How Original!

19 magazine, 1970s, Antiquarius, biba, british boutique movement, Chelsea Antiques Market, Christian Larroque, Emmerton and Lambert, Essences, Essenses, Hair and make-up, Inspirational Images, jenny kee, MEE Designs, Ricci Burns, Sacha, susan marsh, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials

In this age of mass-production, finding clothes that have an individual look is becoming more and more difficult. But a few enterprising minds in London have got round the problem by buying old clothes, in beautiful prints that one doesn’t see these days, and remaking them in today’s styles. Though the styles are repeated, the materials are different and each garment is quite unique. If you don’t live in London, don’t despair. Look around for a clever seamstress who can copy the styles for you. Then, it’s a matter of combing jumble sales, or looking among granny’s cast-offs, for unusual prints. Don’t, however, cut up clothes in good condition. You’ll get a good price for these in London markets. And if you do come to London, go round the markets instead of the stores and boutiques – there’s a lot to be picked up!

An extraordinarily styled and photographed editorial featuring Van der Fransen, Emmerton and Lambert and Essences, all of whom were trailblazers in the world of vintage and recycled fashion.

This shoot also manages to answer two of my most frequently asked questions: what is your favourite editorial and what do you think the future of fashion will be. The former is probably a moveable feast, although this one is definitely up there with my other favourite, but the latter is still something I believe strongly. Especially in a post-pandemic landscape, I am not sure (and definitely hopeful) that we will ever see the same levels of mass production post-2020. Not for want of desire by the high street shops, but because people have maybe recognised that, actually, they don’t need armfuls of cheap synthetic, single-use garments. Perhaps the aesthetics and principles of these recyclers of the Sixties and Seventies will finally be adopted as our default? We could stop producing new clothes and fabrics right now and probably never reach the end of the piles of recyclable materials. And that’s not even taking wearable vintage garments into account. Do you feel your shopping habits have changed permanently?

Red wig by Robert at Ricci Burns.

Photographed by Christian Larroque.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1972.

Beautiful old sun dress in rayon crepe and silk from Van der Fransen. Tights and shoes from Biba.
Navy and white smock in various prints of rayon crepe and skirt both by Van der Fransen. Tights and shoes by Biba.
Intricate patchwork dress and long skirt from Emmerton and Lambert. Green tights and mauve shoes from Biba.
Jenny Kee of Emmerton and Lambert at Chelsea Antique Market, wearing a Chinese kimono and trousers from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Model wears a blouse made up of old scarves in satin and silk from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Gingham shoes from Biba. Photographed at The Terrace Cafe, Chelsea Antique Market.
Slinky cross cut dress in various printed crepes and crepes de Chine from Essences. Blue tights and mauve shoes both from Biba. Scarf from Essences.
Patchwork dress of old printed fabrics from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Tights and gingham shoes from Biba. Plastic dragonfly at neck from Susan Marsh.
Spotted two piece from Essences. Tights from Biba. Shoes from Sacha. Lovely old shawl from Essences.
Navy blue and white print smock with contrasting sleeves by MEE Designs. Jeans from Browns. Clogs by Sacha. Photographed at MEE Designs at Antiquarius.
White satin Twenties style dress by MEE Designs at Antiquarius. Tights and shoes from Biba.

2 thoughts on “How Original!

  1. Hi Liz,
    Absolutely love this spread you’ve done of the 19 magazine. We’re working on our Beautiful People exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum. One of our major themes is the influence of vintage clothing on and as fashion from the mid-60’s and through to the mid-70’s. The use of vintage prints, taken from wrecked dresses or remainder off cuts of unused fabrics, patched together in a craft inspired patchwork style was such a fabulous early 70’s form of recycling.

    It’s also happens to be a style we’re particularly fond of. We’re hoping to create a Kensington market style stall in the exhibition with patchwork clothes suspended all around it, creating one huge collection of patchwork vintage prints and patterns. We even have some Sally Mee.

    The styling for the whole shoot is just perfect and sums up that era so well. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    We both totally agree with your comments as well. Surely now is the time to re-evaluate your shopping habits and get crafty with some recycling/upcycling.

    All the best
    Mark & Cleo

    1. It’s a wonderfully evocative shoot isn’t it. Has that almost-too-good-to-be-true quality. I can’t wait to see the exhibition, hope it’s still able to go ahead as planned! Hope you’re both well too. x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s