Japanese men are peculiarly affected by a glimpse of the naked nape of a Japanese neck. In Western cultures such excitement is generated by a panorama of bosom (as in this black chiffon dress by Thea Porter), or a smooth swathe of thigh. Here we show some revelations from the London autumn collections… hot numbers for the coolest of winter evenings.
All perfect for lockdowns, I’m sure you’ll agree! It’s also nice to be surprised by Ossie Clark every once in a while – with a corset being so vastly different in tone from what we would usually expect.
Photographed by Sam Haskins.
Fashion Editor: Cherry Twiss.
Hair by Paulene at Michaeljohn.
Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, 8th November 1974.
I was mainly scanning this spread because I’ve just listed a Zandra Rhodes dress which I think must be from the same collection over on Etsy, but thought I might as well put them here too – especially because of that iconic Bill Gibb photo (used for the cover of Iain R. Webb’s definitive book about Gibb, seemingly fetching a pretty penny on Amazon these days). These top-stitched jerseys were a signature look for her in this period and mine also has the Piero de Monzi label. Marc Bolan had a top version in various colours and levels of frilly extravagance.
(If you’re interested in the Zandra Rhodes dress, click here to view it on Etsy.)
Chester Jones is design director of Colefax & Fowler. He makes furniture of extraordinary craftsmanship, all dependent on handmade techniques, reminiscent of thirties’ decorative skill. Here, with his wife, Sandy, his chest-professionally sprayed silver, bolted together, stencilled in patterns of pinks and blues. Neon cloud scuplture. Gentle pattern carpet made by V’soske. Walls stippled beige on white by hand, stencilled simply, oil paint through heavy paper. Ceiling in silver gilt rubbed by hand. Sandy’s dress is by Zandra Rhodes.
Quite apart from Elliott Gould being a very worthy successor to Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe, and the faded-but-magnificent Art Deco buildings which feature throughout, Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973) is also well worth watching for Nina van Pallandt’s wardrobe.
First appearing in what looks like Laura Ashley:
Then a less identifiable dress of a similar ‘peasant’ style but rather less traditionally English in the use of pattern and colour (possibly by Mexicana, Georgia Charuhas or a similar brand):
You can see more clearly in this publicity shot that the bands of lace are transparent:
Then Laura Ashley again:
Slightly clearer albeit black and white in this publicity shot:
By this point, I started wondering if this wardrobe was perhaps that of the actress rather than of the character. Nina van Pallandt was a successful Danish singer (with husband Frederik van Pallandt, they were known as ‘Nina and Frederik’) and would have spent a great deal of time in London. It otherwise seemed a bit odd that she was wearing clearly British-made clothes, albeit in a style which wouldn’t seem too dramatically out of place in early 1970s California. It certainly sets her apart from the few other women in the film, including Marlowe’s doped up neighbours (who are rarely clothed at all), and gives her a dreamy, other-worldly quality.
Then, as if by magic, she then appears in the most spectacular Zandra Rhodes gown. A gown which will, I’m afraid to say, eventually end up soaked through with sea water and very likely ruined.
Again, a proper publicity shot provides a clearer view of the classic Zandra squiggle print:
Afterwards, still pondering this, I hunted around for film stills and eventually came across this photo of Nina wearing the exact same dress in an earlier television performance. Bingo! I don’t know if it was just a small budget or a fussy leading lady, but I can only presume the entire wardrobe of her character was her own. One of those little things which seems to satisfy a curiosity in me, and I feel the need to share with the world.
I think this might be a piece from Zandra’s earliest collection as the hood and sleeve style is very reminiscent of this piece worn by Natalie Wood in 1970. I hope it was able to be rescued from its salty fate and is still out there somewhere.
Zandra Rhodes has started doing sweaters, startling sweaters. Designed a black kimono cardigan. Holes for arms to go through, rose pink edge and inset. Nell Campbell, small Australian dancer and actress, wears it, above, with Gamba’s pink wool leg warmers and a pair of black tights. Then, below, hugs Martin Sharp, Australian painter, wears another sweater that’s pink and green on top, huge green sleeved and blue ribbed into ducks’ tails. With this Zandra Rhodes black silk jersey skirt of lampshade frills; at Piero de Monzi. The sweaters, along with others dotty, frilly, fiercely striped, are in her collection at Browns.
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…)
For some years now the London fashion designers have had the edge on their Paris rivals for ideas and innovations. Tomorrow evening a film on this subject will be shown on BBC1. Today we photograph the key London designers with their favourite clothes. What do they think of the London fashion scene? Where do we go from here?
Photographed by Terence Donovan. Fashion by Cherry Twiss.
Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, May 25th 1973.
If it’s blue hair and pink eye make-up, it must be Zandra Rhodes. And if it’s a diamante studded chiffon kerchief, it must be Zandra’s Christmas present idea. Inscribed ‘Zandra Rhodes for X’, it costs from £12.50, witchball blue satin shirt, £40, at Zandra Rhodes. Blue quiff on a black wig coloured by Daniel, cut by John, at Leonard. Golden arrow pin by Mick Milligan for Zandra Rhodes. Make-up by Richard Sharah using Mary Quant.