Call it nostalgia, admission of defeat, lack of inventiveness or what you will: the ugly fact is that there is a strong trend among designers to dig up the Fifties for a fashion revival. Those were the days of the A-line, the tulip dress, Lurex and pleated skirts. If you are disturbed at a Fifties revival, so are we. We think it a period in fashion terms best forgotten, with one or two exceptions. If you don’t favour the fashion but fancy the authentic ambiance you’ll get the right idea at Mr Freedom’s restaurant, Feed’em, where we photographed. Here, written about in the Fiftie’s style, are some of the up-dated Fifties fashions on sale now.
At the same time as the Thirties and Forties were being raided by British Boutique designers, so were the Fifties (or Fiftie’s as so spectacularly put here) and it’s pretty hilarious to see the cynicism by the writer here (possibly fashion editor Sarah Drummond) – who had presumably been a young woman then. The cyclical nature of fashion is nothing new and nor is the disbelief when it’s happening in your own timeline!
On another note, it’s always lovely to see some new-to-me shots inside the legendary Mr Feed’em restaurant!
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.
Sunny Spain conjured up visions of hot summer days in picturesque surroundings, ideal settings for 19’s summer fashions. And we had a fantastic oppotunity when 4S Travel arranged a trip to Malaga and Torremolinos. We flew BUA Super Jet to stay at the Hotel Al Andalus, within easy reach of the mountains overlooking the Costa del Sol. Here we discovered quaint villages, sun-drenched and white-washed, their customs and dress crystallised in the past. No cars to be seen, only mules and donkeys. Our clothes echoed the feel of these places – colours stark black and white, brightened with touches of gayer hues, clean hot printed cottons, soft peasant blouses, sandals, light fishnet shawls, casual sun hats. The garments are easy to take care of, and enhance a tan – midi skirts that button to above the knee and give alluring glimpses of brown thigh, and large brightly printed squares of fabric which can be used as shawls, or skirts tied at the side.
Making me yearn for a proper holiday. The closest I’ll get is looking at this editorial whilst sitting on the balcony, trying to avoid all humans for the time being. I hope it brightens your day as well…
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.
We know a girl… who can’t last the day without lashings of spray. We know a girl… who gets quite high on a bucket of tide. We know a girl… who gets no elation from dusty dehydration. We know a girl… who gets all her kicks from aquatic dips. We know a girl… who can’t get enough of that H20 stuff. We know a girl… who’s got pneumonia.
As promised, the waterproof outerwear counterpart to the last post.
Photographed by Hans Feurer in the Canary Islands.
Suddenly this summer the shops are selling masses of hats that before would have only been dug up for garden parties, weddings, sports days or camping it up. For years magazines and designers have shown their clothes with hats, but they don’t usually turn up in the street. Fashion editors often feature ‘picture hats’ like those on the previous page posed in some romantic setting or framing an immaculate new make-up, but one never actually sees them on a number 19 bus. Now hats have gone the way of all clothes; there are no rules; you can wear anything with anything. Any hat, whether it’s wide-brimmed and floppy with half a haberdashery department stuck over it, or a small crocheted cloche pinned with a bunch of plastic fruit, i fine with either nostalgic Forties’ dresses or a dirty old pair of jeans. And you can still wear it to a wedding if you want to.
Modelled by Jean Shrimpton.
Photographed by Hans Feurer.
Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 20th 1971.
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.
Blooming red peonies on a navy rayon georgette dress, Florrie Carr. Flower trimmed straw hat, Crowthers. Shoes, Sacha. Rose print crêpe de chine dress, Crowthers. Straw hat, Bermona. Shoes, Sacha.
…To the seaside, where they’re blossoming out all over flimsy crêpe de chine summer dresses. So, if like most of us, you’re searching the shops for cool holiday clothes, now is the time to take your pick from our bunch.
Photographed by Richard Selby.
Scanned from Honey, August 1971
Fruit and flower crêpe de chine dress, Crowthers. Orange suede cork soled shoes, Sacha. Pastel tulip printed crêpe de chine skirt and matching blouse, Crowthers. Criss cross suede shoes, Crowthers. Plastic and raffia choker, Adrien Mann.
Swirling sunflower print dress in cinnamon and cream, Biba. White raffia sunhat, Herbert Johnson. Blue and white daisy patterned crêpe de chine dress, Ossie Clark for Radley. Burgundy straw hat, Biba.