1970s, Adrian Mann, Bata, Boobs, bus stop, celia birtwell, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, lee bender, Linda Warren, manolo blahnik, mary quant, moss crepe, ossie clark, quorum, radley, ravel, Rose Bradford, Roy A. Giles, Uncategorized, universal witness, Vintage Editorials, zapata

Poppy field morocaine dress with drawstring neck by Ossie Clark for Radley. Plaited suede sandals by Bata.

Flirty little crêpe dresses so irresistibly feminine you’ll never be alone for long.

Anyone who knows me at all will know that *I* cannot resist crêpe, never mind what a fella thinks. This is a stunning editorial, with a model I’m not sure I recognise from anywhere else – so do comment if you can identify her. Featuring two covetable dresses by Ossie Clark but also featuring two by the mysterious ‘Boobs’ boutique label (by designer Linda Warren). I have found mention of a ‘Boobs’ boutique in Edinburgh, but I think it might just be coincidence. Again, holler if you know anything!

Photographed by Roy A. Giles.

Scanned from Honey, November 1971.


Daring slash necked lemon and lime striped Dicel crêpe dress with paste brooch by Linda Warren at Boobs. Suede plaited shoes by Bata. Tights by Mary Quant.


Chocolate brown Dicel crêpe dress with wide accordian pleated sleeves gathered into deep buttoned cuffs by Linda Warren for Boobs. Scarlet and black scalloped shoes by Ravel. Red art deco compact from Universal Witness.


Skimpy jet black halter neck bonded moss crêpe dress with pink and black polka dot fluted bolero jacket by Rosy Bradford for Quorum. Scarlet glacé leather peep toe shoes from Zapata. Flocked red cherries by Adrien Mann.


Button-through bow-scattered gently flaring crêpe dress from Bus Stop. Black sude sandals by Bata.


Slippery satin dress with palm tree printed bodice by Ossie Clark for Radley. Scarlet leather peep toe shoes by Zapata.

Banish those February blues

angela gore, betty barclay, biba, clobber, gerald mccann, jean allen, jean varon, jeff banks, john bates, moss crepe, stirling cooper, website listings

Stirling Cooper (click to view listing)

Seems the diabolical month of January has given the world something of a February hangover. I just want the world to be filled with beautiful, sparkly things. I offer you sparkly Biba and Stirling Cooper, psychedelic perfection, mod heaven, sultry Biba blues and vibrant Varonishness. Amongst other things, of course. Enjoy!

Gerald McCann (click to view listing)

Angela Gore (click to view listing)

Betty Barclay (click to view listing)

Act III (click to view listing)

Biba (click to view listing)

Onzeur Trant (click to view listing)

Detail of amazing pink moss crepe dress (click to view listing)

Van Allan (click to view listing)

John Bates for Jean Varon (click to view listing)

(click to view listing)

Biba (click to view listing)

Jean Allen (click to view listing)

Jeff Banks for Clobber (click to view listing)

(click to view listing)

Lily About The House

biba, celebrities in vintage, lily allen, man about the house, moss crepe

I still prefer the red version, but it’s nice to see someone else wandering around London in a flamboyant Biba dress…especially one seen adorning Paula Wilcox in Man About The House. And one I have flounced around in myself, although not nearly enough for my liking.

John Bates = Happiness

grace coddington, jean varon, john bates, mod, moss crepe, personal collection, sixties, twiggy

You may (or may not…where have you been hiding??) know of my love for the work of John Bates. He’s a pretty important designer to me, and [via The Avengers and subsequent research] is a big part of why I have gone down this career path. I’ve met him twice and he has also, more recently, completely unwittingly and indirectly changed another part of my life. For which I’m very grateful, and which he will have no idea about.

Senti will be witness to the fact that I nearly fainted when I read what he had written in my copy of Richard Lester’s book about him. I had been wearing an early red chiffon Varon to the launch, and he wrote ‘Love the red chiffon and it fits perfectly!’. Perhaps that wouldn’t affect other, normal, people in the same way. But it was like a slice of heaven for me.

Lousy photo of a great dress.

Anyhoo. I don’t post a lot about my personal collection these days. To be honest with you, I’ve let go of a few things here and there. Other things need re-photographing. And several are still sitting in a no man’s land of ‘maybe I ought to sell this, really’. Hence I removed those sections from the website before I relaunched and haven’t reinstated them yet.

I am still trying to thin down the Bates collection. Which is hard. You can’t even imagine how much so. It’s easier to sell an Ossie, frankly, because I know I can get a fair market value for it. But Bates is still very ‘all over the place’ and I don’t want to gamble with such gorgeous frocks.

My plan is to have a comprehensive mid-Sixties array of his work. The varied, inspirational designs of his early years. Plus a decent selection of everything from then on, but minimalised greatly from what it has been. If I was having any doubts about this idea, they were swiftly removed by my most recent acquisition.

The really good, really early and representative Bateses don’t turn up very often. And you often forget that, for example, you’ve personally never seen an example of his panelled crepe work turn up. Or a dress with laced panels (which I also acquired last year, and need to photograph, sorry!). I’m very lucky to own a PVC example, and a dress with foil trim – those are pretty scarce as well. I love this dress. Passionately. I can’t find a direct photographed example, but it’s got to be from the same year as the Twiggy and Grace Coddington photos (below and at the top of the post).

Yes indeed. This dress makes me very happy.

Suits You Madam

biba, moss crepe, ossie clark, pantsuits, seventies fashion, website listings, xenia

Just listed over at Vintage-a-Peel, two stunning moss crepe pantsuits. One is a Xenia, the other probably is as well – but sadly the label has been removed. Both are heavily inspired by Biba and Ossie. Both are gorgeous.

Xenia are one of my favourite naughty rip-off merchants from the Seventies. They did astonishingly good copies of original Bibas and Ossies, which is just as useful today as it was back then.

Sunshine Superblouse

alice pollock, british boutique movement, moss crepe, personal collection, vintage fangirl squee

I just realised how grey my blog is looking currently. And since I was leafing through my Boutique book this morning, in an attempt to cheer my poorly self up (revenge of the spring snuffles), and realised I had never scanned in the photo of Alice Pollock wearing my Alice Pollock blouse….I thought I ought to share. And brighten this place up a bit. Because it is seriously yellow.

I once made the mistake of wearing this blouse to the theatre. I hadn’t realised how tiny the theatre would be, that I would end up in the front row – practically on the stage, and that John Simm would quite possibly be blinded by my sartorial choice that night. Whoops!

Mad About The Dress

1970s, biba, eye candy, man about the house, moss crepe, personal collection, vintage fangirl squee

The lovely Sharon Rose suggested I post more pictures of myself in some of my favourite frocks. Now in theory, that is a lovely idea. In reality, I fear cameras greatly unless I am properly prepared with a shovel-load of make-up and good lighting. Which is why so few photos of me are allowed out into the great world wide web.

However, I decided to post a photo of myself in one of my favourite Biba dresses….nay, one of my favourite dresses period. Mainly because I was completely delighted to see this dress, albeit in pale yellow rather than red moss crepe, worn by the fabulous Paula Wilcox as Chrissie in Man About The House (remade as Three’s Company in the US). I was less delighted to see she ‘fills’ it rather better than I do, but then again…..mine is so teeny tiny I couldn’t fit much more in it anyway! Small boobs can be very handy when it comes to Biba clothes…..

The sleeves are my favourite bit, they’re gigantic (not the biggest though, I think my Bill Gibb takes that particular biscuit) and have a very deep buttoned cuff, which gives a delightful swag. Honestly, this has to be one of my top ten favourite dresses in my closet……

Perhaps at a later date I will post a picture of me in the Jean Varon dress her flatmate Jo is also wearing in this particular episode! Yes, I have both dresses!