Meet the Designer: Diane Logan

1970s, Diane Logan, Golden Hands, hats, Roger Charity

Ten years ago hats stopped being obligatory outdoor wear even for country’ matrons. A whole generation has ignored them since then, but the signs are that times are changing. A minute spent watching the crowds in any major city and one can see that hats are definitely back. Last year there were big mushroom berets. Before that there were costermonger caps and huge stetsons. All three styles were initiated by Diane Logan.

Diane Logan’s original ambition was to become a textile designer. Part of her training for this, at Camberwell Art College in London, included a week at the London College of Fashion where George Malyard, who makes hats for London’s theatreland, was visiting tutor. Diane took some of her printed felts along with her and spent the week making them up into dotty hats. She finished six fast work when the usual student output was one hat a term.

When Diane left art college and discovered that she hated the solitude of being a freelance textile designer, this experience in hat making gave her something to fall back on.


Small beginnings

She began by making big peaked costermonger caps. The first batch shown to the boutiques in London’s King’s Road produced orders for dozens more. She and her husband turned their flat into a work room and Diane did the cutting and stitching at a big table which let down over their bed. For two and a half years they lived in this way and Diane meanwhile built up an enthusiastic clientele. Buyers from New York stores wanted her creations and in the autumn of 1970 she was able to branch out into new premises with a shop and her own work room.

The shop, just behind London’s Baker Street, is also her showroom. Enormous candy pink hat boxes are stacked waist-high along one wall. Hanging on the walls and in the window are her hats, all shapes and colours and sizes. At first sight, it looks as if everything in Diane Logan’s shop has been individually confected. In fact the reverse is true. Diane works with only a few at shapes at a time, but makes them up in an enormous variety of different fabrics.

Fabrics and trims

She is interested first and foremost in shape, often buying up old hats in jumble sales and taking them to pieces. Using rolls and rolls of old millinery materials, some of them made before the war, she puts together her hats, often accentuating the separate sections by mixing different fabrics. A beautiful example is a desert hat with the crown in six sections and a wide brim: one variation incorporated a flocked spot, dapple and leopard smudges on variously coloured grosgrain, with a stitched and colour sprayed brim.

Last year’s floppy beret which she made in poodle pile fabric and big blanket checks is still being reworked. The shape is basically the same, but the construction is altered so that the hat sits a little flatter on the head with a pom pom on the top. Diane Logan has altered the concept of the bowler hat too, by cutting the crown concentrically, enlarging the brim and making it in soft fabrics and gay colours, multi-coloured gingham, plain unbleached canvas which gives it a classic air, and ice cream sundae shades of pink, blue and yellow with an emerald brim. This shape is in her next collection too, the brim slightly enlarged and this time made in soft pigskin, velvet and fine velour.

Diane’s passion for unusual fabrics extends to trimmings. The search for new ones is constant and she quite casually mixes old and new as she does with her fabrics. On top of a stack of blocked straw shapes, waiting to go to the little old lady who does the flower trims is a sample hat, trimmed by Diane herself with exquisite faded silk anemones, at least 40 years old, and with tiny rose buds just arrived from Hong Kong. This was the pattern the outworker was to follow for trimming this style, but Diane was quite prepared to accept that, by the time the hats were finished, the lady’s own modifications would have crept in and no two hats would be alike. In this way, Diane Logan’s customers can buy hats with a distinctive look, but each with their own touch of individuality.

As an arbiter rather than a follower of fashion, Diane’s designs are widely copied: the cheeky costermonger cap was taken up by almost every wholesale manufacturer. With great delight she recounts the story of a fabric salesman who tried to sell her the very poodle cloth she used and introduced for hats, two years ago. As he was shown the door he was still protesting ‘But it’s going to be all the rage…’.

Interview by Caroline Shaw.

Photographed by Roger Charity and Chris Lewis.

Scanned from Golden Hands Monthly, November 1972.

Take a Long Lean Look

1970s, Adrian Mann, Baggage and General, Dolcis, Electric Fittings, erica budd, gordon king, harold ingram, jeff banks, John Craig, Jon Elliot, Marcia Brackett, mary quant, nostalgia, petticoat magazine, Pierre Elegante, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Saxone, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials, Vivienne Lynn
Left to right: Jon Elliott skirt, £8-30. Sweater with embroidered flowers, £325, Harold Ingram. Scarf, £1.50, Nostalgia. Kangol beret, £1.50. Bangles, 50p, Baggage & General. Quant tights, 40p. Russell & Bromley espadrilles, £7.99 ./ Zig-zag stripe silk dress, from Electric Fittings. Russell & Bromley shoes, £7.99. / Gordon King skirt, £5-50. Cream, cabled sweater, £3.10, John Craig. Kangol beret, £1.50. Scarf, £1.50, Nostalgia. Russell & Bromley sandals, £7.99.

Long-term plan for spring dressing: slither in slim shapes, go sleek in skinny skirts and slink thin in think-slim skintight tops.

Model is Vivienne Lynn.

Styling by Marcia Brackett.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, March 23th 1974

Left to right: Pierre Elegante skirt, £7.85. John Craig pullover and matching cardigan, £4 and £5.15. Van der Fransen scarf. Kangol beret. Belt 35p, Woolworths. Russell & Bromley shoes, £7.99. / Gordon King skirt, £6. Mary Quant top, £5.75. “208” scarf. Kangol beret. Dolcis shoes, £4.99. / Gordon King skirt, £5.50. Mary Quant pull-over and matching cardigan, £4.50 and £5.75. Dolcis shoes, £4.99. / Gordon King skirt, £7. Erica Budd T-shirt, £3.
Left to Right: Jeff Banks navy and red dress with cream collar and cuffs, £20. Adrien Mann bracelets, £1 each. Scarf, £1, Van der Fransen. Strappy shoes, £5, Nostalgia. / Jon Elliott skirt, £6-80. Electric Fittings blouse. Van der Fransen scarf, £1. Bangles by Adrien Mann. Rope-soled shoes, £4.99, Saxone. / Jeff Banks dress, in maroon silk with flowers and lace trim, £21.50. Adrien Mann bangles, £1 each. Dolcis leather pumps on rope, £4.99.

Go on – we dare you!

1970s, alkasura, biba, Brave New World, Britannia Land of Plenty, bus stop, che guevara, Conspiracy, Derber, Electric Fittings, Frocks, gillian richard, gordon king, Great Gear Trading Co, Inspirational Images, Leicester Shoes, let it rock, Marcia Brackett, miss mouse, mr freedom, petticoat magazine, Pinocchio, rae spencer cullen, ravel, Richard Green, Roger Charity, Sacha, Sheilagh Browne, stirling cooper, Vintage Editorials, wallis
He wears: Velvet coat, £19.95, pants, £7.95 and satin bow tie, £1 all at Mr. Freedom. Stirling Cooper shirt, £5.75 at Peter Robinson. Biba shoes. She wears: left: Lurex jacket, Bus Stop, £8.95. Wallis pants, £6.95. Stirling Cooper top, £3.95 at Peter Robinson, W1 Biba shoes. She wears: right: Black net skirt, £10.50 and top, £7.50, Miss Mouse at Peter Robinson.

Extra special for a special season — some of the most outrageous party clothes to be seen since the golden days of Hollywood and the silver screen left us open-mouthed in amazement. The Sundown, Charing Cross Road, WC2, is where to find glamour 1972 style — that’s where we took clothes, models and hairdresser Michael Strum from Crimpers. It was amazing too, why not try it some time?

Fashion Marcia Brackett.

Sounds from The Sands of Time.

Photographer is, unusually for Petticoat, uncredited but I think it is probably Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 16th December 1972.

He wears: Tee shirt from Let It Rock, Velvet Oxford Bags, Mr. Freedom, £7.95. Biba shoes, £7.25. She wears: left: Crepe dress, Brave New World, £14.50. Biba earrings, £1. Bus Stop brooch, £1.25. Mary Quant diamante shoes, £7.50. She wears: right: Lurex shirt and dungarees, Frocks, £18, at Mr. Freedom, Sacha shoes, £8.99.
He wears: Satin Bags, £6.95 and bow tie, £1, both Mr. Freedom. Shirt, Alkasura, SW3, £8. Shoes by Topper, SW3. She wears: left: Black dress with grey bodice, Shelagh Brown for Coopers. Britannia Land of Plenty Cape, £1.00. Leicester ankle shoes, £10.99. She wears: right: Satin top and pants, Miss Mouse, £20 at Peter Robinson, W1. Sacha shoes, £8.99.
He wears: Biba shirt, £6.95. Brave New World suit, £27, 5 Monmouth Place, Monmouth Road, W2. She wears skirt and top. Richard Green, £13.50 at Pinnochio, Fulham Rd., SW5. Ravel shoes. £10.99. She wears: right: Lurex suit, Electric Fittings, £16 at Conspiracy. Biba earrings, 20p. Stars, Britannia Land of Plenty.
He wears: shirt £7 and satin jacket, £24, both Alkasura, Kings Rd., SW3. Mr. Freedom pants, £7.95. She wears left: Satin dress, Britannia Land of Plenty. SW3. Brave New World bolero, £17, at Che Guevara, W8. Anschell bracelet, £250. Ravel shoes, £10.99. She wears: right: Gordon King trouser suit, £17.95 at Conspiracy, W8.
He wears: Velvet Oxford bags, £7.50 and lurex shirt, £7 both Alkasura, Kings Rd., SW3. Mr. Freedom bow tie, £1. Canvas boots, Great Gear Trading Co., £13.25. She wears: left: Miss Mouse shirt, £9.95 at Peter Robinson, Pants, Wallis shops, £5.50. Ravel shoes £6.99. She wears: right: Gillian Richard dress, £8.80 at Pinnochio, Fulham Rd., Britannia Land of Plenty, comb, shoes by Derber.

The Finer Things

1970s, accessories, Butler & Wilson, Diane Logan, Essences, Essenses, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, John Craig, Jon Elliot, Ricci Burns, Roger Charity, Rosie Nice, Vintage Editorials
Flower and net trimmed blocked felt perchers. Both may be hired and viewed at the Diane Logan Hat Museum Department, 40 Chiltern Street, W1. Lace umbrella to hire from Essences.

Add a touch of delicate, soft lace trimming to your clothes and accessories this summer for a really feminine, fragile look.

Hair by Colin at Ricci Burns.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Honey, May 1974.

Floor-length satin cross-over robe with fine lace trim and button-through neck, £12.50 from a selection of originals at Essences, 410 King’s Road, SW3.
Pin-striped cotton pouch hag with antique lace trim and pearl clasp, £5 from Rosie Nice, 12 Clifton Road, W9. Coffee nylon lace gloves with button trim, F G Shave approx 90p, from D H Evans.
Patchwork embroidery and lace, satin-lined cotton bag, £5 from Rosie Nice, 12 Clifton Road, W9.
Coffee and cream lace-trimmed loose blouse with tie-waist and ruched shoulders, matching square-neck top with shoestring straps, John Craig £8.50, from Just Looking, King’s Road, SW3 an branches ; Stop the Shop. King’s Road, SW3. Mother-of-pearl necklace, Butler & Wilson £5.50
Cotton gingham camisole top with broderie anglaise trim and long matching button-through flounced skirt, Jaki Ross at Jon Elliot £18.90, from Merle, 42 Thurloe Street, SW7 ; Jane Norman, 153 Oxford Street, WI , Super Star, Leeds; Quids In, Canterbury. China necklace, Rosie Nice 80p; carved rose bangle £1.25, Baggage & General at Peter Robinson.
Black string lace gloves with fine multi-coloured stripes £3.50, from a selection at Essences, 410 King’s Road, SW3. Black lace wide-brimmed hat with red rose, Diane Logan, £5, from Diane Logan, 40 Chiltern Street, W1.

Tutti Frutti

1970s, biba, corocraft, Fenwick, Honey Magazine, Jean Howell, Joseph, liberty, miss mouse, moss bros, outlander, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Sacha, Suzuya, Vintage Editorials
Striped chenille sloppy joe, Suzuya from Joseph. Trousers from Miss Mouse. Scarf from Fenwick. Mules from Russell & Bromley. Poppy earclips from Corocraft.

Ski pants, socks and hot tops – a fresh look for the future with a little help from the past.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Honey, May 1975.

Tightly waisted cotton canvas jacket with bamboo fastenings and cotton canvas tapered trousers both by Miss Mouse. Printed silk scarf from Fenwick. Leather wedge heeled mules from Russell & Bromley.
Ice cream coloured finely striped sweater with slash neck and sleeves and tightly ribbed waist by Outlander. Navy cotton canvas trousers with red contrast stitching by Miss Mouse. Shocking pink kerchief from Liberty. Bright pink knitted ankle socks by Jean Howell. Black suedee and cork wedge sandals with embroidery by Sacha.
Blue and pink striped velour slash-neck top with batwing sleeves and plum leather belt with oval wooden buckle, both from Biba. Scarlet stretch ski pants from Moss Bros. Navy leather wedge mules from Russell & Bromley. Long striped scarf from Liberty. Gilt flower earclips from Corocraft.
Loose cotton short sleeved blouse from Liberty. Jet black ski slacks from Moss Bros. Shocking pink chiffon scarf from Biba. Knitted ankle socks from Jean Howell. PAtent peep toe wedge heeled shoes from Russell & Bromley. Poppy earclips from Corocraft.

Party Lines

1970s, anello and davide, Angela at London Town, biba, Bo Riddley, Britannia Land of Plenty, bus stop, Crochetta, Diane Logan, Dolcis, edward mann, Feathers, fotheringay and hepplewaite, gillian richard, harriet, Hope and Eleanor, jeff banks, lee bender, liberty, liberty's, petticoat magazine, Richard Green, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Saxone, stop the shop, Sue Hone, Sujon, Travers Tempos, van der fransen, way in
Satin pants and superstar jacket, £17, Angela at London Town. Flower print chiffon blouse, £7.50, at Bus Stop. Quant tights, 75p. Saxone suede peep-toe shoes, £4.99. / Satin cut-off pants, £4.95, and sequined satin jacket, £6.95 at all branches of Bus Stop. Biba diamante star, £1.50. Edward Mann velvet beret, £3.85. Quant sheer tights, £1.25. Suede bar shoes, Dolcis, £5.50.

Party wear for the getogether season takes all the best of blazers and pants and sleeks them up in satins and velvets… or cools off with the prettiest dresses ever.

Clearly Christmas 2020 is going to be a uniquely muted season as far as partying is concerned, but I often avoid the throngs of people anyway. Years of working in theatre over the festive season meant that when I had downtime I would prefer to lounge around in satins and velvets in the comfort of my own home. I’m just glad you’re all finally catching up with how nice it is! In all seriousness though, sometimes the smallest things can make us feel the nicest – so even if you don’t feel like getting togged up in satin and velvet, I highly recommend doing something you would normally find ridiculous for sitting around at home. Sparkly hair clip, red lipstick or those skyscraper platforms you can’t walk in.

Photographed by kind permission of Mecca Dancing at the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, WC1

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 4th December 1971.

Velvet jacket, £23 and satin pants, £9 by Sujon. Richard Green voile shirt, £6.50. Feathers beret, £7.50. Dolcis shoes, £5.50. / Cotton pants and battle jacket, Travers Tempos, £12. Richard Green flower print shirt as above. Diane Logan knit hat, £2.75. Anello and Davide bar shoes, £3.50.
Purple lurex painter’s smock, Gillian Richard, £8. Pink and purple satin skirt, Biba, Kensington High Street, W8, comes with matching jacket, £12.50. Brocade skull cap, Diane Logan, £8.50. Black and purple shoes, £5.50 at Dolcis.
Check taffeta bermudas, £8 with jacket by Angela at London Town from Stop the Shop. Bo Riddley tie, 15p. Bead ring at Britannia Land of Plenty, 50p. Biba tights, 55p. Anello and Davide bar shoes, £3.50. / Long check taffeta skirt, £8.50 and blouse, £5, Angela at London Town from Just Looking, SW3, 2007 W1. Feathers pewter pendant, £5. Hope and Eleanor bead purse, £4.75.
Printed chiffon skirt, £8 with matching short top, £7 by Jeff Banks at Fotheringay and Hepplewaite, P.R. Top Shops. Bead rope, Bo Riddley, 15p. Leaf choker at Van der Fransen, £1.25. Dolcis shoes, £5.95 / Silky dress with sailor collar, £8 at Van der Fransen, SW6. Silky short-sleeved jacket Fotheringay and Hepplewaite, £5.75. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.
Long satin dress, Gillian Richard, £10 at Way In. Clobber blouse, £8 at Stop the Shop. Feathers hat, £6.50. Russell & Bromley suede and snake shoes, £12.95 / Liberty print dress, Sujon, £17 at Fifth Avenue, W1. Fringed shawl at Britannia Land of Plenty, £12.50. Bus Stop diamante slides, 99p. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.
Black cotton dress with red buttons and piping, Harriet, £9 at Just Looking, SW3. Red suede belt, embroidered from Feathers. Red and blue ties with beads, Bo Riddley, 15p. / Lilac and green puffed sleeved dress, Harriet, £13.25 at Harrods, SW1, Bentalls Kingston. Feathers choker, £2.50. Fringed knit shawl, Crochetta for Knits and Leathers, £6. Dolcis shoes, £5.50.

Peasant in the Sun

1970s, Bata, Bermona, biba, Britannia Land of Plenty, Buckle Under, chelsea cobbler, clobber, Diane Logan, Elliott, hampstead bazaar, Inca, laura ashley, Marielle, mary quant, miss mouse, Pamela Dennis, petticoat magazine, rae spencer cullen, ravel, Richard Green, Roger Charity, Russell & Bromley, Souk, Splinters, Sue Hone, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials
Mary Quant pinny worn over cheesecloth dress at The Souk. Britannia Land of Plenty silver armband. Buckle Under hat. Ravel shoes / Cheese cloth shirt and matching skirt by Richard Green. Woolworths hairnet. Buckle Under hat. Russell and Bromley shoes.

Summer’s peasant clothes come in brightly frilled cotton or in soft layers of cheesecloth with a bazaar of sunny straws and beads.

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 6th June 1972.

Souk pinny. Calico shirt with starry ribbon trim from Splinters. / Embroidered smock at Inca. Richard Green cheesecloth skirt. Waistcoat from Inca. Ravel suede sandals.
Miss Mouse seeksucker dress. Diane Logan boater. Biba false flowers. / Miss Mouse gingham dress. Bermona straw boater. Chelsea Cobbler wedge sandals.
Embroidered dress by Souk. Buckle Under Bowler. Britannia Land of Plenty shoulder bag. Elliotts sandals. / Midi skirt and cheesecloth dress at Souk. Inca wool belt. Buckle Under crochet cap. Bata sandals.
Long embroidered skirt with gathered waist from Hampstead Bazaar. Cheesecloth top by Clobber. Embroidered beret from Britannia Land of Plenty. Elliotts sandals. Straw bag from Inca. / Long checked cheesecloth dress by Marielle. Glass flower brooch from Van der Fransen.
Laura Ashley skirt. Calico smock by Pamela Dennis. Forbidden Fruit belt. / Laura Ashley top and skirt. Silk shawl from Britannia Land of Plenty. Shoes by Ravel.

Soft Summer Shape-Ups

Bata, Britannia Land of Plenty, forbidden fruit, jane giunchi, Martha Hill, Nik Nik, petticoat magazine, Plain Clothes, ravel, Roger Charity, stirling cooper, Sue Hone, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials
Nik Nik floral print dress. Stirling Cooper satin pants. Ravel mules. / Striped skirt at Martha Hill. Blouse with embroidered flowers at Forbidden Fruit branches. Bata mules. Jane Giunchi brooch.

You can take the summer’s pastels just the way you want. When you’re not wearing neat and co-ordinated nursery prints, try pink and blue in peasant style. You’ll find a pettiness you thought had vanished.

Fashion by Sue Hone.

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned from Petticoat, 10th June 1972.

Floral print skirt at Britannia Land of Plenty. Plain Clothes short sleeved vest at Sidney Smith. Brooch and print scarf both at Van der Fransen.

All Tied Up

1970s, Adrian Mann, bus stop, crowthers, Inspirational Images, Jean Howell, lee bender, mary quant, Mog, petticoat magazine, Roger Charity, Sacha, Sacha, Susan Locke, van der fransen, Vintage Editorials

Jersey midi dress by Crowthers. Paisley pinafore by Angela. Knitted hat by Susan Locke.

Jersey midi dress by Crowthers. Paisley pinafore by Angela. Knitted hat by Susan Locke.

Schoolgirls smocks gently looped, schoolmarm denims firmly tied and gypsy ribbons bowed: the perverse way to keep you ahead – all tied up behind!

Photographed by Roger Charity.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat Magazine, 3rd April 1971.

All Tied Up 2

Muslin midi dress with ribbons and velt tied at back by Mog. Adrien Mann raffia and bead choker.

Black crepe skirt and jacket with tie in the back by Bus Stop. Red shoes by Sacha. Van der Fransen rope around head.

Black crepe skirt and jacket with tie in the back by Bus Stop. Red shoes by Sacha. Van der Fransen rope around head.

Grey midi dress by Mary Quant. Peach and orange scarf by Jean Howell.

Grey midi dress by Mary Quant. Peach and orange scarf by Jean Howell.