Putting the romance back into glamour

1970s, 1980s, david hamilton, Inspirational Images, John Xavier

Imagine the location of Brig-a-doon as your backdrop, or the intimacy of a private country cottage as your studio with the prospect of photographing a selection of 20 beautiful English maidens. All this in your own time and, on top of this, making a profitable career out of such a desirable assignment.

The pursuit of a playboy or the pleasurable hobby of a titled aristocrat perhaps? In fact, it’s the dream of a qualified engineer with no professional training in photography. Canadian John Xavier has achieved such a desirable vocation…

Gradually he found he was marketing more of his own work and selling numerous pictures to a variety of men’s magazines. More recently he has been involved in the production of his first book. Entitled Every inch a lady, it is a photographic tribute to five of his most remarkable models...

I must admit to having a major soft spot for late Seventies/early Eighties vaseline-smeared David Hamilton-esque photography. The more over-the-top romantic and saucy the better. This superb set of photos were printed in one of those ubiquitous photography magazines of the time, accompanying an article about John Xavier. I think one of the models might possibly be Sylvestra le Touzel but I can barely see through the Vaseline I’m afraid.

Photographed by John Xavier.

Scanned from Photography, August 1981.

In a Little Spanish Town

19 magazine, 1970s, Bermona, Brosseau, bus stop, Dolcis, Feathers, Foale and Tuffin, Ian Batten, Inspirational Images, Jean Charles Brosseau, John Bishop, Jolly Boy, kensington market, lee bender, ravel, Rosie Nice, Sacha, Sujon, terry de havilland, Tony Berkeley, Tony Berkley, Vintage Editorials, Willy van Rooy
Long creamy cotton dress by Foale and Tuffin. Blue cotton paisley blouse and skirt by Foale and Tuffin. Embroidered woollen belt around head by Rosie Nice in Kensington Market.

Sunny Spain conjured up visions of hot summer days in picturesque surroundings, ideal settings for 19’s summer fashions. And we had a fantastic oppotunity when 4S Travel arranged a trip to Malaga and Torremolinos. We flew BUA Super Jet to stay at the Hotel Al Andalus, within easy reach of the mountains overlooking the Costa del Sol. Here we discovered quaint villages, sun-drenched and white-washed, their customs and dress crystallised in the past. No cars to be seen, only mules and donkeys. Our clothes echoed the feel of these places – colours stark black and white, brightened with touches of gayer hues, clean hot printed cottons, soft peasant blouses, sandals, light fishnet shawls, casual sun hats. The garments are easy to take care of, and enhance a tan – midi skirts that button to above the knee and give alluring glimpses of brown thigh, and large brightly printed squares of fabric which can be used as shawls, or skirts tied at the side.

Making me yearn for a proper holiday. The closest I’ll get is looking at this editorial whilst sitting on the balcony, trying to avoid all humans for the time being. I hope it brightens your day as well…

Blonde model is Willy van Rooy.

Photographed by John Bishop.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1970.

Black velour towelling dress by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Shawl by J. C. Brosseau from Feathers. Green and red snakeskin shoes by Terry de Havilland from Jolly Boy in Kensington Market. Belt bought locally.
Black and white cototn printed skirt and top by Tony Berkeley. Shawl from J. C. Brosseau. Shoes by Sacha.
White cotton skirt, blouse and bolero all by Annie for Rosie Nice in Kensington Market. Bright red and green dress by Foale and Tuffin. Black fishnet shawls by J. C. Brosseau from Feathers.
White towelling hat by Bermona. Dress by Sujon. Shoes from Ravel.
Dress by Tony Berkeley. White patent shoes by Sacha.
Dusty pink skirt and blouse by Ian Batten. Brown felt hat by J. C. Brosseau from Feathers.
Both outfits by Tony Berkeley. Both pairs of shoes by Ravel.
Dress by Foale and Tuffin. Snakeskin shoes by Terry de Havilland at Jolly Boy. Belt bought locally.
White midi skirt by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Red and white silk rayon blouse by Annie for Rosie Nice. Mock snakeskin shoes by Dolcis.

How Original!

19 magazine, 1970s, Antiquarius, biba, british boutique movement, Chelsea Antiques Market, Christian Larroque, Emmerton and Lambert, Essences, Essenses, Hair and make-up, Inspirational Images, jenny kee, MEE Designs, Ricci Burns, Sacha, susan marsh, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials

In this age of mass-production, finding clothes that have an individual look is becoming more and more difficult. But a few enterprising minds in London have got round the problem by buying old clothes, in beautiful prints that one doesn’t see these days, and remaking them in today’s styles. Though the styles are repeated, the materials are different and each garment is quite unique. If you don’t live in London, don’t despair. Look around for a clever seamstress who can copy the styles for you. Then, it’s a matter of combing jumble sales, or looking among granny’s cast-offs, for unusual prints. Don’t, however, cut up clothes in good condition. You’ll get a good price for these in London markets. And if you do come to London, go round the markets instead of the stores and boutiques – there’s a lot to be picked up!

An extraordinarily styled and photographed editorial featuring Van der Fransen, Emmerton and Lambert and Essences, all of whom were trailblazers in the world of vintage and recycled fashion.

This shoot also manages to answer two of my most frequently asked questions: what is your favourite editorial and what do you think the future of fashion will be. The former is probably a moveable feast, although this one is definitely up there with my other favourite, but the latter is still something I believe strongly. Especially in a post-pandemic landscape, I am not sure (and definitely hopeful) that we will ever see the same levels of mass production post-2020. Not for want of desire by the high street shops, but because people have maybe recognised that, actually, they don’t need armfuls of cheap synthetic, single-use garments. Perhaps the aesthetics and principles of these recyclers of the Sixties and Seventies will finally be adopted as our default? We could stop producing new clothes and fabrics right now and probably never reach the end of the piles of recyclable materials. And that’s not even taking wearable vintage garments into account. Do you feel your shopping habits have changed permanently?

Red wig by Robert at Ricci Burns.

Photographed by Christian Larroque.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1972.

Beautiful old sun dress in rayon crepe and silk from Van der Fransen. Tights and shoes from Biba.
Navy and white smock in various prints of rayon crepe and skirt both by Van der Fransen. Tights and shoes by Biba.
Intricate patchwork dress and long skirt from Emmerton and Lambert. Green tights and mauve shoes from Biba.
Jenny Kee of Emmerton and Lambert at Chelsea Antique Market, wearing a Chinese kimono and trousers from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Model wears a blouse made up of old scarves in satin and silk from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Gingham shoes from Biba. Photographed at The Terrace Cafe, Chelsea Antique Market.
Slinky cross cut dress in various printed crepes and crepes de Chine from Essences. Blue tights and mauve shoes both from Biba. Scarf from Essences.
Patchwork dress of old printed fabrics from a selection at Emmerton and Lambert. Tights and gingham shoes from Biba. Plastic dragonfly at neck from Susan Marsh.
Spotted two piece from Essences. Tights from Biba. Shoes from Sacha. Lovely old shawl from Essences.
Navy blue and white print smock with contrasting sleeves by MEE Designs. Jeans from Browns. Clogs by Sacha. Photographed at MEE Designs at Antiquarius.
White satin Twenties style dress by MEE Designs at Antiquarius. Tights and shoes from Biba.

Flora Exotica

19 magazine, 1970s, Adrian Mann, David Anthony, Ferrer Y Sentis, Inspirational Images, Ivory, jap, Joseph, kenzo, Lo Roco, Mrs Howie, Sacha, stirling cooper, Taramina, Vintage Editorials
Floral print dress with lace-up front by Stirling Cooper. Pink shoes by Ivory.

Floral prints are bursting out all over. Add these to crepe de chines, cotton and cotton jerseys and, suddenly, you have the most colourful summer of all.

Photographed by David Anthony.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, June 1977.

Floral print dress with lace up sides by Lo Roco. Gold shoes by Sacha.
Palm print one shoulder t-shirt dress by Ferrer Y Sentis from Joseph.
Shocking pink and yellow bikini by Mrs Howie. Floral skirt by Taramina. Blue shoes by Ivory.
Floral printed lace up dress by Lo Roco. Bangles by Adrien Mann.
Yellow broderie anglaise t-shirt and bright pink floral skirt. Both by Jap at Joseph. Pink shoes by Ivory.

Last Tango in Tijuana

1970s, antony price, che guevara, Dinah Adams, Dolcis, gillian richard, granny takes a trip, Herbert Johnson, Honey Magazine, Ian Batten, Inspirational Images, jean junction, Martha Hill, miss mouse, polly peck, rae spencer cullen, Roy A. Giles, Russell & Bromley, Samm, Spectrum, stirling cooper, Vintage Editorials, wallis

If you can’t tango, simply steal into the spotlight in these flamboyant rumba dresses. The slipped shoulder strap, the bared midriff and the full-blown flouncy skirts all spell out the sexiest numbers for summer.

The main difference between the content of a magazine like Honey, as opposed to Vogue or Queen, is that the designers tend to be the more intriguing and less well-known of the period. If you want names like Miss Mouse, Granny Takes a Trip or Antony Price, these magazines should always be your first port of call. This shoot alone features one of my Holy Grail pieces by Granny Takes a Trip: the ruffled tie front top and skirt ensemble designed by Dinah Adams. Previously a designer for two other cult London boutiques, Mr Freedom and Paradise Garage, painfully little is known about Dinah Adams (misattributed as ‘Diana’ in the original credits). Which is why it’s always lovely to see her work represented anywhere.

Also shown here is a frothy, frilly delight of a frock by Miss Mouse, a.k.a Rae Spencer-Cullen. A personal favourite of mine, the Miss Mouse aesthetic is precisely why this early Seventies period is my favourite for fashion. Her work was heavily Fifties-inspired, quite ahead of the curve in the scheme of things, but always with a novel twist. Spencer-Cullen is yet another designer whose life remains something of a mystery, despite being a part of a hugely influential circle which included artists Duggie Fields and Andrew Logan. It seems that this anonymity was (at least initially) intentional, as an article from the Glasgow Herald in 1976 declared.

“At first, six years ago, when presenting her quirky designs on fashion, she seemed shy and utterly retiring. Miss Mouse could not be contacted easily by the press. She was elusive, hazed in shadows, a real mouse about publicity in fact. The only evidence of her entire existence was her clothes.”

In a world where we are so used to having information at our fingertips, there is something quite enchanting about this; tiny scraps must be stitched together to create a flimsy silhouette of a creative genius.

Photographed by Roy A Giles.

Scanned from Honey, July 1973.

(Please note – this blog originally appeared in 2016 on Shrimpton Couture’s ‘Curated’ blog project which has since been removed. It seemed a shame to let the posts disappear completely so I hope to eventually repost all my work here.)

Rose-strewn wrapover cotton bolero and long frilled skirt from Spectrum. Raffia and cotton tie belt by Herbert Johnson. Right: Tightly ruched off-the-shoulder top and long skirt with deeply riched waistband from Wallis.
Ritzy ruffled satin bolero top with frilled skirt by Dinah Adams for Granny Takes a Trip. Wavy leather sandals by Samm. Right: Slinky spotted Tricel dress by Ian Batten at Stirling Cooper. Crackly taffeta long flounced skirt by Antony Price for Che Guevara. Wooden and patent sandals by Russell & Bromley.
Flouncy black and white gingham off-the-shoulder dress printed with orange and lemon flowers by Gillian Richard. Canary yellow sandals by Samm. Embroidered cummerbund by Herbert Johnson.
Swirling striped cotton skirt by Jean Junction. Off-the-shoulder pleated blouse by Martha Hill. Polished leather boots from Dolcis.
Black cotton ruched and flared rumba dress printed with multi-coloured flowers and birds by Miss Mouse. Apple green shoes by Russell & Bromley.

Left: Crisp cotton gingham blouse and flounced skirt both by Martha Hill. Oval bead choker and bangles by Paul Stephens. Right: Ruffled cotton check blouse and tiered skirt by Polly Peck. Cummerbund by Herbert Johnson. Shoes by Russell & Bromley.

Calico Futures

1970s, Adrian Mann, Andreas Heumann, Averil B, Badges and Equipment, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, Colette Nivelle, Corinne Bricaire, Country Casuals, Crochetta, Dorothy Perkins, Dunhill, Edy Lyngas, Fiorucci, French Connection, Inspirational Images, Ivory, jap, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, jeff banks, Joseph, Kasparian's Contracts, Kenneth Grange, Lawrence Corner, Leah Hertz, lee bender, Midas, Mulberry, Pierre D'Alby, Sacha, Steve Rothholz, Sun and Sand, Vintage Editorials
Woven waistcoat ,cotton trousers and towelling lined calico jacket, all by Corinne Bricaire from Browns. Necklace from Adrien Mann. Belt from the Mulberry Company. Flat canvas sandals from Sacha. Headphones from Leisure Sounds of Wigmore Street.

The time: mid-morning coffee-break The place: The Post Office Confravision Studios, Euston Tower* The clothes: At last, working gear (you’ll be delighted to see) to cope with both formal and permissive working environments. The fabric: calico, strong and hard-wearing, cotton-based, so it’s comfortable for over-heated offices. Add a dash of towelling, team it with crocheted string vests, scarves, tights and bags for a little wit. The colour: cream—soothing and harmonious for worn executives. Enliven it with a touch of colour here and there (and to pick you out from beige office walls — remove if you need the camouflage).

* One of five office studios provided by the Post Office for its conference-by-TV service. Designed by Kenneth Grange of Pentagram.

An incredibly apposite photoshoot featuring the Post Office’s futuristic ‘Confravision’ studios. To read an original brochure, click here.

Photographed by Andreas Heumann.

Scanned from Over 21 Magazine, April 1976.

Cream short sleeved shirt, quilted waistcoat, cream jacket and trousers from Country Casuals.
Cream skirt and jacket by Jeff Banks from Averil B, Fulham Road. Scarf by Edy Lyngas. Canvas espadrilles from Sacha.
Calico jumpsuit by French Connection. Vest from Lawrence Corner. Leather bound hessian purse by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Belts from the Mulberry Company. Stack of chairs from Kasparian’s Contracts Ltd, 288/290 Euston Road.
Strapless shorts suit by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac from Joseph. Silver table croquet game from Dunhill.
Cream tube dress by Leah Hertz from Crochetta. Trousers by Jap from Jap & Joseph. Chelsea Cobbler shoes. Cigars from Dunhill.
Cream sweater by Ivory from Roberta, 94 Golders Green Road. Cream calico tabard by Colette Nivelle from Elle. Calico trousers from Dorothy Perkins. Suede espadrilles from Midas. Bracelets by Adrien Mann. Gilt soda syphon by Dunhill.
Cream short sleeved t shit by Sun & Sand from Conspiracy, 170 Kensington High Street. String vest from Badges & Equipment, The Strand. White shorts from Laurence Corner. Calico jacket by Pierre D’Alby. Clear plastic braces by Steve Rothholz from Fiorucci. Watch by Trafalgar.

Jap

Catkin Villiers, Dagamar, Graham Hughes, Inspirational Images, jap, kenzo, manolo blahnik, ritz magazine, Vintage Editorials, zapata
Shoes from Jungle Jap

Intriguingly styled editorial from 1978, with the latter two images rather suggestive of the Westwood ‘Pirate’ collection that came a mere three years later. Also featuring some shoes by Manolo Blahnik under his ‘Zapata’ brand. I’m also surprised to see them still using the name ‘Jungle Jap’, which had been changed to Kenzo around 1976 I believe, but perhaps Jungle Jap was still the preferred name in the UK.

Clothes and Jewellery from Jungle Jap.

Shoes from Zapata and Jungle Jap.

Model Dagamar at Laraine Ashton.

Styled by Catkin Villiers.

Hair by Robert at Schumi.

Photographed by Graham Hughes.

Scanned from Ritz, No.18 1978.

Shoes by Zapata
Red mules from Zapata.

Create a Tropical Heatwave

alkasura, Ara, Baltrik, Browns, Buckle Under, cosmopolitan, Deirdre McSharry, Dorothy Perkins, Emesse, Inspirational Images, jean varon, john bates, Laetitia, Lida Ascher, mic mac, norman eales, oliver goldsmith, outlander, Park and Warriner, Sacha, Vintage Editorials
Lime knit jacket by Outlander. White crêpe trousers by Ara. Ascher cotton scarf.

Oh to be out of England now that April’s here, and whether you are planning on Majorca, the far-flung Bahamas or the Isle of Wight this year, now is the best time to shop for holiday clothes. And having just stepped out of a QANTAS jet that took Cosmo island-hopping via Bermuda to the Bahamas, I have a slight tan and a strong feeling that summer’s fashions will be as refreshing, bittersweet and highly coloured as that tropical drink, Planter’s Punch.

Oh to be anywhere but home, quite frankly. I shall have to recreate these styles on the balcony and dream of even going as far as the Isle of Wight…

All jewellery by Adrien Mann. Fashion by Deirdre McSharry.

Photographed by Norman Eales.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, April 1973.

Sundress by Mic Mac. Scarf by Ascher.
Vest from Dorothy Perkins. Trousers by Alkasura. Sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith.
Striped cotton outfit by Buckle Under. Shoes from Sacha. / Cotton separates by Baltrik.
Dress by John Bates for Jean Varon
Lemon yellow knit dress by Park and Warriner.
Cheesecloth outfit by Laetitia at Browns.
Top by Emesse. Trousers by Ara.

Romantic Revival

1970s, anello and davide, biba, Brosseau, bus stop, catherine buckley, charlotte martin, Feathers, Harri Peccinotti, Hope and Eleanor, Inspirational Images, Jean Charles Brosseau, lee bender, Mouche (model), ravel, The Purple Shop, Tony Berkeley, Tony Berkley, Vintage Editorials
Tawny shades of hazel and honey: Brown cloche hat, veiling, long brown and white cotton dress all from Biba. Shell ring from Hope and Eleanor. / Long brown and white cotton voile dress from Biba. Large brown crochet shawl by Catherine Buckley. Heart shaped ring from Hope and Eleanor.

Spring has taken on a romantic air – with light dresses, billowing skirts and full sleeves. The fabric for day is cotton, especially voile. For evening, crepe is a great favourite. The lines are seductive – wear low v-necks, hats with lots of veiling and an antique brooch. Find an old shawl or crochet your own. If you’ve time to hunt you needn’t spend much money.

Some of my favourite designers, my favourite looks, one of my favourite photographers and two of my favourite models: Charlotte Martin and Mouche. Perfection.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, April 1970.

Old Fashioned Prints in Pink and White: All clothes from Biba. Ivory brooch from The Purple Shop.
Caviar and Champagne dresses: Hats from J. C. Brosseau from Feathers. Veiling from Biba. Dresses by Tony Berkeley. Beige shoes found by our model in a junk shop.
Melange of navy, white and pink: Crochet hat from J. C. Brosseau. Short navy crepe dress from Tony Berkeley. Shoes from Ravel. Brooch and ring from The Purple Shop.
Art deco revived: Silvery lace hat from Feathers. Dress and coat by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Black patent shoes from Ravel. / Beige lace pull on hat from Biba. Dress by Lee Bender for Bus Stop. Red leather shoes by Anello and Davide. Beads from Hope and Eleanor. Brooch from The Purple Shop.
Interludes of brown and white crepe: Hat from Biba. Dress by Tony Berkeley. / Hat from Feathers. Dress by Tony Berkeley. Both shoes by Ravel.
Burgundy wool suit from Bus Stop. Leather gloves from Biba. Leather and suede boots by Anello and Davide. / Burgundy wool trousersuit and hat from Biba. Boots by Anello and Davide.
Romantic white afternoon dresses: Dresses by Louis Caring. Hats from Biba and J. C Brosseau. Scarf from Emmerton and Lambert.
Nuances of delicate navy and white: Hat by J. C. Brosseau. Dress by Tony Berkeley.

Pattie Harrison by David Bailey

1970s, Betty Gubbay, Butler & Wilson, david bailey, Inspirational Images, jap, Pattie Boyd, vidal sassoon, Vogue

Pattie Harrison looking like summer… her hair brushed into tumbling curls by Herta at Vidal Sassoon, her complexion glowing from her vegetarian diet and country life. Straw hat by Betty Gubbay, Jap check lawn blouse, pink beads from Butler and Wilson.

Photographed by David Bailey.

Scanned from Vogue, June 1973.