Ossie, Ossie, Ossie

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Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman: Maintaining the tradition of well-dressed Sixties/Seventies-era Doctor Who companions…

Intriguing times. Three different television starlets wore vintage Ossie Clark to the National Television Awards last night. All three were wrap dresses, all variations on Ossie’s signature design. I find it intriguing because the wrap dress is by no means Ossie’s only style, and none of them featured a Celia Birtwell print: Jenna Coleman and Kelly Brook both wore black crepe and Rachel Wilde wore iridescent satin. The similarities between the three ladies and the three dresses enable us to view Ossie’s designs through very different eyes at the same time.

Rachel Wilde

Rachel Wilde

Both Brook and Wilde were deemed, by the tabloids at least, to have suffered ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and their beautiful dresses garnered them places on ‘worst dressed’ lists. Indeed, the hysteria – a curious mix of lasciviousness and prim puritanism – surrounding Brook’s very visible nipples was bordering on the sinister. For why on earth, one wonders, is a 40-year-old dress causing such ripples of disapproval? In a world where you can – quite frankly – see Kelly Brook’s nipples any time you want by googling her Playboy shoot, and other starlets are wearing skimpier, shorter and more see-through outfits on any night of the year, why is a bit of moss crepe causing such a brouhaha?

It says something about the design genius of Ossie, and of his understanding of sensuality, that an artfully revealing floor length dress (covering all the flesh except a triangle of cleavage and an occasional flash of leg) is somehow being seen as incredibly rude and almost nude. It also says something deeply unpleasant about the unnecessarily bright flash bulbs of the modern press photographer, doesn’t it? Moss crepe is only transparent when you fire a bright light through it, and the bulbs of the Sixties and Seventies would never have caused such an effect. I think it’s pretty much obvious that such wardrobe malfunctions are a creation of the press; Brook’s nipples would not have been visible in person or on the television cameras.

Kelly Brook, and her nipples.

Kelly Brook, and her nipples.

Of course, Ms. Brook is famous for her curves and not exactly averse to a bit of publicity – whatever the cause may be. I’m not saying she did this deliberately from the start, but even if her stylist gently pointed out that there might (just might) be a bit of an issue, then she may well have shrugged it off as nothing to worry about. Which is fine and dandy.

In fact, without realising it, she was really fulfilling Ossie’s original intent. He didn’t like people wearing underwear with his clothes. He designed so that the breasts are supported by the garment itself, and he felt that underwear ruined the line. I don’t think he planned for flashbulbs, but I imagine he would have been delighted by the outrage his designs continue to cause.

Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman

Personally, I think the best dressed of the night – never mind the best Ossie – was Jenna Coleman. I don’t know how she underpinned her Ossie, but there are no nipples and no knickers involved. I also think that the way you style your hair and make-up, and the way you hold yourself makes a big difference; Coleman wins on all fronts. It might not be outrageous, rude or shocking, but ultimately I think Ossie would have been the most happy to see this gorgeous, talented young lady wearing his dress in a supremely sophisticated way. Similar dresses, very different styles…

Mary Tamm RIP

1970s, doctor who, doctor who companion fashion, Geek stuff, Mary Tamm, Romana

And so I awoke to the awful news that the glorious Mary Tamm has died, aged 62. Just over a year after Elisabeth Sladen and a few weeks after Caroline John. It gets more sad for me, because each has been that bit more of a favourite of mine. Romana I (indubitably the superior of the two Romanas) was one of my absolute favourites and a very formative and notable style icon for me. Her wardrobe for her sole series as companion is an absolute triumph, and was a perfect reflection of the glamorous and slightly icy character of Romana (the first and finest Time ‘Lady’ of the series). I salute you Mary Tamm (mmmmm), beauty and talent incarnate.

RIP Caroline John

1970s, Caroline John, doctor who, doctor who companion fashion, jon pertwee

One of the worst aspects of growing up watching such a long-running and old programme such as Doctor Who, is that you feel an extra-painful twinge of sadness when one of its stars dies. My first remembered experience of this was my beloved Jon Pertwee way back in 1996, and it doesn’t get any easier with time. I have already waxed lyrical on the character of Liz Shaw, way back when I did my geek-a-thon tribute to all the Who girls, but it’s worth saying again that Caroline as Liz was one of my favourite companions – despite her all-too-brief tenure by the Doctor’s side. She had the best legs in Who, was a notable exception to the screaming, helpless girl template (a condition suffered by so many in that programme) and was the most perfect foil to my favourite Doctor.

Mild Sauce: Katy Manning-pants

doctor who, doctor who companion fashion, jo grant, katy manning, mild sauce, seventies fashion

Every day (no exaggeration) I receive a steady stream of google hits involving Katy Manning and her knickers: Jo Grant knickers, Katy Manning and Daleks, Katy Manning naked… there was even one hit for ‘Jo Grant telepathic knickers’. I have no idea what telepathic knickers even are, but I’d sure like to see some. Or perhaps just sense them.

It’s partly my own fault, since this post ranks #2 on google if you search Jo Grant knickers.

Anyway, so that it’s all here, in one place (for those delightful Who-perves who are so desperate for the sight of a now-64-year-old’s knickers, bum and boobs) I’ve sought out as many images as I could for your delectation. For my usual non-perve readers, I do apologise and normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

For my American readers, and to clean it up in here a little, here is Katy Manning in some ‘pants’ as opposed to her British pants.

And here, no doubt, is Katy’s reaction were she to read this post….

Rest in Peace, dearest Sarah Jane Smith

bus stop, doctor who, doctor who companion fashion, elisabeth sladen, jon pertwee, lee bender, sarah jane smith, tom baker

One of the few recent passings which has actually left me rather embarrassingly weepy, perhaps because of the childhood significance (although Sarah Jane was long gone as a companion by the time I was born, I grew up watching her episodes on scratchy VHS…). I can’t really say any more than any of the other fans are right now, and I didn’t know her to say anything very personal. So I will do what I do best, posting some of my favourite images of Lis Sladen as Sarah Jane, Bus Stop wearer extraordinaire and one of the best Who-ladies ever….


Ingrid Pitt, RIP

doctor who, ingrid pitt, picture spam, seventies fashion, sixties

I was so sad to hear about Ingrid Pitt passing away the other day (do go and read about her fascinating life story). I know for most people she was mainly a Hammer Horror legend, but she was also in a couple of Doctor Who stories and I had heard so many brilliantly bonkers things about her over the years that it seems odd she should have died like any normal human being. Surely she should have been taken away in a swirl of smoke and chiffon?

Also, normally I would seek to avoid the topic of someone’s breasts, particularly if they’ve become notorious for them, but she seems to have revelled in their magnificence so it would be a shame not to… I know that when I die, I should like everyone to talk excessively about my ‘incredible arse’, regardless of anything else I might achieve 😉

Karen Gillan shows off the perfect accessory….

doctor who, karen gillan, matt smith

…a delicious Doctor. Albeit one channelling Ringo. Stop that this instant!!

Oh I love this dress. I hope it’s vintage, but deep down I suspect not. She’s really been looking stunning at promotional events lately, and I really envy that hair colour. I like to think it would suit me [being just as pale – possibly paler – and with ginger running in my family] but I suspect it would not. Boohiss.

Docteur Qui?

doctor who, haute naffness, jon pertwee, matt smith, seventies fashion

Have decided, after watching the first episode again and enjoying the second episode first time around on Saturday, that I am thoroughly loving the new Doctor. But then I am clearly quite fickle in my geek love, for I was quite mad for Tennant and my second childhood crush was Peter Davison. I think I’m just extremely ‘ok’ with the whole regeneration concept. It certainly never bothered me as a kid. Much like reincarnation; it carries on with a different face and personality, but ultimately it is the same soul/character.

Matt Smith is beautiful in a bizarre kind of way: cheekbones to die for, almost invisibly fair eyebrows and that hair. Oh! the hair. I must admit to being rather biased in that direction because my favourite man has pretty much got the same hair. Rowrrrrrrrrr.

I’m also very taken with his style. Young geeky guy does old fogey with great charm and panache. Bow ties? Haven’t been a huge fan up until now, I prefer a nice cravat or kipper, but Dr Eleven is working it very well. Tweed jackets? Braces? Sighhhhh…..

Ultimately though; pinstripes, tweed jackets, bow ties or cricket whites; something tells me that nothing will ever top the Pertwee-era.

p.s I feel like I need a copy of this. Anyone else?

Daleks in Honey

daleks, doctor who, Honey Magazine, sixties

Mmmm. Sticky. No, it’s not some bizarre porno-Who spoof. Spookily enough, I bought this April 1969 copy of Honey having no clue what it contained, so imagine my amusement when I opened it this morning to be greeted by a Dalek fashion spread. Well, not Dalek fashions per se. There are only so many styles of sink plunger a guy can have attached to his casing.

I am reserving judgement on the new Doctor until I have watched the first episode again and possibly not until I have seen more episodes. But, so far, I think he’s adorable and I love the bow tie.

Minis in The Tardis

doctor who, doctor who companion fashion

“Yes, this doctor is preeeetty good. As, I’ve said, is Amy, and she gets to wear all these small skirts, which I will admit was very cold, but also very cool. They originally wanted to put me in trousers, but I did say I’d like to wear a skirt because – you’ll understand when you watch it.” Karen Gillan, The Guardian

Oh ho ho ho. How this made me smile. Once upon a time, Doctor Who companions wore mini skirts as a matter of course. It was their duty. They were ‘for the dads’. Suddenly the promotional gubbins for the new series is all about how ‘sexy’ the new companion is, and how strange and new (and, in the case of the Daily Mail, how awful) this is. Pah. This calls for a mini tribute to minis in the Tardis, featuring the best four mini-wearers in its history: Anneke Wills as Polly, Wendy Padbury as Zoe, Caroline John as Liz and Katy Manning as Jo.