Why your clothes cost so much

1970s, airbrushing, biba, cosmopolitan, Illustrations, philip castle
“We all know prices are spiralling. You don’t need to study statistics to realise that your winter coat has cost you more, that sweaters, skirts, shoes and bags are now major investments. But why? And why so suddenly? “I remember when you could buy…” is no longer the prerogative of the middle aged reminiscing on lost youth. I remember when you could still buy a dress in Biba for just over £2, and, what’s more, I still wear it.”

A typically brilliant Philip Castle illustration to accompany an article by Shirley Flack on inflation and the effect on clothes prices at the time. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Although I would kill for the quality you were getting for your inflated prices in 1974. And, naturally, I always recommend shopping second hand anyway!

Illustration by Philip Castle.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, January 1974.

Shaping Up

1970s, antony price, che guevara, gala, Inspirational Images, Karl Stoecker, manolo blahnik, sunday times magazine, Valerie Wade, Vintage Editorials, zapata
Main image: Crepe-de-chine two-piece, £20. Shoes by Zapata, 49 Old Church St, London SW3

One thing that designer Antony Price really understands is pattern cutting : “I can think of a shape and create an optical illusion — people’s figures don’t change, clothes make figures.” Price, who designed all these clothes, wants women now to start looking artificially female, but “in a sumptuous way — this time it’s bosoms, hips and tiny waists”. He admits to being influenced by the Fifties and his ex-showgirl sister who lives in Miami and looks like his idol Jayne Mansfield. “The Fifties were less extreme, taste was incorporated into everything.” He wants shoes tall and dangerous like his own cowboy boots, but insists that his clothes (available direct or mail order from Che Guevara, 23 Kensington High St, W8) are comfortable. “What’s more comfortable than swimming costume tops?”

So, so good. Model, designer and photographer are the most perfect combination. It even has Manolo Blahnik shoes for good measure.

Model is Gala Mitchell.

Story by Valerie Wade.

Photographed by Karl Stoecker

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, February 13th 1972.

Shiny one-piece outfit, £18. Shoes, Zapata.
Flocked nylon cocktail dress, £20.
Cotton suit that owes its shape totally to the cut, £18.
Batman Cire dress/cape, £20. Six inch boots, £25.
Deep V-necked ruched nylon dress, £12.99. 5-inch silver shoes, £18.

Every Body Needs a Little Comforting

1970s, Cars, harpers and queen, jeans, Mini, Vintage Adverts

Advert for the Mini Clubman.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, September 1974.

Veiled lady, Garbo-style

1970s, barry lategan, biba, Inspirational Images, Make-up, pablo and delia, Vogue
A boa of black and white feathers, made especially for Vogue by Pablo & Delia, with make-up by Biba.

Photographed by Barry Lategan.

Scanned from Vogue, December 1970.

Kissin’ Cousins

1970s, alice springs, Anne Tyrrell, aquascutum, biba, Borg, Butler & Wilson, C&A, Chi Chi, cosmopolitan, crowthers, Deirdre McSharry, Diane Logan, Elle, Henry Lehr, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, just men, marie france, medusa, miss mouse, ossie clark, quorum, Reldan, ritva, Sacha, Sujon, Vintage Editorials, Weathergay
Pink and wild coat is hooded and all set to trap the unwary male. Borg coat by Henry Lehr, £17.50, trousers by Sujon, £9.50. His coat by C & A in suedette, £13.95. Hat by Locke, £5.25.

. . . or how to wear furs this winter without hurting your pet’s feelings.

There is nothing, absolute nothing quite like wrapping yourself in fur. As a sensuous experience, it is in the same class as a new love, old champagne or fresh truffles. But even the most hedonistic of women are relieved that the threatened species are no longer imported. Snow leopards, tigers and other cats can go their own way and sensibly sybaritic female will look for furs that are farmed, such as fox and mink. This winter, too, the fakes are so wayout and wildly coloured that only a girl without a heart could resist their charms, albeit synthetic. Perhaps that’s why the fur trade have taken the hint and dipped their favourite fox pelts in the dye pot, Furrier Maxwell Croft offers his explanation of the female urge to wear and the male urge to bestow furs: “For many men it is a primitive desire to see his woman in furs.”. Very nice, too.

Plenty to scoff at the end of the copy there, but oh goodness the clothes – the clothes! And the glorious photography of Alice Springs, whose work doesn’t turn up nearly enough for my liking.

Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by Alice Springs.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, November 1972.

Kissin’ cousin to a polar bear, but lots slimmer, is this smashing white shaggy coat. Wear it with white flannel bags, an angora sweater and an even shaggier hat. Well-cut coat in Borg with stitched suede edges. By Marie France for Quorum, £36, Ossie Clark trousers £14, sweater £4. Hat by Diane Logan, £5, shoes from Sacha £7.99. Beads by Butler and Wilson. Mike’s coat from Just Men, £70. Trousers from Aquascutum, £14.50.
The shaggiest coat story of the season-outrageous powder pink number, worn over pink striped sweater and pleated skirt. The dog is also fake, Chi Chi’s own and christened Fifi by Mike. Borg coat by Biba, £15, sweater by Reldan £3.33, skirt by Crowthers £5.75. Beads by Loewe.
Chi Chi turns her back on the world in scooped dress by John Bates for Jean Varon, £22. White shaggy jacket in Lister’s synthetic, £13.75 by Weathergay. Photographed at Julie’s Restaurant, 135 Portland Rd, London W11 (01-22) 8331).
How to have that movie-star feeling. If you want the big star treatment – breakfast at Tiffany’s, diamonds as big as the Ritz – dress like a star in electric blue fox. Dress by Elle, £15. Fox coat by Dinni for Femina Furs, £295. Moonstone necklace at Butler and Wilson. His outfit by Aquascutum. Velvet jacket £38.50, shirt £10.50, cuff links from £3 50, trousers £12.50
Tea for two. Mike makes up to Chi Chi (that’s the model girl, not the coat) in her shaggy yellow number, worn with shiny striped shirt and mustard bags. Borg coat by Marie France for Quorum £23.50, shirt by Medusa £5.50, trousers by Sujon £9.50. Beads by Butler and Wilson. Photographed at The Royal Garden Hotel, London.
Enough to drive a man wild-a nutty fake fur, above right, with Fifties shoulders and swing back. Wear it nicely over mustard crêpe de chine shirt and peg-top trousers. Both by Sujon, shirt £13, trousers £9.50. Borg coat by Biba £25, beret, Diane Logan, £4.50, shoes, Sacha, £7.99. His coat, Aquascutum, £70, trousers C & A £3 95.
Enough to make Morgan the gorilla, jealous. (Remember A Suitable Case For Treatment?) Emerald green gorilla jacket in real-life Borg by Weathergay, £9.50 (right). Worn over slinky knit sweater and skirt from Ritva, £27 for the outfit. Blue shaggy beret by Diane Logan, £4.50. Mike’s sweater in blue and silver by Ritva, £18.50. Trousers from C & A £5.50.
Jealous cats show their ruffled furs. Chi Chi and Belinda act out the classic movie-star confrontation in their sequins and furs, Chi Chi in pleated taffeta with sequin bodice by Anne Tyrell for John Marks, £23.95; her boa is silver fox, ranch bred, price £70. Belinda’s fox is red, also from the ranch, price £45, both by Barbara Warner for Fab Furs. Strapless top and trousers by Miss Mouse, £20. Beads by Loewe.

Imagine your first big scene

19 magazine, 1970s, Highlight, maudie james, moyra swan, Vintage Adverts
Put on a Highlight outfit and be spotted by that Italian film director.

You can imagine your first big scene when you wear something really dishy in Courtelle Neospun jersey. A trouser suit in purple for the Milan scene. And romantic scene-stealers of midi waistcoat, knickerbockers (the star of fashion right now) and dress for the reunion on arriving in Rome. Super Courtelle. Always a success. Beautiful colours. Lots of colours. Trouser suit about £11.19.6. Waistcoat about £6.19.6. Knickerbockers about £3.19.6. Dress about £6.19.6. They’ll be queueing to see you.

Obviously it helps if you look like Maudie James and Moyra Swan…

Scanned from 19 Magazine, October 1970.

Stripes in Paris

1970s, harpers and queen, Rodier, Vintage Adverts
This winter in Paris, the trend is to stripes.

Advert for Rodier Paris.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, September 1976.

What a Rip Off

1970s, lothar schmid, Vogue, zandra rhodes

If you haven’t a rag to your name, there is now Zandra Rhodes’ jersey, ripped, slashed and blue’stitched into her personal view of punk. She calls it “conceptual chic”. In style she thinks it is the first time the seventies have shown themselves. It is no holds barred style.

Mean streak of black jersey, this page, and another, opposite T-shirt shape under ragged tunic. All with blue cotton stitching, chains, ball bearings, safety pins, random diamante. All from Zandra Rhodes ; The Zandra Rhodes Shop at Harrods. Jersey by Racine. Very high heel gold sandals, Manolo Blahnik for Zapata. Hair by Fabian at Jean Louis David.

Photographed by Lothar Schmid.

Scanned from Vogue, September 1977.

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.

Women Who Know

1970s, Hermès, Inspirational Images, interior design, interiors, Vintage Adverts, Vogue
Les femmes décidées vont jusqu’au bout… Jusqu’au Parfum.

Just a pretty flawless aesthetic which I felt needed to be noted.

Advert for Calèche by Hermès.

Scanned from Vogue, November 1971.