When it’s not a swimsuit but a playsuit that you want; when you’re not splashing, but lounging prettily under a beach brolly; if you have no wish to get wet, but still want to remain in the swim, these are definitely for you. But just make sure that you don’t get thrown in at the deep end!
Another work of genius by James Wedge, which I wonder might have been somewhat inspired by The Dolly Sisters? Modelled by Vivienne Lynn and another model I don’t recognise.
First-job salaries can present problems when you’re not used to juggling the rent around a new skirt or sweater. But there are ways—as you’ll see on these pages—of looking not just good, but positively great on a tight budget. Learn the rules of the “looking-good-on-a-little” game . . . remember that one pair of pants at £10+ will outlive two pairs that split whenever you sit down; that washable fabrics mean you’ll have no cleaning bills. Learn how to bleach and dye, starch and press properly—so you’ll be able to match vest tops and T-shirts to your new longer flowery skirts and keep them looking fresh. Invest in beautiful leather shoes: they last and look good if polished every day. Spend more on accessories —sometimes—than a new dress. Build your wardrobe around two or three colours—as crazy as you like—and find jolly extras to pull it all together. . . . This may be the summer you always wear a hat. Here is my choice of nine outfits . . . chic, very wearable and all cheap at the price. That’s fashion knowhow.
Following Gaudi’s thought “to be original, return to the origin”, following it down to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire where William Fox Talbot invented the camera, Norman Parkinson photographed eight dresses conjured from pure air and gauze.
This is like an album where every song is a certified banger. From the model, to the frocks, to the photographer, to the photographer he’s referencing, everything is flawless. Except that I don’t own all these dresses.
Quite apart from Elliott Gould being a very worthy successor to Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe, and the faded-but-magnificent Art Deco buildings which feature throughout, Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973) is also well worth watching for Nina van Pallandt’s wardrobe.
First appearing in what looks like Laura Ashley:
Then a less identifiable dress of a similar ‘peasant’ style but rather less traditionally English in the use of pattern and colour (possibly by Mexicana, Georgia Charuhas or a similar brand):
You can see more clearly in this publicity shot that the bands of lace are transparent:
Then Laura Ashley again:
Slightly clearer albeit black and white in this publicity shot:
By this point, I started wondering if this wardrobe was perhaps that of the actress rather than of the character. Nina van Pallandt was a successful Danish singer (with husband Frederik van Pallandt, they were known as ‘Nina and Frederik’) and would have spent a great deal of time in London. It otherwise seemed a bit odd that she was wearing clearly British-made clothes, albeit in a style which wouldn’t seem too dramatically out of place in early 1970s California. It certainly sets her apart from the few other women in the film, including Marlowe’s doped up neighbours (who are rarely clothed at all), and gives her a dreamy, other-worldly quality.
Then, as if by magic, she then appears in the most spectacular Zandra Rhodes gown. A gown which will, I’m afraid to say, eventually end up soaked through with sea water and very likely ruined.
Again, a proper publicity shot provides a clearer view of the classic Zandra squiggle print:
Afterwards, still pondering this, I hunted around for film stills and eventually came across this photo of Nina wearing the exact same dress in an earlier television performance. Bingo! I don’t know if it was just a small budget or a fussy leading lady, but I can only presume the entire wardrobe of her character was her own. One of those little things which seems to satisfy a curiosity in me, and I feel the need to share with the world.
I think this might be a piece from Zandra’s earliest collection as the hood and sleeve style is very reminiscent of this piece worn by Natalie Wood in 1970. I hope it was able to be rescued from its salty fate and is still out there somewhere.
Thought I’d treat you all to my new favourite in the legendary series of Smirnoff adverts. As today is my birthday, and we’re still in lockdown, a recreation of this will have to take place at home tonight rather than on holiday as I’d hoped. Cheers!
Imagine the location of Brig-a-doon as your backdrop, or the intimacy of a private country cottage as your studio with the prospect of photographing a selection of 20 beautiful English maidens. All this in your own time and, on top of this, making a profitable career out of such a desirable assignment.
The pursuit of a playboy or the pleasurable hobby of a titled aristocrat perhaps? In fact, it’s the dream of a qualified engineer with no professional training in photography. Canadian John Xavier has achieved such a desirable vocation…
Gradually he found he was marketing more of his own work and selling numerous pictures to a variety of men’s magazines. More recently he has been involved in the production of his first book. Entitled Every inch a lady, it is a photographic tribute to five of his most remarkable models...
I must admit to having a major soft spot for late Seventies/early Eighties vaseline-smeared David Hamilton-esque photography. The more over-the-top romantic and saucy the better. This superb set of photos were printed in one of those ubiquitous photography magazines of the time, accompanying an article about John Xavier. I think one of the models might possibly be Sylvestra le Touzel but I can barely see through the Vaseline I’m afraid.