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.
4 thoughts on “How Original!”
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
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
I had my stall in Kensington Market for 32 years the whole length of time the market was going. I remember Sue and Paula Greenwood’s stall near my stall, they were the first to make skirts and dresses from 1930-1950s head scarves. When the scarves were sewn together at a 45% angle they cut the skirts and dresses from them. Having them cut on the cross meant you only had to make one or two sizes.they were incredibly popular. Also Roy Shuttleworth AKA ‘Rag Roy’ sold beautiful secondhand yes dresses from the 20s-30s-40s and made blouses from damaged dresses and jackets from Victorian Chenille table clothes. I started by buying old dresses from Portobello Road market very early in the morning and making ties from the fabrics which we sold theBlades, Mr Fish, Hung On You, Granny Takes A Trip ,Justmen,Washington and Tremlett and Cue.Pontings and Pettits still had 1920s and 1930s fabrics instock in the late 60s and a lot of the local boutiques bought fabrics from them to make their stock. A lot of GTAT shirts were made from fabrics from those stores….
Wish I still had my Van Der fransen blouse…..when I bought it the shop assistant said ” people will always remark when you wear this…”. And they did. . Always…… I was only 17…..and loved it !