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.
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.
Top left: Red lace waspie by Janet Reger. Transparent white net bra embroidered with hearts by Emanuelle Khanh. Ankle slip by Mexicana. Main image: Serpent and hearts rampant on a sheer peach bodystocking by Molly Dove for Aspidistra, to order at Countdown.
Wonderful to see further mention of John Dove and Molly White’s ‘Aspidistra’ label and to actually see one of the tattoed body stockings which were illustrated in this earlier post on my blog. Also, regular readers will know of my passion for Seventies underwear in general, and Janet Reger underwear in particular, so this stunningly photographed editorial is pretty much win-win as far as I’m concerned. Bubble perm included…
Photographed by Steve Hiett. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, April 1970
Red and navy chevrons on white. By Janet Reger.
Set by Lovable
Camisole petticoat by Finewear
Top: Slip by Foale and Tuffin. Centre: Slip by Finewear. Bottom: Bodice and petticoat by Finewear.
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.