One of the finest editorials of all time, from the dream team of Caroline Baker and Harri Peccinotti at Nova. You can’t help thinking about the clear influence of the Impressionists, such as Renoir, on the aesthetic, but also about how this shoot must itself have been influencing other people for years afterwards. For example, Picnic at Hanging Rock was released a mere three years later and the petticoats, parasols and lace-up boots can’t help but remind you of that.
As a side note, but a pretty impressive one at that, the ‘nursery print’ Miss Mouse dress featured here has also just gone into my Etsy shop. So you can pretend it’s 1972 and you’re ‘shopping the look’.
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.
It looks as if England has lost Jane Birkin forever … she is firmly entrenched in Paris with baby Kate, nanny and the lovely Serge Gainsbourg, living in sombre luxury in their newly acquired house. The interior is stark and dramatic, every room is decorated in black and white, with white doors and black marble floors or carpet. The furniture is also black and white—there’s a big black shiny piano in the lounge, and a black mink cover adorns the bed which is raised off the floor on a black perspex dais. Weekends are usually spent at a quiet retreat in the country, making a sharp contrast to the busy social life that they lead during the week. Since Jane landed in France she has never stopped working. Film after film has been completed and the success of the record she made with Serge, which was also written and composed by him, Je T’Aime … Moi Non Plus, has led to an LP also written by Serge. Her life is chaotic and busy, it seems as if the telephone never stops ringing. People phone her every day with offers of interviews and films, the next of which is still a closely guarded secret. It was whilst she was making her first film in France, Slogan, that she met and fell in lovewith Serge, an event which seems to have altered her life but through it all she remains the same—a waif of a girl, tall and lanky, in pullover and jeans, serving tea out of her treasured English teapot. Her wardrobe is noticeably small, consisting mainly of casual clothes like pullovers, T-shirts and jeans; with the occasional gipsy-type dress reserved for the evening and worn with gold chains, loop earrings and gipsy belts. She acquires most of her clothes by chance buying, rarely by intentionally setting out on a spending spree. Usually she just spots something she likes in a shop window and ends up by going in and buying it. In London she shops mainly at Countdown, Foale and Tuffin, and Quorum. She buys her jewellery from the Chelsea Antique Market. In Paris she favours the more trendy designers like Mia and Vicky or Jean Bourquin. Jane is perfectly happy spending hours hunting about in antique shops for interesting little knick-knacks, like the 18th-century doll’s house which she gave to her Serge for Christmas.
Quite apart from Elliott Gould being a very worthy successor to Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe, and the faded-but-magnificent Art Deco buildings which feature throughout, Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973) is also well worth watching for Nina van Pallandt’s wardrobe.
First appearing in what looks like Laura Ashley:
Then a less identifiable dress of a similar ‘peasant’ style but rather less traditionally English in the use of pattern and colour (possibly by Mexicana, Georgia Charuhas or a similar brand):
You can see more clearly in this publicity shot that the bands of lace are transparent:
Then Laura Ashley again:
Slightly clearer albeit black and white in this publicity shot:
By this point, I started wondering if this wardrobe was perhaps that of the actress rather than of the character. Nina van Pallandt was a successful Danish singer (with husband Frederik van Pallandt, they were known as ‘Nina and Frederik’) and would have spent a great deal of time in London. It otherwise seemed a bit odd that she was wearing clearly British-made clothes, albeit in a style which wouldn’t seem too dramatically out of place in early 1970s California. It certainly sets her apart from the few other women in the film, including Marlowe’s doped up neighbours (who are rarely clothed at all), and gives her a dreamy, other-worldly quality.
Then, as if by magic, she then appears in the most spectacular Zandra Rhodes gown. A gown which will, I’m afraid to say, eventually end up soaked through with sea water and very likely ruined.
Again, a proper publicity shot provides a clearer view of the classic Zandra squiggle print:
Afterwards, still pondering this, I hunted around for film stills and eventually came across this photo of Nina wearing the exact same dress in an earlier television performance. Bingo! I don’t know if it was just a small budget or a fussy leading lady, but I can only presume the entire wardrobe of her character was her own. One of those little things which seems to satisfy a curiosity in me, and I feel the need to share with the world.
I think this might be a piece from Zandra’s earliest collection as the hood and sleeve style is very reminiscent of this piece worn by Natalie Wood in 1970. I hope it was able to be rescued from its salty fate and is still out there somewhere.
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.
Velvet jacket and matching skirt by Christopher McDonnell. Hat by Laura Ashley. Wallpaper by Laura Ashley.
Velvets have gone into print this winter. Dashing suits and jackets come in all the mutations of the earth, sea and sky and are designed to be worn before rather than after dark. They look a million dollars and sometimes don’t even cost that much.
Photographed by Terence Donovan.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers and Queen, November 1974.
Jacket and cream shirt embroidered with corn ears and matching skirt, all by Bill Gibb. Navy leather boots from Russell & Bromley.
Rayon velvet jacket in Persian print and black rayon velvet skirt, both by Biba. Rust crepe de chine shirt by Otto. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith. Beret by Marida. Wallpaper from Laura Ashley.
Velvet jacket and matching skirt by Jaeger. Scarf by Rodier. Hat by Marida. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldmith. Boots by Charles Jourdan. Wallpaper by Biba.
Velvet jacket in splodgy print with matching skirt and Viyella blouse, all by Janice Wainwright.
Left: Embroidered long skirt and embroidered Mexican shirt, both by Souk. John Craig shaggy wool waistcoat. Buckle Under Enterprises balaclava. Right: Long skirt by Souk. Biba gloves. Clobber blouse at Stop the Shop. Jasper kimono from Miss Selfridge.
Warm folkclothes for the part of you that needs freedom and a soft, beautiful way of dressing even through the cold months of winter. These are the long skirt, blouses and shawls to pick up in the markets, the pinnies and shaggy wool coats to take off the peg and lounge around in.
Fashion by Sue Hone. Photographed by Alain Walsh.
Scanned from Petticoat, 11th December 1971.
Left: Clobber gingham skirt with frill. Calico pinny from Laura Ashley. Knit jacket by Crochetta for Knits and Leathers. Feathers hat. Play balls from Inca. Right: Clobber seersucker skirt with print. John Craig rib polo sweater. Calico pinny at Laura Ashley. Embroidered jacket and Hessian belts at Inca. Herbert Johnson mittens.