, petticoat magazine, platforms, Russell & Bromley, Samm, shoes
Top: Green canvas slingback espadrilles on rope, Russell & Bromley. Left to Right: Pink, white and green patent slingbacks, Samm. Pink patent peep-toe shoe with black cork wedge, Russell & Bromley. Pink and navy patent sandals on wedge, Russell & Bromley. Pink sandals, Russell & Bromley.

Soopah doopah shoes to stride you through summer days, to lounge you through sunset, to get hot nights on the move. This summer you really can make footwear go a long way because the nicest styles are stout enough for strolling yet manage to look sophisticated and elegant too.

Fashion by Marcia Brackett.

Photographed by Bill Klein.

Scanned from Petticoat, 2nd June 1973.

Create a Tropical Heatwave

alkasura, Ara, Baltrik, Browns, Buckle Under, cosmopolitan, Deirdre McSharry, Dorothy Perkins, Emesse, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, Laetitia, Lida Ascher, mic mac, norman eales, oliver goldsmith, outlander, Park and Warriner, Sacha, Vintage Editorials
Lime knit jacket by Outlander. White crêpe trousers by Ara. Ascher cotton scarf.

Oh to be out of England now that April’s here, and whether you are planning on Majorca, the far-flung Bahamas or the Isle of Wight this year, now is the best time to shop for holiday clothes. And having just stepped out of a QANTAS jet that took Cosmo island-hopping via Bermuda to the Bahamas, I have a slight tan and a strong feeling that summer’s fashions will be as refreshing, bittersweet and highly coloured as that tropical drink, Planter’s Punch.

Oh to be anywhere but home, quite frankly. I shall have to recreate these styles on the balcony and dream of even going as far as the Isle of Wight…

All jewellery by Adrien Mann. Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by Norman Eales.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, April 1973.

Sundress by Mic Mac. Scarf by Ascher.
Vest from Dorothy Perkins. Trousers by Alkasura. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith.
Striped cotton outfit by Buckle Under. Shoes from Sacha. / Cotton separates by Baltrik.
Dress by John Bates for Jean Varon
Lemon yellow knit dress by Park and Warriner.
Cheesecloth outfit by Laetitia at Browns.
Top by Emesse. Trousers by Ara.

Soft Summer Shape-Ups

Bata, Britannia Land of Plenty, forbidden fruit, jane giunchi, Martha Hill, Nik Nik, petticoat magazine, Plain Clothes, ravel, Roger Charity, stirling cooper, Sue Hone, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials
Nik Nik floral print dress. Stirling Cooper satin pants. Ravel mules. / Striped skirt at Martha Hill. Blouse with embroidered flowers at Forbidden Fruit branches. Bata mules. Jane Giunchi brooch.

You can take the summer’s pastels just the way you want. When you’re not wearing neat and co-ordinated nursery prints, try pink and blue in peasant style. You’ll find a pettiness you thought had vanished.

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 10th June 1972.

Floral print skirt at Britannia Land of Plenty. Plain Clothes short sleeved vest at Sidney Smith. Brooch and print scarf both at Van der Fransen.

Romantic Revival

1970s, anello and davide, biba, Brosseau, bus stop, catherine buckley, charlotte martin, Feathers, Harri Peccinotti, Hope and Eleanor, Inspirational Images, Jean Charles Brosseau, lee bender, Mouche (model), ravel, The Purple Shop, Tony Berkeley, Tony Berkley, Vintage Editorials
Tawny shades of hazel and honey: Brown cloche hat, veiling, long brown and white cotton dress all from Biba. Shell ring from Hope and Eleanor. / Long brown and white cotton voile dress from Biba. Large brown crochet shawl by Catherine Buckley. Heart shaped ring from Hope and Eleanor.

Spring has taken on a romantic air – with light dresses, billowing skirts and full sleeves. The fabric for day is cotton, especially voile. For evening, crepe is a great favourite. The lines are seductive – wear low v-necks, hats with lots of veiling and an antique brooch. Find an old shawl or crochet your own. If you’ve time to hunt you needn’t spend much money.

Some of my favourite designers, my favourite looks, one of my favourite photographers and two of my favourite models: Charlotte Martin and Mouche. Perfection.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, April 1970.

Old Fashioned Prints in Pink and White: All clothes from Biba. Ivory brooch from The Purple Shop.
Caviar and Champagne dresses: Hats from J. C. Brosseau from Feathers. Veiling from Biba. Dresses by Tony Berkeley. Beige shoes found by our model in a junk shop.
Melange of navy, white and pink: Crochet hat from J. C. Brosseau. Short navy crepe dress from Tony Berkeley. Shoes from Ravel. Brooch and ring from The Purple Shop.
Art deco revived: Silvery lace hat from Feathers. Dress and coat by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Black patent shoes from Ravel. / Beige lace pull on hat from Biba. Dress by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Red leather shoes by Anello and Davide. Beads from Hope and Eleanor. Brooch from The Purple Shop.
Interludes of brown and white crepe: Hat from Biba. Dress by Tony Berkeley. / Hat from Feathers. Dress by Tony Berkeley. Both shoes by Ravel.
Burgundy wool suit from Bus Stop. Leather gloves from Biba. Leather and suede boots by Anello and Davide. / Burgundy wool trousersuit and hat from Biba. Boots by Anello and Davide.
Romantic white afternoon dresses: Dresses by Louis Caring. Hats from Biba and J. C Brosseau. Scarf from Emmerton and Lambert.
Nuances of delicate navy and white: Hat by J. C. Brosseau. Dress by Tony Berkeley.

Pattie Harrison by David Bailey

1970s, Betty Gubbay, Butler & Wilson, david bailey, Inspirational Images, jap, Pattie Boyd, vidal sassoon, Vogue

Pattie Harrison looking like summer… her hair brushed into tumbling curls by Herta at Vidal Sassoon, her complexion glowing from her vegetarian diet and country life. Straw hat by Betty Gubbay, Jap check lawn blouse, pink beads from Butler and Wilson.

Photographed by David Bailey.

Scanned from Vogue, June 1973.