Black and silver are this year’s popular Christmas colours. Sweaters are in silver lurex striped in black, black wool flecked with silver and endless other combinations. Shapes are halter-necks, dolmans, or little wrap-over cardigans – almost any shape will do. Accessories are bright and glittery. Add touches, like sticking sequins on your hats, and shoes, and you’re all set to outshine the fairylights.
Photographed by Christian Laroque.
Scanned from 19 Magazine, December 1972.
What a year. It’s hard to summon up a great deal of enthusiasm for the Christmas we’re about to have, but I’m looking backwards to look forwards, as I often do. I still seem to find joy and solace in art and aesthetics and I hope my posts have given you the odd moment of enjoyment and inspiration this year. Thank you for your support and to everyone who has bought vintage from me or liked/shared/commented on my blog and Instagram posts. Sending you my love and best wishes for a better year ahead.
Leather and fur get more expensive every year. It’s not only the taxes and rising costs of production. It’s just that there aren’t enough good animal skins for leather around to meet the consumer demand. Furs are there in quantity for the fabulously rich. Luckily a good substitute has been found – the nylon-spun, man-made sort. Some, especially in the leather field, are so like the real thing the only way you can tell the difference is by the smell. Take the white coat on pages 46 and 47. It’s fake and costs about £50. It has a double in real fur and leather for £270. Made by the same people who have duplicated most of their collection this way and it takes an eagle eye and nose to tell the difference. Others are just furry, woolly fabrics, obviously not imitating some four-legged friend, which is one of the nicest things about them. This fur fabric is now getting the treatment it deserves. Nairn Williamson (more famous for their Vinyl floor and wall coverings) were the first to see its potential and got six designers to use their Velmar fur fabric in their winter collections. Jane Whiteside for Stirling Cooper (new label getting famous fast for their beautiful jersey co-ordinates) was the cleverest of them all. She used the best sludgy colours, mixed it with needlecord to make a group of jackets and coats to go with trousers, skirts and blouses. Borg (American originated and the pioneers in England of this deep pile fabric) has been around for a long time, mostly on the inside of duffle and raincoats but it’s on the outside as a normal fabric that it looks its best. Next winter there will be a lot more of it around, now that designers are getting less snobby about plastics. Not only is it as warm as fur, it is, of course, much cheaper and you don’t smell like a wet dog when you come in from the rain, either. So you can wear it herding sheep on lost weekends, or in town queuing for the cinema without any guilt feelings about ruining your assets.
Insert obligatory ‘I don’t agree with the thrust of the argument for fake furs as just a financial consideration here’ caveat from me, your content provider. Don’t shout at me, basically. But it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of 1970, and the proliferation of fake furs and skins at that time. It’s also a breathtakingly styled and photographed work of art from Caroline Baker and Jonvelle.
I was mainly scanning this spread because I’ve just listed a Zandra Rhodes dress which I think must be from the same collection over on Etsy, but thought I might as well put them here too – especially because of that iconic Bill Gibb photo (used for the cover of Iain R. Webb’s definitive book about Gibb, seemingly fetching a pretty penny on Amazon these days). These top-stitched jerseys were a signature look for her in this period and mine also has the Piero de Monzi label. Marc Bolan had a top version in various colours and levels of frilly extravagance.
(If you’re interested in the Zandra Rhodes dress, click here to view it on Etsy.)
Where do I begin? You don’t need another rundown of her incredible career and life. You don’t need to be told what a breathtaking actor she was. I think I just need to express what she meant to me, except I’m not even sure I can do that adequately.
Her strength and confidence was, and continues to be, instructive to me as a woman in search of strength and confidence. I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if Diana Rigg hadn’t been the person she was and portrayed women in the way she did. I quite literally wouldn’t be where I am because she piqued my interest in John Bates and his work. I wrote my degree dissertation on Emma Peel and began my love affair with British boutique clothing, which in turn started my business and gave me my ridiculous eBay username. I first met my partner at the launch of Richard Lester’s monograph on John Bates, twelve years ago next month.
I was fortunate enough to see her in Mother Courage and Her Children and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, thanks to an adventurous Theatre Studies A-level teacher, and later in Suddenly Last Summer and All About My Mother. I travelled up to Sheffield for the former, and briefly met her afterwards. I couldn’t really have translated all that she meant to me into anything coherent, so I just got her autograph and told her I thought she was amazing or something (I don’t remember). She smiled kindly and said thank you. I don’t know, I probably hoped she might adopt me. But she didn’t.
There is profound sadness in her no longer being in the world but always joy in her body of work. Which I shall enjoy revisiting. And I shall make an effort to rescan a lot of my archive for the new era in my life. Thanks to her, as always. Because I always come back to, what would Emma Peel do? And without Diana, there’s no Emma.
Today is a feature on the Avengerswear range designed by Alun Hughes (who took over from John Bates for the colour episodes). Tomorrow will be John Bates Avengerswear. Enjoy!
The Avengers are back! And the fashion world’s buzzing with the great news of Diana Rigg’s new wardrobe. Here’s the low-down: ABC Television have seen to it that all Diana’s clothes can be bought, budget-priced, from big stores up and down the country. And you’re the first to see them in their true colours. Suzanne Grey has picked these five top-sellers, photographed exclusively for Woman’s Own readers.
These are the ties that go with the shirts that are all part of the big 40s revival. Floppy silky shirts with subtly embossed patterns, and ties and scarves galore; they can be tied in bows, pinned with brooches, loosely knotted or worn like the men do. In fact, as long as they trail elegantly down the front of your shirt you can wear these ties just any way you like.
As a dedicated fan of long silk scarves (and silky blouses, and novelty brooches in fact) I’m just taking this editorial as my one stop guide to getting dressed this autumn.
Photographed by Christa Peters.
Possibly modelled by Ika Hindley (it looks like her mouth).
The clothes of the Thirties were capricious, narcissistic and extravagant — the jazz of the Twenties turning soft, like swing – but with the wartime Forties they necessarily became austere and functional.
To compensate, the details kept their extravagance – shirred waists, sweetheart necks, floppy sleeves, Veronica Lake hair.
On this and the following pages we have a minor Forties revival – minor because these clothes are strictly 1968, when women want to dress both practically and frivolously.
I do not endorse this copy, because I would not agree about the clothes of the Thirties being ‘narcissistic’, but I do endorse the photos and the clothes.
Would you dare to wear it? The body suit is what top designers have dreamed up for dancing this summer – to be worn with the barest excuse of a skirt, or a floating piece of chiffon. Norman Parkinson photographed some of the most exciting ideas in the modernised Paris Metro.
I would never have thought of sweltering on the Paris Metro as some kind of ‘normal’ experience I would aspire to, but here we are.
Shoes from Charles Jourdan and Walkers.
Fashion Editor Penny Knowles.
Photographed by Norman Parkinson.
Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, Number 125 (February) 1979.
When it’s not a swimsuit but a playsuit that you want; when you’re not splashing, but lounging prettily under a beach brolly; if you have no wish to get wet, but still want to remain in the swim, these are definitely for you. But just make sure that you don’t get thrown in at the deep end!
Another work of genius by James Wedge, which I wonder might have been somewhat inspired by The Dolly Sisters? Modelled by Vivienne Lynn and another model I don’t recognise.