Lingerie de Luxe

1970s, Aurore Clement, Inspirational Images, Liliane Dreyfus, lingerie, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, Sacha, sunday times magazine, underwear, Vintage Editorials, Vog

Some of the sexiest women in films are buying underwear like this. It is wildly expensive (the items cost from about £16 to £90), but Liliane Dreyfus, who designed it for Vog, Paris, says that her customers don’t seem to mind the price; with pay-cheques like the ones that Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Andress, Juliette Greco and Jackie Bissett pick up, why should they? On these pages her silk, satin and lace concoctions are worn by Aurore Clement, one of the new stars of Louis Malles most recent — and some say finest — film, Lacombe Lucien. If you have the money and are still interested, they are available to order from Harrods.

Styling and words by Meriel McCooey.

Photographed by Sacha.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, March 31st 1974.

Coats of Many Colours

1970s, Afghanistan, Boutiques, Eva Sereny, Inspirational Images, Margaret Kimber, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, Shakira Caine, Stock, Vintage Editorials

The fabrics, the hand embroideries, the ornate but cheap jewels and the colourful clothes which seem so exotic in Western eyes are accepted as ordinary and everyday in Afghanistan; but it takes sophisticated know-how to appreciate and capitalise on the exquisite workmanship involved. Their shaggy coats, sold over here by the thousand, are bargains, especially when you consider how much warm cloth coats cost nowadays, and even though the Afghans have still to perfect a way of treating the skins to stop them smelling. They undersell their goods, having little idea of what they are fetching overseas, and they have no set sizing system. In other words, to make their fashion industry commercially viable it needs organisation and expertise. Margaret Kimber, an English girl who recently spent 18 months in Kabul, proved in a small way that this can be done. She turned her home into a workshop, bought bales of fabric, employed local labour to make up her designs and returned with the clothes shown on these pages. We photographed them in Paris on Shakira Caine, a flawless Indian beauty from Guyana, a former Miss World contestant now married to actor Michael Caine. A model before her marriage, she was the sexy girl in the television coffee-bean ad. A selection of these dresses, all different, ranging in price from £28 to £40, as well as jewellery (examples of these are shown on the cover), are available from Stock, 236 Fulham Road, London SW10, and at 131 High Holborn, WC1. Some of them are shown on these pages. The cushions and wall-hangings are from Mohanjeet, 21 Rue Saint-Sulpice, Paris 6.

By Meriel McCooey.

Photographed by Eva Sereny.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, 17th March 1974.

A Legacy of Lace

1970s, art deco, Deco Inspired, Inspirational Images, janet reger, Linda Dagenais, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, Sarah Moon, sunday times magazine, Vintage Editorials
Long beige slip in lace and crepe, £19.50; soft-lined crepe bra, £5.40.

It is not often that they auction old knickers at Christies, but earlier this year the celebrated wardrobe of Heather Firbank went under the hammer, and an integral part of the collection was her exquisite underwear. Heather Firbank, sister of the novelist Ronald Firbank, was famous for her unique, occasionally eccentric clothes, and though most of them now belong to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the highest bid for the underclothes came from the lingerie manufacturer Janet Reger and her husband Peter. They made copies of the pieces they bought, and tomorrow they will be on sale from Bottom Drawer, 33 Southwick Street, London W.2, and by mail order. They are expensive, certainly, but unfortunately the luxury of Twenties underwear no longer comes at Twenties prices. All accessories are from Maria Cavallos shop Dignetts, at Antiquarius, King’s Road, London S.W.3.

Model is Linda Dagenais.

Words and styling by Meriel McCooey.

Photographed by Sarah Moon.

Scanned from Sunday Times Magazine, November 17th 1974.

Oyster satin cami-slip, £25.00.
Black lace slip, £19-50; black lace camisole top, £28.50
Original cami-knickers from Heather Firbank collection (also shown on cover). The seam-for-seam copy costs £19-50.

Nice bit of skirt

1970s, Chelsea Antiques Market, Diana Doe, Eva Sereny, meriel mccooey, Meriel McCooey, miss selfridge, Nicholetta Machiavelli, stirling cooper, sunday times magazine, Vintage Editorials
Black and white seersucker skirt, Stirling Cooper, £8.50, from a selection of prints and designs at Miss Selfridge, Oxford Street, London W1 ; sweater 75p, also from a selection at Miss Selfridge; scarf from Chelsea Antique Market.

This summer’s new long day skirts might make attractive alternatives for those who fancy a change from shifts and pants. Worn as Italian film actress Nicholetta Machiavelli likes them, with simple T-shirts and an old prop-basket petticoat, they look casual and romantic, and are surprisingly cool to wear.

Styled by Meriel McCooey.

Photographed by Eva Sereny.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, August 6th 1972.

Bright tartan seersucker, £8.50, sweater £1.95, both at Miss Selfridge.
Frilled, elasticated top £2.50; split-sided skirt £3.70, both from Diana Doe.
halter top, Diana Doe £1.75, mail order from Do Do House, 69,Bedford Road, Reading RG1 7EY, Berks; skirt £8.50, at Miss Selfridge.

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.

Mild Sauce: For Two Pins

1970s, Betty Jackson, charles jourdan, chelsea cobbler, christian dior, Inspirational Images, james wedge, janet reger, Janice Bell, mary quant, Meriel McCooey, mild sauce, miss selfridge, quorum, Sacha, sunday times magazine, underwear, Vintage Editorials

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Another glorious underwear editorial by the always saucy, always perfect Mr James Wedge.

Photographed by James Wedge. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, October 1978

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Inspirational Images: Fancy Footwork

1970s, Inca, Inspirational Images, Meriel McCooey, pat cleveland, Sacha, sunday times magazine

Dazzling sock with toes from Inca, 45 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 for approximately £4 a pair ... The fingerless mitts, also from Inca, cost £1.50

Dazzling sock with toes from Inca, 45 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 for approximately £4 a pair … The fingerless mitts, also from Inca, cost £1.50

The price of boots, like that of most other things today, is disgracefully high: here is another way of keeping your legs and feet warm – with socks.

Modelled by Pat Cleveland. Story by Meriel McCooey. Photographed by Sacha.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, 12th January 1975

The Minnelli Style

1970s, david bailey, Halston, Inspirational Images, Liza Minnelli, Meriel McCooey, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine

Liza Minnelli has been in show business off and on since the age of three when she had her first walk-on part in The Good Old Summertime. Now at the age of 27 she is a firmly established, gutsy, vital, talented star who appears to have the necessary resilience to stay one. But the public demands that its current idols should always be on show, so Liza Minnelli’s looks, costumes and make-up have become an essential part of her professional life. But did she really like clothes ?

“Well, I am one of the 10 best dressed women in the world — so they tell me.” Who tells you? “They tell me.” She gave an abrupt shout of laughter and then looked gloomy, as if the sound of her voice depressed her. Dressed in a beige knitted suit bordered with a brown frieze and wearing no make-up, she apologised for keeping us waiting just a few minutes, and explained that she had been rehearsing for the three concerts that she was to do in London later that week. “Do you mind if I eat something? I haven’t had a bite all day.” Rapidly she spooned her way through a plate of clear soup, crunched some celery, and cut a slice of cheese which she ate like cake. Did she diet? “No, I really don’t have to. I drop pounds when I work; the weight just rolls off.” When she I was younger she tipped the scales at over ll stone; she’s thinner now, but still nicely curvy rather than model-girl skinny.

Stage costumes designed by Keith Hodges

In the bedroom she opened her wardrobe door: it bulged with clothes. “I’m afraid that I haven’t got much here, all the really great stuff is on its way from the States.” On her dressing-table, next to a bottle of Vitamin B with Vitamin C complex tablets, were rows of giant lashes laid out like dead insects — these eyelashes have become almost her trade-mark. “And we’ve got boxes more,” said her secretary. “They are made from real hair,” Liza explained. “Christina makes them up for me, and when they get a bit tacky we send them back and she washes and re-does them for me.”

Her emphatic, idiosyncratic make-up was created by the Hollywood beautician Christina (Christina prefers the word ‘created’), and from time to time she` tums up to adjust it and apply it. “Shc designed it for me but wrote it all down so that I can do it myself.” Liza disappeared into the bathroom, emerging minutes later having washed and dried her short dark hair. Quickly she applied  her make-up and expertly fixed on a pair of the enormous lashes which fanned around her large, expressive eyes like peacock’s feathers.

Clothes by Halston

The off-stage clothes that she showed us looked classic and good, a few from St Laurent, lots from Halston whose clothes she adores, others from De Noyer; her silver jewellery was designed by Peretti for Halston in New York. Some of the clothes, like Halston’s slinky black jersey dress and his black sequinned suit, she wears both on and off stage: “I simply adore black,” she said. Once she complained that just because she had been to 22 schools and had tive fathers everyone ex- pected her to be a delinquent: “But I had an English nanny for four years.” Even so, you get the feeling that the girl who used to wear bright green nail varnish and heavy purple eye- shadow lurks quite near the surface.

A friend said: “At home she looks diiferent. She wears funky blue jeans and outrageous shoes.” “Yes, I do like shoes,” she admitted. More than anything else? “Yes, you could say more than anything else.” She produced a pair of white skin, stubby-toed shoes with incredibly high heels which were studded with multi—coloured rhinestones which glittered and flashed in the lights.

“Desi calls them my Buicks,” (Desi Arnaz Jnr., her boy—friend before the arrival of Peter Sellers). “I buy them from Fred Slatten in California. They are the best sort of shoes, made in Italy with the diamanté stuck on in America.” She says that she is a mixture of Italian, French and Irish. The press cuttings suggest she is part Jewish too? “N0, I’m not, but my half-sister Lorna (Luft) is half-Jewish. The Press make mistakes. I get irritated when they put expressions into my mouth that I wouldn’t use, like ‘haargh’ or ‘yee-uck’, which don’t sound like me. Occasionally I might use ‘shri-ek’ – but not much. A reporter once wrote that he called on me when I was living in a London mews, banged on the door, no-one came, but as he walked away, a top window opened, and I appeared and threw a bottle of vodka at him. I have never lived in a London mews — and I don’t drink vodka.”

Clothes by Halston

Her off-stage wardrobe may have calmed down a bit, but on stage she glitters and shines in extravagant theatrical fantasies. “You would have flipped if I’d had the red satin here, it’s straight, not cut on the bias. And the cloche hat with the flower. Oh, but I really want the red dress.

“Keith Hodges designed it for me with the hat. Keith’s 26 years old and works for himself in California. He sent me a couple of sketches one day, they were simple but extraordinary. One had this hat, another a boa. A funny look. You wou1dn’t have wanted it yourself but I felt that it was right for me. They were a combination of something that Chanel might have designed and someone like Casati might have worn.” Marchesa Casati was one of the most exotic personalities of the early 1900s; a great hostess who painted her face white, dyed her hair flame-red before it was considered ‘proper’, ringed her eyes with kohl, wore tiger skins and eccentric hats, and kept a small Tunisian slave whom she once painted gold.

“I intend to make a film about her with my father. We’ve been looking for the right thing for ages. It’s from a novel, The Film of Memory by Maurice Druon, and it’s about Casati’s relationship with a little room-maid, when she’s old and sick living in the Hotel Inghilterra in Rome. She changes the girl’s life. I’ll play the maid who becomes a kind of mirror to the old woman’s memories, and in the few of the flash-backs I’ll play Casati.

“For Cabaret we almost did the clothes ourselves. There was a designer, I won’t mention her name, but the original clothes were just ‘the pits’. I had to tell her about shoulder pads and explain what ‘cut on the bias’ meant. Once I said ‘Look, before the war . . .’ and she said ‘What war ?’ Imagine. In one scene Fosse [the director, Bob Fosse] threw me his tuxedo waistcoat and said ‘Try this’. It worked so I wore it.” She paused: “You know there is a real Sally Bowles? She really exists. Isn’t it funny, Sally desperately wanted to be famous and important – she wanted to be – and now she is.”

Interview by Meriel McCooey. Photographs by David Bailey. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, July 1973

Dress by Halston

The Ringleaders

1960s, Chelita Secunda, Emmerton and Lambert, julie driscoll, lulu, Meriel McCooey, ossie clark, pat booth, sunday times magazine, Suzy Kendall

Suzy Kendall

When popstar Lulu announced her engagement to musician Maurice Gibb a few months ago, most newspapers published pictures of her holding hands with her fiance. Underneath were captions which stated: “Lulu shows off her sapphire and diamond ring.” But in the photos=graohs they were both wearing so many different rings it was impossible to make out which one was the engagement ring – or who, for that matter, was wearing it. Pictures like these show that there is a growing fashion for wearing masses of rings all crammed on at once. It’s a craze that has sprung up as a sort of antidote to the growing uniformity of clothes. Last winter when most people were racing around in pants, long sweaters and clumpy shoes, the only way of looking remotely original was to wear different scarves, unusual belts or jewellery. Actress Suzy Kendall (above), who has been a keen collector for some time, said that she picked up this selection while on location in Yugoslavia and in Rome, and she bought others from a shop in Chelsea called Anschel’s. The rest of the people photographed on these pages acquire their bits and piece in much the same way. This is a craze that doesn’t cost much. Avid collectors say that it wouldn’t work with real stones – they would look too flashy – and they prefer more original bits.

The Sunday Times Magazine, March 23 1969.

By Meriel McCooey. Photos by Malcolm Robertson. Scanned by Miss Peelpants.

Ossie Clark in knuckledusters

Boutique owner/model Pat Booth and Art Nouveau swan ring

Pop star Lulu without husband

Verne Lambert sells them [Lambert was one half of Chelsea Antiques Market’s Emmerton and Lambert]

Chelita Secunda, model agent, collects old enamelled versions

Chelsea girl Judy Szekley

Indian rings for painter Brunner

Julie Driscoll in market bargains

Mild Sauce: Wrap up well

1970s, celia birtwell, Inspirational Images, Meriel McCooey, mild sauce, quorum, Shirley Beljon, sunday times magazine, terry de havilland, Vintage Editorials

“Every designer has long scarves this season – decorating waists, flung over shoulders, slotted through necklines. Celia Birtwell, whose famous screen prints for Quorum enlivened some of their prettiest garments, has produced a new and imaginative collection of exotic zebra and tiger-printed chiffon fantasies which hide a multitude of flesh – even on our bonny pneumatic model. (In real life, Marinka works as a London barmaid.) The scarves come in three sizes, 44in. sq., 22in. sq., and 14in. sq., and cost £10, £6.50 and £4.50 respectively; they are obtainable from Quorum, Radnor Walk, Chelsea, London SW3, and also from their branch at Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3.”

By Meriel McCooey. Photographed by Shirley Beljon. Mules by Terry de Havilland.

The Sunday Times Magazine. March 20th 1977.