Cover Up

1970s, Antiquarius, Buckle Under, caroline smith, Christopher Morris, Du-Du, Equinox, Escalade, Foale and Tuffin, forbidden fruit, harpers and queen, Illustrations, Le Bistingo Boutique

A holiday necessity—to entice your gigolo, or simply preserve decency on the terrace for lunchtime drinks — is a cover-up. We’ve looked around, found the nicest ones in town and had them sketched here by Caroline Smith. Some you tie Polynesian style (remember Blue Lagoon?) round you; others you lie on, or in; others are like the simplest dress slipped over your head to demurely cover you up (don’t shock the curé) for church-seeing.

1 Du-Du at 95 Parkway, NW1 are in for a sell-out this summer with their ‘Kangas’. Kangas, for the uninformed, are long pieces of cotton in a huge variety of colours and patterns. They come from Africa and act like a sarong ; they cost about £3 and pack to the site of a handkerchief. 2 Foale & Tuffin‘s new swimsuit will take you right back to Nanny and the sand-pit. White and orange spotted seersucker with a shirred bodice and bloomers ; £7.50, from Countdown, 137 Kings Rd, SW3; Lucienne Phillips, 09 Knightsbridge, SW1. Proving that the cottage industry is thriving, Christopher Morris and his wife Lera, with a friend, Hazel McKenzie, recently opened Habari at 39 Sussex Place, W2. Christopher designs all the clothes, while Lera and Hazel dye the fabric and screen-print it into luscious patterns. They also sell things like the small basket shown below. It’s in brown and cream string and really pretty; £4.25. The dress has a hessian bodice and a low back (or front —depending on how you wear it) with a short voile skirt: £18-50. Peeping out from under the dress on the extreme right of this page you can see their leather sandal, shaped like a trapezium ; £4. 4 Le Bistingo Boutique at 93 Kings Rd, SW3, have gone to town on the Piz Buin collection of swimwear. Its made of polyester fabric —see-through and also tan-through. The designs are rather Tahitian with bright colours and bold flower prints. There are sarong skirts to match the bikinis and make you more respectable. If these still aren’t enough, the bikinis do also come in a less revealing material. The bikini is £7.80, the skirt £10.90. Le Bistingo have also latched on to another idea … if you find that by some strange quirk of fate you need a different sized bikini top and bottom, ‘Huit’ ) now make them separately up to 38″ bust ; £5.50 the set at Le Bistino. 5 Equinox in Antiquarius (135 Kings Rd, SW3) is owned by David Scott and James Goldsack who have got together a fantastic conglomeration of stock from all over the world. It’s a haven for all Indian enthusiasts, as there’s a jolly collection of Navajo Indian carpets and jewellery. You can also buy Spanish crockery which is very, very ‘earthy’ looking, or if you prefer to sit on a prayer mat and sip your tea out of a little Chinese bowl, then Equinox can cater for both these needs as well. So as not to stray too far away from the point of this month’s Shopping B, they also do a very nice line in beach cover-ups ; this one is Mexican and hand-embroidered on cotton, £20. 6 Guaranteed to keep off sunstroke : pretty red straw hat with tanan ribbon ; by Buckle Under about f6.50; from Harrods, Knightsbridge and Darlings, Bath. 7 Essential beach bag to hoard biros and postcards — in canvas, comes in various colours (this one is green). £4.95, Escalade, 187 Brompton Rd, SW3. 8 If you like long skirts and dresses beautifully embroidered, and soft cheesecloth skirts with appliqués, then the place to go is Forbidden Fruit at 352 Kings Rd, SW3. We chose a long cheesecloth skirt with dark brown embroidery around the hem and a matching shirt with shirring round the waist and neckline. Very soft and feminine; sold together, £15.

Illustrated by Caroline Smith.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, July 1972.

In Spring, a young man’s fancy turns to Courtelle.

1970s, frank usher, harpers and queen, Vintage Adverts


“I’m the young man standing in front of the sunset looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth. I was caught red-handed mooning around the two girls in the picture, and they asked me to write this ad. They want me to tell you that the clothes they are wearing are designed by Frank Usher, and made in Courtelle Voile. Apparently that is a light, flowing fabric in 100% Courtelle, and is as easy to wash as throwing into a washing machine. I believe them, after all, who’s going to argue with such good looking girls”.

Can any men out there confirm if this is, indeed, true? I had no idea you all thought about synthetic fabrics so much to be honest…

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, May 1975.

Livia

1970s, Angela Landels, harpers and queen, Illustrations, Vicky Tiel, Vintage Adverts
“Clothes to be loved in.”

Dress by Vicky Tiel.

Illustrator uncredited. (Possibly Angela Landels).

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, May 1975.

That old black magic

1970s, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, jewellery, Vintage Adverts
Black steel and diamond jewellery made by Roger Doyle. One collection in an exclusive catalogue available from Jones (jeweller) at 52 Beauchamp Place London SW3.

Photographer, model and make-up artist sadly all unknown for now.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, June 1977.

Dinner with Thea Porter

1970s, Food, harpers and queen, interior design, interiors, thea porter
Thea Porter (right) and her daughter Venetia. On the richly decorated table are some of Mrs Porter’s favourite Lebanese dishes.

‘The great thing about an Arab meal is its variety’

Thea Porter, painter and dress designer, whose shop in Soho and flat off Piccadilly are ports of call for the international set, writes about cooking Arab food.

I love my kitchen – from the neatly stacked Margaux (Brane Cantenac is a current favourite) to the painted Louis XIV cherubs smiling innocently from the shiny brown wall into the mirror shelves opposite, lined with Damascus spices and French herbs. Even late at night I enjoy boiling up an anti-hangover drink, and gazing at my cookery books before carrying one up to bed to plan some future meal.

But I also get inspiration in restaurants. Sitting in the ordered splendour of the Orangerie in the Ile Saint Louis (where the waiters all look like jeunes premiers among the flowers) I think of my kitchen, and wonder how to re-create the delicious sauces without bothering the chef. How do people con recipes out of restaurant owners ? I try to guess the ingredients, and then have to keep going back to make sure the proportions are right.

At the Orangerie they have enormous baskets of crudités – like cornucopias by Tiepolo – overflowing with mush-rooms, avocados, grapelike tomatoes and black radishes to go with smoked ham, and two different sauces. One, I think, is made with thin cream cheese (Gervita from Roche, 14 Old Compton Street, W1 will do) mixed with cream or yoghourt and chives. Their vinaigrette is also excellent – the herbs are so finely chopped it breaks my heart. This type of hors d’oeuvres is my favourite start to a meal. I quite often add tarama to go with the avocado, or a mixture of cream, finely chopped shallots and artificial caviar. Smoked salmon is an alternative : it rather depends on what one can find.

I never have time to shop in London, and usually send someone out with a list. This system breaks down when smoked trout instead of fresh trout is discovered sitting in the kitchen -but it is also fun to improvise at the last moment. I always have a supply of tins from Roche to fall back on, and a packet of paper-thin Greek pastry from the Hellenic Provision Stores to make burreks . These can be layered and stuffed with practically anything, then rolled into thin cigars and baked.

The best thing about raw vegetables, apart from their crisp texture with the melting sauces, is that they are so pretty. Nothing is so exquisite as plumed sliced fennel or cauliflower. (Edna O’Brien says she finds even sliced leeks that tendril round her fingers beautiful.) I pile them into a motley collection of Japanese bowls
and plates and arrange them with bowls of flowers, although not as ambitiously as they do at Parkes, where roses nestle expensively by the melon. I think I must spend as much on flowers as on food. (If I’m cooking something really smelly, I find even lilies aren’t enough, so I light one of those Rigaud candles on the stairs.)

But if you have crudites for starters, and have to peel mushrooms and clip radishes, there is very little time left for preparing the main course. So it has to be something easy like sirloin, very rare with horseradish, served with tinned flageolets from Roche – either heated up with cream, or cooked the way Arabs cook broad beans, with fried onion and pounded coriander – delicious.

Arab food is ideal for the hard-pressed woman, torn between trying to call New York and attend to her guests, as it is always better the next day. I’m very fond of a Lebanese Lenten dish: spinach leaves stuffed and slowly cooked in oil and water. This is a delicate dish and should melt in the mouth if cooked long enough. Another Lenten dish is artichoke hearts fried in oil with onions and then simmered in water and lemon. Lebanese food has a lot in common with Provençal cooking, which means that I can start with an aioli with cod, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and salsify, and then go on to sfeeha – a kind of Arab pizza, spread with mincemeat and pome-granate seeds, and served with thick yoghourt and a sharp lemony salad of green tomatoes and cos lettuce. As a child I used to watch black-visored Muslim women on a Friday clustered round a waterfall, greedily stripping and eating cos lettuces the way people here eat chocolates at the theatre.

The great thing about an Arab meal is that there is always a large variety of things to eat – often all plonked on the table at the same time. So you can choose a spoonful of this and a taste of that – excellent when you want to talk and drink in a leisurely way, and easier than coping with a large plateful of the one thing you perhaps can’t stomach. It certainly takes quite a lot longer to prepare ten or fifteen small dishes, but to my mind it makes for a more exciting meal.

I try not to give food that I myself adore (like brandade de morue) to guests who may not happen to enjoy that very earthy taste, unless there’s another choice. Brandade de morue is rather a soothing thing to cook with the music programme full on : you slowly heat oil in one saucepan, and milk in another, then beat minute quantities of each in turn into the desalted and poached salt cod. Some people add mashed potato for instant smoothness.

As I’m extremely greedy, I find cooking soothing and enjoyable after working and thinking all day, and I enjoy every stage – breaking eggs and beating them into a smooth hollandaise to go with a pearly bass cooked with tarragon in champagne dregs, or chopping up cuttlefish and stewing it a la libanaise in its beautiful sepia ink to make a thick, wicked-looking sauce with an intoxicating smell.

French cooking is undeniably far more subtle than anything oriental can ever be, but you do need time the same day. I find the sauce cracks when I try and heat up a poulet en demi deuil , while Circassian chicken is just as good heated up.

These are two extremes of taste, and it’s difficult to find a wine that will stand up to highly flavoured food, but that still goes well with a subtle flavour. I do my wine tasting at the Jardin des Gourmets when I eat there, and can then usually find the same wines at a cut-price wine store, Milroy’s in Greek Street.

There are so many exciting things to eat, it’s difficult to choose – though it’s easier to prepare something you like enormously than to experiment. I sometimes regret not living in France because the matieres premigres are so good there: the first white truffles to make into a salad or to roast on skewers ; fresh, white, shelled and skinned walnuts soaked in salt water ; the endless herbs that are always around and that you do not have to hunt for. Alas, the herbs in my window boxes wither and die regularly, but I shall doubtless go on re-stocking them hopefully until I wither and die too.

Photograph by Michel Molinare.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, April 1972.

Available in Colours

1970s, David Stetson, harpers and queen, Parker & Downes, Parkers, Vintage Adverts

I’ve got a touch of the Déjà vus. At least I can now hazard a guess that Parker and Downes (whoever they may be) were the designers of that earlier, mysterious and perfect outfit and also this perfect outfit above. Those boots! I also love the phrase ‘available in colours’. So many layers of mysterious…

Photographer uncredited this time but I’ll guess it’s also David Stetson.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, March 1976.

Floppy berets and over the knee socks

1970s, Bellini, caroline smith, harpers and queen, Illustrations, Inspirational Images

If you can’t buy it anywhere else, you’ll probably stumble on it in a craft shop — from the most punctiliously-made tapestry, reeking with tradition and the skills of centuries, to crazy little things like corn-dollies and earth mothers. The name Women’s Home Industries’ conjures up all the right kind of pre-Women’s Lib craftsmanship. The work still goes on, and every type of hand-knitted clothing is still sold from their re-christened shop, Beatrice Bellini Handknits, 11 West Halkin St, SW1.

Their bright, stripy, over-the-knee socks in various colours, or to order; £5.50. The lovely floppy beret comes in matching colours, and costs £3.50. The WHI Tapestry Shop, 85 Pimlico Road, SW1 sells hand-painted canvases for anything from a specs case to a large rug, and will copy your sketches on to canvas.

Illustrations by Caroline Smith.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, April 1972.

Queen Marsha Hunt

1970s, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, james wedge, marsha hunt
Actress and singer Marsha Hunt, paying homage to Tutankhamun, London’s most distinguished visitor this year. Her make-up is by Biba. Make-up applied by Bryan Perrow. Hair by Trevor at Leonard. Gilt Egyptian fish necklace, £11, The Purple Shop, 15 Flood Street, SW3. Gilt fish earrings, £10, Cameo Corner, 26 Museum Street, WC1.

I don’t often scan covers unless they are part of an editorial inside, but occasionally I’ll be so moved by one that I have to share. Magnificent!

Photographed by James Wedge.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, April 1972.

Thierry Mugler

1970s, Claus Wickrath, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, thierry mugler
Angora tunics and leggings in apricot and pistachio, £215 a set; angora tunic with front slit and leggings in pale violet, £200; all by Thierry Mugler, from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1. Matching suede shoes and matchingi fluffy earrings, both Thierry Mugler, available in Paris only.

Au revoir to the mighty Thierry Mugler (1948-2022)

Photographed by Claus Wickrath.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, November 1979.

Discerning Palette

1980s, Ally Capellino, Hair and make-up, harpers and queen, Inspirational Images, leonard, Make-up, Sandra Lousada, Sophie Ward, yves saint laurent

Put aside everything you’ve ever been taught about make-up. Look at colour afresh, not as a consumer of cosmetics but as a painter might.

Oatmeal cotton smock by Ally Capellino, from all branches of Whistles. Straw hat by Extras from Hobbs. Palette and brushes from a selection at George Rowney.

Make-up by Ariane using colours from Yves Saint Laurent’s L’Eté Bleu collection.

Hair by Leonard.

Modelled by Sophie Ward.

Photographed by Sandra Lousada.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, June 1983.