Smart Things

19 magazine, alice pollock, british boutique movement, Digby Howard, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, manolo blahnik, ossie clark, quorum, sheridan barnett, Vintage Editorials, zapata

A 19 SPECIAL PREVIEW OF AN EXCITING DESIGNER’S COLLECTION

Sheridan Barnett, pictured above, is the young designer who gave Coopers such a good look and who has now joined the Quorum label, with Ossie Clark and Alice Pollock. At twenty-six, he has established himself as the most exciting designer in London, with a fabulous first collection for Quorum that left them clapping in the aisles. Women’s Wear Daily, the fashion bible of America, devoted an entire double-page spread to his collection, previously unheard of for an English designer. He designs with his girlfriend, a ballet dancer, in mind, and ladies like Grace Coddington, model Eija and Liza Minnelli: “Girls who are individual and chic, interesting, attractive and with oomph . .” and likes them to look alluring, classy and sexy. At the moment, his clothes are expensive but we are hopeful that, later on, they will be available in the cheaper Radley range as Ossie Clark’s clothes are. Meanwhile look out for similar lines.

My slightly belated tribute to the great Sheridan Barnett, who died in November. He is one of those many British designers of the time whose work doesn’t really get the attention he deserves; as you can see here his tailoring was exquisite.

All clothes by Sheridan Barnett at Quorum.

Shoes by Zapata. Hats by Digby Howard.

Hair by Ricci Burns.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, September 1973.

Look Back in Anger

1970s, Adrian Mann, Angela at London Town, Bermona, Bilbo, bus stop, fifties fashion, flair magazine, john kelly, lee bender, Mr Feed'Em, mr freedom, ravel, Sacha, sheridan barnett, simon massey, stirling cooper, Vintage Editorials

Call it nostalgia, admission of defeat, lack of inventiveness or what you will: the ugly fact is that there is a strong trend among designers to dig up the Fifties for a fashion revival. Those were the days of the A-line, the tulip dress, Lurex and pleated skirts. If you are disturbed at a Fifties revival, so are we. We think it a period in fashion terms best forgotten, with one or two exceptions. If you don’t favour the fashion but fancy the authentic ambiance you’ll get the right idea at Mr Freedom’s restaurant, Feed’em, where we photographed. Here, written about in the Fiftie’s style, are some of the up-dated Fifties fashions on sale now.

At the same time as the Thirties and Forties were being raided by British Boutique designers, so were the Fifties (or Fiftie’s as so spectacularly put here) and it’s pretty hilarious to see the cynicism by the writer here (possibly fashion editor Sarah Drummond) – who had presumably been a young woman then. The cyclical nature of fashion is nothing new and nor is the disbelief when it’s happening in your own timeline!

On another note, it’s always lovely to see some new-to-me shots inside the legendary Mr Feed’em restaurant!

Photographed by John Kelly.

Scanned from Flair, November 1971.

Crepe pencil skirt and pure wool knitted top that you can dress up or down as you please with a clever change of accessories. Button through fastening gives the skirt special new back interest. Skirt £6. Sweater, £4.50 both by Stirling Cooper. Seamed stockings 30p by Aristoc. Black suede and red patent peep toe shoes, Ravel, £5.50.
A flamboyant crepe de chine evening number, in an adventurous chintzy print with snazzy flounced skirt, £10.50 by Sheridan Barnett at Simon Massey. Black suede sandals with ankle straps, Bilbo, £7. Red beaded necklace, Corocraft, 49p. Purple and pink Perspex bangles, Adrien Mann, 30p each.
Smart-as-paint coat that captures all the intriguing fashion points of the season; with a generous fullness at the back. Created in a delightful brown and beige wool blanket fabric. Bus Stop £19.95. Brown leather boots. Sacha £8.99.
Neat ladylike costume in carefree Tricel jersey. The swirling skirt is a-flutter with knife pleats and the short fitted jacket has an optional tie. In an opulent new shade of plum and white, by Angela at London Town £20. Burgundy brimmed felt hat, Bermona, £1.70. Mulberry tights, Mary Quant, 75p. Multi strapped shoes, Mondaine, £11.99.

Mirror, Mirror

19 magazine, 1970s, Angela at London Town, Antiquarius, barbara trentham, Barbara Trentham, biba, bus stop, Chelsea Antiques Market, David Tack, hand tinting, Inspirational Images, lee bender, Margrit Ramme, mr freedom, Norma Moriceau, ossie clark, radley, ravel, Ricci Burns, Rose Bradford, Sacha, sheridan barnett, simon massey, Titfers, Vintage Editorials
Black satin beret, by Titfers, £8.50. Black satin blouse with shooting stars embroidered in beads, £6.95; half-mast trousers, £4.95, both by Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Diamante star brooch on beret, by Paul Stephens, 75p. Dangly fake diamond earring from a selection at Marie Middleton, Chelsea Antique Market. Fake diamond necklace from a selection at the Purple Shop, Antiquarius. Black satin beret with rhinestone stars, by Titfers, £8-50. Black satin ‘Superstar’ zipper jacket and trousers, by Angela At London Town, £17. Dangly fake diamond earring, from a selection at Marie Middleton, Chelsea Antique Market. Art Deco wall mirror, £6 and black and silver hand mirror, from a selection at Antiquarius. Lipstick and make-up by Biba.

Christmas is coming, so take a good long look at the new you and your clothes. Look for something sexy in black with lots of spangles, for diamonds are a girl’s best friend again.

Just one word from me: Perfection.

Hair by Ricci Burns. Fashion by Norma Moriceau.

Photographed by David Tack.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, December 1971

Floral print, crepe de Chine backless dress with halter neck, by Sheridan Barnett at Simon Massey, £8.75. Black sequin snood, from Crocodile, £4. Sheer black tights, by Elle, 65p. Black suede shoes, by Ravel, £6.50. Diamante clip on velvet band, from a selection at Marie Middleton, Chelsea Antique Market. Diamante bracelet, £3.45. Ring, 60p. By Paul Stephens. Black fur fabric jacket, £15.95. Floral-printed, crepe de Chine dress with black bodice, £12-75. Both by Sheridan Barnett at Simon Massey. Sheer black tights, by Elk, 65p. Black suede shoes, from Sacha, £5.99. Diamante slides, 30p. each. Crescent moon diamante slides, 75p. each. Rings, 60p. each. All by Paul Stephens. Choker, from a selection at Marie Middleton, Chelsea Antique Market. Garter, from Crocodile, £1.50. Mirrors, from the Purple Shop, Antiquarius.
Black satin beret, by Titfers, £8.50. Floral printed rayon blouse with batwing sleeves and knitted waist, cuffs and collar, by Lee Bender at Bus Stop, £6-50. Two-tone panelled satin skirt, by Mr Freedom, £6.25. Sheer black one-size tights, by Elle, 65p. Black suede peep-toe shoes with red patent butterfly, from Ravel, £6.50. Black velvet beret, by Titfers, £4. Satin spot blouse with knitted rib trim and zipper fastening, by Lee Bender at Bus Stop, £6.50. Two-tone satin skirt, by Mr Freedom, £6.25. Sheer black one-size tights, by Elle, 65p. Black suede shoes with bow, by Sacha, £5.99. Purse from Q.9 at Antiquarius, £2. Small star brooch and crescent moon brooch, 55p. each, both by Paul Stephens. Diamante bracelets on wrist and ankle, by Paul Stephens, £3.45 each.
Little black knee-length dress in ribbed crepe with satin insets and neck tie, by Ossie Clark for Radley, £13. Black veiling net, from all leading department stores. Sheer black tights, by Elk, 65p. Black suede shoes with red patent trim, by Ravel, £6.50. Diamante bracelet, £3.45. Ring, 60p. Both by Paul Stephens. Moss crepe bolero, in shocking pink with black spots, over bonded-crepe halter-neck dress with spotty trimming, by Rosy Bradford for Quorum, £15.50. Sheer black tights, by Elk, 65p. Black suede shoes, by Sacha, £5.99. Diamante bracelet, by Paul Stephens, £2.

Patricia Roberts Knitting Patterns

1970s, rolph gobits, manolo blahnik, knitwear, sheridan barnett, jap, zapata, Margaret Howell, Wendy Dagworthy, Sheilagh Browne, Patricia Roberts, Joanna Jacobs

Patricia Roberts designs exclusive hand knits worn by the famous and sold in the most prestigious fashion boutiques in Europe and America.

In 1976 she opened a knitting shop at 60 Kinnerton Street, London S.W.1., selling her own brand of hand knitting wools called “Woollybear Yarns”.

Such was the success of these pure natural yarns dyed in beautiful flattering colours, that buyers from prestige storesthroughout the country were quick to include them in their ranges.

1978 sees the first of Patricia’s magazines to be published independently. All the designs are knitted in Patricia’s “Woollybear Yarns”.

For the first time knitters will have the opportunity to knit these patterns in the luxurious and inexpensive yarns, for which Patricia’s designs are intended.

Happy Knitting!

Possibly some of the loveliest photographs I have ever seen in a knitting pattern booklet, but perhaps unsurprising given the designer is Patricia Roberts and the photographer Rolph Gobits.

Art Direction by Desmond Serjeant.

Hair by Smile.

Make-up by Mary Vango.

Models: Joanna Jacobs, Kelly, Jane Rochelle, Kevin Hand, Helmut.

Photographed by Rolph Gobits.

Scanned from Patricia Roberts Knitting Patterns, 1978.

“Harold and Maude” – Trousers by Jap, shirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett.
‘Fruit Machine’ – Paisley print shirt and trousers by Wendy Dagworthy. Black trousers by Victor Herbert.
‘The Whisperers’ – Her skirt and jacket by 11342; his trousers and shirt by Margaret Howell; her shoes by Zapata.
‘Jigsaw’ – Trousers by Patricia Roberts.
‘Blithe Spirit’ – Skirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett. Shoes by Zapata.
‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’ – Shirt by Wendy Dagworthy. Trousers by Daily Blue. Shoes by Walkers.
‘Kaleidoscope’ – Blue shirt by Margaret Howell; check shirt by Paul Howie. Skirt by Jap.
‘A man…’ – Shirt and trousers by Margaret Howell.
‘…and a Woman’ – Trousers by Jap, shirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett.
‘Midnight Lace’ – Trousers and skirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett. Shoes by Zapata.
‘John & Mary’ – His shirt and trousers by Margaret Howell. Her trousers by Daily Blue, her shirt by Wendy Dagworthy.
‘Two for the Road’ – Shirt and trousers by Margaret Howell.
‘Some Like it Hot’ – His shirt and trousers by Margaret Howell. Her trousers by Jap, shirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett.
‘Ninotchka; – Shirt by Sheilagh Brown and Sheridan Barnett, trousers by Jap, Belt by Mulberry Company.
‘A Touch of Class’ – Shirt by Margaret Howell; Waistcoat by Patricia Roberts; skirt by Michiko.
‘Joey Boy’ – Trousers by Margaret Howell.
Patricia Roberts photographed by Rolph Gobits.

“So many things are now mass produced, that there is a growing belief in individuality. Hand knitting is an expression of this freedom, which anyone can enjoy.”

The Long Wait

1970s, David Tack, forties fashion, ingrid boulting, Inspirational Images, nostalgia, Paradise, sheridan barnett, Tony Berkeley, Tony Berkley, Vintage Editorials

Remember those Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Hollywood weepies where men were heroes and women were fluttery, feminine creatures who stayed at home, controlling the tremble in their lower lips when the boys went off to war? Well, the best of the Joan Crawford era has finally hit town, and few designers have caught on to the ‘Forties look as successfully as Sheridan Barnett of Tony Berkeley. A talented twenty-three-year-old, he is one of the newest designers to emerge in London. He obviously likes women to be women as his clothes are beautifully cut and styled and are entirely feminine. He has a keen eye for line and simple detail which he carries through in his choice of fabric. All the dresses photographed (available from the Way In at Harrods) are in Tricel and show how important shape has become again. The clothes are seductive with the emphasis on simplicity and style …

Model is Ingrid Boulting.

Photographed by David Tack.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1970.

Black patent shoes by Paradise. Artificial cherries from John Lewis.

Cosmo Girls: José Fonseca

1970s, alice pollock, cosmopolitan, Inspirational Images, José Fonseca, Michael Berkofsky, ossie clark, Penny Graham, quorum, sheridan barnett
José at play relaxing at the Meridiana restaurant Long wrap dress made in crepe de Chine by Sheridan Barnett for Quorum.

José Fonseca is the co-owner of Models One, a busy model agency with top names like Marisa Berenson and Lauren Hutton on the books.

“As a child, I loved fancy dress and I still like breaking the fashion rules. I go to the office in clothes that can take me to a party afterwards—I just don’t know how to wear casual clothes perhaps because I hate my bottom! I feel more like a woman in long skirts than in pants or jeans. Ever since Ossie Clark made his first mid-calf skirt I have been trailing along—Ossie-style. I wear a lot of black because it always makes me feel fantastic. I like the anonymity of black and the way you can use it as a foil for jewellery and scarves. I went mad on sequins last winter. I bought jackets, berets, even a gold sequin ‘Twenties theatrical outfit—I like to sparkle. I wear a lot of make-up as I feel I can hide behind it. My hair used to be straight but I wanted a change so I had it cut and curled and then permed. But I’m going to grow it out.”

This is a part of a larger feature with ‘real’ Cosmo women putting fashion to the test, but this is definitely my favourite one.

Fashion by Penny Graham.

Photographed by Mike Berkofsky.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, March 1974.

José at work in a black crepe and satin top and long skirt by Alice Pollock. Ivory beads and silver belt were found in an antique market.

Satin Goes To Blazers

19 magazine, 1970s, Angela at London Town, Ann Reeves, biba, bus stop, Copper Coin, crowthers, hard rock cafe, Harri Peccinotti, Hope and Eleanor, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, lee bender, mr freedom, Ronnie Stirling, sheridan barnett, stirling cooper, Titfers, Vintage Editorials

gone to blazers 1

Purple satin blouse by Ann Reeves. Green satin jacket and matching green satin Oxford bags both by Sheridan Barnett for Copper Coin. Belt from Bus Stop. Rainbow brooch by Cash Graphics.

The original St Laurent satin blazer would cost you around £50, but otherwise they are available from about £10 and probably only you will know the difference. The best ones are from Bus Stop… very Joan Crawford, complete with ‘Forties’ shoulder pads. One thing’s for sure… you must have at least one in your wardrobe. They look particularly good worn over jeans and T-shirts, but if you want to look smart, wear them with matching trousers, a skirt, or over a printed dress.

Dreamy editorial which uses the brand spanking new Hard Rock Cafe on Park Lane in London as its backdrop.

Opened on 14th June 1971, by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, its original decor was less memorabilia, more American-diner-transported-to-London. Sensing a gap in the market for musicians playing in London but unable to get a decent burger etc, within a decade they were expanding into the international chain it is now. The original is the only one I’ve ever visited, and it maintains a lot of its authentic charm – as long as you avoid the busy times. Oh how I wish I could time travel back to this era though.

This isn’t the first HRC-based photoshoot I have scanned, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Its authentic-feeling interiors, much like Brighton’s seafront, seemed to lure photographers and models like moths to a flame.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, September 1971.

gone to blazers 2

Crepe shirt by Ronnie Stirling at Stirling Cooper. Jade green satin blazer with black check (has matching pleated skirt not shown) from Mr Freedom. Panda brooch from Susan Marsh, Chelsea Antique Market.

gone to blazers 3

Blue denim hat by Titfers. Yellow satin blouse by Jeff Banks. Green satin jacket with red buttons by Sheridan Barnett for Copper Coin. Elvis brooch by Cash Graphics. Parrot brooch from a selection at Hope and Eleanor.

gone to blazers 4

Long sleeved white satin blouse with bow at neck by Ann Reeves. Single breasted red and white striped blazer by Angela at London Town. Sunglasses from Biba. Hand brooch from Hope and Eleanor.

gone to blazers 5

Blue and red printed rayon crepe dress and blue satin blazer with red buttons, both by Lee Bender at Bus Stop.

gone to blazers 6

Black rayon shirt with floral print and tie belt. Black satin double breasted blazer with self buttons and padded shoulders, both by Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Aeroplane brooch from Cash Graphics.

gone to blazers 7

Red and white spotted cotton button through dress by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Royal blue satin blazer from Crowthers.

gone to blazers 8

Red cotton hat from Titfers. Long sleeved white rayon blouse with sail boat print by Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Double breasted blue satin blazer with red buttons by Sheridan Barnett for Copper Coin. Sunglasses from Biba.

Red, white and you

19 magazine, 1970s, biba, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, Crochetta, harold ingram, Herbert Johnson, Inspirational Images, John Craig, Karl Stoecker, Lizzie Carr, mr freedom, sheridan barnett, simon massey, stirling cooper, Sujon, Titfers, Vintage Editorials

red white and you 2

Red and white striped halter neck sweater by Crochetta. Black cotton pants by Sujon. Shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Red leather belt from Bus Stop.

Relax in these beautiful cruise clothes. Wear your white baggy pants with red and white striped tops, cotton berets or little ‘Forties’ pull on hats. Wear white leather shoes with bows or ruched fronts and high heels. White pearls and bangles look just right this summer. This is the year of the female female, so start purring…

Photographed by Karl Stoecker

Scanned from 19 Magazine, April 1971.

red white and you 1

Red and white striped beret by Titfers. Halter neck wool sweater by Stirling Cooper. White cotton suit by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. White leather shoes from Biba. / White cotton beret by Titfers. Cotton windcheater by Lizzie Carr for Plain Clothes. White trousers by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. Striped socks by Mr Freedom. White leather shoes from Biba.

red white and you 3

White sailor hat by Titfers. Red and white striped halter neck and Oxford bags all in one by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. White leather shoes by Biba.

red white and you 7

White cotton hat by Herbert Johnson. White acrylic sweater by Harold Ingram. Blue palm tree with white lady and black tree print jacket by Stirling Cooper. White cotton bags by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. White leather sandals by Biba.

red white and you 5

White cotton beret by Titfers. Red cotton shirt, red and white cotton blazer and white cotton bags all by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. Red leather sandals by Chelsea Cobbler.

red white and you 6

White straw hat by Herbert Johnson. Navy acrylic singlet by John Craig. White cotton bags by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. White leather shoes from Biba.

red white and you 8

White hat by Herbert Johnson. White cotton suit, top trimmed in tartan, huge wide clown pants by Sujon. White leather shoes by Biba. Red and white scarf from Herbert Johnson.

red white and you 4

White angora sweater by Crochetta. White cotton bags by Sheridan Barnett for Simon Massey. Red leather shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Headscarf by Herbert Johnson.

Day Trippers

19 magazine, 1970s, biba, Bilbo, Chelsea Antiques Market, gordon king, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, Malcolm McLaren, miss mouse, quorum, rae spencer cullen, Sex, sheridan barnett, stirling cooper, strawberry studio, terry de havilland, Uncategorized, Vintage Editorials, Vivienne Lynn, vivienne westwood

day trippers - peccinotti - 1

White dress with music and rose print by Miss Mouse. Snakeskin shoes from Bilbo. Red and white spotted dress with white trimming by Miss Mouse.

Photographed in Singapore by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, May 1975.

day trippers - peccinotti - 2

Black and green floral print halterneck dress from Biba. Black and gold shoes by Sex. Green floral halterneck dress by Biba. Black and gold brocade shoes by Biba.

day trippers - peccinotti - 3

Shocking pink pintucked cotton dress by Sheridan Barnett at Quorum. Black snakeskin shoes by Bilbo. Red cotton sack dress with hip pockets by Sheridan Barnett at Quorum. Red suede and snakeskin shoes by Terry de Havilland.

day trippers - peccinotti - 4

Dusty pink sun dress with black piping by Strawberry Studio. Grey suede shoes by Terry de Havilland.

day trippers - peccinotti - 5

Blue cotton dress with Dorchester motif. Coffee dress with Savoy motif, both by Jeff Banks.

day trippers - peccinotti - 6

White cotton culotte dress by Stirling Cooper. White shoes from Secondhand Rose, Chelsea Antique Market. White cotton sun dress by Stirling Cooper. White shoes from Secondhand Rose.

day trippers - peccinotti - 7

Navy cotton sundress with cross over straps by Gordon King.

Designers have their say.

1970s, Bata, Bermona, biba, bus stop, edward mann, gordon king, jeff banks, lee bender, mary quant, petticoat magazine, Phillip Bergman, Russell & Bromley, Sarah Dare, sheridan barnett, simon massey, Steve Hiett, Sue Hone, Vintage Editorials

fashion forum - sheridan barnett

Sheridan Barnett at Simon Massey, stripe bloomers and coloured top, £10.50 at Clangers, Shrewsbury. Mary Quant tights, 75p. Quant socks, 50p. Biba wedgies, £4.90. Sheridan Barnett stripe taffeta pants, £5.50 with dress to match £6.75.

Sheridan is twenty-five and very much a designer’s designer. He lives clothes to such an extent that honestly he has no clear idea at all of the sort of person who might wear his things. At the moment he is working for Simon Massey doing his thing, while Janice Wainwright, their other designer, does hers. He does have to compromise with Simon Massey because when he designs he goes the whole way, cutting out, naturally, a large part of the more conservative public, so he produces some simpler clothes with each new range. His summer range certainly needs a lot of confidence to carry it off. When we saw it, a great big profusion of bright clown clothes, the only other people to pass come rent had been the press who loved every little bit. It’s a happy melee of taffeta stripes, little dresses to wear with frilly bloomers underneath. Vogue had photographed them and 19 were anxious to use them at the very same time as we were. Yet in December when we spoke to him, the powers at Simon Massey were having thoughts about the range, feeling that clowns might be too ‘avant garde’ for the moment. But mainly on the strength of all the publicity they are getting, Simon Massey put them through with their fingers crowd for their success. It would certainly have been a pity if they hadn’t. He has also organised some clown hats to go with them and he is talking about wafer-thin sandals or great big clogs. When we met him he was wearing Oxford bags, spotted bow tie and a beautiful satin blazer with a clown-inclined fuzzy feather button-hole.

The job of the designer starts long before anyone else’s. They have to be able to think ahead to judge the mood of the public, but more, at this stage to sort out their own feeling as to the coming moods.

As Mary Quant says, a designer lives with an idea for so much longer than everyone else, he or she naturally progresses from it on to the next thing. It’s a very slow, deliberate progress and a very natural one.

If you look at the trends over the last year or so you can see how and why the evolution has been such as it is.

Most designers see their year split down the middle. They usually work for spring and summer, keeping those two seasons quite closely connected and then for autumn and winter, again co-ordinated with each other.

What is a designer? As Philip Bergman pointed out as one of the six people we interviewed for this feature, a designer is actually one of many things. He could be a ‘designers’ designer’ thinking clothes as totally related to himself and his own feelings or he could be very much commercially-minded. In other fields you can see a lot of design work, bearing the mark of their owner, obviously performing a task as a pure art form. With clothes designing, a man or a woman must be able to do far more than just draw nice-looking sketches.

In actual fact the six we talked to were far more down-to-earth – and aware of the industrial/business side of their trade than we had imagined. We could have expected to find them living with their heads in a creative cloud, one hand on the drawing board, the other scratching their chins in bemusement at us worldy fashion morons. That wasn’t anything like true. Most of them have either gained a specific technical knowledge and gone in to design or accumulated it through years of experience.

It’s this technical knowledge that is essential to today’s successful designer. After all, there’s no point in him or her designing some fabulous creation that everyone would go crazy over, only to find it totally unpractical and extortionately expensive to produce. It’s difficult for any creative person to work in industry because basically it is almost impossible to compromise aesthetics with the practicalities of living.

The readers complained last week that either prices were too high or quality must be improved, but fashion is very much a business. A manufacturer is concerned with producing as many garments as he can at the lowest cost so that might mean a slightly lower quality fabric or faster production. The buyer, too, is chiefly concerned that sales and stores do put quite a high `mark-up’ on clothes (that’s the profit they make between the price they buy the clothes at from manufacturers and the cost of the garment in the shops). There really isn’t a lot the designers can do about the state of the affairs, other than use their technical knowledge to keep prices down.

Some of the letters we receive here at Petticoat from readers complain that all anyone’s thinking about is what people in London are wearing, that the clothes they see in the shops in London they just couldn’t find in the provinces. In actual fact, as the buyers and designers agreed, the image of London being the place is dead and gone. No buyer buys anything different for her provincial branches and likewise, no designer has the image of ‘a London girl’ in mind when he’s sketching.

Stylewise all the designers were agreed with our readers that girls should start looking like girls again. Some of the designers turned to the fabrics that will help, like Jeff Banks, others to feminine styles, like Mary Quant and Lee Bender. Take a look and read their comments on fashion. . . .

Fashion by Sue Hone. Photographed by Steve Hiett.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, February 1972.

fashion forum - lee bender

Lee Bender wool smock with toggle fastening, £6.50. Cord half mast pants, £3.95. Quant cover-ups, 75p. Stirling Cooper sox, 95p. Bata shoes, £4.99. Bermona madras print Mother Hubbard hat, £2. Bus Stop cord pants, £3.95. Angora top, £8.95. Russell & Bromley shoes, £4.95. Quant sox 50p. Stirling Cooper sox, 95p. Biba hat, £2.

Lee Bender, synonymous with the name of Bus Stop which started as a tiny shop five years ago, is now thirty-three and with eight big Bus Stops around the country. “Honestly,” she says, “it’s taken over my life now!” She’s famous for producing clothes that are right up to the minute fashion-wise but very positively wearable ones both as regards price and style. She is every inch a designer as such, doing her own thing and interpreting the current moods as she feels them, usually working on the idea that her customers want to look feminine. “I’m right off this butch thing,” she says, “and since the designers have so much more living time with an idea and consequently get fed up with it before anyone else we can always think ourselves into the next thing quite safely. Fashion is a natural evolution and a slow one and its definitely getting softer and prettier.” At the beginning of each season, Lee sits down and runs off about thirty sketches. They’re all talked through, leaving about twelve which then go to the toile-maker, and on to a design meeting for the final selection. “We don’t have many complaints about quality here,” she said, “because we have a very stringent passing department, but when you’re cutting thousands of garments there’s bound to be something faulty on one or two, isn’t there? “I try hard to maintain a standard of quality,” she said, “but the fabric and the manufacturing costs have gone up. Anyway when the Swinging London thing started everyone just wanted fashion regardless of quality, but surely that whole scene has gone now, hasn’t it? Now we’re back to the really good stuff.”

fashion forum - sarah dare

Gordon King pants with turn ups, £5.75 with smock top, £4.50 write to Gordon King, 106, Gt. Portland St., W1, for stockists. Biba felt hat, £2. John Plenders Leith bangles. Gordon King pants, £6.25 with collared top, £5.25

Sarah, at the age of twenty-seven, is responsible, along with two others, for the sort of separates that have made Gordon King’s name in the rag trade. To Sarah, the fabrics are all important, and, especially where trousers are concerned, the cut. “Fashion isn’t just a gimmicky culture any more — it’s more important,” she says. “It’s not just putting badges and more badges on things, it’s producing clothes the best way we can within the right price limits.” Her spring range saw really neat-looking sailor clothes and she’s taking the freshness of the range on into summer but in some pretty floral prints. She tries to design clothes that are flattering rather than sexy as such and as a woman thinking clothes for women she knows how much difference a simple seam somewhere can make. “Well,” she says, “people do wear things that don’t suit them, don’t they ?” There are plenty of pants in her summer range, just as well-cut but much more feminine. ‘Trousers have been so butch for such a tong time now, haven’t they?” she said, “so I’ve put in waistbands and lots of back zips. It’s taken a while for some of the buyers who’ve seen them to get used to them but I think that if by putting a seam scooping round the hip, it’s a nice way of looking good and staying in fashion . ” She’s also brought out a great new shirt range for summer, something she really wanted to do, “I wanted to take shirts away from the usual collar, cuffs and button-front image.” That’s just what she has done. In bright floral cottons, in greens, pinks, oranges, her shirts have sailor collars, huge kimono sleeves flap shoulders or frills and tie belts. You can always rely on a woman to know what women want, can’t you?

fashion forum - jeff banks

Yellow shirt, £4.50, Miss Selfridge. Jeff Banks velvet pants, £8.25 and zip up cardigan, £6.50, both from Stop The Shop, SW3. Bata shoes, £4.99. Edward Mann blue hat, £2.80. Jeff Banks drill pants, £5.75, Smock top, £5, both at Stop The Shop, SW3. Blue shoes, £4.90, Biba W8. Edward *Mann Main hprat .7f1

Of all the designers in fashion today, Jeff probably has the best reputation, not only for possessing tremendous perception but also for his ability to carry out his designs into production in a truly pr-fessional manner. His knitwear range can take him as long as seven or eight months to see completed, involving trips to the north where his knitters are, endless discussions on technicalities and constant checking. He sees his summer collections as being a natural follow-on to the spring one so if spring was cheesecloth, summer will be some amazing Lancashire striped cotton. “An honest six quid’s worth, these are, not just to wear on high days and holidays.” He starts each season with about twenty-four designs, ends up with eight when he sees how they’re working out. “What I try to do,” he says, looking pretty comfortable himself in a beautiful shirt, funky knit waistcoat, unobtrusive pants amid all the finery of his amazing offices, “is to give girls one or two pieces of clothing to start them off. They don’t simply want to zip on la dress and a look for the day. They want lots of nice things that are comfy.” The shirts he showed us were basic, but with something ‘alien’ about them like frills, bright ric rac or cream lace. They were the sort of thing you could wear to a “summer pop festival without being hot and sticky.” His knitwear you can see a sample of here, where he has gone all out for funky colours (“sickly” he calls them), like these and a lot of beautiful quilting. Generally he likes them to look loose and long with wide sleeves to wear over his shirts with butcher-striped pants. Jeff says he is more pleased with this collection than with any other he has done – no prizes for guessing why!

fashion forum - mary quant

Mary Quant skirt and top, £13.85, from Simpsons, Piccadilly, Wl. Quant tights with seams, 75p. Kangol beret, 80p. Silky pants with top, £18.75, Escalade, SW3, Lucinda Byre branches. Dranella spot brim hat, £3.81. Van der Fransen flower brooch, £l.

She’s now thirty-seven and come a very long way since she opened her first shop, Bazaar in the King’s Road in 1955. In those days it was the clothes she’d learnt to produce at Gold-smiths and accessories she’d go all over the place to pick up. Two more Bazaars and the Ginger Group Production Co. later. She has a range of beautiful knitwear, a world-wide cosmetics firm, a hosiery organisation which includes bras and pants, shoes in her name and a domestic textile range for I.C.I. Mary was the first designer to think about the layered look, so naturally she is one of the first to feel that maybe we’ve had enough of “putting things together rather haphazardly” and that we really want to look a bit more grown up now. Her latest range is the slickest for many seasons, she’s using plenty of functional cotton from seersucker, through some amazing cotton spots and stripes to some fine, lined denim. Unlike other designers Mary doesn’t work totally from sketches. Sometimes she doesn’t sketch at all. An idea might occur to her and she’ll carry it in her head to their workroom, explain to the girls there what she is thinking about, watch it growing on a model. She’s really more of a “builder.” As to her prices, well, “she’s not actually price-conscious,” said her public relations officer, Heather Tilbury, “she’s more realistic.” Anyone can wear Mary’s designs, “just as long as they’re slim,” Her colours for the range are the brightest ones—really poisonous greens, shocking reds and yellows and plenty of pretty prints on fabrics that she travels all over the world to find. Mary’s seen a lot of her dreams come true, not in the least her year-old son Orlando making his presence very widely known.

fashion forum - phillip bergman

Henry Lehr for Muria leather pants, £32, from Muria Club at Harrods. Green jersey with stripes, £10, designed by Phillip Bergman for Muria at Hedgehogs, SW3. Kangol yellow beret, 80p. Paul Stephens belt. Henry Lehr for Muria yellow pants in leather, £32. Leather waistcoat with poppers and appliqué, £35, at Muria Club. Sweater with red. yellow and blue stripes, £12, by Philip Bergman.

To Phillip Bergman, technical knowledge must be the guiding light to a designer. He himself trained for four years as a fabric designer at St. Martin’s college, then went on to the fabric side of fashion at Marlborough Dresses then to designing tee-shirts at Miss Impact. “It’s like any business,” he says, “you must have a thorough technical knowledge. If you don’t there are a number of things you’ll never think of designing anyway!” He doesn’t actually think of himself as a designer at all. I “I simply take the elements needed at the time and produce them.” “There are very few actual designers. There are stylists who produce and editors who co-ordinate. Take these sweaters I’m designing for Muria’s new spring skin range. I told the knitter the colour and shape she knitted them– so who’s the ‘designer’?” Designs must be, above all else, functional. To Phillip, the biggest and strongest influence on fashion in recent years has come from America, whose basic culture has produced the most functional clothes ever. “Basically America has the most powerful media influence in the world. From there the look was emphasised in Paris and mass-produced over here. Every so often you get ethnic feelings creeping in, like the Japanese look or the peasant thing, but the American culture, the Andy Warhol pop thing and Mr. Freedom are the strongest influences. The naval look is a spin off the sort of genuine combat gear the kids in the States were wearing but now we’ve really taken away the whole point of the look.” It’s opinions like these that produced the beautiul sweaters pictured here.