There is a licence to touch all the clothes on these pages. There is not a single trad, scratchy, thornproof tweed among any of the frankly tactile silks, angoras and flannels of autumn. Jerseys and pearls and sensible shoes were once the uniform of the WI. Now, (well) kept ladies whose fingers smell of “Cabochard” rather than cabbage, are pressing their flannel bags, having their pearls restrung and are wearing them with shirts so unbuttoned they could catch pneumonia – and heels high enough to rise above the muddiest farmyard. They are taking to pleated kilts, and cashmere sweaters so tight they’d enliven the dullest game of backgammon. Dinner dresses are back in style, and I do mean back down as far as you can go. Properly and provocatively dressed, a weekend in the country might be more fun than you think.
Hair arranged for all pictures by Carl of Molton Brown.
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.)
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.
Gillian Richard pinny. Van der Fransen sailor blouse. Biba espadrilles. Cotton blouse and animal print winceyette shirt, both by Richard Green at Lady M ships. Raffia beret, wire bracelet and cherries, all from Biba.
This is the freshest summer fashion story so far. The prettiest pastel shades with tiny nursery prints you must be happy in. These clothes do the most for a girl and whatever your shape you’ll find all manner of pants, aprons and shirts to match your own personality.
Photographed by John Carter.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat Magazine, June 1972.
Jasper shirt. Pants by Lizzie Carr for Plain Clothes. Biba beret.
Shirt by Lizzie Car for Plain Clothes. Canvas pants at Stirling Cooper.
Crochetta sweater at Knits and Leathers. Satin pants by Lizzle Carr for Plain Clothes. Edward Mann hat. Ankle strap shoes by Samm.
Satin bermudas and satin smock, both by Lizzie Carr for Plain Clothes. Rosebud vest from Bus Stop. Edward Mann hat.