For much too long now, “dressing up” to go out has been looked upon as simply too uncool for words. Being chic meant arriving at a party in the clothes you got up in that morning and heaven help a girl who attempted anything more extravagant than a lurex halter top and trousers. This year the festive season takes its revenge – and with a vengeance! There is room for all the glamour you can muster and then some. It’s time for every girl to discover her own specially good assets, be it a neat pair of legs, smooth shoulders or an uplifting bust, and then show them off in shimmering satin, coolest crepe n’ dazzling decoration.
Pictures taken at Lindos, Rhodes, where Petticoat’s fashion and beauty team stayed by courtesy of Cosmopolitan Holidays Ltd., 296, Regent Street, W1.
Hair by Christine at Mane Line.
Fashion by Marcia Brackett.
Photographed by Fortuna.
Scanned from Petticoat Magazine, 1st December 1973.
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.
First-job salaries can present problems when you’re not used to juggling the rent around a new skirt or sweater. But there are ways—as you’ll see on these pages—of looking not just good, but positively great on a tight budget. Learn the rules of the “looking-good-on-a-little” game . . . remember that one pair of pants at £10+ will outlive two pairs that split whenever you sit down; that washable fabrics mean you’ll have no cleaning bills. Learn how to bleach and dye, starch and press properly—so you’ll be able to match vest tops and T-shirts to your new longer flowery skirts and keep them looking fresh. Invest in beautiful leather shoes: they last and look good if polished every day. Spend more on accessories —sometimes—than a new dress. Build your wardrobe around two or three colours—as crazy as you like—and find jolly extras to pull it all together. . . . This may be the summer you always wear a hat. Here is my choice of nine outfits . . . chic, very wearable and all cheap at the price. That’s fashion knowhow.
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.)
Summer is the time for romance. It’s the time for walking in the woods or by the water’s edge, and for having those delicious picnics. It’s the time for looking soft and feminine in long, flowing dresses and picture hats. So we’ve chosen some of the prettiest dresses, skirt and hats we could find, to help you look your best when you while away those sunny days.
Yellow cheesecloth blouse and matching shirt by Richard Green.
For those lazy, hazy days of summer, nothing is better to hang out in than loose, casual, breezy blouses and skirts. There are masses around to choose from and it seems that the smock top has really gathered strength this summer. Why not? It’s the best kind of top to feel really relaxed and liberated in. Wear it over old jeans, if you’re really the casual type, or over skirts down to ground level. One of the best and most comfortable buys to go with the look is soft cotton espadrilles, with rope soles, like the ones from Bata.
Photographed by David Anthony. Model: Charlotte Martin.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, July 1972.
Green and white gingham blouse and matching long skirt and pinny, all by Spectrum.
Gingham smock and matching skirt (not shown) by David Silverman. Jeans model’s own.
T-shirt from selection at Biba. Smock top in crepe de chine and matching long skirt both by Madrugada. Red tights by Biba. Yellow espadrilles by Bata.