Inspirational Editorials: Mode a Venise

1970s, Inspirational Images, italy, Lui, Mensday, menswear, ossie clark, Venice, Vintage Editorials
Lui: Jacket by Harry Lans from Printemps Brummell. Shirt and tie by Francesco Smalto. Trousers by Brummell. Elle: Dress by Ossie Clark. Silver fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

Lui: Jacket by Harry Lans. Shirt and tie by Francesco Smalto. Trousers by Brummell. Elle: Dress by Ossie Clark. Silver fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

“Pour ceux que le triste smoking ennuie, << Lui >> propose une mode du soir facile à porter. Certains vont mourir à Venise, << Lui >> a décidé pour un soir d’y vivre en beauté.”

Un éditorial parfait, from Lui, January 1972. Photographer sadly uncredited.

Lui: Jacket, shirt, tie and trousers by Elysees Soieries. Patent black boots by Charles Jourdan. Elle: Panne velvet outfit (tunic, trousers and scarf) by Tan Giudicelli. White fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

Lui: Jacket, shirt, tie and trousers by Elysees Soieries. Patent black boots by Charles Jourdan. Elle: Panne velvet outfit (tunic, trousers and scarf) by Tan Giudicelli. White fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

Lui: Sweater by Francesco Smalto. Shirt by Elysees Soieries. Satin neck tie by Elysees Soieries. Elle: Dress by Vesscheringe Brard. White fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

Lui: Sweater by Francesco Smalto. Shirt by Elysees Soieries. Satin neck tie by Elysees Soieries. Elle: Dress by Vesscheringe Brard. White fox fur by Robert Beaulieu.

Lui: Outfit by Renoma. Elle: Dress and midnight blue fox fur by Tan Giudicelli.

Lui: Outfit by Renoma. Elle: Dress and midnight blue fox fur by Tan Giudicelli.

Bite Me

art, botticelli, celia birtwell, florence, italy, outfit posts
Reflection perfection. Sunset over the Arno


I return from Florence with the tiresome evidence of my having provided a gourmet meal for the mosquitoes who reside therein. But I will save you the gory, bumpy details. I had a wonderful time with M in possibly the most beautiful city in the world (I say that as though I’ve seen all the others, but I’m just making a sweeping generalisation as ever…) and had a wonderful birthday.

We gorged ourselves on art and spiritual atmosphere more than pasta (although I managed to get a bowl of my beloved gnocchi on the last night, upon realising this mammoth error) at the Uffizi, Santa Croce and several other smaller places besides.

It’s a weird thing for me, as a hugely lapsed Catholic*, to actively want to spend time wandering around monuments to something I’ve obviously rejected as a way of life. But I always loved the bells and the smells and grew up in a family who actively sought out Latin Masses. (There’s a photo of my Grandmother meeting with the current Pope. Serious stuff people!) The atmosphere is intoxicating at times, inspirational and spiritual even if you have vastly differing ideas to those who created and decorated them.

*I sometimes think that lapsed Catholicism is a religion in itself…

Hello!

[Baptistery Doors]


The Uffizi gave me the chance to indulge my (yes, I know, hugely mainstream. So sue me.) passion for Botticelli. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and even I can see that overexposure can render something like The Birth of Venus rather tedious, but there is something about that level of perfection which makes me catch my breath and my eyes well up. Not physical perfection, whatever on earth that may be, or literal perfection like, say, Ingres, but an attempt to capture the beauty of nature in the most perfect way he could. After rooms and rooms of devotional religious scenes, the more allegorical scenes of Botticelli’s best works are rendered even more extraordinary.

[I also enjoyed noting the clear inspiration Celia Birtwell took from those paintings. They look as though they’ve been dressed by Quorum.]

I maintain a healthy love for those who are brave enough to outline their subjects. I had regular confrontations with my art teacher in relation to this, he felt I should smudge every line to reflect reality. And then wanted me to write an enthusiastic essay on the merits of Picasso. Weird.

Someone else who liked to outline his subjects was De Chirico, who was the star attraction of an exhibition at the Strozzi. It was pretty incredible to see so many incredible surrealist masterpieces contained within a Florentine Palazzo, and it’s always nice to pick up a few new favourite artists along the way.

I know everyone takes the same photo, but I care not.

What with the views from the Piazzale Michelangelo, the Ponte Vecchio, the gelati, the endless beautiful streets of beautiful buildings and, finally, a sweltering train journey through the heavenly countryside of Tuscany, I have had an almost overwhelmingly lovely time.

Doctor Who viewers will know exactly why I find statues even more deliciously creepy than ever.
This one was so unbelievably beautiful; that sculpted fall of fabric down the stairs…

[Santa Croce]


I note, with some resignation, that the good people of Florence do not tend to dress for dinner. Tourists are pretty useless for this too, obviously. So I took it upon myself to fly the flag for vintage for my birthday dinner at Zàzà (thanks to the gorgeous Laurakitty for the recommendation). A Polly Peck moss crepe empire line early-mini which nobody wanted when I listed it on eBay last year, I subsequently tried it on and realised it was a perfect fit, and my beloved green silk DeLiso Debs. Good rule of thumb: If you’re feeling a bit gloomy about ageing another year, wear something which is 70-odd years old. My dress was also about 45 years old, so I was doing a good job of being the youngest thing about…..er…..me.

Mmmmm. Prosecco. Hic!

Thank you all for your good wishes for my holiday and for my birthday. Back to work now, and I feel even luckier than ever that my work is something which I actually enjoy! I also note that this is my 400th post, which surely deserves another bottle of Prosecco? Si?

Miss Peelpants goes continental…

christian dior, david bailey, florence, Inspirational Images, italy, jean varon, john bates, polly peck, susan small, Vogue
John Bates for Jean Varon


I can’t quite believe it. My first proper holiday in three years! And it’s somewhere I’ve dreamt of going for a painfully long time. I studied A Room With a View for English A-Level, and this did nothing but exacerbate my already quite intense passion for Italy. I went to the Lakes a long five years back, but my soul still desires Florence.

I’m trying not to get TOO excited. But it’s not working. I have ironed my loveliest sundresses and prepared a few Sixties evening minis, and I’m just praying for ash clouds and strikes to stay WELL away from us and our well-earned break. It’s also timed for my birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it.

A few weeks back, I spotted this amazing spread in Vogue from 1967. Bailey on location, which instantly makes Bailey a lot better than usual. And the clothes are gorgeous (particularly the Varon). But the most important aspect is the Florentine backdrop.

I. Can’t. Wait.

p.s Obviously this means I can’t post items and deal with sales until I return on Tuesday. But it’s still first come, first served for sales, so you can still buy if anything tickles your fancy over on the website.

Susan Small

Londonus

Susan Small

Christian Dior London

Susan Small

Polly Peck