Whether it’s dinner for two, or a special night out with a crowd, you want to be sure that you’ve got that certain ‘little number’ to fit the bill. To be sure that you’re not caught on the hop, we’ve picked a selection of really feminine dresses, satin trousers, skirts, tops and even an elegantly tailored, satin suit fit for the Ritz. Happy wining and dining!
Whether you believe in star signs or not, this lovely editorial is certainly fun to browse. Pretty happy with my Cancerian Annacat dress, modelled by Stephanie Farrow, but greatly envy the Aries and Scorpio threads.
(Also, please don’t shout at me about the furs. I don’t like them either but it would be weird to leave out Leo and Aquarius. Just pretend they’re fake…)
I told you there was a lot of swimwear in this issue, didn’t I? I’m amazed by these Susan Backhouse pieces. I’ve only ever had one piece by her which is an incredible, voluminous cotton skirt in the style of Vivienne Westwood, so I’m boggling at these skimpy, pop-art inspired swimsuits and bikinis.
Photographed by Elizabeth Huxley. Hair and make-up by Colin Booker.
As it’s my *cough* 40th *cough* birthday next week, I thought I’d theme a few blog posts to celebrate. So this week, they will all be hailing from the July 1979 issue of 19 Magazine. It’s a fascinating period on the cusp between the decades, which I like to think had some kind of immense bearing on the person I am today. Being July I’m afraid it’s a bit swimsuit-heavy, but it’s also one of the greatest, most creative periods for swimwear which, in the case of Swanky Modes, is almost the purest distillation of their aesthetic.
Photographed by Ku Khanh. Hair and make-up by Colin Booker.
This post is brought to you in two parts. The editorial was, unusually, photographed by two different photographers in two different locations. Tomorrow I will post the photos from Brighton Pier (very exciting for me, as you can guess!). Today’s were photographed in Meeny’s, which was a King’s Road boutique started by Gary Craze in 1972 – specialising in American brands for both adults and children. Clearly showing the same influences as Mr Freedom, this is the first I’ve seen of the interior. The clothes are the very creme de la creme of boutique ‘pop art’ joyfulness.
Tessa Kennedy lives down amongst trees and flowers on the Bayswater edge of Hyde Park; on a broiling blue July day it seemed more like the South of France with mimosa yellow awnings over the windows, white iron table and chairs set up on the terrace. On the corner of a great white classical block of houses, it’s a garden flat — no agent’s euphemism — knocked together from two; in the centre are a pair of tiny courtyards Tessa is changing into conservatories so that flowers can flower all year round: her sons can also wheel their bicycles straight out of doors to play. They are Cassian, Damian and Cary Elwes., 11, 10 and 7, and there’s Dylan, the baby, 7 months old.
Inside, a dramatic maze of rooms opens off the central chocolate-varnished corridor; everywhere carpets, tapestries, tartan and Indian silks make endless patterns. The old wine cellars have turned into great scarlet felt lined storage cupboards like the ones she designed for the Donald Davies shop, no dust can creep in. The drawing-room converts to a cinema built when Stanley Donen lived there; Tessa has hardly changed this at all. The projection room has mighty machines like the Marble Arch Odeon, she has registered herself as Kennedy Previews and has a projectionist hired full time—to show films to friends after dinner once or twice a week, or a couple of James Bond epics for the boys: “They love it of course and get absolutely boss-eyed.” Her fascination with gadgetry extends to video tapes, high-powered headphones for the stereo, intercom and a splendid American push-button dial telephone you can ring in on but not out. With the push-button stuff are clumps of fresh flowers, dog roses, daisies, piles of cushions in antique fabrics or in the flame stitch tapestry she sews on plane journeys, her collection of walnut shell sewing boxes, photograph, paintings—including a quartet of Louis XIV’s wife and mistresses—and carpet in a different colour but the same pattern as the one she designed for Burke’s restaurant. Burke’s is one of her decorating jobs she likes the best—along with Sir George and Lady Weidenfeld’s house and the flat she made for John Barry in an office block overlooking the Thames: “We installed such powerful sound that it moves right across the river and people coming out of the Tate look quite dazed.” Now she is working on a couple of country houses, one is for John Aspinall, and offices for Polydor records, and several new ideas, like a sauna in a storage cupboard, to build into this family and garden flat.
Yes, that’s little Cary Elwes at the tender age of seven. And of course it goes without saying that I would kill for those Theas…
Not only does leather feel good, it smells delicious, like a trip out West. Suede and chamois are even better than leather because they are so much softer and easier tow ear. They’re not as expensive as they used to be. Cheap they will never be if you want value for your money. Leather, properly looked after, lasts for age; in fact, the more beaten up and old it looks the better. So when it comes to buying remember that and invest in something safe – like the clothes photographed on these pages. Thy are not desperately in fashion but, on the other hand, they are not out and never will be…
Fashion by Caroline Baker. Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.