Penelope Tree, nineteen, daughter of Mr Ronald and the Hon. Marietta Tree – the look of a dreamy Petrouchka. “I am all make-up,” she once said: she sees her face as a canvas, brushing on colour to strange, beguiling, sometimes extraordinary effect. While the effect on other people can be startling, she remains totally serene. Her imaginative face-painting began when she was thirteen. “I did it first to get attention, now I don’t notice it.” With a bright acquisitive mind that absorb countries, people, books, her heroes are Mailer and Nabokov, aesthetics and politics her life, and she takes a beautiful picture. This one, with bird feather eyes, by Avedon.
Watching Circus of Fear, a very enjoyable B-movie from 1966 with Christopher Lee and Leo Genn, I noted that the luscious Margaret Lee was briefly seen wearing a piece of John Bates-designed Avengerswear.
This black and white crepe catsuit was worn by Diana Rigg in The Avengers and modelled by Jean Shrimpton (with stunt man Ray Austin) for Vogue in 1965. It was, like all the Avengerswear, available to buy from the shops but these pieces are so rare and I have yet to find this catsuit in all my years of searching.
I am now extremely curious to know whether this was something from Ms Lee’s own wardrobe which she bought herself, or whether the wardrobe supervisor (Charles Guerin) found it – oblivious to the fact that it was already a costume tie-in, or simply hoping that no one would notice. Or an even wilder theory is that it was the actual costume worn by Diana Rigg and already in circulation as a hireable costume. I suppose we may never know, but I thought it worth preserving for posterity.
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…)
Bewitch: Try a bit of witchcraft, a bit of magical charm. Cast a spell or two with slinky black velvet, bedecked with sequins. Or glamorise in shiny coloured satins. But if you are going to bewitch you must…
Bother: to wear the same startling accessories. Wear strings of shiny necklaces, an interesting belt or sash. Tie a scarf the gipsy way, around your hips or head. For maximum effect shine your face with gold or silver powder.
And be wilder: in everything you wear.
Fashion by Sue Hone. Modelled by Madeline Smith and unknown model.
Ever been to bed in satin or gone to work in lizard, looked through chiffon or wore a cardigan to your knees? Well we haven’t either, but Grandmother might have. The Ossie Clark and Alice Pollock Autumn Collection was full of these new things from old. Quorum clothes have a habit of being way ahead of their competitors and you always have to pay for originality. Even if you can’t afford to buy there they point the way ahead so look hard. There were maxi-length tweed coats in pinks and greens, long suede suits with lizard insets. Skirts and trousers were long and flowing, blouses were in flouncy chiffon or giselle. There were butterfly dresses in flimsy chiffon, with streams of flowing scarves tied to the ankles or wrists. There was a mass of creamy satin made into long quilted coats or glamorous trouser suits. There were satin dressing gowns with matching pants and bra. Also flowing crêpe suits with satin trimmings, tight-knitted jumpers flecked with stripes of bright colours. And more and more….
Sadly some of the prices were wild too but the ideas are yours for the copying.
A perfect example of why the demise of the illustrated fashion editorial was so unjust.
Wonderful in white… snowy crepe, sleeves long and ringed with Irish thread work. By John Bates at Jean Varon. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s shirt to order from Thea Porter.
Photographed by Paul Orssich.
Scanned from Vanity Fair, November 1968.
Glamorously Grecian… pure white crepe, beautifully braided. By Young Ideas at Rhona Roy. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s black braided suit is from Just Men.
Beautiful in black seductive plunging rayon jersey. By Foale and Tuffin. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Shoes by Lilley and Skinner. Man’s evening suit and shirt all from Take 6.
Stunning in satin… timeless dress as bewitching as a glimmer of midnight. By Bernard Freres. Man’s velvet jacket from Take 6. Man’s be-ruffled shirt from Kleptomania.
Perfect in pink… sugared almond crepe falling soft to the wrist and waist. Designed by Anne Tyrrell at John Marks. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s red velvet jacket and silk scarf from Trend at Simpson.
Reassured in red. Skimmy shaped wool crepe party-goer cut away at the shoulders. By Sujon. Jewellery by Adrien Mann. Man’s evening suit and polo shirt both from Club 92.