Heads you win

1970s, alkasura, Andreas George, Bermona, Feathers, hans feurer, hats, Inspirational Images, Jean Charles Brosseau, jean shrimpton, liberty, liberty's, mr freedom, quorum, ritva, sunday times magazine, Vintage Editorials
One of a selection of hats designed by Andreas George that are decorated with anything from fake flowers, ribbons, plastic fruit to tiny furry animals. £7 from Alkasura, 304 King’s Road, SW3

Suddenly this summer the shops are selling masses of hats that before would have only been dug up for garden parties, weddings, sports days or camping it up. For years magazines and designers have shown their clothes with hats, but they don’t usually turn up in the street. Fashion editors often feature ‘picture hats’ like those on the previous page posed in some romantic setting or framing an immaculate new make-up, but one never actually sees them on a number 19 bus. Now hats have gone the way of all clothes; there are no rules; you can wear anything with anything. Any hat, whether it’s wide-brimmed and floppy with half a haberdashery department stuck over it, or a small crocheted cloche pinned with a bunch of plastic fruit, i fine with either nostalgic Forties’ dresses or a dirty old pair of jeans. And you can still wear it to a wedding if you want to.

Modelled by Jean Shrimpton.

Photographed by Hans Feurer.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 20th 1971.

Smooth straw hat with fake anemones, by Bermona, £2.85 from Dickins and Jones.
Cotton cloche pinned back with a bunch of cherries if you like, £4.50 from Quorum. Check and spot crepe shirt £4.20 from Mr Freedom, 20 Kensington Church Street. White cotton shorts by Ritva £7.88 from Countdown, 137 King’s Road.
Pink felt hat with bright harlequin pattern under the brim by Jean Charles Brosseau, £7 from Feathers, 43 Kensington High Street.
Plain wide-brimmed panama hat, £2.85 from Liberty’s.

The Girls in the Band: A New Look for Cabaret

1970s, biba, Dolcis, hans feurer, Inspirational Images, platforms, sunday times magazine
The Moodies – a group of art students who started the parody the current obsession with nostalgia, then found themselves being taken seriously

The numbers that The Moodies perform are firmly anchored in the Fifties and Sixties and ignore the current pop obsessions for necrophilia, drugs, suicide and the like. But under their bizarre make-up they are entertainers of the Seventies, rather than a group of decadent kids living off the nostalgia for ‘golden oldies’. On a good night, when the audience is firmly on their side, they create an atmosphere more like that of a private party than a sterile public performance; they earn their laughs through the juxtaposition of songs, their eccentric make-up, their idiotic props and their energetic dancing.

About a month ago, when they were playing at the tiny Moderna Theatre in Munich’s Schwabing district (surely the cleanest ‘quarter’ in the world), we noticed that the audience of all ages, shapes and sizes, were neatly dressed to the last man and woman; even their jeans had the knife-edge creases of an expensive boutique — the complete opposite of the people they had come to watch, who were described recently in Time Out as “looking like half a dozen friendly whores after a hard night in the Reeperbahn”.

“Everyone here tries to get us to mend our sweaters, they feel sorry for us. They think a hole is a sign of poverty. They wear the gear but they don’t understand what it’s about.

Perhaps that’s why we appeal to them,” said Anne Bean, who is a deceptively homely-looking girl off-stage and a powerhouse of energy on. She is one of the leaders of the group, though she denied that anyone actually led : “We are totally democratic -not that there is such a thing.” All art students at Reading, it was the second time they had played Munich. They banded together to play professional dates after they had sat their finals; they all passed except for buxom Suzy Adderley, who is on one year’s leave of absence and goes back soon to complete her course. They tried their luck at the Edinburgh Festival along with the rest of the Fringe: this was successful enough to land them their first book-ing in Munich.

“Actually, we were offered an Arts Council grant but we turned it down as we thought that it might restrict us,” said Rod Melvin, the pianist and the only man in the group. They still don’t have a pro-ducer, director, manager or agent. The only non-performing person to travel with them is Mickey Ekers who is a stage-manager-cum-electrician-cum-prop-master.

In the early days there were six girls, Anne Bean, Marianne Holliday, Polly Eltes, Suzy Adderley, Annie Sloan and Becky Bailey, but Becky Bailey deserted the group to paint. Anne Bean explained: “We really did the show as part of our finals.” Did this help them pass ? “Quite the contrary. It nearly sank us.”

At the start they followed the traditions of what was happening in pop music at that time: “Even the names we chose were just send-ups of those currently fashionable girlie groups like Lulu and the Luvvers and Martha and the Vandellas” said Anne Bean. “At one time we called ourselves Frank and the Furters” (she looked suitably ashamed) “then Lulu and the Lesbians, then prior to becoming The Mooches we were The Menstrual Seven.”

Before returning to Munich they had been playing at the Theatre at New End, Hampstead, where they had become quite a cult with late-night audiences. The group do num-bers like Gingold’s and Chevalier’s duet Ah Yes, I Remember It Well from Gigi and some of the more aggressive Presley songs, but they interpret these rather than imitate the originals. They make no announcements and use no words in spite of ‘gag fur gag’ written on the pink stars advertising the show. And they are very funny. Thank You For Being An Angel sung with melancholic grace by Rod Melvin became farce as the angel who drifted around stage shedding sequins at every step turned out to be a cross between Mae West and Jayne Mansfield. (Melvin is a talented pianist; the rest of the group are not musicians, but rely instead on improvisation and innovation.)

The make-up is startling. Polly Eltes said: “I really don’t quite know how we arrived at this present look. We started off quite simply looking brown and rather natural with perhaps blue eyelids, but gradually we progressed to what you see now.” They wear water-based wet-white foundation and then draw their features on to these masks. Anne Bean takes it the furthest by banding strips of coloured feathers to her eyebrows, while Rod Melvin, with his great carmine mouth and black sad eyes, looks somewhere between a clown and a Kabuki artist.

“I suppose we do reflect fashions, but I think it’s quite unconscious,” said Annie Sloan. “When Germaine Greer’s book came out (The Female Eunuch) we all wore strict little mannish suits, but somehow we have come to this.” ‘This’ is fishnet tights (with holes), gold-painted lace-up boots, long gloves and clothes they say they make themselves (which no-one would challenge). During the performance they swap clothes so that they look different but don’t use more costumes.

“I suppose that what we wear might seem eccentric and exaggerated; everyone marvels at Rod’s shoes but they came from Dolcis and mine came from Biba’s, so we are only picking up what’s around.” They admit that their art training and observations have probably influenced their act — the masks they wear at one point are exactly like those shown on some of John Davies’s sculptures shown at the Whitechapel Gallery a couple of years ago : “But we don’t want to intellectualise what we do,” said Annie Sloan, “or we might become self-conscious and unable to perform.”

The group pool their money; so much goes on running expenses, the rest on food and necessities. They were scheduled for seven more weeks on the road, ending at the Schiller Theatre in East Berlin. “When we are out of work we all do other things. I model, though I’m not much good at it,” said Polly Ekes. “I can’t really take it seriously, so when I go for jobs I mostly get turned down.” Rod and Anne teach, and sometimes Rod plays the piano for a girl singer and Marianne does typography and pho-tography. It is doubtful whether they will stick together : one has the feeling that they are enthusiastically filling in time before they move on to some-thing else.

Photographed by Hans Feurer. Report by Meriel McCooey.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 23rd 1974

Edina Ronay in Emmerton Lambert

1960s, 1970s, Chelsea Antiques Market, edina ronay, Emmerton and Lambert, hans feurer, Inspirational Images, sunday times magazine, Uncategorized

edina ronay emmerton lambert hans feurer june 1970 a

The style’s the same, but no two shirts are identical – they are made from 1930s remnants: £8 10s from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market, 253 King’s Road, London SW3.

Edina Ronay modelling some incredible pieces by Emmerton Lambert, one of the cult labels which emerged from the Chelsea Antique Market in the late Sixties. A classic example of the plundering of the 1930s by designers of the time but unlike those creating garments ‘in the style of’, they were instead using period fabrics to create a new, thrown together, patchwork kind of look. I think these have become my favourite kinds of pieces in recent years: perhaps because there’s a tangible link to both periods when you handle them.

Photographed by Hans Feurer.

Scanned from The Sunday Times Magazine, June 14th 1970.

edina ronay emmerton lambert hans feurer june 1970 b

Flashy rodeo look: all from Emmerton Lambert, Chelsea Antique Market.

Inspirational Images: Unidentified Woman by Arnold Genthe, 1910

Arnold Genthe, edwardian ladies, Inspirational Images, sunday times magazine

Unidentified Woman by Arnold Genthe 1910 Autochrome

Unidentified Woman by Arnold Genthe (Autochrome, 1910)

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, 22nd October 1978

Mild Sauce: For Two Pins

1970s, Betty Jackson, charles jourdan, chelsea cobbler, christian dior, Inspirational Images, james wedge, janet reger, Janice Bell, mary quant, Meriel McCooey, mild sauce, miss selfridge, quorum, Sacha, sunday times magazine, underwear, Vintage Editorials

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Red stockings by Christian Dior. Underwear from Miss Selfridge

Another glorious underwear editorial by the always saucy, always perfect Mr James Wedge.

Photographed by James Wedge. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, October 1978

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Snow white stockings by Mary Quant. Patent shoes by Sacha. Silk shirt by Betty Jackson for Quorum.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Hand painted stockings by Janet Reger.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Silver lurex tights by Mary Quant. Shoes by Charles Jourdan.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Pale green tights from Selfridges. Shirt dyed to match by Janice Bell. Shoes by The Chelsea Cobbler.

Inspirational Images: Fancy Footwork

1970s, Inca, Inspirational Images, Meriel McCooey, pat cleveland, Sacha, sunday times magazine

Dazzling sock with toes from Inca, 45 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 for approximately £4 a pair ... The fingerless mitts, also from Inca, cost £1.50

Dazzling sock with toes from Inca, 45 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 for approximately £4 a pair … The fingerless mitts, also from Inca, cost £1.50

The price of boots, like that of most other things today, is disgracefully high: here is another way of keeping your legs and feet warm – with socks.

Modelled by Pat Cleveland. Story by Meriel McCooey. Photographed by Sacha.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, 12th January 1975

Inspirational Images: Brigitte Ariel, Piaf Imitated 1974

1970s, Brigitte Ariel, Edith Piaf, Eva Sereny, Inspirational Images, sunday times magazine

piaf

Brigitte Ariel played Edith Piaf in the 1974 film La Môme Piaf.

Photographed by Eva Sereny.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, March 24th 1974.

Wild and Woolly

Debbie Hudson, Inspirational Images, Jane England, knitwear, Rae Laurikietis, seventies fashion, sunday times magazine, Val Moon

snakes1

Val Moon and Debbie Hudson, known for classic knitted tube dresses and leotards, decided to liven things up by adding some mad accessories to their range: a snake boa made from wool, chenille and metallic threads, which can be wired on to any plain outfit, coiled any way the wearer chooses; outsized dragonflies: sinister vampire bats complete with with red beads scattered like drops of blood (popular with Dracula fans) and exotic orchid lilies. The accessories are not cheap, costing from £10 to £25, and the strapless tube dresses cost £45: all to order from Chantal, 73 St John’s Wood High Street, London, NW8. Words: RAE LAURIKIETIS Pictures: JANE ENGLAND.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, October 22nd 1978.

Another pair of ‘lost’ knitwear designers. Why do knitwear people seem to get lost much more easily? If anyone knows anything about Val or Debbie, please do let me know! These accessories are so perfect.

snakes2

snakes3

snakes4

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.

Mensday: Ruff and Tuff

1970s, Mensday, menswear, sunday times magazine, Vintage Adverts

Flagrance? You’re really going down that route? Hmm.

Both scanned from the same copy of The Sunday Times Magazine. I guess ruffled dress shirts were really doing it for the ladies in 1973*.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Sunday Times Magazine, December 1973

*They still do it for this lady in 2012, but I reckon you all know me well enough to have guessed that…