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.
No excuse for looking a wash-out with these rainy-day separates. Showerproof three-quarter length Dannimac cotton jacket. Black Simon Massey shirt. Keep-the-worst-off cotton hat by Malyard. Bouncy beads by Adrien Mann. Bumper sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith.
Photographed by Willie Christie.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Over 21, September 1972
Fabulous shaggy acrylic jacket by Weathergay – believe it or not it’s showerproof. With a pure silk crepe de chine Sujon shirt. Cream wool trousers by Mary Quant. Splash-happy PVC hat from Herbert Johnson. Wet=grass green leather clutch bag by Mulberry Company.
Casual-as-they-come trench coat in cotton and polyester from Aquascutum. Lined wool bags by Sujon from Just Looking. Silk shirt from Aquascutum again. Bringing-back-the-sun clutch bag by Mulberry Company. Shoes from Russell and Bromley. Antelope felt hat from Herbert Johnson.
Looking at life through rose-tinted glasses: Mary Quant sees spring in a haze of rose pink, here in Liberty print, straight out of a vicarage garden. It couldn’t be more English. Dress, shoes and tights all by Mary Quant. His shirt by Aquascutum. Bangle from City Lights Studio.
Photographed by Norman Eales. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, March 1973.
In my teenage years, I developed a bit of a weird thing for cricketers. It was much ridiculed by my peers, but there was just something about the smart trousers, jumpers and lazy, peculiarly English feel of a cricket match which was like some kind of catnip to me.
It has lessened dramatically over the years, but I definitely think it was some kind of reaction to how horridly many men dressed in the town where I grew up. As I met more well-dressed men, I realised I was simply craving smartness, an effort, something ‘different’. So I’m very taken with the snazzy Seventies take on the look in the Aquascutum advert above. The beautiful illustration doesn’t hurt either…
Scanned from the Sunday Telegraph Magazine, May 1977.