The Most Wanted Woman on Earth

1970s, chelsea girl, Geoff Lewis, Inspirational Images, petticoat magazine, Vintage Adverts

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The search is on at all Chelsea Girl boutiques.

I wonder if anyone ever did win this and receive ‘nationwide publicity and become known as “The Most Wanted Woman on Earth”.’ Anyone remember? Regardless, I’m in love with the heart on the thigh above and, in fact, the entire colour palette…

Photographed by Geoff Lewis.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, May 1971.

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Inspirational Editorials: Wear Crazy Pedal-Pushers

1970s, antony price, british boutique movement, bus stop, che guevara, chelsea cobbler, chelsea girl, david montgomery, erica budd, gillian richard, Inspirational Images, manolo blahnik, vanity fair, zapata
Short sleeved pale lilac sweater by Beckol from Chelsea Girl. Silvery-grey cotton pedal pushers by Antony Price from Che Guevera. Red, white and blue tartan shoes from Zapata. Wide red elasticated belt by Otto Glantz.

Short sleeved pale lilac sweater by Beckol from Chelsea Girl. Silvery-grey cotton pedal pushers by Antony Price from Che Guevara. Red, white and blue tartan shoes from Zapata. Wide red elasticated belt by Otto Glantz.

Alright, your curves are generous, and your behind is big, but hooray! This is the look for you. We’re back to the era of pneumatic sweater girls, when clothes fitted like the skin of a peach, waists were pulled in with firm wide belts and everyone teetered on high, high heels. Now it’s all camped up with bright plastic jewellery, headscarves and colourful wooly sox (Twiggy-types will just have to resort to falsies and push up bras ‘cos, baby, it’s our turn now!)

Intriguingly, after all that copy about curves, the model is credited as wearing a padded bra with plastic air-filled falsies by Berlei…

Photographed by David Montgomery.

Photographs by courtesy of the Piccadilly Bowling Centre, 30 Shaftesbury Avenue.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, January 1972

Short sleeved sewater by Beckol from Chelsea Girl. Satin pedal pushers by Gillian Richard. Red suede platform shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Red leather belt from Bus Stop.

Short sleeved sewater by Beckol from Chelsea Girl. Satin pedal pushers by Gillian Richard. Red suede platform shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Red leather belt from Bus Stop.

Red dolman sleeved sweater by Erica Budd. Pedal pushers made by rolling up footless tights by Mary Quant. Red leather belt from Bus Stop. Black snake platofmr shoes from the Chelsea Cobbler.

Red dolman sleeved sweater by Erica Budd. Pedal pushers made by rolling up footless tights by Mary Quant. Red leather belt from Bus Stop. Black snake platform shoes from the Chelsea Cobbler.

New listings: Rive Gauche and more

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, celia birtwell, chelsea girl, Hildebrand, james wedge, janice wainwright, jean varon, jeff banks, john bates, ossie clark, radley, simon massey, website listings, yves saint laurent, zandra rhodes
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

Plenty of new listings at Vintage-a-Peel (also available on Etsy) at the moment, including a superb 1970s Saint Laurent Rive Gauche silk wrap dress. There’s also a Celia Birtwell-print Radley dress, a Zandra Rhodes-print Hildebrand dress, Ossie-esque Janice Wainwright maxi, a rare James Wedge hat and the loveliest chiffon Jean Varon dress. Enjoy!

John Bates for Jean Varon

John Bates for Jean Varon

James Wedge

James Wedge

Hildebrand with print by Zandra Rhodes

Hildebrand with print by Zandra Rhodes

Radley of London with print by Celia Birtwell

Radley of London with print by Celia Birtwell

Jeff Banks

Jeff Banks

Chelsea Girl

Chelsea Girl

Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey

Janice Wainwright for Simon Massey

A Peek at the Boutique: Chelsea Girl

1970s, british boutique movement, British Steel, chelsea girl, telegraph magazine

Steel's the Scene Chelsea Girl

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Daily Telegraph Magazine, January 28th 1972

Inspirational Images: Gauchos

1970s, Bellini, british boutique movement, chelsea girl, gauchos, Inspirational Images, jean muir, Kaffe Fassett, Nigel Lofthouse, norman parkinson, Veronica Marsh, Vogue
Needlepoint waistcoat by Kaffe Fassett for Beatrice Bellini, £25 to order, Women's Home Industries' Tapestry Shop. Suede gauchos, fine jersey shirt, both by JEan Muir. Perspex belt by Nigel Lofthouse for Jean Muir. Chillies Christel at Elliott. Panne velvet muffler by Veronica Marsh for Jacqmar.

Needlepoint waistcoat by Kaffe Fassett for Beatrice Bellini, £25 to order, Women’s Home Industries’ Tapestry Shop. Suede gauchos, fine jersey shirt, both by Jean Muir. Perspex belt by Nigel Lofthouse for Jean Muir. Ghillies by Christel at Elliott. Panne velvet muffler by Veronica Marsh for Jacqmar.

Gauchos remain one of my favourite looks at the moment. Indeed, I am wearing a pair of tweed Chelsea Girl gauchos as I write this. It’s one of those looks which will, inevitably, make a comeback, and I will be tiresomely reminding people that ‘I was doing it ages ago!’. As it is, I am just continuing to enjoy wearing them, enjoying the curiousity and comments, and educating people to call them ‘gauchos’ rather than ‘culottes’. Then I will just have to move onto knickerbockers…

Photographed by Norman Parkinson.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, September 1970

New for Autumn/Winter

1930s, 1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, bus stop, chelsea girl, forbidden fruit, jean varon, john bates, lee bender, louis caring, Miss Impact, psychedelia, roland klein, terry de havilland, wallis, website listings, young edwardian
Chelsea Girl

Chelsea Girl

Tsk tsk. Slap my wrist. I’m pretty slack about putting website listings here on the blog, and I can only apologise. Here are some edited highlights (but there are plenty more already listed and more to come before Christmas!). Personal favourites are the original 1970s Chelsea Girl platform shoes, the black lace 1930s evening dress and Erte-printed John Bates for Jean Varon dress…

Unsigned original 1930s

Unsigned original 1930s

John Bates for Jean Varon

John Bates for Jean Varon

Roland Klein for Marcel Fenez

Roland Klein for Marcel Fenez

Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit

Unsigned original 1960s

Unsigned original 1960s

Terry de Havilland

Terry de Havilland

Young Innocent

Young Innocent

Lee Bender for Bus Stop

Lee Bender for Bus Stop

Wallis Fashion Shops

Wallis Fashion Shops

Miss Impact

Miss Impact

Louis Caring

Louis Caring

Unsigned original 1970s

Unsigned original 1970s

Got the Glitterbug…

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, chelsea girl, georgina linhart, Jaeger, Marnie Fogg, personal collection, quorum, wallis
Glitterbug (1972) from Marnie Fogg's Boutique

Glitterbug (1972) from Marnie Fogg’s Boutique

For some reason, I have shied away from posting about my collection much in recent years. I suppose it’s always been somewhat fluid; things come and go when times are hard or when something better comes along. But recently I acquired something which had always been a bit of a ‘holy grail’ for me, and it reminded me of exactly why I love fashion history, collecting and researching.

One of the most important books on my road to total geekery was Marnie Fogg’s Boutique: A ’60s Cultural Icon. Amazon kindly (and terrifyingly) informs me that I purchased it exactly ten years ago. Although clearly not comprehensive, something I am now realising is probably impossible, it was my main gateway into understanding the boutique phenomenon as a whole. I already knew many of the designers – and was delighted to see how much space was dedicated to John Bates – but several were new names to me. One of these was Georgina Linhart. Another graduate of St Martin’s College of Art and Design, Linhart set up her label in 1964 and, while she was frequently featured in the top magazines of the period, her business only ran for ten years. She later worked for Quorum, Jaeger, Wallis and Chelsea Girl. All four of which are favourite vintage labels chez Vintage-a-Peel.

Georgina Linhart, 1970

Georgina Linhart, 1970

The more time went on, the more I realised how rare examples of her work must be these days. My eBay search was empty 99% of the time, and only occasionally turned up magazine features and a couple of jackets. The most distinctive dress pictured in Fogg’s Boutique book was ‘Glitterbug’ (see above). A sequined halterneck mini dress, gossamer light and substantial in its insubstantiality; so quintessentially of its time, the epitome of the permissive age.

So my heart was in my mouth when Glitterbug turned up on eBay a couple of months ago. It was slightly out of my price range at the time, and the recent events in my life had forced me to re-evaluate what was important (and worth getting into debt for). So I sat and watched it. Every day I would log into eBay, with one eye shut, and check if anyone had bought it. Every day it was still there, but my nerves were getting beyond frazzled. So the day I finally felt marginally less broke than normal, was the day I logged in and put in a cheeky best offer. I am impossibly grateful to the seller for accepting it and making my collector dreams come true. It has been a long time coming, and it has come a long way from the USA, but Glitterbug is finally in my collection. Plus, it fits me – which I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have done ten years ago. What are the odds?

Glitterbug (1972) from my personal collection

Glitterbug (1972) from my personal collection

Inspirational Editorials: Valentine – Show Stoppers!

1970s, chelsea girl, clobber, Inspirational Images, miss mouse, peter robinson, rae spencer cullen, Snob, topshop, Valentine, Vintage Editorials
The boy's stripey sweater and white Oxford bags are from Tramps. Price is £7.50 from Gary Elliott; Edwardia of Manchester; Paul Smith, Nottingham. the sweater cost £4 and also comes from Paul Smith, as well as the George Best shops, and Quincy of the Kings Road. The girl's outfit is from a selection by Miss Mouse at Peter Robinson.

The boy’s stripey sweater and white Oxford bags are from Tramps. Price is £7.50 from Gary Elliott; Edwardia of Manchester; Paul Smith, Nottingham. the sweater cost £4 and also comes from Paul Smith, as well as the George Best shops, and Quincy of the Kings Road. The girl’s outfit is from a selection by Miss Mouse at Peter Robinson.

Not really Valentine themed (unless you’re planning to spend your day at the circus, which would actually be a pretty good way to spend it…) but scanned from teeny girl magazine Valentine which is largely filled with comic strip stories aimed at hormonal young ladies. I bought it mainly because I recognised the garment on the front cover as a Miss Mouse/Rae Spencer Cullen with distinctive bow print. I’m also a sucker for the circus theme, which seems to be a recurring favourite for late Sixties/early Seventies fashion stylists…

Photographer uncredited. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Valentine, October 1972

Star studded satin blazer and trousers comes in a choice of navy or brown from main branches of Girl and Chelsea Girl.

Star studded satin blazer and trousers comes in a choice of navy or brown from main branches of Girl and Chelsea Girl.

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Yellow satin blazer in various colours from the Separates Dept., Peter Robinson. Blue denim jeans with embroidered flowers sewn on them from the Top Shop at Peter Robinson.

missmouse4

Sterling Cooper yellow angora sweater at Peter Robinson. Silver satin mini skirt by Clobber. From branches of Snob boutique.

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Snazzy red polka dot skirt is from a selection at branches of Girl. ‘Boob tube’ in red is also from Girl.

Hot and Cold, Wet and Dry

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, chelsea girl, jean varon, john bates, laura ashley, lee bender, ossie clark, polly peck, website listings

The Chelsea Cobbler 1970s embroidered wedges

Ahhhh. British Summertime. For those of you NOT currently experiencing one of the most spectacularly soggy summers this land has seen in recent years, have pity on us. It is quite unsettling to be reaching for your autumn coat in almost-mid-July. It’s also unsettling to have received an adorable gingham umbrella from your mum as a birthday present and to have been using it almost constantly since then. I’m a July baby, it’s not meant to be this way!!!!!

It’s also hard to get oneself into the listing groove when your head is saying ‘summer dresses’ ‘light cottons’ etc, but you take one look out of the window at the river your street has become and think ‘err, actually, maybe not….’.

So here is my ever-so-British mixed bag of new listings. I do hope you enjoy!

Ossie Clark 1970s moss crepe and satin dress

John Bates for Jean Varon ‘Venice’ dress c. 1966-67

Early Laura Ashley art nouveau print maxi dress

Lee Bender for Bus Stop dress w/ keyhole feature

Polly Peck by Sybil Zelker 1970s medieval influenced dress

Fifties-influenced Chelsea Girl cotton stripe blouse

Apples and Pears (and other new listings)

1960s, 1970s, antony price, barbara hulanicki, barry lategan, biba, british boutique movement, chelsea girl, Fiorucci, jean muir, Susan Locke, Vogue, website listings

Rare 1972 Jean Muir dress at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

I am delighted to finally reveal one of the most amazing pieces I’ve had the pleasure of handling and listing over at Vintage-a-Peel. This superb Jean Muir dress hails from 1972, as photographed by Barry Lategan for Vogue of April that year, and is made from one of Muir’s most distinctive prints, the Apples and Pears chiffon (which I already mentioned back in April).

I have also just listed a stunning cocktail mini dress by the supremely talented Antony Price and a definitive disco-era ensemble by iconic brand Fiorucci. Amongst other beauties, of course. Not least a mini dress by seemingly forgotten designer and owner of eponymous King’s Road boutique, Susan Locke. Susan was the girlfriend of actor Jeremy Brett in the late Sixties/early Seventies, and was also one of the first stockists of Terry de Havilland’s wonderful shoes. A fine pedigree, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Antony Price strapless mini cocktail dress at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Floral chiffon Seventies-does-Thirties dress at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Rare Fiorucci pink metallic bustier/trouser ensemble at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Paisley gypsy ‘Jake’ Seventies dress at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Galactic glam rock Seventies Chelsea Girl skirt at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Rare Biba ‘Lolita’-labelled Seventies maxi skirt at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Romantic mid Seventies ‘Lady Charlotte’ maxi dress at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk

Rare late Sixties micro mini dress by Susan Locke at Vintage-a-Peel.co.uk