19 and Biba are Back in Brown!

19 magazine, 1970s, barbara hulanicki, Barbara Hulanicki, biba, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, Vintage Editorials
Ankle-length brown linen coat and matching trousers, 10gns. Long narrow white silk scarf, 2gns. Brown leather shoes with a bar, £7 10s.

If you want to keep ahead in 1970 you will have something brown and white in your wardrobe. Biba and 19 put their heads together and chose -chocolate brown and stark white as the smartest colours for the spring. Teamed together they make a stunning combination—classic colours cut in that special Biba way to make a head-turning impact. For those in need of something a little bit special to wear at night, take a good look at Biba’s super long satin coat in liquid chocolate brown — designed to be worn over trousers, a dress or just by itself. It’s well worth the money if you go out often enough to warrant an evening coat. Biba goes long again for the spring with a feeling reminiscent of the early 1900s when ladies wore ankle-length skirts,. large picture hats with feathers, plumes and lots of net. We’re in favour of 1970 being a romantic year, and if you agree with us, then Biba’s the shop for you —124-126 Kensington High Street, London, W.8.

Wonderful not only to see Peccinotti’s beautiful photos of Barbara’s beautiful clothes, but a rare and special insight into the lesser-seen Biba number 3 in Kensington High Street (post-Church Street and pre-Derry and Toms). I’m not sure this will ever stop being one of my favourite aesthetics.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, March 1970.

Brown satin evening coat, 12gns. Brown leather bar shoes, £7 10s. Choker, 30s. Scarf from their selection. Veiling, 3s.11d. a yard.
Brown/white Flanestra button-through dress, 6gns. Matching hat, 30s. Brown leather bar shoes, £7 10s. All prices are approximate.
Floor-length white crêpe coat with full sleeves, and matching trousers, 9gns. the set. White crêpe scarf from their selection.
Brown crêpe long fitted jacket with matching buttons, and wide-cut trousers, £5 19s.6d. Matching helmet, 30s. Spectacles, 32s.6d.
White linen suit with an ankle-length skirt, £7 10s. Matching hat, 30s. Beige fishnet tights, 14s.11d. Veiling over face, 3s.11d. a yard.

Beauty from Biba

19 magazine, 1970s, barbara hulanicki, Barbara Hulanicki, beauty, biba, british boutique movement, hair, Hair and make-up, Make-up

As with everything Biba creates, its newly opened Beauty Parlour in the Kensington store hits that striking note of sparkling originality.

It has 19’s stamp of approval. because it is a genuine beauty parlour, in the true, old-fashioned sense of the word. The Parlour welcomes you into a relaxed, spacious and luxurious, ‘Thirties’ world of cream and black decor, bedecked with dark green palms. It is the brain-child of Barbara Hulaniki— Biba’s creator—and Regis, a brilliant and inventive make-up artist and hairdresser.

Before Regis showed us around, we asked him to tell us about his past.

Looking every bit as dashing as Valentino himself. he said: “Call me a man with no past. Although I trained and worked in many leading salons, I don’t want to be attached to anything I’ve done before or The Parlour to be compared with others.”

The Parlour offers the services of a modern establishment (from haircutting to leg waxing) which it executes in a novel way. Here you are not a number with a gown—you are treated as an individual with individual needs. In true Biba tradition, on arrival, you are fitted out with a fabulous gown—either a long black satin one (if you are having your hair done), a black velour robe (for the guys) or a super black towelling robe (if you are going into the beauty room). Even the hair nets are pretty— black and silky.


The seating is so cleverly designed in the curved and pillared room that one client hardly sees another and, although each hairdresser—and there are three, plus Regis— has his own ‘corner’, all the involved treatments, such as tinting, bleaching, high-lighting and perming. are done in private cubicles.

Biba carries every conceivable shade of hair colouring and hasn’t just confined The Parlour to all the well-known branded names. Regis virtually combed the earth to find special formulas and effects.

Henna treatments are very popular and Biba uses several varieties—Black Henna, for dark heads; Neutral Henna, for blondes; Henna Wax for dry, split hair; ordinary henna, for a rich, red glow and a special henna, which can be used with a perm—normally you cannot perm hair which has henna on it. (Henna treatment costs from £6: tinting from £6.50; perming from £10.) Regis has fixed ideas concerning shampoo.

“A good shampoo is the most important step in the whole process. because if you use a bad one. then you can forget about doing an original style. Dull, horrible hair can never look good, however hard you try.”

Biba has 17 kinds of shampoo to choose from, ranging from ‘Almond’ and ‘Strawberry’ to ‘Henna Gloss’ shampoo, which doesn’t actually colour the hair but, with constant use, produces marvellous red lights. There are also three biological shampoos: one for greasy hair, one for dry and one for dandruff sufferers. (A shampoo and set costs £3, no matter which shampoo you need to use.)

Other Biba specialities are the after-washing, pre-setting goodies. Regis’ favourite is the Champagne Rinse, which gives a remarkable gloss and softness. The Henna Conditioner is good and there are Frictions, too, which are spirit-based hair perfumes, to make your hair smell beautiful, as well as look good. (Frictions are something mothers and grandmothers know all about. but which had disappeared from our lives—until now.) These cost 50p. each, and you can choose from ‘Orchid’, `Fougere., ‘Eau de Cologne’, ‘Passionate’ and ‘Gardenia’.


Blow-drying is virtually non-existent at Biba.

“We want girls to look truly groomed and feminine again.” said Regis. He believes in the old-style training and he and his staff use rollers (but not heated ones), Marcel Wave tongs, wave clips. small tongs and irons, and do lots of exacting pin-curling.


The Beauty Room is run by a very efficient lady and practically anything is done. There are treatments to help acne problems; waxing to remove unwanted hair; massage including a deep-back massage. with an infra-red lamp; spot reducing with Slendertone and eye treatments, which include eyebrow shaping, eyelash dyeing and the application of Permanent lashes. (This costs £4. and replacements later on cost 10p. a lash.)

The manicures and pedicures are superb. If it is just a plain one you want, then, of course, they will oblige. But if you want something for a special occasion then they can do fantastic combinations of colours, patterns and designs on nails and toes, too, if required. (Ordinary manicures cost £1: the special kind. £2.50.)

As far as make-up is concerned. Regis will create a fantastic new look for you and will advise on form-ulas, colours and applica-tion. (Cost £5.)

The Parlour opens at 11am., on weekdays, and last appointments are at 6.30pm. On Saturdays. opening time is 9.30am. and last appointments are at 4pm.

It’s sobering to remember that about seven months after this article appeared, Biba was closed forever.

Photographer(s) uncredited.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, February 1975.

Come up and see me sometime

19 magazine, 1970s, barbara hulanicki, Barbara Hulanicki, biba, Inspirational Images, interior design, interiors, Manfred Vogelsanger, platforms
Wallpaper, 10p. a 2ft. x 3ft. sheet. Each sheet has a border which can be trimmed off with a Stanley knife and steel rule and used for edging. Butterfly mirror from a junk Shop. Plywood boxes, painted with Biba Brown Flat Oil Paint, £1-80 per litre, and edged with wallpaper border, used as table. On table: feathers, 65p. each. Brown velvet shade, with gold bead fringe, £7-50. Gilt lady lamp, £5-05. Lacquered basket, full of beads, from 55p. Brown velvet wastepaper basket, £3-60. Satin and velvet cushions: small £2.10 each, large £2.95 each. Brown velvet used as bed-cover, £2.35 per square yard. Huge terracotta plant pot and dish from any good nursery. Both painted with Biba Brown Flat Oil and Biba Gold, £1.25 a litre, and varnished with clear polyurethane, from hardware stores. Old wardrobe was given a coat of Biba Brown Flat Oil Paint and edged with wallpaper border. Foreground: table and seat both made out of plywood, as before. On table: brass mirror tray, £4-50. Long-lasting candles, 60p. each. Brown mirror glass cigarette box, £5.50. Sundae glasses, £1.15 each. Crockery: cups 35p. each, saucers, 20p. each. Brown felt on floor, 95p. per yard.

How do you turn your bed-sitter into a cosy, welcoming den, with a seductive hint to it, so that a friend would love to come back with you after an evening out on the town? 19 asked Barbara Hulanicki of Biba for her expert advice on this and here are some of her easily imitated ideas to jazz up your pad.

Choice of colour schemes is very much a question of taste, but we chose Biba’s beautiful brown and gold paper and brown paint because they’re warm and intimate to live with and neutral enough to display favourite bits and pieces. Brown floor felt is a cheap alternative to carpet, but it is difficult to keep clean. If you can stand doing it, sanding tt-e floor gives a beautiful surface. pywood pieces, cut to size by your frendly local do-it-yourself shop and glued or nailed together, form excellent boxes for tables and seats. If yoire clever with a screwdriver, you night even manage to hinge one side and use the boxes for storage.

Painted and edged with wallpaper border and then varnished with clear polyurethane. they make effective and decorative furniture, which will tie in beautifully with your room scheme. An alternative to expensive antique plant pots is to buy terracotta ones and again paint with colour and seal with clear polyurethane.

A pegboard livens up a dull wall and when painted and bordered with paper looks as if it’s meant to be there. Half-inch thick insulating board—again cut to required size— is super stuff for pinning notices on.

The bed is covered in brown velvet and scatter cushions. Everyone knows it’s a bed, but it doesn’t have to look like one and this way successfully forms an integral part of the room. An ugly wardrobe can dominate a bed-sitter, but is usually a necessary evil. Given the same treatment —paint, wallpaper trim — it actually looks pleasant and merges effectively with the wall.

Judging by the jumble of sticks and pots in most girls’ bedrooms, storage space for jewellery and make-up is also a problem. Barbara’s cheap, chic and neat answer to this is a tin tool-box, stocked by most hardware shops. Painted and varnished, it looks really effective.

Text by Gwenda Saar.

All items from Biba, unless otherwise stated. Model’s clothes from Biba.

Photographs by Manfred Vogelsanger.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, February 1973.

Bamboo hat-stand from a junk shop. Dried grasses from a selection at Harrods. Tin tool chest, with plastic drawers, from Woolworth or Biba, £1.75, painted with Biba Brown Flat Oil, £1.80 per litre, and coated with clear varnish.
Noticeboard made from half-inch thick insulating board, cut to size, painted with Biba Brown Flat Oil, £1.80 per litre, edged with wallpaper border.