The Kaleidoscopic Knit Show

2007, Adrian Mann, Alain Walsh, Barnett, clowns, crowthers, Dranella, erica budd, Flair, Hedgehog, Henry Miura, Honey Magazine, Jasper, jeff banks, John Craig, Joseph, mary quant, mr freedom, Originelle, sally levison, Smart'n'Tartan, st honore, Tabu, Vintage Editorials, wallis
Jet black pullover with fluted cap sleeves, Barnett from Wakeford’s, King’s Road, SW3. Billowing sleeved crepe shirt, St Honore. / Stripey Acrilan sweater, Tabu, from Originelle Gloucester Road, SW7. Tangerine crepe shirt, St Honore; ship brooch, Mr Freedom; striped cloche, Levison Originals. Both shirts from Flair, Golders Green Road.

Brighter and brighter, the new brand of knits is coming. Bolder than ever, with huge batwing sleeves, flaring kimono arms and rainbow stripes. Piled on top of one another or over a striking shirt – without any doubt the greatest knits ever seen.

I don’t know about you, but clown and circus-influenced editorials are one of my favourite themes and really quite a staple of the late Sixties and early Seventies youth magazine boom.

Photographed at Foire & Cirque de Rancy, France.

Photographed by Alain Walch.

Scanned from Honey, February 1972.

Khaki wool cricket sweater, Miura from Hedgehog, 135 Fulham Road, SW3. Strawberry-patterned cotton shit, Dranella. / Ice cream coloured Acrylic sweater, Jeff Banks from 2007, Oxford Street, W1. Ladybird cotton shirt, Jasper.
Square necked acrylic sweater, Erica Budd. Full sleeved crepe shirt, St Honore. / Patriotic striped Acrylic sweater from Crowthers, Kensington High Street, W8. Patchwork print cotton shirt, Jasper from Sidney Smith, King’s Road, SW3.
Bright red batwing Orlon sweater, Erica Budd. Ladybird cotton shirt, Jasper. Moon and star plastic brooch, Adrien Mann. / Confetti spotted and striped pullover and scarlet vest, both by John Craig from Joseph, King’s Road, SW3. Lemon brooch, Paul Stephens; bee brooch, Adrien Mann.
Kingfisher blue sweater, Erica Budd from Smart’n’Tartan, Upwest, Oxford Street W1. Goldfish brooch, Adrien Mann. / Navy sweater with small batwing sleeves, Mary Quant from Dickens & Jones. Wild strawberry cotton shirt, Dranella.
Pillar box red and bright yellow Dralon sweater from Wallis. / Navy, scarlet and light blue Acrylic sweater, John Craig from 2007 Oxford Street, W1.


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.

Inspirational Editorials: Class of ’70

19 magazine, 1970s, alice pollock, anello and davide, british boutique movement, bus stop, C&A, catherine buckley, erica budd, Foale and Tuffin, Inspirational Images, Jan de Villeneuve, John Bishop, John Craig, lee bender, medusa, quorum, ravel, Rosie Nice, Sacha, sally levison, Sharcleod, Travers Tempos, Vintage Editorials


Left: Violet pullover from C&A. Black knickers by Erica Budd. Shoes from Sacha. Right: Lilac pllover and matching knickers both by Erica Budd. Blue shoes by Anello and Davide. Leather belt from Medusa. Scarf from Rose Nice in Kensington Market.

Autumnal perfection…

Photographed by John Bishop.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, September 1970


Black crochet hat by Sally Levison. Black jersey shirt by John Craig. Black gaberdine midi skirt by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Shoes from Anello and Davide. Crochet shawl from Catherine Buckley.

Both knitted outfits by Alice Pollock for Quorum. Boots by Ravel. Scarves by Rosie Nice at Kensington Market.

Both knitted outfits by Alice Pollock for Quorum. Boots by Ravel. Scarves by Rosie Nice at Kensington Market.

Left: Dress by Gillian Richard. Hand-knitted Shetland wool shawl by Foale and Tuffin. Shoes by Ravel. Right: Petrol blue jumper from C&A. Rust jersey skirt by Mary Quant's Ginger Group. Blue lace shawn by Foale and Tuffin. Shoes by Anello and Davide.

Left: Dress by Gillian Richard. Hand-knitted Shetland wool shawl by Foale and Tuffin. Shoes by Ravel. Right: Petrol blue jumper from C&A. Rust jersey skirt by Mary Quant’s Ginger Group. Blue lace shawn by Foale and Tuffin. Shoes by Anello and Davide.


Deep ochre wool hat found at a jumble sale. Tomato red and white long line pullover by Shar-cleod. Gaberdine skirt by Travers Tempos. Boots from Ravel. Silk scarf from a selection at Rosie Nice in Kensington Market.

Royal blue crochet hat found at a jumble sale. Blue and white flecked pullover and matching skirt by Erica Budd. Boots from Ravel.

Royal blue crochet hat found at a jumble sale. Blue and white flecked pullover and matching skirt by Erica Budd. Boots from Ravel.

Inspirational Illustrations: The eternal elegance of knitwear

1970s, Bellini, christopher mcdonnell, Harpers Bazaar, Illustrations, Inspirational Images, marrian mcdonnell, Mouchy, sally levison

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Harpers Bazaar, October 1969

Illustration by Mouchy

Knits of the realm

knitwear, mary farrin, sally levison, website listings

Advert from 19 Magazine, May 1972

Part of why I love my job is the seemingly endless ability it has to baffle me. Maybe I come across as being a smarty pants who knows
everything (or, thinks she does) but, really, I have huge gaps in my knowledge. Usually these are opened up when I find a new label on my travels, or a nugget appears in a magazine. Or, in this case, both.

Most people are [vaguely] aware of Mary Farrin, the knitwear designer, whose shop on South Molton Street opened at the height of the British Boutique movement in the late Sixties. Her clothes were largely manufactured in her chosen home of Malta; knitted interpretations of the overriding boutique look.

A while ago, I came across this stunning green knit dress. The label baffled me. Levison Originals by Mary Farrin. Levison who? At that moment, I couldn’t find any reference to Levison Originals other than this photo. I listed the dress anyway, it’s all you can do.

Piqued once more by the fabulous advert at the top of this page, where knits by ‘Sally Levison’ and ‘Mary Farrin’ both feature side by side, I googled again and suddenly found a solitary reference to the company.

“After she left college Claire went into journalism, eventually to become features editor of the respected fashion trade ‘bible’, the Drapers Record. In the late 1960’s, needing a new challenge, Claire became a director of a small fashion company, started by Sally Levison (the mother of the writer, the ‘Levison’ of LMP) called Levison Originals. The company specialised in hand-made designer knitwear. The clothes were made on the island of Gozo in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Over the next eight years or so Claire and Sally transformed this tiny start-up company into one of the two or three leading high profile knit and crochetwear organisations in the world. At its height it employed over 500 people knitting away in the Gozo factory and exporting to the major fashion houses world-wide. Whilst Sally provided the creative flair for the business it was Claire’s level-headed skill in interpreting Sally’s eccentric ideas which was so instrumental in enabling the business to flourish.

The writer believes that without Claire’s ability to transfer Sally’s ideas into pragmatic reality, Levison Originals would not have been the success that it was. Examples are now held in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent clothing collection.”

I still don’t quite know where the collaboration with Mary Farrin fits in with this, other than that they were both producing clothes in Malta, but it’s always nice to [potentially] start a snowball of faint interest which might produce more information over time.

Oh, and the exceedingly yummy dress is still for sale!