Inspirational Images: Warm and fuzzy

1970s, Angela at London Town, biba, british boutique movement, bus stop, C&A, chelsea cobbler, elisabeth novick, gerald mccann, gordon king, Inspirational Images, Jaeger, James Drew, lee bender, mary farrin, mary quant, Russell & Bromley, vanity fair, Vintage Editorials, wallis, zapata
vanity fair 2

Left: Coat by Young Jaeger. Trousers by Angela at London Town. Shirt by James Drew. Striped waistcoat at Bus Stop. Right: Borg jacket by Gerald McCann. Angora trousers by Mary Farrin. Socks by Mary Quant. Clogs by The Chelsea Cobbler at Russell and Bromley.

Photographed by Elisabeth Novick. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vanity Fair, October 1971

vanity fair 1

Left: ‘Monkey’ jacket by Gordon King. Checked Oxford bags by Bus Stop. Shirt from Bus Stop. Authentic Forties head by Zapata. Veiling from Biba. Right: Short furry jacket from Wallis. Trousers from C&A. Shirt from James Drew. Hand-knitted waistcoat from Bus Stop.

Inspirational Editorials: Gentle Reminders

1970s, Bermona, che guevara, Electric Fittings, Essences, Glynn Manson, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, mary farrin, Michael Berkofsky, Snob, Vintage Editorials


Is anyone else utterly bored with this tedious, freezing weather? I am greatly looking forward to wearing lighter knitwear and bathing my face in warm, watery Spring sunlight – an atmosphere so perfectly captured in these stunning images.

Photographed by Michael Berkofsky. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, February 1974


Sweater by Glynn Manson. Blouse from Essences. Cloche by Bermona.


Aeroplane-patterned cardigan by Glyn Manson. Tie front cardigan from Mary Farrin. Linen skirt from Electric Fittings.


Left: jumper from Essences. Right: Original 30s floppy jumper from Essences.

Inspirational Editorials: Who Needs Skirts?

1960s, british boutique movement, celia birtwell, chinoiserie, countdown, fulham road clothes shop, Inspirational Images, mary farrin, Mog, ossie clark, Peter Knapp, sunday times magazine, sylvia ayton, thea porter, vidal sassoon, Vintage Editorials, zandra rhodes

Satin trousers, matching jacket, 17gns by Ossie Clark from Quorum

Above is the notorious Lamborghini suit, most famously worn by Twiggy. I honestly love everything from this editorial. Except that the Lamborghini suit doesn’t suit me at all, and I am speaking from bitter experience there.

Photographed by Peter Knapp, carpets from Peter Jones.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, December 1st 1968

Brocade chiffon three-piece outfit with harem pants, 20gns by Ossie Clark from Quorum.

Trouser suit trimmed with snakeskin by Mog, 16gns, Countdown.

Velvet waistcoat £20, and brocade harem pants £16, by Thea Porter Decorations Ltd.

Angora cat-suit by Mary Farrin, 22gns

Dungarees by Zandra Rhodes and Sylvia Ayton, £8 10s, Fulham Road Clothes Shop. Sweater by Laura, £18, Vidal Sassoon Boutique.

Knits of the realm

knitwear, mary farrin, sally levison, website listings

Advert from 19 Magazine, May 1972

Part of why I love my job is the seemingly endless ability it has to baffle me. Maybe I come across as being a smarty pants who knows
everything (or, thinks she does) but, really, I have huge gaps in my knowledge. Usually these are opened up when I find a new label on my travels, or a nugget appears in a magazine. Or, in this case, both.

Most people are [vaguely] aware of Mary Farrin, the knitwear designer, whose shop on South Molton Street opened at the height of the British Boutique movement in the late Sixties. Her clothes were largely manufactured in her chosen home of Malta; knitted interpretations of the overriding boutique look.

A while ago, I came across this stunning green knit dress. The label baffled me. Levison Originals by Mary Farrin. Levison who? At that moment, I couldn’t find any reference to Levison Originals other than this photo. I listed the dress anyway, it’s all you can do.

Piqued once more by the fabulous advert at the top of this page, where knits by ‘Sally Levison’ and ‘Mary Farrin’ both feature side by side, I googled again and suddenly found a solitary reference to the company.

“After she left college Claire went into journalism, eventually to become features editor of the respected fashion trade ‘bible’, the Drapers Record. In the late 1960’s, needing a new challenge, Claire became a director of a small fashion company, started by Sally Levison (the mother of the writer, the ‘Levison’ of LMP) called Levison Originals. The company specialised in hand-made designer knitwear. The clothes were made on the island of Gozo in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Over the next eight years or so Claire and Sally transformed this tiny start-up company into one of the two or three leading high profile knit and crochetwear organisations in the world. At its height it employed over 500 people knitting away in the Gozo factory and exporting to the major fashion houses world-wide. Whilst Sally provided the creative flair for the business it was Claire’s level-headed skill in interpreting Sally’s eccentric ideas which was so instrumental in enabling the business to flourish.

The writer believes that without Claire’s ability to transfer Sally’s ideas into pragmatic reality, Levison Originals would not have been the success that it was. Examples are now held in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent clothing collection.”

I still don’t quite know where the collaboration with Mary Farrin fits in with this, other than that they were both producing clothes in Malta, but it’s always nice to [potentially] start a snowball of faint interest which might produce more information over time.

Oh, and the exceedingly yummy dress is still for sale!

New listings: Day dresses

bourgeois, british boutique movement, carnaby street, forties fashion, mary farrin, mister ant, novelty prints, seventies fashion, sixties, versace, website listings
Versus Versace

Boring, functional work-related post alert!!

Just to let you know of three new listings in the daywear department (and to alert you to some others you might have missed the other day). Plenty more to come; I’m hoping to list a Marie France, an original Twiggy labelled dress and a Holly Harp by the end of the week. And more if I possibly can…. Wish me luck!

Unsigned novelty print Forties dress

Green 1970s Mister Ant sun dress

Levison Originals by Mary Farrin

Unsigned 1960s barkcloth mini

Bourgeois boutique of Soho 1970s maxi dress