Living up to a reputation

1970s, Alice Ormsby-Gore, amanda lear, Asha Puthli, bill gibb, british boutique movement, christopher mcdonnell, frederick fox, ika hindley, Inspirational Images, jean muir, jean varon, joanna lumley, john bates, mary quant, pat cleveland, Sally McLaughlan, telegraph magazine, Terence Donovan, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, zandra rhodes

For some years now the London fashion designers have had the edge on their Paris rivals for ideas and innovations. Tomorrow evening a film on this subject will be shown on BBC1. Today we photograph the key London designers with their favourite clothes. What do they think of the London fashion scene? Where do we go from here?

Photographed by Terence Donovan. Fashion by Cherry Twiss.

Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, May 25th 1973.

Zandra Rhodes originally trained as a textile designer; she began designing clothes in 1968. She does not have her own retail shop; her fabulous creations are made to order and sell through the big stores. “I think fashion in London is like a sea with lots of little islands, lots of different looks. I am my own couture island,” she says. “I don’t like committing myself to any one collection. I like adding to it as my ideas come along.” Pat Cleveland, top American model, is wearing Zandra’s “off-the-shoulder lily dress” .of printed grey and cream chiffon with satin-backed bodice and embroidery. From Piero de Monzi, 70 Fulham Road, SW3.
Mary Quant, photographed with her husband Alexander Plunkett-Green, became famous in 1955 when she opened the first “Bazaar” shop in the King’s Road, Chelsea. Now her business includes linen, make-up, tights and dolls as well as clothes, all bearing the unmistakable Quant touch. Of current London fashion she says: “I think the mood is classic, and I love it.” Amanda, a model who typifies Mary’s look, wears trousers, striped pullover and co-ordinating jacket, all in an angora and polyester mixture, and a pure silk shirt. Mary chose this outfit because “it is the epitome of my new collection -the best of everything. Modern classics in the right colours, subtle soft fabrics, elegance, chic – the sort of outfit you want to live in.” From Mary Quant’s new autumn collection, available in September.
Designer Jean Muir with Harry Lockart, her husband and business manager. She started the firm which bears her name in 1966; her distinctive clothes are available at all the major stores. Says Harry Lockart: “The London fashion scene has tremendous potential and on the design side is moving marvellously. It must need organising very professionally along Paris lines, with proper collection weeks, at times that do not clash, so that buyers can see everything.” Joanna Lumley is wearing an olive green two-tiered silk jersey dress described by Jean as “one of my favourites”. About £75 from Lucienne Phillips, 69 Knightsbridge, SW3, or Brown’s, South Molton Street, W1 . Jade necklace by Jean Muir, £15. Shoes, £24, by Charles Jourdan, 47 Brompton Road, SW3. Tights, Elle.
Designer John Bates (left) with John Siggins, Director who handles Publicity, Press and External Contracts. John Bates started the firm of Jean Varon in 1959; he thinks that “fashion in London is no different from anywhere else; but it is only just recently that it has been taken seriously”. Kellie, who is one of John Bates’s favourite models, is wearing a Tricel surah dress in a print by Sally McLaughlan exclusive to John Bates. About £55 from Dickins & Jones, Regent Street, W1 ; Barkers, Kensing-ton High Street, W8; Bentalls of Kingston; Kendal Milne of Manchester. Hat made to order by Frederick Fox, 26 Brook Street, W1.
Christopher McDonnell started his career early in 1967 and now sells his designs at his famous shop in South Molton Street. He thinks London is the most exciting place for evening wear, “but until the factories learn how to cope technically with good ideas for day clothes, the rest of Europe will remain ahead of us in this field.” The model is Ika, who, says Christopher, can interpret any look. She is wearing a cream silk suit with short skirt, £33 from Christopher McDonnell, 45 South Molton Street, W1 . White silk turban £9.50 from George Malyard, 3 King Street, WI. Bangles and choker from Emeline, 45 Beauchamp Place, SW3.
Designer Bill Gibb started out on his own in 1969 and was voted “Designer of the Year” in 1970. He now has a wholesale firm, and in fashion feels that “everybody makes a different sort of contribution”. Asha Puthli, singer and actress is wearing a peach double satin jacket and halter top embroidered and edged with black leather, and Lurex pleated skirt. About £200 from Chic of Hampstead, Heath Street, NW3, or Chases, Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 by Chelsea Cobbler, 33 Sackville Street, W1 . Tights by Echo. Alice Ormsby-Gore is wearing a plain and printed grey Lurex skirt and sequin embroidered top, £128. Turban by Diane Logan to order. All from Lucienne Phillips, or ZigZag, 100 New Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 from Chelsea Cobbler. Tights by Echo.

The Velvet Touch

1970s, biba, bill gibb, charles jourdan, christopher mcdonnell, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, Jaeger, janice wainwright, laura ashley, Marida, oliver goldsmith, Russell & Bromley, Terence Donovan, Vintage Editorials

The Velvet Touch - Terence Donovan - Harpers November 1974 a

Velvet jacket and matching skirt by Christopher McDonnell. Hat by Laura Ashley. Wallpaper by Laura Ashley.

Velvets have gone into print this winter. Dashing suits and jackets come in all the mutations of the earth, sea and sky and are designed to be worn before rather than after dark. They look a million dollars and sometimes don’t even cost that much.

Photographed by Terence Donovan.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, November 1974.

The Velvet Touch - Terence Donovan - Harpers November 1974 b

Jacket and cream shirt embroidered with corn ears and matching skirt, all by Bill Gibb. Navy leather boots from Russell & Bromley.

The Velvet Touch - Terence Donovan - Harpers November 1974 c

Rayon velvet jacket in Persian print and black rayon velvet skirt, both by Biba. Rust crepe de chine shirt by Otto. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith. Beret by Marida. Wallpaper from Laura Ashley.

The Velvet Touch - Terence Donovan - Harpers November 1974 e

Velvet jacket and matching skirt by Jaeger. Scarf by Rodier. Hat by Marida. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldmith. Boots by Charles Jourdan. Wallpaper by Biba.

The Velvet Touch - Terence Donovan - Harpers November 1974 d

Velvet jacket in splodgy print with matching skirt and Viyella blouse, all by Janice Wainwright.

 

The Great Jewel Robbery

1970s, barbara trentham, Barbara Trentham, christopher mcdonnell, cosmopolitan, Deirdre McSharry, Inspirational Images, Janni Goss, jewellery, leonard, norman eales

The Great Jewel Robbery 1

Some men may wince at the thought of wearing anything more flash than an Alfa Romeo watch. And some girls will weep at the prospect of spending any of their salary on him. But there’s no doubt that a good deal of gilt-edged swopping is going on among the sexes. And I don’t mean that trad plain gold band. Much more interesting is the trend for loving couples to buy each other jewellery that they both can wear. It began a few years ago with gilt and elephant-hair rings that the likes of Twiggy and Justin used to sport. Then the Together People began exchanging chunky under-water watches and Cartier’s gold “love” bangles. Very simple, very expensive and very permanent because they are fastened with a screwdriver. Now that even jet-setters are uniformed like Steve McQueen in blue jeans, the latest swop-about jewellery is suitably chunky and shiny as a Harley-Davidson bike—see above: Peter Hinwood in a silver chain and bracelet from Andre Bogaert and ivory tusks from Butler and Wilson. The ear-ring is his own. Janni Goss is weighed down with two chromium bangles by Gijis Bakker, a stainless-steel belt by Emanuel Raft and a silver pendant by Helga Zahn. All one-offs and available at the Electrum Gallery, where customers include Julie Christie and Fenella Fielding. The girls order for themselves and their fellas. Gals and guys who prefer their jewellery on the frankly flash side—and they include Yoko and John Lennon—apply to Mick Milligan who designs the glitter stuff, worn by Barbara Trentham. and Gary Myers, below. Mick designs with his tongue in his cheek, like the BLANG! pins and the Rolls-Royce radiator badge, made in solid silver for Leonard, the London hairdresser, which Leonard’s wife also borrows. For females only: the “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” necklet—naturally 100 per cent fake stones—which Barbara wears with a fistful of chrome rings. From a fiver each, you can tell Mick’s loot is more than a joke. Meanwhile he is laughing all the way to the bank, so BLANG! to you. Lurex knit is by Christopher McDonnell.

Photographed by Norman Eales. Text by Deirdre McSharry.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, March 1972.

The Great Jewel Robbery 2

Inspirational Editorials: Splitting the Difference

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, bus stop, celia birtwell, Chelsea Antiques Market, Chelsea Drug Store, cherry twiss, christopher mcdonnell, hans feurer, Inspirational Images, king's road, lee bender, marrian mcdonnell, mary quant, ossie clark, quorum, radley, The Purple Shop, Vintage Editorials

Crepe skirt and printed chiffon blouse both at Quorum. Pink patent shoes at Elliott. Tights from Bus Stop.

Crepe skirt and printed chiffon blouse both at Quorum. Pink patent shoes at Elliott. Tights from Bus Stop.

If you are prepared to forsake the mini this summer for the midi or maxi, you will find that designers have compensated for covering the legs by boldly slashing the skirts at the front, the back and the sides. Photographed at The Chelsea Drug Store.

This is a fascinating editorial for a few reasons. Firstly it is photographed at the legendary Chelsea Drug Store, showing off the incredible interior to perfection. It singularly fails to credit Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell with their garments for Quorum (an odd oversight given their fame at the time…). It is also a glorious insight into the mini/midi/maxi debate of 1970 and shows us the transition between late Sixties style and the early Seventies. The clothes are familiar as early Seventies, but the shoes are not yet platform and still stuck in a low block heel.

Photographed by Hans Feurer. Styled by Cherry Twiss.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Telegraph Magazine (exact date unknown, Spring 1970)

Cream jersey dress at Marrian McDonnell. Gold sandals at Elliott. Onyx and silver ring from The Purple Shop.

Cream jersey dress at Marrian McDonnell. Gold sandals at Elliott. Onyx and silver ring from The Purple Shop.

Printed voile dress by Mary Quant. Suede granny shoes by Elliott. Victorian pendant at The Purple Shop, Chelsea Antiques Market.

Printed voile dress by Mary Quant. Suede granny shoes by Elliott. Victorian pendant at The Purple Shop, Chelsea Antiques Market.

Orange crepe dress at Bus Stop. Orange suede sandals at Elliott.

Orange crepe dress at Bus Stop. Orange suede sandals at Elliott.

Dress by Radley Gowns from Quorum. Shoes from Kurt Geiger. Victorian pendant from The Purple Shop.

Dress by Radley Gowns from Quorum. Shoes from Kurt Geiger. Victorian pendant from The Purple Shop.

Inspirational Images: Hollywood Revamped

1970s, british boutique movement, christopher mcdonnell, cosmopolitan, George Malyard, Inspirational Images, kari ann muller, marrian mcdonnell, platforms, richard imrie, terry de havilland

Terry de Havilland Christopher McDonnell Cosmopolitan May 1972 Richard Imrie

Christopher McDonnell must dream in black and white, and all his dreams must star Ginger Rogers and Rita Hayworth. Because, when it comes to designing clothes, this twenty-eight year old ex-Royal College of Art designer is the very spirit of Hollywood: his clothes have backless bodices, necklines to the navel and skirts that grip the bottom and then flare in Busby Berkley pleats. His model girls, smiling jammily through their bright lips, false eyelashes and heaving curls, snap along on platform soles. One of today’s top stars, Anouk Aimée, is his favourite customer. Here, model Kari-Ann wears black taffeta top and pleated dotted culottes by Christopher McDonnell, £35. Hat by George Malyard. Shoes by Terry de Havilland, exclusive to Marrian McDonnell.

Photographed by Richard Imrie.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, May 1972.

Inspirational Editorials: A Touch of Something Delicious

1970s, Bombacha, british boutique movement, chelsea cobbler, christopher mcdonnell, Electric Fittings, gauchos, Inspirational Images, janice wainwright, jeff banks, katharine hamnett, Mary Graeme, Orte, Palmer Smith, Reldan, Rodier, Sacha, tuttabankem, Vintage Editorials, Vogue, wallis

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Plum panne velvet skirt with rose pink appliqued flowers by Orte for Bombacha. Boa and beaded chiffon blouse also from Bombacha. Plum shoes by Sacha.

This is possibly one of the most perfect editorials I’ve seen in Vogue. Unshowy, basic, starkly-lit, but the clothes are mouthwatering. Plus, I am delighted to spot a pair of much loved (and much worn recently) velvet culottes from Wallis from my own wardrobe. It just goes to show, with a little bit of patience you can sometimes turn the dream into a reality…

Photographed by Palmer Smith. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, November 1974.

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Grey/green spotted velvet skirt, waistband flowered salmon and turquoise. Deep salmon pink chiffon blouse. Both by Orte for Bombacha.

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Black flowered culottes and blouse by Wallis. Black ankle boots by Richard Smith for The Chelsea Cobbler.

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Clockwise from top left: Paisley suit by Jeff Banks. Shirt by Rodier. / Paisley suit and cream blouse by Rue de La Paix by Reldan. / Rose print velvet by Kadix. Silk shirt by Katherine Hamnett for Tuttabankem / Bluebird printed skirt suit and blouse by Christopher McDonnell.

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Black checked blue velvet jacket and skirt by Electric Fittings at Bombacha. Boots by Richard Smith for The Chelsea Cobbler.

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Velvet suit by Janice Wainwright. Shoes by Mary Graeme.

Model Daughters

1960s, british boutique movement, celia hammond, christopher mcdonnell, gerald mccann, Guy Cross, Hylette Adolphe, Inspirational Images, jean muir, marrian mcdonnell, paulene stone, Sandra Paul, Sarah Stuart, simon massey, telegraph magazine, Vanessa Frye, wallis, Worth

celia hammond

Celia Hammond with Mrs Hammond. Born in Indonesia. Says she was ‘quite plump’ when she first walked into Lucy Clayton’s. “I started losing weight when I stopped worrying about it.” Confesses that she’s been in modelling so long that these days the money is the main attraction.

Celia’s dress by Jean Muir

Photographed by Guy Cross.  Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Daily Telegraph Magazine, November 22nd 1968.

Hylette Adophe

Hylette Adolphe with Mrs Terese Adolphe. Born in Mauritius, convent-educated. Finds modelling “very hard and a bit depressing, but on the whole quite nice.” Recently in Corfu, where she had to learn to ride a Roman chariot for a German swimwear ad. Found it “quite terrifying”.

Hylette’s dress by Hylan Brooker to order from Worth Related Couture.

paulene stone

Paulene Stone with Mrs Sylvia Stone. After leaving school with six O-levels, she won a competition in a women’s magazine, part of the prize being a modelling course. She says she always wanted to be a model. “Apparently, I was always talking about it when I was a little girl.”

Pauline’s outfit by Simon Massey at Wallis.

sandra paul

Sandra Paul with Mrs Rosalie Paul. Born in Malta, where her father was an RAF doctor. Decided against going to university and instead she took a course at Lucy Clayton’s. Says about modelling that “in a funny way you enjoy it the more experienced and adaptable you become.”

Sandra’s dress by Marrian-McDonnell

Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart with Mrs Croker Poole. Born in India, Sarah Stuart was educated in England and Paris (“no make-up lessons; we worked hard at French, history and commerce”). Took up modelling when her marriage broke up. Says it’s hard work – “getting up early, packing heavy cases…”

Sarah’s trouser suit by Gerald McCann at Vanessa Frye.

Inspirational Editorials: Clothes to make him hungry

1970s, angela gore, Anne Turkel, Antiquarius, brian duffy, christopher mcdonnell, cosmopolitan, David Scott, Diana Doe, Habitat, Inspirational Images, laura ashley, lord john, Samm, Shop O, Vintage Editorials

shop o gingham cosmo june 72

Dress by Shop O. Sandals from Samm.

Photographed by Duffy. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, June 1972.

shop o cosmo june 72

Blouse and skirt by Shop O. Sandals from Samm.

angela gore cosmo june 72

Nightdress by Angela Gore

mexican imports at david scott antiquarius cosmo june 72

Mexican embroidered top at David Scott, Antiquarius.

christopher mcdonnell cosmo june 72

White linen Garbo suit by Christopher McDonnell. He wears Lord John.

diana doe cosmo june 72

Dress by Diana Doe. Sandals from Samm.

habitat towel cosmo june 72

Towel from Habitat

laura ashley cosmo june 72

Skirt by Laura Ashley. Blouse from David Scott. He wears clothes by Lord John.  

Inspirational Illustrations: The eternal elegance of knitwear

1970s, Bellini, christopher mcdonnell, Harpers Bazaar, Illustrations, Inspirational Images, marrian mcdonnell, Mouchy, sally levison

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers Bazaar, October 1969

Illustration by Mouchy

Wet Stuff

alligator, che guevara, christopher mcdonnell, gordon king, Honey Magazine, monty coles, topshop, way in
No, no mild sauce prefix (arf arf!). It’s been rather damp in dear old Blighty lately, which has actually done the unthinkable/unbearable and forced me into actual shops where you buy actual new clothes (I needed some kind of trench-y raincoat thing and was starting to think I would have to wait forever to find the perfect vintage one I wanted) and obnoxious people push you away from the full-length mirrors and waft a disdainful hand at you (I kid ye not, my expression was pretty much the same as the photo immediately below…). Anyway, I’ve been meaning to scan this frankly awesome shoot from Honey magazine for simply ages. And given the current climate, it finally seemed very appropriate. 
Photos by Monty Coles. Honey magazine, February 1974

It’s a striking shoot. Rather modern-feeling (which just goes to prove that modern is rarely as modern as it seems…) and really affecting. Not emotionally, but physically. I can almost feel the models’ pain…