The Great Imposters

1970s, anello and davide, aquascutum, Beged'Or, Bermona, Borg, caroline baker, chelsea cobbler, Dada, Feathers, Herbert Johnson, jane whiteside, Jonvelle, kensington market, kurt geiger, laura ashley, Laura Jamieson, Lizzie Carr, Martha Hill, Mexicana, Mog, Morel, nova magazine, peter robinson, Russell & Bromley, Selfridges, stirling cooper, the souk, The Sweet Shop, velmar, Vintage Editorials, Wild Mustang Co.
Tissavel-lined Galaxy coat by Beged’Or approx. £50; cotton blouse by Mexicana, £13; fur fabric jeans by Newmans, 12 gns; hairy slipper boots at Russell & Bromley, £6 19s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; hatband made from an Estonian tie at the Russian Shop, 7s 6d; fur bag at The Souk, £3 5s; wool gloves at Dickins & Jones, 10s:

Leather and fur get more expensive every year. It’s not only the taxes and rising costs of production. It’s just that there aren’t enough good animal skins for leather around to meet the consumer demand. Furs are there in quantity for the fabulously rich. Luckily a good substitute has been found – the nylon-spun, man-made sort. Some, especially in the leather field, are so like the real thing the only way you can tell the difference is by the smell. Take the white coat on pages 46 and 47. It’s fake and costs about £50. It has a double in real fur and leather for £270. Made by the same people who have duplicated most of their collection this way and it takes an eagle eye and nose to tell the difference. Others are just furry, woolly fabrics, obviously not imitating some four-legged friend, which is one of the nicest things about them. This fur fabric is now getting the treatment it deserves. Nairn Williamson (more famous for their Vinyl floor and wall coverings) were the first to see its potential and got six designers to use their Velmar fur fabric in their winter collections. Jane Whiteside for Stirling Cooper (new label getting famous fast for their beautiful jersey co-ordinates) was the cleverest of them all. She used the best sludgy colours, mixed it with needlecord to make a group of jackets and coats to go with trousers, skirts and blouses. Borg (American originated and the pioneers in England of this deep pile fabric) has been around for a long time, mostly on the inside of duffle and raincoats but it’s on the outside as a normal fabric that it looks its best. Next winter there will be a lot more of it around, now that designers are getting less snobby about plastics. Not only is it as warm as fur, it is, of course, much cheaper and you don’t smell like a wet dog when you come in from the rain, either. So you can wear it herding sheep on lost weekends, or in town queuing for the cinema without any guilt feelings about ruining your assets.

Insert obligatory ‘I don’t agree with the thrust of the argument for fake furs as just a financial consideration here’ caveat from me, your content provider. Don’t shout at me, basically. But it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of 1970, and the proliferation of fake furs and skins at that time. It’s also a breathtakingly styled and photographed work of art from Caroline Baker and Jonvelle.

Fashion by Caroline Baker.

Photographed by Jonvelle.

Scanned from Nova, January 1970.

Mediaeval velvet applique dress by Laura Jamieson at The Sweetshop, 20 gns; Tissavel and Galaxy waistcoat by Beged’Or, £22.
Velmar jacket and needlecord trousers by Stirling Cooper, £8 10s., £5 1Gs; leggings by Chelsea Cobbler, to order, 10 gns; cotton shirt from selection at Dada, Kensington Antique Market from 2 gns.
Acrilan jacket by Lizzie Carr approx. 24 gns; suede trousers by Morel, 17 gns, tied with leather strips from John Lewis Haberdashery Dept, 1s 10d per yard; wellingtons at Russell and Bromley, £3 19s; woven sash wrapped around neck at Herbert Johnson, 25s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; wool gloves at Selfridges, &s 11d
Velmar and Courtelle trousers by Martha Hill, approx. 8 gns; poncho at Peter Robinson, £7; wool shirt by Stirling Cooper, £4 5s; studded wristlet by Knees at Kensington Antique Market, 1 gn; suede moccasin boots by Anello & Davide, £8 15s; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s; sheepskin rug from The Souk from £3 19s 6d to £6; flask from Kensington Antique Market.
Velmar fur fabric floor length coat trimmed with canvas by Mog, £20, over long cotton nightgown by Laura Ashley, £5; knitted wool socks at Feathers, £1 1s 6d
Velmar coat with needlecord and zipper trims (top left) by Stirling Cooper, 18 gns; pale suede and leather lace-up boots by Kurt Geiger, 35 gns; wool gloves at Selfridges, 8s 11d; leather belt by The Wild Mustang Manufacturing Co., approx. £3 12s 6d; fur shepherdess hat, bag and drinking flask from a selection at Kensington Antique Market
Velmar jacket and needlecord trousers (top right) by Stirling Cooper, £12 19s 6d, £5 10s; big polo-neck ribbed Shetland wool sweater at Aquascutum, £6 15s; corrugated leather lace-up boots at Russell and Bromley, £29 19s; knitted Aran mitts at Selfridges, 16s 11d; velour hat by Bermona, £3 11s, furry bag from a selection at Kensington Antique Market.

Go Gaucho!

1970s, anello and davide, Battle Of The Little Big Horn, Beged'Or, Bellini, Bermona, caroline baker, Feathers, Fifth Avenue, Friitala, Harri Peccinotti, Herbert Johnson, Inspirational Images, Janet Ibbotson, levis, Lizzie Carr, Mexicana, nova magazine, Pourelle, Sacha, Vintage Editorials
Striped woollen poncho skirt by Beatrice Bellini for WHI. Chamois lace-up blouse by Janet Ibbotson. Lace up suede boots by Anello and Davide. Leather and bead necklace by Feathers.

Not only does leather feel good, it smells delicious, like a trip out West. Suede and chamois are even better than leather because they are so much softer and easier tow ear. They’re not as expensive as they used to be. Cheap they will never be if you want value for your money. Leather, properly looked after, lasts for age; in fact, the more beaten up and old it looks the better. So when it comes to buying remember that and invest in something safe – like the clothes photographed on these pages. Thy are not desperately in fashion but, on the other hand, they are not out and never will be…

Fashion by Caroline Baker. Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned from Nova, October 1970.

Midi pigskin wrarpover skirt and long fitted jacket both by Beged’Or. Lace up suede boots from Anello and Davide.
Suede midi waistcoat and pants by Friitala. Brown wool shirt at Feathers. Leather and bead necklace at Feathers. Felt hat by Bermona. Stripey belts at Herbert Johnson.
Leather and rabbit midi waistcoat by Skinflair. Handwoven cotton blouse from Fifth Avenue. Flared blue jeans by Levis.
Suede jeans by Newman at Spotlight. Argentinian wool poncho – similar available at Mexicana and at Inti. Cow print velour hat by Bermona. Patent boots from Sacha.
Chamois fringed midi dress and beaded headband both at Battle Of The Little Big Horn.
Suede lace up dress to order at Pourelle. Poncho by Village Squares. Boots by Anello and Davide.
Fake snake velvet jeans by Newman at Feathers. Silk satin snake shirt to order at Lizzie Carr. Woven sash belts at Herbert Johnson.


Inspirational Editorials: The Woman Who Stole a Lion

1980s, Azzedine Alaia, caroline baker, johnny moke, katharine hamnett, Ninivah Khomo, Norma Kamali, The Face, Tony McGee, Vanessa Schon, Vintage Editorials, Whistles, yasmin le bon

Black lycra catsuit by Katharine Hamnett. Gauntlets by Norma Kamali. Lion from Harrods. Cat brooches at Merola. Belt by Vanessa Schon.

Black lycra catsuit by Katharine Hamnett. Gauntlets by Norma Kamali. Lion from Harrods. Cat brooches at Merola. Belt by Vanessa Schon.

If you don’t get the reference there, why not? Yasmin le Bon looking nothing short of incredible in this divinely feline shoot, styled by Caroline Baker.

Photographed by Tony McGee.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Face, November 1986.

Turtle neck and leggings by Ninivah Khomo. Leather bootees by Johnny Moke. Belts by Vanessa Schon. Gauntlets by Cornelia James.

Turtle neck and leggings by Ninivah Khomo. Leather bootees by Johnny Moke. Belts by Vanessa Schon. Gauntlets by Cornelia James.

Leopard print angora turtle neck by Ninivah Khomo. Toreador leggings from Whistles. Gauntlets by Norma Kamali. Suede thigh high boots from Johnny Moke. Brooches by Pink Soda.

Leopard print angora turtle neck by Ninivah Khomo. Toreador leggings from Whistles. Gauntlets by Norma Kamali. Suede thigh high boots from Johnny Moke. Brooches by Pink Soda.

Jersey body and toreador high waist pants by Azzedine Alaia. Belts worn as necklace and bracelets by Vanessa Schon. One jewelled glove by Martin Kidman. One leopard print glove by Pink Soda. Monkee boots at Office.

Jersey body and toreador high waist pants by Azzedine Alaia. Belts worn as necklace and bracelets by Vanessa Schon. One jewelled glove by Martin Kidman. One leopard print glove by Pink Soda. Monkee boots at Office.

Inspirational Images: Short Stories

1980s, Amalgamated Talent, caroline baker, Charlie Kemp, Helen Storey, Hyper Hyper, Inspirational Images, The Face

Fun fur purple sheepskin jacket and hat, with motif sweater and black jersey flares all by Helen Storey of Amalgamated Talent available from Academy, 188a Kings Road, London. Belt from Prism at Hyper Hyper.

Fun fur purple sheepskin jacket and hat, with motif sweater and black jersey flares all by Helen Storey of Amalgamated Talent available from Academy, 188a Kings Road, London. Belt from Prism at Hyper Hyper.

Photographed by Charlie Kemp. Styling by Caroline Baker. Model Sasha.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Face, November 1985

Inspirational Illustrations: Three For Good Measure

1970s, caroline baker, Celestino Valenti, Illustrations, Inspirational Images, nova magazine, swimwear

Three for good measure 3

Spotty bikini by Plaimar at Simpsons

Nothing new has happened to swimwear for many summers. Colours and fabrics mark the fashion changes. The shapes stay the same. For a swimsuit is a swimsuit is a swimsuit- be it a one piece, a two piece, a half piece. And the shops are full of them. Lovely little things in super prints and colours. And that`s where the problems begin. They are little, very little indeed. Bikinis especially have got skimpier with every passing permissive year. A year ago a generously endowed size 12 could fit quite neatly into a size 12 swimsuit; today she has to squeeze herself into it and hope that all will stay put when in use. That is to say, if she can get into it at all. And to find a larger size is nigh impossible. The shops have either sold out already or else the buyer never stocked them, since, alas, the majority of today’s fashion- conscious ladies slim themselves down to the smaller sizes. Then there are the others- ‘them’, the unspeakable, unwearable, unsightly “them`, made by the British swimwear manufacturers especially for the fuller figure. And just one look at them is enough to put the fattiest, with good taste, off swimming and beaches for ever. The shapes are okay, for a swimsuit is a swimsuit is a swimsuit, but why couldn”t the manufacturers leave the voluptuous out of the swirls and violets and stretch-nylon crunchy fabrics? Why can`t they just make large swimsuits in plain and simple colours, stripes, dots and nice flower patterns? Meanwhile, until they all realise that the fuller figures sometimes have very good fashionable taste, all that`s left- apart from eating less — is to search among the rails of tiny inviting little bikinis and swimsuits in the hope of finding one that will do up.

Some things never change. I feel like we’re still having the same conversations about clothes now, and wistfully remembering a non-existent time when everyone was catered for and everything was of the highest quality. Still, of the highest quality are these extraordinary illustrations which, frankly, deserve to be framed and hung on a gallery wall…

By Caroline Baker. Drawings by Celestino Valenti.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, July 1972

Three for good measure 1

Blue and white striped swimsuit by Guitare

Three for good measure 2

Multi coloured striped bikini by Jer-Sea

Inspirational Editorials: Cotton On

1970s, Bernard Neville, british boutique movement, caroline baker, Christian Aujord, edward mann, Electric Fittings, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, janice wainwright, jeff banks, laura ashley, liberty's, nova magazine, Serena Shaffer, Vintage Editorials

Liberty print dress by Jeff Banks

Liberty print dress by Jeff Banks. Hat throughout by Edward Mann. Petticoat throughout by Laura Ashley

Styled by Caroline Baker. Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, May 1975

Smock dress and matching pyjama trousers by Serena Shaffer at Electric Fittings.

Smock dress and matching pyjama trousers by Serena Shaffer at Electric Fittings.

Dress by Christian Aujord.

Dress by Christian Aujord.

Top and circle skirt by Janice Wainwright with print by Bernard Neville for Cantoni.

Top and circle skirt by Janice Wainwright with print by Bernard Neville for Cantoni.

Mild Sauce: A Heel of a Height

1970s, caroline baker, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, mild sauce, nova magazine, yves saint laurent

ysl platforms peccinotti nova january 1974 s

All shoes by Yves Saint Laurent

Skyscraper heels announce a new, more refined shape for shoes in 1974. All the leading shoe designers endorse this feeling, though the heel heights vary. Yves Saint Laurent, that king of trendsetters, picks these – the highest. Thick platforms, the only real fashion story of the 70s so far, are out.

By Caroline Baker. Photographed by Harri Peccinotti.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, January 1974.

Inspirational Editorials: Perfect Pyjamas by Peccinotti

1970s, alice pollock, biba, british boutique movement, caroline baker, chelsea cobbler, edward mann, Electric Fittings, Harri Peccinotti, Herbert Johnson, Inspirational Images, John Craig, katharine hamnett, marie france, nova magazine, ossie clark, quorum, radley, Sujon, Susie Craker, tuttabankem, universal witness, Vintage Editorials, Virginia, yardley, yves saint laurent

Pyjama suit by Sujon.

Pyjama suit by Sujon.

Photographed in Brazil with Yardley, whose Yardley McLaren team took part in the 2nd Grand Prix, 1973

Photographed by Harry Peccinotti. Styled by Caroline Baker.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, May 1973

Drawstring neck top (part of a flared Pajama suit) by Ossie Clark for Radley. Compact mirror from Biba.

Drawstring neck top (part of a flared Pajama suit) by Ossie Clark for Radley. Compact mirror from Biba.

Crêpe de chine printed coat and plain crêpe bags from Electric Fittings. Rib sun top by John Craig. Pique sun hat by Edward Mann. Espadrilles at Ronald Keith.

Crêpe de chine printed coat and plain crêpe bags from Electric Fittings. Rib sun top by John Craig. Pique sun hat by Edward Mann. Espadrilles at Ronald Keith.

Dressing gown from Austin Reed. Silk blouse and baggy pants by Katherine Hamnett for Tuttabankem. Cobweb shoes at Chelsea Cobbler.

Dressing gown from Austin Reed. Silk blouse and baggy pants by Katharine Hamnett for Tuttabankem. Cobweb shoes at Chelsea Cobbler.

Crêpe de chine pyjama suit by Susie Craker. Panama at Paul Craig.

Crêpe de chine pyjama suit by Susie Craker. Panama at Paul Craig.

Sun top sweater by Virginia. Cotton baggy pants by Universal Witness. Hat by Herbert Johnson. Shoes by Yves Saint Laurent.

Sun top sweater by Virginia. Cotton baggy pants by Universal Witness. Hat by Herbert Johnson. Shoes by Yves Saint Laurent.

Crêpe and satin jacket top by Marie France for Quorum. Flared crêpe trousers by Alice Pollock for Quorum.

Crêpe and satin jacket top by Marie France for Quorum. Flared crêpe trousers by Alice Pollock for Quorum.

Inspirational Editorials: The Fairest of Them All

1970s, annacat, biba, caroline baker, chelsea cobbler, Gina Fratini, Inspirational Images, jean muir, jean-loup sieff, nova magazine, Vintage Editorials

Jean Muir

Dress by Jean Muir

Impossibly beautiful editorial, even if it is touching on the rather unpleasant subject of narcissism. There are a few images from this which have been reproduced many times, but these others less so – so I thought I would give them a well-deserved airing here.

Photographed by Jeanloup Sieff. Styled by Caroline Baker. Make-up and nails by Biba.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, March 1972

Gina Fratini

Sun top (matching trousers not shown) and headress by Gina Fratini

Annacat. Shoes by Chelsea Cobbler.

Blouse by Annacat. Shoes by Chelsea Cobbler.

Zandra Rhodes

Tunic and knee-length skirt by Zandra Rhodes

Gina Fratini

Tunic and shorts by Gina Fratini

Jean Muir

Chiffon dress with matching short bloomer-knickers by Jean Muir

Inspirational Images: All Squares on the Knitting Front

1970s, Bellini, biba, Butler & Wilson, caroline baker, Crochetta, Harri Peccinotti, Inspirational Images, nova magazine

Black and brown sweater by Crochetta, wool knit beret at Beatrice Bellini Handknits, metal brooch at Anschel, bangles at Butler & Wilson.

I definitely want a brooch that says ‘BROOCH’.

Photographed by Harri Peccinotti. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, October 1972

Sweater and matching trousers by Virginia, stripey tights at Biba, bracelets from Butler & Wilson.