Christmas Box

19 magazine, 1970s, 20th Century Box, Adrian Mann, Brighten Belts, cornucopia, Derber, Hazel Gomes, Illustrations, Make-up, mary quant, Russell & Bromley, Swanky Modes, terry de havilland

Yardley Multi Lash Mascara, 69p. / Double rich whipped creme nail colour in Enamel Red by Max Factor, 58p. / Kohl eye pencil, by Mary Quant, 75p. / Black beaded hat with black net and red spots from Cornucopia, from £15. / Stick shadow, by Outdoor Girl, 19p. / Rimmel roll on creamy blusher, 36p. / A colour range from Mary Quant Soft Machine Crayons, 60p each, and Pearl Crayons, sold in sets of five, £1.40. / See through pink elephant brooch by 20th Century Box, £1.50. Pink mother of pearl painted necklace from Swanky Modes, from £2. / Red and pink strappy shoes by Russell and Bromley, £19.99. / Purple sequin earrings by Swanky Modes, from 75p. / Lyle’s Golden Syrup belt, by Brighten Belts, £1.75. / Red suede shoes with pompoms, by Terry de Havilland at Derber, £19.99. / Pink plastic bangle, by Adrien Mann, from £1. / Sparkly red heart earrings from £1. Silver fingerless gloves, £3. Both by Brumus.

I would love those Terry de Havilland shoes in my stocking, please!

Illustration by Hazel Gomes.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, December 1975.

Relax You’re Looking Good

1970s, cosmopolitan, disco, Lotus, Rock Follies, shoes, Swanky Modes, Vintage Adverts

Something of a Rock Follies influence here, plus I’m pretty sure that’s a Swanky Modes dress on the left.

(Tag yourself, I’m the Kiss Me t-shirt and Hussar boots…)

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, October 1978.

My One Extravagance

1970s, Honey Magazine, Paul McNicholls, Swanky Modes

“I love it when everyone stares” Connie Benjamin is 21, studying for extra O-levels, coping alone with a four-year-old daughter, existing on a meagre income, and spending £50 a time on exotic dresses from Swanky Modes in Camden Town.

“I just buy them for the fun of wearing them. I see something I like and ask them to make it up in my size. I’ve been going to Swankies for about a year now and must have spent at least £300, but they let me pay it off week by week. It’s worth it; everything I buy is made and designed especially for me so no one’s going to have the same. I never diet, I don’t need to, the dresses are made to fit me.

“When I walk into a soul club in one of my dresses, I love it when everyone stares. Mind you, some people ask me if I’ve got a sugar daddy or do something on the side—know what I mean?

“I like my clothes to be sexy because of my tits. I used to be embarrassed about them but not any more-I’ve discovered high-neck dresses make me look bigger anyway. One guy said I should be ashamed, flaunting myself, but I told him to lump it—it makes me feel great. I wouldn’t give up buying these clothes for anything. I’ve nothing else left to give up. Anyway I only have a ‘special’ made up once a month.”

The absolute joy of this excerpt from a larger article, especially for a Swanky Modes fan such as me. I would dearly love to know what happened to Connie Benjamin and her amazing Swanky wardrobe.

Photographed by Paul McNicholls.

Scanned from Honey, April 1976.


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.


19 magazine, 1970s, Adrian Mann, Betty Jackson, Elle, Howie, Ivory, Ku Khanh, Monica Chong, quorum, ravel, Russell & Bromley, Swanky Modes, swimwear
Blue swimsuit by Swanky Modes. Blue glasses by Monica Chong. Jewellery by Adrien Mann.

As it’s my *cough* 40th *cough* birthday next week, I thought I’d theme a few blog posts to celebrate. So this week, they will all be hailing from the July 1979 issue of 19 Magazine. It’s a fascinating period on the cusp between the decades, which I like to think had some kind of immense bearing on the person I am today. Being July I’m afraid it’s a bit swimsuit-heavy, but it’s also one of the greatest, most creative periods for swimwear which, in the case of Swanky Modes, is almost the purest distillation of their aesthetic.

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

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1979.

Purple swimsuit with crossover back and purple and yellow swimsuit, both by Paul Howie. Red shoes by Ivory. Purple swimsuit by Elle.
Black swimming costume with white trim by Dorothy Perkins. Black shoes by Ravel. White glasses by Monica Chong. Black slashed costume by Swanky Modes. Shoes by Russell and Bromley. Glasses by Stephen Rothholz. Striped costume by Betty Jackson for Quorum. Shoes by Ivory. Glasses by Monica Chong.
Pink topless swimming costume by Paul Howie.
Both bathing costumes by Swanky Modes. Jewellery by Adrien Mann.
Bright blue costume by Paul Howie.

Inspirational Images: Sheer clear of the showers

1970s, caroline baker, City Lights, helmut newton, Inspirational Images, nova magazine, Swanky Modes, Vintage Editorials

Top and wrap skirt at Swanky Modes. Sandals from City Lights Studio.

Ah…the Great British Summer. Still, I wouldn’t mind the rain if  I had a Swanky Modes transparent raincoat in my armoury. I would probably opt for wearing clothes underneath though. (I know, I’m such a spoilsport!)

Scanned from Nova, August 1973. Photographs by Helmut Newton.

Top and airmen’s trousers by Swanky Modes. Sandals at City Lights Studio.

Trenchcoat with petal-leaf collar at Swanky Modes. Sandals at City Lights Studio.

A-line raincoat with ‘debris’ seal in pockets by Swanky Modes. Sandals at City Lights Studio.

Inspirational Images: Swanky Modes, 1974

1970s, caroline baker, Harri Peccinotti, nova magazine, Swanky Modes, swimwear

Acetate jersey sunsuits with fine netting frills: leotard-style (top), £16.48, tutu-style (below), £14.52, both by Swanky Modes.

Styled by Caroline Baker. Photographed by Harri Peccinotti. Nova, May 1974.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants