My own Gerald McCann dress was exhibited at the V&A in 2006 and remains one of my favourite pieces (although the size of my bum prevents me from wearing it, much like my beloved early Ossie Clark piece). I also have a beloved faux fur pea coat which has seen me through many a cold spell and pretty much goes with anything.
Thankfully he was also heavily featured in Marnie Fogg’s book Boutique, and the V&A hold an interview with him in their archives, so his place in the history books is somewhat more assured than many other ‘lost’ designers.
I was also delighted to find a rare bit of footage of the great man himself from 1967. It was a slightly convoluted journey to get there; an email from the lovely Miss Rayne got me searching for a certain Ann Ladbury, which then led to the BBC’s new Archive website. Turns out that Ann Ladbury was involved with a programme called Clothes That Count, and episodes from 1967 and 1969 were available to view. Each episode approached a different aspect of clothing, helping viewers to create their own versions at home, and each episode would have a guest designer. Lo and behold, who should have appeared in December 1967 but Gerald McCann!
I do hope that the BBC archives are viewable outside the UK, although I have my doubts, and that you can all follow this link and enjoy. Mr McCann first puts in an appearance at around 21:45, if you can’t be doing with all the home dressmaking malarkey early on…. I particularly love that he admits he can’t set a sleeve!