The Great Imposters

1970s, anello and davide, aquascutum, Beged'Or, Bermona, Borg, caroline baker, chelsea cobbler, Dada, Feathers, Herbert Johnson, jane whiteside, Jonvelle, kensington market, kurt geiger, laura ashley, Laura Jamieson, Lizzie Carr, Martha Hill, Mexicana, Mog, Morel, nova magazine, peter robinson, Russell & Bromley, Selfridges, stirling cooper, the souk, The Sweet Shop, velmar, Vintage Editorials, Wild Mustang Co.
Tissavel-lined Galaxy coat by Beged’Or approx. £50; cotton blouse by Mexicana, £13; fur fabric jeans by Newmans, 12 gns; hairy slipper boots at Russell & Bromley, £6 19s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; hatband made from an Estonian tie at the Russian Shop, 7s 6d; fur bag at The Souk, £3 5s; wool gloves at Dickins & Jones, 10s:

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.

Fashion by Caroline Baker.

Photographed by Jonvelle.

Scanned from Nova, January 1970.

Mediaeval velvet applique dress by Laura Jamieson at The Sweetshop, 20 gns; Tissavel and Galaxy waistcoat by Beged’Or, £22.
Velmar jacket and needlecord trousers by Stirling Cooper, £8 10s., £5 1Gs; leggings by Chelsea Cobbler, to order, 10 gns; cotton shirt from selection at Dada, Kensington Antique Market from 2 gns.
Acrilan jacket by Lizzie Carr approx. 24 gns; suede trousers by Morel, 17 gns, tied with leather strips from John Lewis Haberdashery Dept, 1s 10d per yard; wellingtons at Russell and Bromley, £3 19s; woven sash wrapped around neck at Herbert Johnson, 25s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; wool gloves at Selfridges, &s 11d
Velmar and Courtelle trousers by Martha Hill, approx. 8 gns; poncho at Peter Robinson, £7; wool shirt by Stirling Cooper, £4 5s; studded wristlet by Knees at Kensington Antique Market, 1 gn; suede moccasin boots by Anello & Davide, £8 15s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; sheepskin rug from The Souk from £3 19s 6d to £6; flask from Kensington Antique Market.
Velmar fur fabric floor length coat trimmed with canvas by Mog, £20, over long cotton nightgown by Laura Ashley, £5; knitted wool socks at Feathers, £1 1s 6d
Velmar coat with needlecord and zipper trims (top left) by Stirling Cooper, 18 gns; pale suede and leather lace-up boots by Kurt Geiger, 35 gns; wool gloves at Selfridges, 8s 11d; leather belt by The Wild Mustang Manufacturing Co., approx. £3 12s 6d; fur shepherdess hat, bag and drinking flask from a selection at Kensington Antique Market
Velmar jacket and needlecord trousers (top right) by Stirling Cooper, £12 19s 6d, £5 10s; big polo-neck ribbed Shetland wool sweater at Aquascutum, £6 15s; corrugated leather lace-up boots at Russell and Bromley, £29 19s; knitted Aran mitts at Selfridges, 16s 11d; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s, furry bag from a selection at Kensington Antique Market.

Go Gaucho!

1970s, anello and davide, Battle Of The Little Big Horn, Beged'Or, Bellini, Bermona, caroline baker, Feathers, Fifth Avenue, Friitala, Harri Peccinotti, Herbert Johnson, Inspirational Images, Janet Ibbotson, levis, Lizzie Carr, Mexicana, nova magazine, Pourelle, Sacha, Vintage Editorials
Striped woollen poncho skirt by Beatrice Bellini for WHI. Chamois lace-up blouse by Janet Ibbotson. Lace up suede boots by Anello and Davide. Leather and bead necklace by Feathers.

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.

Scanned from Nova, October 1970.

Midi pigskin wrarpover skirt and long fitted jacket both by Beged’Or. Lace up suede boots from Anello and Davide.
Suede midi waistcoat and pants by Friitala. Brown wool shirt at Feathers. Leather and bead necklace at Feathers. Felt hat by Bermona. Stripey belts at Herbert Johnson.
Leather and rabbit midi waistcoat by Skinflair. Handwoven cotton blouse from Fifth Avenue. Flared blue jeans by Levis.
Suede jeans by Newman at Spotlight. Argentinian wool poncho – similar available at Mexicana and at Inti. Cow print velour hat by Bermona. Patent boots from Sacha.
Chamois fringed midi dress and beaded headband both at Battle Of The Little Big Horn.
Suede lace up dress to order at Pourelle. Poncho by Village Squares. Boots by Anello and Davide.
Fake snake velvet jeans by Newman at Feathers. Silk satin snake shirt to order at Lizzie Carr. Woven sash belts at Herbert Johnson.


Inspirational Editorials: The Greatest Underclothes on Earth

1960s, 1970s, Aspidistra, british boutique movement, Finewear, Foale and Tuffin, Inspirational Images, janet reger, John Dove and Molly White, Lovable, Mexicana, steven hiett, underwear, Vintage Editorials, Vogue

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 Aspidestra, to order at Countdown.

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.

Red and navy chevrons on white. By Janet Reger.

Set by Lovable

Set by Lovable

Camisole petticoat by Finewear

Camisole petticoat by Finewear

Top: Slip by Foale and Tuffin. Centre: Slip by Finewear. Bottom: Bodice and petticoat by Finewear.

Top: Slip by Foale and Tuffin. Centre: Slip by Finewear. Bottom: Bodice and petticoat by Finewear.

Inspirational Editorials: The Gypsy in You

1970s, Alan Rodin, Bernshaw, Chelsea Antiques Market, clobber, Emmerton and Lambert, Ginger Group, Inspirational Images, John Carter, Marlborough, mary quant, Mexicana, petticoat magazine, Pourelle, ravel, Sacha, stirling cooper

Blouse, waistcoat and skirt from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market. Boots by Sacha.

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

the gypsy in you - john carter - mar 70 -  gingergroup

Spotted crepe dress and shawl by Mary Quant’s Ginger Group

the gypsy in you - john carter - mar 70 -  clobber 2 and pourelle

Dress by Clobber. Feather cape from Chelsea Antique Market. Printed chiffon dress by Pourelle.

the gypsy in you - john carter - mar 70 - mexicana clobber

Dress by Clobber. Slingbacks by Ravel. Shirt by Mexicana. Skirt by Alan Rodin. Shoes by Ravel.

the gypsy in you - john carter - mar 70 -  clobber and stirling cooper

Dress by Clobber. Shoes by Modaine. Blouse by Stirling Cooper. Skirt by Bernshaw. Boots by Sacha.

the gypsy in you - john carter - mar 70 -  marlborough

Dress by Marlborough. Feather cape from Chelsea Antique Market.