New listings: Worra load of Cobblers

accessories, biba, chelsea cobbler, Illustrations, ossie clark, platforms, shoes, stockings, terry de havilland, tights, vintage fangirl squee, Vogue, website listings

Not really. In case you don’t look in the usually somewhat forgotten section of accessories on the website, here are the new listings contained therein. Including a pair of amazing Chelsea Cobbler shoes (featured in a Vogue illustration at the time):

Some divine moire silk Terry De Havilland shoes:

A very groovy plastic Sixties belt:

And some beautiful Biba and Ossie Clark bonneterie.

Ram Jam Thank you Ma’am

glam rock, seventies fashion, vintage fangirl squee

Oooh. I’ve just noticed, and will totally forget to mention it unless I post right now, that the random dude in the aforeposted Ram Jam video is wearing a satin jacket with deco embroidery bits which Miss Senti bought from me AGES ago. Always nice to see guys in girly Glam Rock gear.

Right, I’m off to get ready to see The Who tonight. At The Albert Hall. Very exciting!!

Ossie Clark clip, 1970

ossie clark, seventies fashion, vintage fangirl squee

Clip taken from a German documentary, London aktuell, from 1970. Someone has overlaid some very groovy music onto an incredible, surreal clip of models and mannequins in Ossie Clark gear. Le swoon…

It is long since sold, but I used to have the ‘Harlequin’ dress…

Ossie Spot: Monty Python

celia birtwell, monty python, ossie clark, vintage fangirl squee

I spotted this the other night within BBC2’s Monty Python evening, but I must also say thank you to Mrs Daniel for commenting on my blog that she’d spotted it which, in turn, reminded me to post about it. I’m always happy to do a bit of Palin-perving as well…

Sunshine Superblouse

alice pollock, british boutique movement, moss crepe, personal collection, vintage fangirl squee

I just realised how grey my blog is looking currently. And since I was leafing through my Boutique book this morning, in an attempt to cheer my poorly self up (revenge of the spring snuffles), and realised I had never scanned in the photo of Alice Pollock wearing my Alice Pollock blouse….I thought I ought to share. And brighten this place up a bit. Because it is seriously yellow.

I once made the mistake of wearing this blouse to the theatre. I hadn’t realised how tiny the theatre would be, that I would end up in the front row – practically on the stage, and that John Simm would quite possibly be blinded by my sartorial choice that night. Whoops!

It’s That Ossie Again! (Magic Ossie Moments Part II)

gala, ossie clark, vintage fangirl squee

I’m starting to wonder if this Ossie is actually meant to be mine. Firstly I find a photo of a model wearing it with Ossie in front of Quorum, then it spends months languishing on my website without being sold, then finally I spy it being worn on the catwalk in British Style Genius. A programme which otherwise made me want to hurl things at my television, I’m still composing myself to attempt to write a longer, non-ranty post about it, and proves yet again that Ossie is a god-like figure who makes the world beautiful and balanced when all around is irritating and miserably depressing.

Here is the best screenshot I could muster, it was a teeny tiny snippet of the dress but doesn’t she look delighted to be wearing it? It’s that kind of dress. And Ossie is that kind of designer.

On a side note, I’m not sure you can better a Hockney painting but I was also delighted to see Ossie’s favourite model, Gala, wearing the legendary portrait dress – which I’m lucky enough to have hanging in my closet.

It greatly entertained me that she was wearing flesh coloured pants, most of his models and muses would never be so straight-laced as to wear underwear normally, because that dress actually really does conceal nothing if you so much as move in it. Hence mine had a hook and eye stitched onto the skirt by its original owner, who told me she wore it at the premiere of Waterloo in 1970. Useless factoid for you there!

Go Shopping in the Seventies

1970s, british boutique movement, eye candy, Inspirational Images, vintage fangirl squee, website listings

One of the pet peeves of the vintage lover is when you’re reading your vintage copy of Petticoat or 19 or somesuch, that you can’t just walk into a shop the next day and buy the dress of your dreams – like the first reader of the magazine could have done.

One of the best things about my being geeky enough to buy a lot of these magazines is that sometimes, just sometimes, I can actually offer the item for sale. How lovely is that? From this delightful 4th April 1970 issue of Petticoat, we have a feature on appliques in all forms.

Sadly I don’t have everything for sale, but you may notic
e the butterfly trimmed coat and maxi skirt featured from Wallis.

Well, you can buy it here. Hurrah, hooray and huzzah!

Emmapeel… dress

1960s, alun hughes, avengers, avengerswear, diana rigg, emma peel, eye candy, john bates, personal collection, vintage fangirl squee

I alluded, in an earlier post, to having recently acquired an original Avengerswear piece. Now before you go getting too excited on my behalf (because, you know, I imagine you would…..), it’s not a John Bates one. That remains my holy grail of collecting…

Diana and Alun

In the first colour season of The Avengers, Alun Hughes took over from John Bates as costume designer. Although strictly speaking Bates was never the costume designer per se, he simply provided Mrs Peel with a fully equipped working mod-girl wardrobe. Which would be used in various ways by the designer and whoever else happened to be making such decisions. Explaining why so many fabulous outfits, in which Diana Rigg was heavily photographed for publicity, made only brief appearances – if at all.

The colour episodes had been intended to be designed in a similar ‘working wardrobe’ manner by Pierre Cardin, who was already creating Steed’s very elegant suits [Shocking! A Frenchman designing our beloved Avengers? Whatever next??], but he was unable to complete the task and Hughes was brought on board as designer instead. Unfortunately I know very little about the man himself, but it would seem he actually was a costume designer rather than a fashion designer like Bates or Cardin. With the new colour format, and the strong overseas interest in the show, Hughes had new challenges to those of Bates with the black and white. He attacked it with gusto, using vivid colours, prints and playing with new synthetic fabrics. There’s also the varied influences, reflecting the ever-changing fashion scene of the time. We still have space-age cut-outs and skin tight gear, but also feathers and psychedelic silks. The look is more way-out, and more feminine than ever. He also invented the Emmapeeler, which was a more ‘Pop’ take on the leather and pvc catsuits of the earlier series.

“Don’t diss my mustard emmapeelers!”

As with Bates, and Frederick Starke before him, an Avengerswear range of clothes was produced and licensed out to different manufacturers and shops. Unlike Bates, whose Avengerswear collection was largely complete replicas of the Mrs Peel-worn originals, Hughes’ designs were used as templates for a wider range of colours and styles. Most items were produced in different colourways to the one seen on screen, again unlike Bates who was largely working in black and white anyway, and it would also seem that some items were produced in different lengths.

This stunning moire patterned velvet dress is clearly the same design as the one she wears in Return Of The Cybernauts. Emma’s is black (or perhaps dark green, it’s difficult to tell with early colour television) and a mini. Mine is purple and a maxi length. Nevertheless, it’s my first – and possibly only piece of Hughes’ Avengerswear and I feel very honoured to now have it in my possession.

Mad About The Dress

1970s, biba, eye candy, man about the house, moss crepe, personal collection, vintage fangirl squee

The lovely Sharon Rose suggested I post more pictures of myself in some of my favourite frocks. Now in theory, that is a lovely idea. In reality, I fear cameras greatly unless I am properly prepared with a shovel-load of make-up and good lighting. Which is why so few photos of me are allowed out into the great world wide web.

However, I decided to post a photo of myself in one of my favourite Biba dresses….nay, one of my favourite dresses period. Mainly because I was completely delighted to see this dress, albeit in pale yellow rather than red moss crepe, worn by the fabulous Paula Wilcox as Chrissie in Man About The House (remade as Three’s Company in the US). I was less delighted to see she ‘fills’ it rather better than I do, but then again…..mine is so teeny tiny I couldn’t fit much more in it anyway! Small boobs can be very handy when it comes to Biba clothes…..

The sleeves are my favourite bit, they’re gigantic (not the biggest though, I think my Bill Gibb takes that particular biscuit) and have a very deep buttoned cuff, which gives a delightful swag. Honestly, this has to be one of my top ten favourite dresses in my closet……

Perhaps at a later date I will post a picture of me in the Jean Varon dress her flatmate Jo is also wearing in this particular episode! Yes, I have both dresses!

Little Miss Hornby and a gap now filled

1960s, british boutique movement, celebrity boutiques, eye candy, personal collection, twiggy, vintage fangirl squee

As many of you know from reading my blog and my website, I’m quite a keen collector as well as a seller. Together with the fact that I love wearing British Boutique-era clothing as well, it’s a wonder I ever sell anything. But thankfully, for you, I do and I don’t hold back the good stuff either. But occasionally, with something magnificent and as yet unrepresented in my collection, I do decide to buy something for myself and myself alone. It’s my ambition to have a representative collection of British Boutique designers and boutiques, some designers I will always have more than others because I have more of an interest in their career. But for some, one representative piece is all I can possibly hope for (or even afford). Like Thea Porter, or Bill Gibb…….or now, Twiggy.

Twiggy’s own label started in 1966, designed by RCA graduates Pam Proctor and Paul Babb, as one of the many ways in which Twiggy and her manager/boyfriend Justin De Villeneuve could utilize her fame and bankability. Twiggy was eager to be involved in the entire process of the clothes production, as a keen home dressmaker and frustrated designer herself, and this means that it was perhaps one of the better made and most genuinely stylish celebrity boutique labels of the time. Originally the idea had been mooted by Berkertex, but when Twiggy realised they were simply wanting to put her name on an existing range of clothes with no input by her, she turned to the Taramina Textiles firm. Smaller but happy to leave the creative decisions to the Twiggy camp and the two designers.

“We made sure the dresses were really good and they were all things that I would be happy to wear. I still think it was a very good, young collection of clothes–cat-suits, print shifts gathered under the bust, Bermuda-length jump suits, shirt dresses with long pointed collars, jersey culotte dresses, a pinstripe gangster style trouser suit–and all for between six and twelve guineas.” Twiggy by Twiggy (p51)

The launch was promoted by Twiggy’s only catwalk appearance and photographs taken by the legendary Barry Lategan.

Sadly, the small British manufacturers behind the label were unable to keep up with the demand the Twiggy line had produced in both Europe and the USA and the line eventually folded by the end of the decade. This leaves the label as one of the rarest and most highly sought after boutique brands of the time, due to the iconic status of Twiggy and the brevity of its existence.

I was overjoyed to finally get me a piece of Twiggy’s range, it had been a glaring hole in my collection so far. Then a few days later, I was sorting out my image files on my computer and found these photos of Twiggy actually wearing the dress in question. Unfortunately it does show me that the sleeves have been hacked off at some point…..but honestly, I care not! I have photos of Twiggy in my dress and as any regular readers will know, I’m slightly obsessed with original photos and particularly of the designers in or with the garments in question.

Don’t mind me, I’m just doing a little happy dance here!