The RCA’s School of Fashion is a great forcing ground for young designers. This year’s show proved the point again, with looks both space-age and romantic, the best in fashion for men… the man in the landscape is Gervase, pop singer with new release, “Pepper Grinder”. And the man responsible for the leather landscape, Jim O’Connor, made a gold lurex evening suit that could outshine Elvis Presley; a memorable droopy satin dressing gown and pyjamas silk-screened in rainbow colours with the words “there will never be another you”.
I would walk over hot coals for that jacket. Jim O’Connor would go on to design for Tommy Roberts’s Mr Freedom boutique and created the legendary winged boots (as worn by Elton John) amongst many other iconic designs.
There’s not a huge amount out there about Gervase Griffiths, what there is mainly relates to his time with Patrick Procktor and those creative circles (see here where there is also a connection to Ossie Clark), but here’s a link to the aforementioned Pepper Grinder which is all the baroque psychedelic whimsy you would expect from 1968.
Rosalind Russell wore this soft grey georgette evening dress with cross-draped bodice, for The Velvet Touch.
[Proving that nostalgia is nothing new…]
You are forgiven if you think the pictures on these pages are fashion circa 1971. In a sense, they are; but in fact, these are original Hollywood – the clothes of the stars, people like Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, Jean Seberg, Shirley Temple — worn in their films, coming up for a gala auction at Sotheby’s Pantechnicon in Motcomb Street at 7pm on December 1.
The man who made it possible is Michael Fish — Mr Fish, no less — who bought the whole collection of 30s, 40s and 50s creations from Max Berman & Son of Hollywood, and is putting them to auction in aid of Immigrant Community Services. So you could help to provide a new children’s playground in Brixton, say, while treating yourself to a great fashion original . . . like Jane Russell’s navy pleated chiffon coat over crepe culottes ; Bonita Granville’s pink chiffon dress with Alencon lace and fine pleating; not to mention the original mini worn by Betty Hutton in Annie Get Your Gun.
Patrick Procktor is contributing to the programme for Mr Fish’s ‘frock fantasy’. Ossie Clark’s sensational model, Gala, will wear some of the clothes, as she did for us in company with Barbara Trentham. Make-up here by Barbara Daly; hair by Smile; location, Mr Paul Hamlyn’s house.
Harpers and Queen, December 1971. Photographs by Tim Street-Porter
Square-shouldered 40s suits, as worn by Maureen O’Hara and Ginger Rogers.
Agnes Moorehead starred in this vampy black crepe dress with sequins and a matching shoulder cape fastened with jet.