John Bates

1960s, avengers, avengerswear, David Gittings, diana rigg, emma peel, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, norman eales, Rolf van Brandtzage, the avengers
Scanned from Woman’s Mirror October 30th 1965. Photographed by Norman Eales.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will already have read my tribute to the amazing John Bates, who died on the 5th of June aged 83. Here I have collated a few images of his work designing costumes for Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in her first season in The Avengers, and an accompanying article from Woman’s Mirror, October 1965. I have also updated an earlier post with clearer scans from Woman’s Mirror, May 1966 of a dress which wasn’t officially Avengerswear but being offered as a pattern for readers with a cover photo of Diana in the dress.

“WHEN people say, ‘Oh, she’s the new Avengers girl’ I know that’s not all I am,” says 27-year-old Diana Rigg. “I had a career in the theatre before this and I know I can always go back to it. I hate talking about The Avengers and what I’m like in it and how I differ from Honor Blackman. I would much rather people drew their own conclusions.

“I dread the prospect of all the attachments to being famous. I work here at the studios from seven in the morning until six at night and I feel that should be enough. The thought of being a public personality, opening shops, and not being able to answer the door in my curlers, horrifies me.”

But being the Avengers girl has its advantages. Not the least of them being the prospect of wearing a sizz-ling new wardrobe, designed specially for the series by John Bates of Jean Varon.

“John’s been absolutely smashing,” says Diana. “Like most actresses, I spend a lot of time studying myself for the stage, and so off-stage I tend to the casual. I really have no set ideas about clothes. First of all, John studied my figure, discovered my faults, used them, and made a virtue out of them.

“He’s emphasised my broad shoulders with cutaway necklines. He’s drawn attention to my big hips with hipsters and huge broad belts. I think that this is a far more realistic attitude than designing for some impossible ideal model figure.

“There’s a kind of swinginess about John’s clothes which really makes me move in a special kind of way. And they’re all interchangeable. In different episodes there will be different permutations of the same clothes and ideally, of course, this is just how a woman’s wardrobe should be.

In deference to the American market, which still thinks that leather is the sexiest thing out, Diana has one leather fighting suit. “Of course, leather isn’t sexy at all,” she says, “It’s far too rigid. My other fighting suit is in black, clingy jersey which is far sexier.”

Clingy jersey fighting suits are all very well, but they have to stand up to pretty stiff competition in the shape of some snazzy interchangeables.

In this week’s instalment set in a gloomy Scottish castle, Diana will wear ice-blue lace ensemble with ankle boots, hipster trousers, bare midriff, bra top and modesty jacket. For exploring dungeon and torture chambers, flesh lace catsuit under white chiffon negligee.

There’s no doubt about it. If the clothes are anything to go by, this ABC series of The Avengers is certainly living up to the boast of its associate producer . . “It’s still a kinky show.”

Scanned from John Bates: Fashion Designer by Richard Lester.
Scanned from Television Stars Annual.
Scanned from Woman’s Mirror, 28th May 1966. Photographed by Rolf van Brandtzage.
Scanned from John Bates: Fashion Designer by Richard Lester. Photogrphed by David Gittings.
Scanned from Fashion in the 60s by Barbara Bernard.
Scanned from John Bates: Fashion Designer by Richard Lester. Photogrphed by David Gittings.
Scanned from Fashion in the 60s by Barbara Bernard.
Photographed by David Gittings. Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, September 26th 1965.
Scanned from Woman’s Mirror October 30th 1965.

Pussycat… a John Bates Sizzler

1960s, diana rigg, Donald Silverstein, jean varon, john bates, John Carter, woman's mirror
Even Diana Rigg was knocked out by this John Bates cut-out dress.

(This post was originally from 2011. I have updated it with better quality scans.)

John Bates loves short skirts, money, false eyelashes and Cilla Black. Hates English bras, big busts and any sort of foundation garment.

“Women are funny,” he says. “They heave their breasts up and out with tight padded bras and by the time they’ve finished squeezing everything in or pushing it out, they can look quite terrifying when they take their clothes off. Bras should just lightly cup the breast and tights are better than any girdle. Even the lightest suspender belt marks the skin. It’s muscles that matter – women ought to learn to use them properly.”

John, who is 29, created fashion dynamite with his sizzling clothes for Diana Rigg in The Avengers. He believes that skirts are going to get even shorter and that everyone under 40 should be pinning up hems. He says clothes look best on slim girls, but furnishes his flat with curvaceous statues and pictures of rotund Rubenesque beauties. He makes a lot of his own clothes, thinks that hipsters suit both sexes and most sizes, and always wears them himself. He’s now designing shoes, stockings and planning his new collection as well as designing clothes for men.

“And I always design something special for my mother at Christmas. Last year she set her heart on an Avenger op art fur coat. She’s well over 60 and I said, ‘Honestly love, it won’t suit you,’ but she said, ‘What’s good enough for Diana Rigg is good enough for me.’

“Usually I don’t listen to anybody. I’ve had my years of being told what to do. Now I don’t accept advice from anybody.”

Born in Newcastle, the son of a miner, John started at the bottom. “I’m no art school protégé. I picked up pins, embroidered, did the cleaning and had every rotten job that was going flung at me. I came to London because it’s the only place to work in the rag trade. I got on the train with a Newcastle accent and when I got off at London I’d lost it. I spoke very slowly for a long time, but it’s really the only way to do it.”

John Bates and model photogrphed by John Carter.

Diana Rigg cover photographed by Don Silverstein.

Scanned from Woman’s Mirror, 28th May 1966.

And joy! The magazine’s owner never sent off for the dress (which is sad), but this means that the form is still in tact (which is rather fabulous). Now where’s that time-travelling postbox I keep requesting?

Get-Up-at-Eight and Live-on-Air Dressing

1970s, bill gibb, charles jourdan, chelsea cobbler, david bailey, Gina Fratini, Jane Goddard, jean varon, john bates, Vintage Editorials, Vogue, zandra rhodes
Silk chiffon with shadow lilies in white and iced green, washed over with a few pearly shells. Big full skirt over petticoat, a sash of Edwardian peach satin. Zandra Rhodes , £160, petticoat, £26, at Fortnum & Mason. Opal choker, £210, N. Bloom. Long opaline rope, £12, drop mother-of-pearl earrings, £15, from range, The Purple Shop. Opal/diamond ring, £550, at Andrew Grima. Snakeskin sandals, £29.50, Charles Jourdan. Scent, Vivre by Molyneux. Hair by Michael at Michaeljohn.

Model is Jane Goddard.

Photographed by David Bailey.

Scanned from Vogue, April 1st 1974.

Quatrefoil layers of silk chiffon in melon, apricot, candy pink, frilling over the arms. By Gina Fratini, £244 , at Selfridges ; Lucienne Phillips ; Diagonal, Guildford and Lucinda Byre, Liverpool. Carnelian and silver gilt ring, £30, silver and gunstone ring, £18.50, Bakelite drop earrings, £3, all from range at The Purple Shop.
Crossover bodice of black silk crepe framed in lipstick red a full Liberty print silk skirt and enormous gathered pockets edged in stripes. By Bill Gibb, about £140, at ZigZag ; Chic of Hampstead ; Vicki, Cobham ; Julie Fitzmaurice, Harrogate. Scarlet high heels, £28 to order, at The Chelsea Cobbler. Pale sheer tights, Charnos. Scent, Audace by Marcel Rochas.
Polyamide georgette rainbow gathered from small brassiere top, one strap going straight over shoulder, the other angled to centre. By John Bates at Jean Varon, £49.95, Fenwick ; Earkers ; Kendal Milne, Manchester ; Campus, Oxford. Green hoop earrings, £2, from range at The Purple Shop. Scent, Fidji by Laroche.

The Soft Touch

1970s, annacat, Ballantyne, Buckle Under, C&A, coopers, cosmopolitan, Deirdre McSharry, Fenwick, Herbert Johnson, Ian Knipe, Inspirational Images, irvine sellars, Janet Ibbotson, Jasper, jean varon, Jenny Harrington, john bates, John Craig, john kelly, Samm, Spectrum, terry de havilland, The Purple Shop, Trille, Turnbull & Asser, Vintage Editorials
Just the jacket, for interviewing the gardener… if he’s as handsome as Ian Knipe. Trille does the Lady Bountiful bit in yellow and a romantic hat. Jacket C&A £9.95, felt hat by Herbert Johnson, pearls by Ciro. Yellow angora sweater by John Craig, £2.10.

There is a licence to touch all the clothes on these pages. There is not a single trad, scratchy, thornproof tweed among any of the frankly tactile silks, angoras and flannels of autumn. Jerseys and pearls and sensible shoes were once the uniform of the WI. Now, (well) kept ladies whose fingers smell of “Cabochard” rather than cabbage, are pressing their flannel bags, having their pearls restrung and are wearing them with shirts so unbuttoned they could catch pneumonia – and heels high enough to rise above the muddiest farmyard. They are taking to pleated kilts, and cashmere sweaters so tight they’d enliven the dullest game of backgammon. Dinner dresses are back in style, and I do mean back down as far as you can go. Properly and provocatively dressed, a weekend in the country might be more fun than you think.

Hair arranged for all pictures by Carl of Molton Brown.

Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by John Kelly.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, October 1972.

Give into the call of the wild, but come on softly in silk, angora and flannel. Jenny Harrington sends Ian Knipe slightly wild in her silk shirt, £15, flannel bags £16.50 by Annacat, and angora cardigan, John Craig £5. Fish pendant by Ciro. Ian’s camelhair sweater Ballantyne, £11.50. (Inset: The smoothest tweed in the softest shape will make you want to throw away your old trench. A great way to look for opening bazaars – and coping with Mellors. Coat by Coopers £33, hat by Herbert Johnson, £8.95.)
What would the WI say? Trille lolls about in cashmere sweater, skirt and pearls- -and shoes too high for country lawns. Sweater £11, skirt £30, both by Ballantyne. Pearls by Ciro. Shoes by Samm, £7.50.
Who’s for backgammon? Trille and Jenny get down to it (right) in necklines that ought to fetch the men from their port, on the double. Trille in red jersey dinner dress, John Bates for Jean Varon £16.75, shoes by Terry de Havilland £15.95, pearls by Ciro. Jenny in cream satin shirt by Coopers, £8, and pleated plaid skirt, Gor-Ray f11.95. Red shoes by Samm, £7.50.
The sporting life means quick repairs on the run. Jenny puts back the paint, stays ladylike in powder soft suede and silk. Jacket and skirt by Janet Ibbotson; the jacket costs £38, the skirt £33.50. Silk shirt Fenwicks, £11.50. Jewellery and shagreen compact from The Purple Shop. Shoes by Samm, £7.95.
Long weekends can lead to explosive situations – Jenny ignites something in her cashmere and kilt. Sweater by Ballantyne £13.50, skirt by Gor-Ray £11.95, shoes by Terry de Havilland £15.95. Pearls by Ciro. Ian in ruffled lawn shirt, Turnbull and Asser £11.75, check trousers Irvine Sellars £5.95.
By dawn’s early light a lady likes to relax. Ian wears C & A velvet suit £28; Trille in taffeta skirt and blouse, £5.50 each from Spectrum. Rose 84p from Spectrum. Shoes by Terry de Havilland, £12.99.
The softest touch of all is this mohair sweater (right), and a far cry from the clumpy rustic knits we used to wear. Jenny puts the new country clothes together gently—pink sweater, Buckle Under £12, pink wool skirt, Spectrum £6.95, hat by Herbert Johnson £7.50. Ian’s shirt by Jasper £5.50, check trousers £6.95 by Irvine Sellars. (Inset: Soft again —cream flannel blouse and satin trousers whipped up with beads and roses. Jenny’s blouse £5.50, trousers £5.50, flowers 84p, all from Spectrum. Ian’s blue shirt by Mr Harry £7.65.)

Design for Avenging: Sisters Under The Skin

1960s, avengers, avengerswear, David Gittings, diana rigg, emma peel, frederick starke, honor blackman, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, Paul Blanche, Selincourt, sunday times magazine, the avengers
Diana Rigg in buckled snakeskin coat made by Paul Blanche.

On Thursday evening at 8 o’clock The Avengers comes back. Viewers in London, Scotland and the South will see it, other channels will have to wait until October 2. The new show lacks one vital element. Honor Blackman, who played Cathy Gale, that female gauleiter with a heart of gold, has left television for films and the arms of James Bond.

She is replaced by rangy, redheaded Diana Rigg, an actress already blooded for knock-about violence in shows like King Lear and The Devils with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She plays the new Avenger woman Emma Peel, who is described by A.B.C. television as “the youthful widow of an ace test pilot, daughter of a wealthy shipowner, and an internationally educated symbol of the jet-age female”.

A strong-arm widow, born with such disadvantages, couldn’t fail to be an interesting autumn draw, but the new girl will find it hard work to oust the memory of Cathy Gale from the spot she kicked out for herself in these shows. For, as Cathy Gale, Honor Blackman was mesmeric. Male viewers turned to pulp in their armchairs as she hurled opponent after opponent through plate glass windows, and their TV dinners turned to dust as she half-nelsoned men twice her size.

Women were fascinated too, but for different reasons. They sat glued to their sets wondering what it was she had, that they hadn’t. Her slightly sinister but wholly fathomable allure had little to do with her natural assets ; her toughness, the purring reassurance of her voice, her earthiness ; her blonde hair and wide mouth. Cathy Gale’s real appeal was firmly laced into the shiny black leather of her fighting suits.

The black leather fighting suits she wore, now generally referred to as ‘kinky clothes’ were designed by Frederick Starke. They proved such a success both here and in the U.S.A., where the last series was sold, that the American business men controlling the sales insisted that these clothes should be retained for the next series. This was a mistake. Fashion moves much faster than most business men, and the feeling for black leather was on the wane, long before the last episode was off the screen. But A.B.C. agreed to the American conditions, and Emma was togged up in black leather and boots, looking just like Cathy Gale in a long red wig.

Before the new series was half-way through, the planners realised that some fairly startling changes were taking place in the fashion world. Skirts were getting shorter and women appeared to be crossing their thighs, not their knees. Leather was out. All sorts of animal skins, from snakes to zebras, were in. And op and pop art were having an explosive effect on textile design.

This series is the first to be made on film instead of videotape, which means it could be running in different countries all over the world for the next five to ten years. It would be pushed to keep its con-temporary smack with a limping gimmick like black leather. At this point, with half their film in the bag, A.B.C. called in fashion co-ordinator Anne Trehearne, an ex-fashion editor of Queen magazine, and asked designer John Bates of Jean Varon to plan a new wardrobe for Emma Peel to wear during the last 14 episodes. John Bates is the man who made the now famous daisy dress which 25 red-faced debutantes wore to the same ball.

Designing a wardrobe for a preconceived image is no easy task, but he succeeded in doing this and more besides. His clothes are 100 per cent. modern. He has shortened the skirts (in spite of tough opposition in certain quarters at A.B.C.), re-designed the black leather fighting outfits into modern, one-piece jump-suits, introduced tailored snakeskin and a whole range of op art furs.

In all there are 35 garments with complementary accessories. And for the first time the whole collection will be sold in the shops. (Frederick Starke did sell some of Cathy Gale’s wardrobe, but only selected items.) Over 12 well-known manufacturers, like Edward Rayne, Paul Blanche and Kangol, are co-operating with John Bates at Jean Varon and are making the shoes, the skin coats and the berets under licence; Echo are even making the amusing ribbed sheer nylon stockings. They will all be in the shops in October.

Both the clothes and the series are now saleable properties. It will be interesting to see which proves the biggest draw to interested buyers the striking new clothes or the shiny new girl.

Photographed by David Gittings.

Story by Meriel McCooey.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, September 26th 1965.

In short snakeskin blazer made by Paul Blanche and ribbed sheer nylon stockings.
Leather jumpsuit with clasps made by Paul Blanche.
Black and white bunny coat made by Selincourt. All designed by John Bates.

Create a Tropical Heatwave

alkasura, Ara, Baltrik, Browns, Buckle Under, cosmopolitan, Deirdre McSharry, Dorothy Perkins, Emesse, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, Laetitia, Lida Ascher, mic mac, norman eales, oliver goldsmith, outlander, Park and Warriner, Sacha, Vintage Editorials
Lime knit jacket by Outlander. White crêpe trousers by Ara. Ascher cotton scarf.

Oh to be out of England now that April’s here, and whether you are planning on Majorca, the far-flung Bahamas or the Isle of Wight this year, now is the best time to shop for holiday clothes. And having just stepped out of a QANTAS jet that took Cosmo island-hopping via Bermuda to the Bahamas, I have a slight tan and a strong feeling that summer’s fashions will be as refreshing, bittersweet and highly coloured as that tropical drink, Planter’s Punch.

Oh to be anywhere but home, quite frankly. I shall have to recreate these styles on the balcony and dream of even going as far as the Isle of Wight…

All jewellery by Adrien Mann. Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by Norman Eales.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, April 1973.

Sundress by Mic Mac. Scarf by Ascher.
Vest from Dorothy Perkins. Trousers by Alkasura. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith.
Striped cotton outfit by Buckle Under. Shoes from Sacha. / Cotton separates by Baltrik.
Dress by John Bates for Jean Varon
Lemon yellow knit dress by Park and Warriner.
Cheesecloth outfit by Laetitia at Browns.
Top by Emesse. Trousers by Ara.

Avengerswear, elsewhere.

1960s, avengers, avengerswear, diana rigg, emma peel, jean varon, john bates, the avengers

Watching Circus of Fear, a very enjoyable B-movie from 1966 with Christopher Lee and Leo Genn, I noted that the luscious Margaret Lee was briefly seen wearing a piece of John Bates-designed Avengerswear.

Margaret Lee with Maurice Kauffman who, funnily enough, was Honor Blackman’s husband.

This black and white crepe catsuit was worn by Diana Rigg in The Avengers and modelled by Jean Shrimpton (with stunt man Ray Austin) for Vogue in 1965. It was, like all the Avengerswear, available to buy from the shops but these pieces are so rare and I have yet to find this catsuit in all my years of searching.

Dangerous black and white crepe fighting suit by Jean Varon Avengers Collection. Made by Simon Ellis, 13gns. Photographed by David Bailey. Vogue, October 1965.

I am now extremely curious to know whether this was something from Ms Lee’s own wardrobe which she bought herself, or whether the wardrobe supervisor (Charles Guerin) found it – oblivious to the fact that it was already a costume tie-in, or simply hoping that no one would notice. Or an even wilder theory is that it was the actual costume worn by Diana Rigg and already in circulation as a hireable costume. I suppose we may never know, but I thought it worth preserving for posterity.

Avengers collection promo, c. 1965. Scanned from John Bates: British Fashion Designer: The Sensational Years, 1963-1968

WHAT KIND OF GIRL ARE YOU?

19 magazine, 1960s, alistair cowin, annacat, biba, bus stop, celia birtwell, Daniel Hechter, Foale and Tuffin, fulham road clothes shop, guy and elizabeth, hung on you, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, Lawrence Corner, lee bender, liberty, liberty's, lilley and skinner, Maxwell Croft, ossie clark, Pierre D'Alby, quorum, ravel, Roger Nelson, Ronald Keith, sally levison, Stephanie Farrow, Susan Handbags, sylvia ayton, wallis, Weathergay, zandra rhodes
Cancer: Long Victorian styled dress with high neck in coffee cotton lace trimmed with white, by Annacat, 25gns.

Whether you believe in star signs or not, this lovely editorial is certainly fun to browse. Pretty happy with my Cancerian Annacat dress, modelled by Stephanie Farrow, but greatly envy the Aries and Scorpio threads.

(Also, please don’t shout at me about the furs. I don’t like them either but it would be weird to leave out Leo and Aquarius. Just pretend they’re fake…)

Photographed by Guy and Elizabeth

Scanned from 19 Magazine, January 1969.

Leo: Red fox knee length coat by Maxwell Croft, 259gns. Red wig from Beyond The Fringe.
Virgo: White jersey dress with brown snakeskin shoulders and belt by Sylvia Ayton and Zandra Rhodes, approx 8gns. Mottled chiffon scarf from Liberty. Brown leather boots by Lilley and Skinner, £6 19s. 6d.
Libra: Long brown crepe dresswith medieval claret-coloured velvet sleeves by Roger Nelson at 94, 9gns.
Scorpio: Metallic blue leather jacket with zip front by Ossie Clark for Quorum, 25gns. Chiffon scarf by Biba, 18s. Red jersey trousers by Wallis, £3 19s 11d. Leather boots by Lilley and Skinner.
Sagittarius: Fake horse jacket with leather elbows and trim, by Daniel Hechter for Weathergay 15gns. Herringbone trousers by Alistair Cowin at Grade One, £3 19s. 6d. Beige ribbed sweater 4½gns. Matching beret, 39s 11d. Both by Sally Levison Originals.
Capricorn: Beige rayon crepe trouser suit by Foale and Tuffin, 20½gns. Pink chiffon scarf by Biba, 18s 9d. Brown leather brogues by Ronald Keith, 6gns.
Aquarius: Maxi fur coat by Barbara Warner for Fab Furs, 150gns. Black hat by Biba, 25s. Worn underneath, black maxi jersey dress with snakeskin waistband by Sylvia Ayton and Zandra Rhodes, approx 8gns.
Pisces: Beautifully cut white raincoat by Foale and Tuffin, 16½gns. Boots to order by Ravel Studio, 19gns.
Aries: Brown suede fringed waistcoat, £7, with matching printed moccasins, £2. From Hung On You. Deep red satin blouse by Biba, £2 15s 6d. Brown cord trousers by Alistair Cowin at Grade One, 5gns. Narrow headscarf by Celia Birtwell for Quorum, 1gn.
Taurus: Blue rayon georgette, high-waisted dress with baby ribbon trim by John Bates for Jean Varon, 13gns.
Gemini: Green army surplus hat, 9s. 9d., and beige jacket, 11s. 9d., both from Lawrence Corner. Beige gabardine knickerbocker suit, by Pierre D’Alby, 14gns. Brown stockings from Mary Davies, 35s. Brown leather brogues by Ronald Keith, 6gns. Shetland Fair Isle beret, 25s. and scarf, 29s. 11d. by Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Leather shoulder bag by Susan Handbags, 7gns.

Living up to a reputation

1970s, Alice Ormsby-Gore, amanda lear, Asha Puthli, bill gibb, british boutique movement, christopher mcdonnell, frederick fox, ika hindley, Inspirational Images, jean muir, jean varon, joanna lumley, john bates, mary quant, pat cleveland, Sally McLaughlan, telegraph magazine, Terence Donovan, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, zandra rhodes

For some years now the London fashion designers have had the edge on their Paris rivals for ideas and innovations. Tomorrow evening a film on this subject will be shown on BBC1. Today we photograph the key London designers with their favourite clothes. What do they think of the London fashion scene? Where do we go from here?

Photographed by Terence Donovan. Fashion by Cherry Twiss.

Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, May 25th 1973.

Zandra Rhodes originally trained as a textile designer; she began designing clothes in 1968. She does not have her own retail shop; her fabulous creations are made to order and sell through the big stores. “I think fashion in London is like a sea with lots of little islands, lots of different looks. I am my own couture island,” she says. “I don’t like committing myself to any one collection. I like adding to it as my ideas come along.” Pat Cleveland, top American model, is wearing Zandra’s “off-the-shoulder lily dress” .of printed grey and cream chiffon with satin-backed bodice and embroidery. From Piero de Monzi, 70 Fulham Road, SW3.
Mary Quant, photographed with her husband Alexander Plunkett-Green, became famous in 1955 when she opened the first “Bazaar” shop in the King’s Road, Chelsea. Now her business includes linen, make-up, tights and dolls as well as clothes, all bearing the unmistakable Quant touch. Of current London fashion she says: “I think the mood is classic, and I love it.” Amanda, a model who typifies Mary’s look, wears trousers, striped pullover and co-ordinating jacket, all in an angora and polyester mixture, and a pure silk shirt. Mary chose this outfit because “it is the epitome of my new collection -the best of everything. Modern classics in the right colours, subtle soft fabrics, elegance, chic – the sort of outfit you want to live in.” From Mary Quant’s new autumn collection, available in September.
Designer Jean Muir with Harry Lockart, her husband and business manager. She started the firm which bears her name in 1966; her distinctive clothes are available at all the major stores. Says Harry Lockart: “The London fashion scene has tremendous potential and on the design side is moving marvellously. It must need organising very professionally along Paris lines, with proper collection weeks, at times that do not clash, so that buyers can see everything.” Joanna Lumley is wearing an olive green two-tiered silk jersey dress described by Jean as “one of my favourites”. About £75 from Lucienne Phillips, 69 Knightsbridge, SW3, or Brown’s, South Molton Street, W1 . Jade necklace by Jean Muir, £15. Shoes, £24, by Charles Jourdan, 47 Brompton Road, SW3. Tights, Elle.
Designer John Bates (left) with John Siggins, Director who handles Publicity, Press and External Contracts. John Bates started the firm of Jean Varon in 1959; he thinks that “fashion in London is no different from anywhere else; but it is only just recently that it has been taken seriously”. Kellie, who is one of John Bates’s favourite models, is wearing a Tricel surah dress in a print by Sally McLaughlan exclusive to John Bates. About £55 from Dickins & Jones, Regent Street, W1 ; Barkers, Kensing-ton High Street, W8; Bentalls of Kingston; Kendal Milne of Manchester. Hat made to order by Frederick Fox, 26 Brook Street, W1.
Christopher McDonnell started his career early in 1967 and now sells his designs at his famous shop in South Molton Street. He thinks London is the most exciting place for evening wear, “but until the factories learn how to cope technically with good ideas for day clothes, the rest of Europe will remain ahead of us in this field.” The model is Ika, who, says Christopher, can interpret any look. She is wearing a cream silk suit with short skirt, £33 from Christopher McDonnell, 45 South Molton Street, W1 . White silk turban £9.50 from George Malyard, 3 King Street, WI. Bangles and choker from Emeline, 45 Beauchamp Place, SW3.
Designer Bill Gibb started out on his own in 1969 and was voted “Designer of the Year” in 1970. He now has a wholesale firm, and in fashion feels that “everybody makes a different sort of contribution”. Asha Puthli, singer and actress is wearing a peach double satin jacket and halter top embroidered and edged with black leather, and Lurex pleated skirt. About £200 from Chic of Hampstead, Heath Street, NW3, or Chases, Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 by Chelsea Cobbler, 33 Sackville Street, W1 . Tights by Echo. Alice Ormsby-Gore is wearing a plain and printed grey Lurex skirt and sequin embroidered top, £128. Turban by Diane Logan to order. All from Lucienne Phillips, or ZigZag, 100 New Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 from Chelsea Cobbler. Tights by Echo.

Go to a party

1960s, Adrian Mann, Anne Tyrrell, bernard freres, Club 92, Foale and Tuffin, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, kleptomania, Paul Orssich, paulene stone, Rhona Roy, Simpson of Piccadilly, Sujon, take 6, thea porter, Tommy Roberts, Uncategorized, vanity fair, Vintage Editorials

go to a party 1

Wonderful in white… snowy crepe, sleeves long and ringed with Irish thread work. By John Bates at Jean Varon. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s shirt to order from Thea Porter.

Photographed by Paul Orssich.

Scanned from Vanity Fair, November 1968.

go to a party 2

Glamorously Grecian… pure white crepe, beautifully braided. By Young Ideas at Rhona Roy. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s black braided suit is from Just Men.

go to a party 3

Beautiful in black seductive plunging rayon jersey. By Foale and Tuffin. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Shoes by Lilley and Skinner. Man’s evening suit and shirt all from Take 6.

go to a party 4

Stunning in satin… timeless dress as bewitching as a glimmer of midnight. By Bernard Freres. Man’s velvet jacket from Take 6. Man’s be-ruffled shirt from Kleptomania.

go to a party 5

Perfect in pink… sugared almond crepe falling soft to the wrist and waist. Designed by Anne Tyrrell at John Marks. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s red velvet jacket and silk scarf from Trend at Simpson.

go to a party 6

Reassured in red. Skimmy shaped wool crepe party-goer cut away at the shoulders. By Sujon. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s evening suit and polo shirt both from Club 92.