Design for Avenging: Sisters Under The Skin

1960s, avengers, avengerswear, David Gittings, diana rigg, emma peel, frederick starke, honor blackman, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, Paul Blanche, Selincourt, sunday times magazine, the avengers
Diana Rigg in buckled snakeskin coat made by Paul Blanche.

On Thursday evening at 8 o’clock The Avengers comes back. Viewers in London, Scotland and the South will see it, other channels will have to wait until October 2. The new show lacks one vital element. Honor Blackman, who played Cathy Gale, that female gauleiter with a heart of gold, has left television for films and the arms of James Bond.

She is replaced by rangy, redheaded Diana Rigg, an actress already blooded for knock-about violence in shows like King Lear and The Devils with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She plays the new Avenger woman Emma Peel, who is described by A.B.C. television as “the youthful widow of an ace test pilot, daughter of a wealthy shipowner, and an internationally educated symbol of the jet-age female”.

A strong-arm widow, born with such disadvantages, couldn’t fail to be an interesting autumn draw, but the new girl will find it hard work to oust the memory of Cathy Gale from the spot she kicked out for herself in these shows. For, as Cathy Gale, Honor Blackman was mesmeric. Male viewers turned to pulp in their armchairs as she hurled opponent after opponent through plate glass windows, and their TV dinners turned to dust as she half-nelsoned men twice her size.

Women were fascinated too, but for different reasons. They sat glued to their sets wondering what it was she had, that they hadn’t. Her slightly sinister but wholly fathomable allure had little to do with her natural assets ; her toughness, the purring reassurance of her voice, her earthiness ; her blonde hair and wide mouth. Cathy Gale’s real appeal was firmly laced into the shiny black leather of her fighting suits.

The black leather fighting suits she wore, now generally referred to as ‘kinky clothes’ were designed by Frederick Starke. They proved such a success both here and in the U.S.A., where the last series was sold, that the American business men controlling the sales insisted that these clothes should be retained for the next series. This was a mistake. Fashion moves much faster than most business men, and the feeling for black leather was on the wane, long before the last episode was off the screen. But A.B.C. agreed to the American conditions, and Emma was togged up in black leather and boots, looking just like Cathy Gale in a long red wig.

Before the new series was half-way through, the planners realised that some fairly startling changes were taking place in the fashion world. Skirts were getting shorter and women appeared to be crossing their thighs, not their knees. Leather was out. All sorts of animal skins, from snakes to zebras, were in. And op and pop art were having an explosive effect on textile design.

This series is the first to be made on film instead of videotape, which means it could be running in different countries all over the world for the next five to ten years. It would be pushed to keep its con-temporary smack with a limping gimmick like black leather. At this point, with half their film in the bag, A.B.C. called in fashion co-ordinator Anne Trehearne, an ex-fashion editor of Queen magazine, and asked designer John Bates of Jean Varon to plan a new wardrobe for Emma Peel to wear during the last 14 episodes. John Bates is the man who made the now famous daisy dress which 25 red-faced debutantes wore to the same ball.

Designing a wardrobe for a preconceived image is no easy task, but he succeeded in doing this and more besides. His clothes are 100 per cent. modern. He has shortened the skirts (in spite of tough opposition in certain quarters at A.B.C.), re-designed the black leather fighting outfits into modern, one-piece jump-suits, introduced tailored snakeskin and a whole range of op art furs.

In all there are 35 garments with complementary accessories. And for the first time the whole collection will be sold in the shops. (Frederick Starke did sell some of Cathy Gale’s wardrobe, but only selected items.) Over 12 well-known manufacturers, like Edward Rayne, Paul Blanche and Kangol, are co-operating with John Bates at Jean Varon and are making the shoes, the skin coats and the berets under licence; Echo are even making the amusing ribbed sheer nylon stockings. They will all be in the shops in October.

Both the clothes and the series are now saleable properties. It will be interesting to see which proves the biggest draw to interested buyers the striking new clothes or the shiny new girl.

Photographed by David Gittings.

Story by Meriel McCooey.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, September 26th 1965.

In short snakeskin blazer made by Paul Blanche and ribbed sheer nylon stockings.
Leather jumpsuit with clasps made by Paul Blanche.
Black and white bunny coat made by Selincourt. All designed by John Bates.

Anjelica Huston by David Bailey

1970s, anjelica huston, david bailey, elizabeth arden, Hair and make-up, Inspirational Images, leonard, Piero de Monzi, Vogue, zandra rhodes

Make-up by Elizabeth Arden. Hair by Oliver at Leonard.

Print silk dress by Zandra Rhodes at Piero de Monzi.

Photographed by David Bailey.

Scanned from Vogue, 15th September 1971.

Hot Stuff

1970s, andrea pfister, christian dior, Inspirational Images, platforms, tessa traeger, Vogue, yves saint laurent
Extras of every kind that make the look, the day, the night Saint Laurent’s black ribbed roll-neck cashmere and lambswool sweater, £15. Satin shorts, £15.95. Beret with passementerie crown, £17.50. Suede clutch bag with brogued leather edge, £35.10. Suede rope belt thick with diamante, diamante disc, £30. Pins, one or many where you please. All at Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Dior’s red plastic heart necklace, £10. Andrea Pfister’s green satin t-straps on a wedge of red glitter plastic frames, hot stuff.

Photographed by Tessa Traeger.

Scanned from Vogue, September 15th 1971.

Make-up for white, pink and green

1970s, Buckle Under, dorothee bis, Hair and make-up, harpers and queen, Herbert Johnson, Inspirational Images, james wedge, Make-up, Michaeljohn, Serge Lutens, wallis
Eyes are the focal point in this make-up for white by Serge Lutens of Christian Dior. Wide-brimmed black felt hat by Herbert Johnson.

This year you match your make-up to what you are wearing rather than to the colouring you were born with. Now, with the much greater variety of colours available, it is no longer blue for blue eyes, green for green eyes; or pink and white for blondes and gold-rachel tones for brunettes. You can have a new look for every day of the week, or different looks for day and night. In fact, you match your make-up to your clothes.

To show how much scope there is, we have taken one girl and given her three different make-ups created for each of this season’s new fashion colours.

Make-up for white by Serge Lutens. Make-up for Pink and Green by Mary Lou of The Face Place.

Hair by Pauline of Michaeljohn.

Photographed by James Wedge.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, early October 1971.

The make-up for pink incorporates all the new plum, mulberrt, grape and frosted pink make-up tones. Hat by Buckle Under. Pink jacket by Dorothee Bis.
For this season’s many shades of green there are lots of exciting new eye make-up colours. Emerald satin blazer by Wallis. Flowers from Bourne and Hollingsworth.

Necking

1970s, biba, Chester Martin, christa peters, Honey Magazine, ika hindley, Inspirational Images, Jacqmar, Jasper, jeff banks, John Dove and Molly White, novelty prints, Ronnie Stirling, stirling cooper, Turnbull & Asser, Vintage Editorials
Hollywood film star printed cotton satin shirt by John Dove and Molly White for Jasper. Pure silk herringbone tie by Turnbull and Asser.

These are the ties that go with the shirts that are all part of the big 40s revival. Floppy silky shirts with subtly embossed patterns, and ties and scarves galore; they can be tied in bows, pinned with brooches, loosely knotted or worn like the men do. In fact, as long as they trail elegantly down the front of your shirt you can wear these ties just any way you like.

As a dedicated fan of long silk scarves (and silky blouses, and novelty brooches in fact) I’m just taking this editorial as my one stop guide to getting dressed this autumn.

Photographed by Christa Peters.

Possibly modelled by Ika Hindley (it looks like her mouth).

Scanned from Honey, October 1971.

Striped embossed crepe de chine blouse by Ronnie Stirling at Stirling Cooper. Paisley silk scarf by Chester Martin. Cicada brooch from Biba.
Feathers crepe de chine blouse by Ronnie Stirling at Stirling Cooper. Long spotted silk scarf by Chester Martin.
Avocado green crepe de chine blouse with fern pattern by Ronnie Stirling at Stirling Cooper. Silk chevron kipper tie by Turnbull and Asser. Egyptian stock pin from Biba.
Wavy patterned jacquard shirt by Jeff Banks. Printed silk scarf by Chester Martin. Sea horse brooch from Biba.
Flower embossed chocolate brown jacquard shirt by Jeff Banks. Long silk art deco scarf by Jacqmar. Flying eagle brooch from Biba.

Cool off!

1970s, corocraft, Inspirational Images, John Carter, laura ashley, petticoat magazine
Dress from Laura Ashley, 157 Fulham Road, SW3. Headband by Corocraft at Selfridges.

Accompanying an article on keeping cool in a heatwave. As I’m scheduling this post a few days in advance, I apologise if it drops in the middle of a cold snap…

Photographed by John Carter.

Scanned from Petticoat, August 7th 1971.

Get Dressed

19 magazine, 1970s, Adrian Mann, Charles Batten, Cloud Nine, David Anthony, Inspirational Images, manolo blahnik, Mary Graeme, nostalgia, Retro, Sacha, Samuel Sherman, Spectrum, stirling cooper, strawberry studio, Sunarama, Vintage Editorials, way in, zapata
Scarf around head from Nostalgia. Sun dress by Stirling Cooper. Blue glass necklace from Cloud Nine. Second hand floral sun dress from Retro. Rayon knit shawl from Jump. White leather shoes by Sacha. Pearl necklaces worn around the wrist from Adrien Mann. Flower and veiling from department stores.

Summer sundresses can go a long way. They’re so versatile – you can wear them for work and then dress them up for the evening with hats, scarves and jewellery. Here are some of our ideas.

Photographed by David Anthony.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, August 1975.

Straw hats from Marida. Second hand crepe de Chine dresses from Retro. Belt from Way In. Socks by Sunarama. Shoes by Zapata (left) and Sacha (right).
Black crepe de chine daffodil print dress by Strawberry Studio. Shawl from Cloud Nine. Tan sandals by Mary Graeme. Pink straw hat by Charles Batten. Black crepe de Chine smock by Spectrum. Green canvas shoes by Chelsea Cobbler. Bangles by Adrien Mann.
White cotton pull on hat by Edward Mann. Pale green and white straight dress by Concept at Samuel Sherman. Blue straw hat by Charles Batten. Pale blue and white dress by Concept at Samuel Sherman.

Love Forty

1960s, Berkertex, Daniel Hechter, Foale and Tuffin, George Malyard, Graham Smith, helmut newton, Inspirational Images, Ken Lane, Malyard, Marlborough, mary quant, Queen magazine, Rayne, Vintage Editorials
White crepe dress by Berkertex. Jewelled snood by Graham Smith.

The clothes of the Thirties were capricious, narcissistic and extravagant — the jazz of the Twenties turning soft, like swing – but with the wartime Forties they necessarily became austere and functional.

To compensate, the details kept their extravagance – shirred waists, sweetheart necks, floppy sleeves, Veronica Lake hair.

On this and the following pages we have a minor Forties revival – minor because these clothes are strictly 1968, when women want to dress both practically and frivolously.

I do not endorse this copy, because I would not agree about the clothes of the Thirties being ‘narcissistic’, but I do endorse the photos and the clothes.

Photographed by Helmut Newton.

Scanned from Queen, July 31st 1968.

Red crepe dress by Foale and Tuffin. Hat by Malyard.
Red wool crepe dress by Foale and Tuffin. Gilt snake bracelets by Ken Lane.
Black crepe dress by Daniel Hechter for Bagatel. Beret by Malyard. Shoes by Rayne.
Grey crepe dress by Harriet.
Black checked beige crepe dress with bloused sleeveless top, by Marlborough. Black beret by Mary Quant for Kangol.

Emeralds, Diamonds, Pearls

1970s, eric boman, eric bowman, Inspirational Images, jewellery, thea porter, Vintage Adverts, Vogue

Advert for Bonds of New Bond Street. Hair by Daniel at Neville Daniel.

Clothes by Thea Porter.

Photographed by Eric Boman.

Scanned from Vogue, June 1978.

Embroidery for a dream

1970s, Angela Salmon, embroidery, G Murrell, Golden Hands, Inspirational Images, St Martins

Romantic in concept and evocative of another age, the embroidered clothes illustrated on these pages were designed and made by Angela Salmon, while a design student at London’s St Martin’s School of Art, for her final diploma exhibition. Although painstaking embroideryis not commercially viable in the ready-made clothing industry, it is comforting to know that students of design continue to produce exquisite work such as this, adapting traditional techniques to modern design concepts. The lilac silk and black velvet dress, worn with pantaloons, has flowers and leaves of machine embroidered organza applied to the bodice with realistic-looking plastic blackberries to complete the motif. The caped coat-dress, made of olive-coloured chiffon, is worn over a strawberry printed chiffon dress. Strawberry flowers, leaves and fruit motifs, made of matt satin and machine embroidered organza, are applied with some of the edges lying free of the background fabric. The blue and white ensemble consists of a blue organza apron worn over a full-sleeved chiffon dress. The designer has chosen field flowers for her inspiration—poppies, buttercups, speedwell and wheat heads—embroidered and applied to the background fabric. Surface embroidery has been added to enrich the design.

Photographed by G Murrell.

Scanned from Golden Hands Magazine, Part 58 Vol 4. (1972)