In this age of mass-production, finding clothes that have an individual look is becoming more and more difficult. But a few enterprising minds in London have got round the problem by buying old clothes, in beautiful prints that one doesn’t see these days, and remaking them in today’s styles. Though the styles are repeated, the materials are different and each garment is quite unique. If you don’t live in London, don’t despair. Look around for a clever seamstress who can copy the styles for you. Then, it’s a matter of combing jumble sales, or looking among granny’s cast-offs, for unusual prints. Don’t, however, cut up clothes in good condition. You’ll get a good price for these in London markets. And if you do come to London, go round the markets instead of the stores and boutiques – there’s a lot to be picked up!
An extraordinarily styled and photographed editorial featuring Van der Fransen, Emmerton and Lambert and Essences, all of whom were trailblazers in the world of vintage and recycled fashion.
This shoot also manages to answer two of my most frequently asked questions: what is your favourite editorial and what do you think the future of fashion will be. The former is probably a moveable feast, although this one is definitely up there with my other favourite, but the latter is still something I believe strongly. Especially in a post-pandemic landscape, I am not sure (and definitely hopeful) that we will ever see the same levels of mass production post-2020. Not for want of desire by the high street shops, but because people have maybe recognised that, actually, they don’t need armfuls of cheap synthetic, single-use garments. Perhaps the aesthetics and principles of these recyclers of the Sixties and Seventies will finally be adopted as our default? We could stop producing new clothes and fabrics right now and probably never reach the end of the piles of recyclable materials. And that’s not even taking wearable vintage garments into account. Do you feel your shopping habits have changed permanently?
This post is brought to you in two parts. The editorial was, unusually, photographed by two different photographers in two different locations. Tomorrow I will post the photos from Brighton Pier (very exciting for me, as you can guess!). Today’s were photographed in Meeny’s, which was a King’s Road boutique started by Gary Craze in 1972 – specialising in American brands for both adults and children. Clearly showing the same influences as Mr Freedom, this is the first I’ve seen of the interior. The clothes are the very creme de la creme of boutique ‘pop art’ joyfulness.
The style’s the same, but no two shirts are identical – they are made from 1930s remnants: £8 10s from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market, 253 King’s Road, London SW3.
Edina Ronay modelling some incredible pieces by Emmerton Lambert, one of the cult labels which emerged from the Chelsea Antique Market in the late Sixties. A classic example of the plundering of the 1930s by designers of the time but unlike those creating garments ‘in the style of’, they were instead using period fabrics to create a new, thrown together, patchwork kind of look. I think these have become my favourite kinds of pieces in recent years: perhaps because there’s a tangible link to both periods when you handle them.
Photographed by Hans Feurer.
Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 14th 1970.
Flashy rodeo look: all from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market.
Blouse, waistcoat and skirt from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market. Boots by Sacha.
Welcome to my fashion brain as it is at the moment, particularly the first and last images. This spread is everything I love about late Sixties/early Seventies style, and more. No change is permanent, I still wake up in a different mood each day, but for the most part I am feeling the need to cover up, tune out and drift around…
“Take the whirl of lace petticoats and the swirl of countrified prints. Add gypsy flowers, baubles, bangles and beads. Find yourself a long, lazy spring afternoon, relax – and think nothing but beautiful…”
Photographed by John Carter. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, March 1970
Spotted crepe dress and shawl by Mary Quant’s Ginger Group
Dress by Clobber. Feather cape from Chelsea Antique Market. Printed chiffon dress by Pourelle.
Dress by Clobber. Slingbacks by Ravel. Shirt by Mexicana. Skirt by Alan Rodin. Shoes by Ravel.
Dress by Clobber. Shoes by Modaine. Blouse by Stirling Cooper. Skirt by Bernshaw. Boots by Sacha.
Dress by Marlborough. Feather cape from Chelsea Antique Market.
When popstar Lulu announced her engagement to musician Maurice Gibb a few months ago, most newspapers published pictures of her holding hands with her fiance. Underneath were captions which stated: “Lulu shows off her sapphire and diamond ring.” But in the photos=graohs they were both wearing so many different rings it was impossible to make out which one was the engagement ring – or who, for that matter, was wearing it. Pictures like these show that there is a growing fashion for wearing masses of rings all crammed on at once. It’s a craze that has sprung up as a sort of antidote to the growing uniformity of clothes. Last winter when most people were racing around in pants, long sweaters and clumpy shoes, the only way of looking remotely original was to wear different scarves, unusual belts or jewellery. Actress Suzy Kendall (above), who has been a keen collector for some time, said that she picked up this selection while on location in Yugoslavia and in Rome, and she bought others from a shop in Chelsea called Anschel’s. The rest of the people photographed on these pages acquire their bits and piece in much the same way. This is a craze that doesn’t cost much. Avid collectors say that it wouldn’t work with real stones – they would look too flashy – and they prefer more original bits.
The Sunday Times Magazine, March 23 1969.
By Meriel McCooey. Photos by Malcolm Robertson. Scanned by Miss Peelpants.
Ossie Clark in knuckledusters
Boutique owner/model Pat Booth and Art Nouveau swan ring
Pop star Lulu without husband
Verne Lambert sells them [Lambert was one half of Chelsea Antiques Market’s Emmerton and Lambert]
Chelita Secunda, model agent, collects old enamelled versions