My One Extravagance

1970s, Honey Magazine, Paul McNicholls, Swanky Modes

“I love it when everyone stares” Connie Benjamin is 21, studying for extra O-levels, coping alone with a four-year-old daughter, existing on a meagre income, and spending £50 a time on exotic dresses from Swanky Modes in Camden Town.

“I just buy them for the fun of wearing them. I see something I like and ask them to make it up in my size. I’ve been going to Swankies for about a year now and must have spent at least £300, but they let me pay it off week by week. It’s worth it; everything I buy is made and designed especially for me so no one’s going to have the same. I never diet, I don’t need to, the dresses are made to fit me.

“When I walk into a soul club in one of my dresses, I love it when everyone stares. Mind you, some people ask me if I’ve got a sugar daddy or do something on the side—know what I mean?

“I like my clothes to be sexy because of my tits. I used to be embarrassed about them but not any more-I’ve discovered high-neck dresses make me look bigger anyway. One guy said I should be ashamed, flaunting myself, but I told him to lump it—it makes me feel great. I wouldn’t give up buying these clothes for anything. I’ve nothing else left to give up. Anyway I only have a ‘special’ made up once a month.”

The absolute joy of this excerpt from a larger article, especially for a Swanky Modes fan such as me. I would dearly love to know what happened to Connie Benjamin and her amazing Swanky wardrobe.

Photographed by Paul McNicholls.

Scanned from Honey, April 1976.

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