This is definitely the Season of the Midi, which involves a whole new set of fashion rules. Midis look best without an inch of leg showing, which means either long tight-fitting boots to take over where the midi finishes, or coloured tights matching clumpy-heeled shoes. So keep gulping; daily doses will keep you in the pink, fashion wise.
Aside from all the dreamy autumnal clothes and the fact that the blonde model is Charlotte Martin, it’s so lovely to see Terry de Havilland’s early and legendary three-tier wedges. As so often with Terry’s shoes, they are erroneously credited to the stockists (here ‘Jolly Boy’), but it’s still lovely to see them.
One of the finest editorials of all time, from the dream team of Caroline Baker and Harri Peccinotti at Nova. You can’t help thinking about the clear influence of the Impressionists, such as Renoir, on the aesthetic, but also about how this shoot must itself have been influencing other people for years afterwards. For example, Picnic at Hanging Rock was released a mere three years later and the petticoats, parasols and lace-up boots can’t help but remind you of that.
As a side note, but a pretty impressive one at that, the ‘nursery print’ Miss Mouse dress featured here has also just gone into my Etsy shop. So you can pretend it’s 1972 and you’re ‘shopping the look’.
Brigitte Bardot first glamorised gingham, mixing it with sex and broderie anglaise to set a devastating new trend. It’s back, showing every sign of being the big summer ’76 story, versatile enough to go from ingenue to sophisticate.
Always incredible to see Gina Fratini clothes being worn to their full effect, this time by lovely Vivienne Lynn, and also to see the Hard Rock Cafe in its earlier, less gimmicky life.
Hair by Kerry at Molton Brown.
Photographed by Elisabeth Novick.
Scanned from Over 21, April 1976.
For the final stage in our gingham story we photographed a “real” woman rather than just a model: actress Ruth Rosen. Ruth has recently been edifying and diverting us with her performances at major art exhibitions where she virtually brings the artist to life, presenting a one-woman show based on his life and works. Recent subjects have been Turner at the Tate Gallery and Burne-Jones at the Hayward. The next one will be Constable at the Tate. Look out for it…
Leather and fur get more expensive every year. It’s not only the taxes and rising costs of production. It’s just that there aren’t enough good animal skins for leather around to meet the consumer demand. Furs are there in quantity for the fabulously rich. Luckily a good substitute has been found – the nylon-spun, man-made sort. Some, especially in the leather field, are so like the real thing the only way you can tell the difference is by the smell. Take the white coat on pages 46 and 47. It’s fake and costs about £50. It has a double in real fur and leather for £270. Made by the same people who have duplicated most of their collection this way and it takes an eagle eye and nose to tell the difference. Others are just furry, woolly fabrics, obviously not imitating some four-legged friend, which is one of the nicest things about them. This fur fabric is now getting the treatment it deserves. Nairn Williamson (more famous for their Vinyl floor and wall coverings) were the first to see its potential and got six designers to use their Velmar fur fabric in their winter collections. Jane Whiteside for Stirling Cooper (new label getting famous fast for their beautiful jersey co-ordinates) was the cleverest of them all. She used the best sludgy colours, mixed it with needlecord to make a group of jackets and coats to go with trousers, skirts and blouses. Borg (American originated and the pioneers in England of this deep pile fabric) has been around for a long time, mostly on the inside of duffle and raincoats but it’s on the outside as a normal fabric that it looks its best. Next winter there will be a lot more of it around, now that designers are getting less snobby about plastics. Not only is it as warm as fur, it is, of course, much cheaper and you don’t smell like a wet dog when you come in from the rain, either. So you can wear it herding sheep on lost weekends, or in town queuing for the cinema without any guilt feelings about ruining your assets.
Insert obligatory ‘I don’t agree with the thrust of the argument for fake furs as just a financial consideration here’ caveat from me, your content provider. Don’t shout at me, basically. But it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of 1970, and the proliferation of fake furs and skins at that time. It’s also a breathtakingly styled and photographed work of art from Caroline Baker and Jonvelle.
Party wear for the getogether season takes all the best of blazers and pants and sleeks them up in satins and velvets… or cools off with the prettiest dresses ever.
Clearly Christmas 2020 is going to be a uniquely muted season as far as partying is concerned, but I often avoid the throngs of people anyway. Years of working in theatre over the festive season meant that when I had downtime I would prefer to lounge around in satins and velvets in the comfort of my own home. I’m just glad you’re all finally catching up with how nice it is! In all seriousness though, sometimes the smallest things can make us feel the nicest – so even if you don’t feel like getting togged up in satin and velvet, I highly recommend doing something you would normally find ridiculous for sitting around at home. Sparkly hair clip, red lipstick or those skyscraper platforms you can’t walk in.
Photographed by kind permission of Mecca Dancing at the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, WC1
Spring has taken on a romantic air – with light dresses, billowing skirts and full sleeves. The fabric for day is cotton, especially voile. For evening, crepe is a great favourite. The lines are seductive – wear low v-necks, hats with lots of veiling and an antique brooch. Find an old shawl or crochet your own. If you’ve time to hunt you needn’t spend much money.
Some of my favourite designers, my favourite looks, one of my favourite photographers and two of my favourite models: Charlotte Martin and Mouche. Perfection.
Summer is the time for romance. It’s the time for walking in the woods or by the water’s edge, and for having those delicious picnics. It’s the time for looking soft and feminine in long, flowing dresses and picture hats. So we’ve chosen some of the prettiest dresses, skirt and hats we could find, to help you look your best when you while away those sunny days.
Long dresses and skirts in crepe and cotton prints – related to others just as small, fresh, sharp or soft, on pinafore smocks and aprons. These are not so much to keep you clean, more to make you look prettier; and you can be dairy maids, kitchen maids, Kate Greenaway girls all through summer.
And so began the kickback against all things clean, crisp and space age…
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.