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.

Party Lines

1970s, anello and davide, Angela at London Town, biba, Bo Riddley, Britannia Land of Plenty, bus stop, Crochetta, Diane Logan, Dolcis, edward mann, Feathers, fotheringay and hepplewaite, gillian richard, harriet, Hope and Eleanor, jeff banks, lee bender, liberty, liberty's, petticoat magazine, Richard Green, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Saxone, stop the shop, Sue Hone, Sujon, Travers Tempos, van der fransen, way in
Satin pants and superstar jacket, £17, Angela at London Town. Flower print chiffon blouse, £7.50, at Bus Stop. Quant tights, 75p. Saxone suede peep-toe shoes, £4.99. / Satin cut-off pants, £4.95, and sequined satin jacket, £6.95 at all branches of Bus Stop. Biba diamante star, £1.50. Edward Mann velvet beret, £3.85. Quant sheer tights, £1.25. Suede bar shoes, Dolcis, £5.50.

Party wear for the getogether season takes all the best of blazers and pants and sleeks them up in satins and velvets… or cools off with the prettiest dresses ever.

Clearly Christmas 2020 is going to be a uniquely muted season as far as partying is concerned, but I often avoid the throngs of people anyway. Years of working in theatre over the festive season meant that when I had downtime I would prefer to lounge around in satins and velvets in the comfort of my own home. I’m just glad you’re all finally catching up with how nice it is! In all seriousness though, sometimes the smallest things can make us feel the nicest – so even if you don’t feel like getting togged up in satin and velvet, I highly recommend doing something you would normally find ridiculous for sitting around at home. Sparkly hair clip, red lipstick or those skyscraper platforms you can’t walk in.

Photographed by kind permission of Mecca Dancing at the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, WC1

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 4th December 1971.

Velvet jacket, £23 and satin pants, £9 by Sujon. Richard Green voile shirt, £6.50. Feathers beret, £7.50. Dolcis shoes, £5.50. / Cotton pants and battle jacket, Travers Tempos, £12. Richard Green flower print shirt as above. Diane Logan knit hat, £2.75. Anello and Davide bar shoes, £3.50.
Purple lurex painter’s smock, Gillian Richard, £8. Pink and purple satin skirt, Biba, Kensington High Street, W8, comes with matching jacket, £12.50. Brocade skull cap, Diane Logan, £8.50. Black and purple shoes, £5.50 at Dolcis.
Check taffeta bermudas, £8 with jacket by Angela at London Town from Stop the Shop. Bo Riddley tie, 15p. Bead ring at Britannia Land of Plenty, 50p. Biba tights, 55p. Anello and Davide bar shoes, £3.50. / Long check taffeta skirt, £8.50 and blouse, £5, Angela at London Town from Just Looking, SW3, 2007 W1. Feathers pewter pendant, £5. Hope and Eleanor bead purse, £4.75.
Printed chiffon skirt, £8 with matching short top, £7 by Jeff Banks at Fotheringay and Hepplewaite, P.R. Top Shops. Bead rope, Bo Riddley, 15p. Leaf choker at Van der Fransen, £1.25. Dolcis shoes, £5.95 / Silky dress with sailor collar, £8 at Van der Fransen, SW6. Silky short-sleeved jacket Fotheringay and Hepplewaite, £5.75. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.
Long satin dress, Gillian Richard, £10 at Way In. Clobber blouse, £8 at Stop the Shop. Feathers hat, £6.50. Russell & Bromley suede and snake shoes, £12.95 / Liberty print dress, Sujon, £17 at Fifth Avenue, W1. Fringed shawl at Britannia Land of Plenty, £12.50. Bus Stop diamante slides, 99p. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.
Black cotton dress with red buttons and piping, Harriet, £9 at Just Looking, SW3. Red suede belt, embroidered from Feathers. Red and blue ties with beads, Bo Riddley, 15p. / Lilac and green puffed sleeved dress, Harriet, £13.25 at Harrods, SW1, Bentalls Kingston. Feathers choker, £2.50. Fringed knit shawl, Crochetta for Knits and Leathers, £6. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.

Peasant in the Sun

1970s, Bata, Bermona, biba, Britannia Land of Plenty, Buckle Under, chelsea cobbler, clobber, Diane Logan, Elliott, hampstead bazaar, Inca, laura ashley, Marielle, mary quant, miss mouse, Pamela Dennis, petticoat magazine, rae spencer cullen, ravel, Richard Green, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Souk, Splinters, Sue Hone, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials
Mary Quant pinny worn over cheesecloth dress at The Souk. Britannia Land of Plenty silver armband. Buckle Under hat. Ravel shoes / Cheese cloth shirt and matching skirt by Richard Green. Woolworths hairnet. Buckle Under hat. Russell and Bromley shoes.

Summer’s peasant clothes come in brightly frilled cotton or in soft layers of cheesecloth with a bazaar of sunny straws and beads.

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 6th June 1972.

Souk pinny. Calico shirt with starry ribbon trim from Splinters. / Embroidered smock at Inca. Richard Green cheesecloth skirt. Waistcoat from Inca. Ravel suede sandals.
Miss Mouse seeksucker dress. Diane Logan boater. Biba false flowers. / Miss Mouse gingham dress. Bermona straw boater. Chelsea Cobbler wedge sandals.
Embroidered dress by Souk. Buckle Under Bowler. Britannia Land of Plenty shoulder bag. Elliotts sandals. / Midi skirt and cheesecloth dress at Souk. Inca wool belt. Buckle Under crochet cap. Bata sandals.
Long embroidered skirt with gathered waist from Hampstead Bazaar. Cheesecloth top by Clobber. Embroidered beret from Britannia Land of Plenty. Elliotts sandals. Straw bag from Inca. / Long checked cheesecloth dress by Marielle. Glass flower brooch from Van der Fransen.
Laura Ashley skirt. Calico smock by Pamela Dennis. Forbidden Fruit belt. / Laura Ashley top and skirt. Silk shawl from Britannia Land of Plenty. Shoes by Ravel.

Last Tango in Tijuana

1970s, antony price, che guevara, Dinah Adams, Dolcis, gillian richard, granny takes a trip, Herbert Johnson, Honey Magazine, Ian Batten, Inspirational Images, jean junction, Martha Hill, miss mouse, polly peck, rae spencer cullen, Roy A. Giles, Russell & Bromley, Samm, Spectrum, stirling cooper, Vintage Editorials, wallis

If you can’t tango, simply steal into the spotlight in these flamboyant rumba dresses. The slipped shoulder strap, the bared midriff and the full-blown flouncy skirts all spell out the sexiest numbers for summer.

The main difference between the content of a magazine like Honey, as opposed to Vogue or Queen, is that the designers tend to be the more intriguing and less well-known of the period. If you want names like Miss Mouse, Granny Takes a Trip or Antony Price, these magazines should always be your first port of call. This shoot alone features one of my Holy Grail pieces by Granny Takes a Trip: the ruffled tie front top and skirt ensemble designed by Dinah Adams. Previously a designer for two other cult London boutiques, Mr Freedom and Paradise Garage, painfully little is known about Dinah Adams (misattributed as ‘Diana’ in the original credits). Which is why it’s always lovely to see her work represented anywhere.

Also shown here is a frothy, frilly delight of a frock by Miss Mouse, a.k.a Rae Spencer-Cullen. A personal favourite of mine, the Miss Mouse aesthetic is precisely why this early Seventies period is my favourite for fashion. Her work was heavily Fifties-inspired, quite ahead of the curve in the scheme of things, but always with a novel twist. Spencer-Cullen is yet another designer whose life remains something of a mystery, despite being a part of a hugely influential circle which included artists Duggie Fields and Andrew Logan. It seems that this anonymity was (at least initially) intentional, as an article from the Glasgow Herald in 1976 declared.

“At first, six years ago, when presenting her quirky designs on fashion, she seemed shy and utterly retiring. Miss Mouse could not be contacted easily by the press. She was elusive, hazed in shadows, a real mouse about publicity in fact. The only evidence of her entire existence was her clothes.”

In a world where we are so used to having information at our fingertips, there is something quite enchanting about this; tiny scraps must be stitched together to create a flimsy silhouette of a creative genius.

Photographed by Roy A Giles.

Scanned from Honey, July 1973.

(Please note – this blog originally appeared in 2016 on Shrimpton Couture’s ‘Curated’ blog project which has since been removed. It seemed a shame to let the posts disappear completely so I hope to eventually repost all my work here.)

Rose-strewn wrapover cotton bolero and long frilled skirt from Spectrum. Raffia and cotton tie belt by Herbert Johnson. Right: Tightly ruched off-the-shoulder top and long skirt with deeply riched waistband from Wallis.
Ritzy ruffled satin bolero top with frilled skirt by Dinah Adams for Granny Takes a Trip. Wavy leather sandals by Samm. Right: Slinky spotted Tricel dress by Ian Batten at Stirling Cooper. Crackly taffeta long flounced skirt by Antony Price for Che Guevara. Wooden and patent sandals by Russell & Bromley.
Flouncy black and white gingham off-the-shoulder dress printed with orange and lemon flowers by Gillian Richard. Canary yellow sandals by Samm. Embroidered cummerbund by Herbert Johnson.
Swirling striped cotton skirt by Jean Junction. Off-the-shoulder pleated blouse by Martha Hill. Polished leather boots from Dolcis.
Black cotton ruched and flared rumba dress printed with multi-coloured flowers and birds by Miss Mouse. Apple green shoes by Russell & Bromley.

Left: Crisp cotton gingham blouse and flounced skirt both by Martha Hill. Oval bead choker and bangles by Paul Stephens. Right: Ruffled cotton check blouse and tiered skirt by Polly Peck. Cummerbund by Herbert Johnson. Shoes by Russell & Bromley.

Hotfoot!

1970s, bill klein, petticoat magazine, platforms, Russell & Bromley, Samm, shoes
Top: Green canvas slingback espadrilles on rope, Russell & Bromley. Left to Right: Pink, white and green patent slingbacks, Samm. Pink patent peep-toe shoe with black cork wedge, Russell & Bromley. Pink and navy patent sandals on wedge, Russell & Bromley. Pink sandals, Russell & Bromley.

Soopah doopah shoes to stride you through summer days, to lounge you through sunset, to get hot nights on the move. This summer you really can make footwear go a long way because the nicest styles are stout enough for strolling yet manage to look sophisticated and elegant too.

Fashion by Marcia Brackett.

Photographed by Bill Klein.

Scanned from Petticoat, 2nd June 1973.

Aquaphilia (Part 2)

1970s, alligator, Bermona, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, Dannimac, hans feurer, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, lee bender, mary quant, old england, Russell & Bromley, valstar, Vintage Editorials, Weathergay
Short, sharp, patent vinyl reefer jacket by Valstar. Perspex waterproof beach watch by Old England.

We know a girl… who can’t last the day without lashings of spray. We know a girl… who gets quite high on a bucket of tide. We know a girl… who gets no elation from dusty dehydration. We know a girl… who gets all her kicks from aquatic dips. We know a girl… who can’t get enough of that H20 stuff. We know a girl… who’s got pneumonia.

As promised, the waterproof outerwear counterpart to the last post.

Photographed by Hans Feurer in the Canary Islands.

Scanned from Honey, February 1970.

Polished patent vinyl trench coat by Valstar. Thigh high PVC wader boots to order from the Chelsea Cobbler. Cotton vest dress from the Kensington Antique Market.
PVC safari raincoat by Dannimac. Boots by Russell and Bromley. Kerchief by Kreier.
Zipped and fringed rubberbacked cotton cowgirl rain jacket by Valstar. Jersey trousers by Bus Stop. Wet look boots by Mary Quant’s “Puddleducks”.
Stormcoat in waterproof rubberised cotton by Valstar. Wet look boots by Mary Quant’s “Puddleducks”.
Long, lean fringed rubber-backed cotton trench coat by Valstar. Bandana by British Home Stores. Wet look boots by Mary Quant’s “Puddleducks”.
Buckled up PVC fisherman’s rain jacket with mtaching trousers and sou’-wester, all by Alligator.
Silver-studded, saddle-stitched rain jacket in PVC by Rainsport.
Belted mid calf gaberdine trench coat by Alligator. Jersey trousers by Bus Stop. Wet look boots by Mary Quant’s “Puddleducks”.
Skinny mini PVC raincoat by Rainsport. Sou’-wester by Bermona. Waterproof boots by Russell and Bromley. Perspex beach watch by Old England.
Lacquered PVC raincoat with matching trousers and sou’-wester all by Weathergay. Wet look boots by Mary Quant’s “Puddleducks”.

For Dinner Dates

19 magazine, 1970s, David Anthony, dorothee bis, Essences, Fiorucci, gordon king, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, Midas, Russell & Bromley, Sacha, Scruffs, strawberry studio, Vintage Editorials, wallis
Green sweater and purple sweater around waist both by Fiorucci. Purple tights from The Dance Centre. Red leather ankle boots by Russell & Bromley. Lilac gloves by Cornelia James. Belt by Pixie. Purse by Midas. / Hat with net and blue lurex sweater by Dorothee Bis. Tights by Mary Quant. Perspex shoes by Russell & Bromley.Belt by Trimfit. Scarves from Woolworths.

Whether it’s dinner for two, or a special night out with a crowd, you want to be sure that you’ve got that certain ‘little number’ to fit the bill. To be sure that you’re not caught on the hop, we’ve picked a selection of really feminine dresses, satin trousers, skirts, tops and even an elegantly tailored, satin suit fit for the Ritz. Happy wining and dining!

Photographed by David Anthony.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, December 1976.

Taffeta dress by Strawberry Studio. Shoes by Sacha. Scarf from Essences. / Black and pink satin suit by Gordon King. Satin shohes and bag by Midas.
Black top by Scruffs. Cream skirt by Jeff Banks. Boots from Midas. / Cream silk shirt by Jeff Banks. Black satin drainpipes by Scruffs. Boots and bag from Midas.
Red and black crepe dress by Gordon King. Red pants by Highlight. Red ankle boots by Russell & Bromley. Sash by Strawberry Studio / Black embossed satin tunic by Wallis. Blue pants by Highlight. Black suede boots by Midas. Sash from Strawberry Studio.

Etceteras

1970s, accessories, Adrian Mann, biba, corocraft, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, Olaf Daughters of Sweden, platforms, Russell & Bromley, shoes
Centre: Black and white two tone peeptoe court shoes by Olaf Daughters of Sweden. Beige and brown lace ups and brown court shoes, both by Biba. Brown and tan leather lace ups, tan leather shoes with topstitching and brown leather shoes with buckles, all by Russell and Bromley. Brown leather court shoes with cut-outs and plain leather court shoes, both by Biba.

Brown and cream should be seen. From top to toe it’s all the go!

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, September 1973

Cream suit from Biba. Brown beret by Kangol. Tortoiseshell glasses from Che Guevara. All jewellery from selections at Adrien Mann and Biba.
Tan kid brogues by Russell and Bromley.
Brown crepe dress from Biba. Brown beret by Kangol. Glasses from Che Guevara. Jewellery by Biba, Adrien Mann, Corocraft, Zig Zag and the Neal Street Shop.

The Shortest Summer

1970s, Copper Coin, Crochetta, Elliott, harold ingram, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, mary quant, Maudie Moon, mr freedom, ravel, Richard Selby, Russell & Bromley, Sharcleod, simon massey, stirling cooper, terry de havilland, Vintage Editorials

After the explosion of hot pants and vulgar satin knickers, shorts are still with us, but they’ve emerged neater and brighter – put together with layered vests and skimpy sweaters, legs that go on forever and bright vampy shoes or clogs. It’s the only way to be cool this summer.

Photographed by Richard Selby.

Scanned from Honey, June 1971

Far left: T-shirt by Maudie Moon. Clingy crepe shorts by Simon Massey. Thigh high socks by Mr Freedom. Left: Banlon bomber jacket and plain fluted shorts by Jeff Banks. Tights by Quant. Right: Banlon vest, shorts and shirt all by John Marks. Tights by Quant. Shoes by Ravel. Far right: Banlon vest with plain black shorts by John Marks. Banlon shirt by Jeff Banks. Tights by Quant. Shoes by Elliotts.
Far left: Striped cotton knit sweater and plain shorts by Zeekit by Crochetta. Stripy socks by Echo. Lavender suede shoes by Dolcis. Left: Halter neck knit sweater and shorts by Zeekit by Crochetta. Socks by Quant. Clogs by Russell & Bromley. Right: Stripy ribbed vest by Shar-Cleod. Scarlet jersey shorts by Stirling Cooper. Socks by Sunarama. Snakeskin wedge shoes by Terry de Havilland. Far right: Skinny sweater and matching mini vest by Syndica. Linen shorts by Friends. Socks by Quant. Red clogs by Wardle and Williams.
Left to right: Striped skinny rib sweater by Janine at Harold Ingram. Yellow shorts by Copper Coin. Vest and red pepper shorts with green patch pockets both by Peter London. Rainbow acrylic vest by Peter London. Yellow jersey shorts by Stirling Cooper. Woollen football vest by Van der Fransen. Cherry red shirt by Littlewoods. Red Orlon shorts by Syndica.

Chiconomy

19 magazine, 1970s, Ace, coopers, Inspirational Images, Ivory, Joseph, Ku Khanh, Russell & Bromley, Swanky Modes, Vintage Editorials
Blouse by Sue Barnes for Coopers. Shorts by British Home Stores. Black sandals by Ravel. Glasses by Primetta.

For the budget-conscious with imagination, high fashion is well within reach and, as you can see, many of these crisp, colourful cottons are from surplus and chain stores and even supermarkets. Take a look at Tesco where we picked up an amazing cotton top for only £3.99! We also dressed up the one-time overall by belting the waist, adding masses of jewellery and finishing off with high, strappy shoes.

To prove how good these outfits can look, we shot the photos in Rodeo Drive, a snob area in Beverly Hills. So never turn your nose up at a bargain.

Photographed by Ku Khanh. Hair and make-up by Colin Booker.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1979

Overall from Laurence Corner. Mules by Russell & Bromley. Earrings from Swanky Modes. Belt by Trimfit. Brooch on belt from Swanky Modes.
Navy blouse by Tesco. White pleated skirt by Pret-a-Porter. Blue sandals by Ivory. Glasses from Bombacha. Earrings and necklace from Ace. Pearl bracelet from Joseph. Belt by Trimfit. Brooch by Nicholas Adams.
Lilac overall from Laurence Corner. Lilac strappy sandals by Ivory. Glasses by Primetta. Earrings and necklace from Ace. Satin belt by Trimfit.