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20th Century Vintage & Contemporary

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Paco Rabanne Vintage Fashion

Posted by on in Styles

Artcurial gives fans and collectors the chance to get up close to a range of Paco Rabanne's wacky 1980s creations honed from crinkled paper, strips of aluminum, patchwork leather and the like at a sale at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris.




60s fashion - Paco Rabanne 1968 ~ 1960s Fashion


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In the 60's Paco Rabanne was in demand as a costume designer for the cinema, theatre and ballet. In 1965 he started his career as a designer by presenting a collection of 12 contemporary dresses which he called "the Unwearables". These included his first plastic dress.


In 1966 Paco Rabanne opened his own outlet at the age of 32, where he earned international repute for his metal-linked plastic-disc dresses, sun goggles and jewellery made of plastic in primary colours. Paco Rabanne's dresses made of small plastic tiles linked together by chains, stole the show in Paris. Throughout the 1960s he dazzled and amazed with some of the most beautiful fashion we have ever seen.


Paco Rabanne has created some of the most beautiful, outstanding, and iconic designs, he is known for pushing the boundaries, thinking beyond the mainstream, and challenging convention.


Paco Rabanne, exciting, beautiful, different.


Old Style: Paco Rabanne 1968




Paco Rabanne Metal Dresses (1969 Original Footage)



Beautiful 60s fashion, Paco Rabanne Metal Dresses and 1969 Fashion. 





60s London & 60s fashion. ~ Wiki - Paco Rabanne ~ Paco Rabanne on Pinterest  ~ BIBA The 1960s on Pinterest

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Amazing vintage footage... A window on a beautiful world, a beautiful way to look at fashion. London in the 1960s and the beautiful fashion shops with it.



People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around - the music and the ideas.


~ Bob Dylan


The most wonderful time to be in the art world was in the sixties, because it wasn't a business - there was no business of doing art.


~ Arne Glimcher



BIBA and Beyond ~ Beyond Biba Trailer ~ 60s style dresses  ~ The 1960s on Pinterest


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Here's a nice clip - Lord Kitchener's Valet was a very successful high-end boutique in London (Soho) in the late 60s. Mostly featuring antique military jackets. What is so funny is how much of this is still so fashionable today....


When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.


 ~ Jimi Hendrix




The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.


~ Jimi Hendrix


1960s Fashion 

60s style dresses


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Biba pictures - Just beautiful

Posted by on in Biba

“I think people are too concerned about what’s fashionable. Women have such boring wardrobes these days because they must follow fashion, they must, they must. There’s too much interest in clothes now and it makes women dress less well.”  ~ Barbara Hulanick


Biba pictures - Just beautiful....





Biba on pinterest

Beyond Biba Trailer

BIBA and Beyond

Tagged in: BIBA Photos

Barbara Hulanicki & Design

Posted by on in Biba

"I usually give them thousands of drawings and they say 'We don't want anything to do with Biba' and I say 'Great' and then they pick all the things that look very Biba-like,"  - Barbara Hulanick




Beyond Biba Trailer

Tagged in: BIBA

Barbara Hulanicki in conversation

Posted by on in Biba



The epicentre of Swinging Sixties London was Barbara Hulanicki's radical Biba boutique in West London. On 26 October, a packed Cochrane Theatre paid tribute to fashion legend Barbara. Celebrated the launch of the new feature-length documentary Beyond Biba. After the screening the audience were treated to Q&A with Barbara herself.


Forgive the poor audio and turn the volume up..... Q&A starts on video one at eight minutes....


Barbara Hulanicki in conversation (part 1 of 2)



Barbara Hulanicki in conversation (part 2 of 2)



Tagged in: BIBA

Beyond Biba Trailer

Posted by on in Biba



Beyond Biba a Portrait of Barbara Hulanicki is now available on DVD....

From and



Barbara Hulanicki will always be remembered for BIBA, the shop that changed the face of UK fashion in the 1960s and 70s. A true phenomenon, BIBA would leave an indelible mark on the minds and wardrobes of the customers who ventured through its doors.


Just as Barbara was a key ingredient in the cultural explosion that occurred in London during the 60s, she also found herself at the birth of the incredible regeneration of Miami Beach in the late 80s. This is where she still resides, and continues to work as one of the most respected interior designers in the United States.


Beyond Biba provides an invaluable glimpse into Barbara Hulanicki today: a rare personal profile, her childhood in Poland, the glamour of Biba, and her thoughts on modern fashion. This film is an all-access portrait of an overlooked and elusive artist.


“Will leave you bubbly about BIBA!” - Los Angeles Times


BIBA and Beyond

60s style dresses - 60s style

60s outfits - 1960s Fashion – The Sounds and Styles


BIBA and Beyond

Posted by on in Biba

It's all about BIBA

Visitors to the Biba Believers event at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery talk about their memories and experiences of Biba. Stills and audio recorded 23 March 2013.



A major fashion exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery celebrates all things Biba and Beyond! The Biba store, the clothes, the lifestyle and the far reaching influence of this iconic brand. The exhibition also looks at the life and times of the charismatic and talented woman behind the label, Barbara Hulanicki. It also includes her successful earlier career in fashion illustration and her later achievements in interior design and architecture.


After walking out of Biba in the mid-1970s following the brand's corporate takeover, Barbara Hulanicki went on to work successfully in fashion in South America, Europe and Japan. In 2012 she is now an award winning and high profile interior designer working on major projects in the US and Caribbean. In the past few years Barbara's career has come full circle with hugely successful affordable fashion projects in the UK for TopShop and George at Asda.



With its cutting edge yet affordable fashion, Barbara Hulanicki's iconic Biba store and label transformed the High Street shopping experience in the 1960s and 70s. Young working women shopped alongside models and celebrities, including Twiggy, Cher and the Rolling Stones. Art Deco, Victorian and Hollywood glamour all combined in striking, romantic and sensual designs.




60s style dresses - 60s style

60s outfits - 1960s Fashion – The Sounds and Styles

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Vintage leather jacket

Posted by on in leather

vintage-leather-jacket_20140224-203859_1.jpgVintage Leather Jacket


The perfect vintage leather jacket will change the way you view your wardrobe. Suddenly plain dresses are transformed into chic ensembles. Jeans become dressy with a vintage leather jacket, creating an effortlessly laid back style that is ideal for any daytime look. Even formal wear can be made more sophisticated with a vintage leather jacket to pair with evening dresses, or elegant trousers. Once you’ve found the vintage leather jacket of your dreams, the pairing possibilities are endless, making it a must-have for your current wardrobe.b2ap3_thumbnail_vintage-leather-jacket-01_20140224-205703_1.jpg

Over the years, there have been three prominent styles in leather wear: motorbike style leather jackets, colorful statement leather jackets, and sleek and sophisticated leather jackets. These three categories have yielded brilliant pieces over the years and vintage examples are still sought after today. The lasting quality of leather allows brilliant designs to last for decades, providing modern fashionistas with the opportunity to wear fabulous designs from the past. A vintage leather jacket has an element of nostalgia which cannot be found in modern looks, making them extremely desirable. They are the heart and soul of edgy style and rugged sophistication. The unique style of a vintage leather jacket paired with a contemporary outfit creates a perfect ensemble. The wide array of vintage designs makes a vintage leather jacket intriguing and unique. Shawl collars, square collars, the use of knit, studding, lacing, or suede, and variations in sleeve designs, are just a few distinguishing differences to be found in a vintage leather jacket, providing the modern wearer with countless options to explore. 



Vintage Leather Motorbike Jackets: Motorcycle styles are iconic, appearing in movies and on celebrated celebrities as signature looks. Just think of Marlon Brando or James Dean…and many films and rock stars over the years have inspired female versions of the leather biker look: strong, independent and empowered.


vintage-leather-jacket-02.jpgAll Saint’s contemporary yet vintage inspired leather jackets are similar to nostalgic vintage designs, featuring motorcycle style with an added element of sophistication. Buckles, studs and metal detailing make an All Saint’s vintage leather jacket stand out from other designers’ pieces, looking fierce and fabulous ~ and always tailored to perfection. All Saint’s vintage biker jackets are known for their edgy vibe, making them some of the world’s most loved designs.



Vintage motorcycle jackets were inspired by military and aviator styles from as far back as the 1920s and 1930s ~ and these designs often imitated A-1 jackets used by the Army Air Corp, before the second world war. Carefully chosen leather was used to create supple pieces with lasting quality, allowing the jackets to be worn for years. These A-1 jacket designs influenced vintage biker wear, as designers incorporated zipper fronts and pockets which created the iconic biker style which reached such popularity in the early 1950s.


A motorcycle style vintage leather jacket is the perfect piece to bring an added element of edginess to your wardrobe. The iconically famous ‘biker’ style with the ‘zipper’ detailing, and the very flattering ‘biker’ fit, which works for all body shapes, creates a unique look which has influenced ‘street style’ throughout the world.



Colorful Vintage Leather Jackets: Another well-know vintage leather jacket style is the colorful statement jacket, which has, over the years, often been worn by rock stars, bands and celebrities.




Gucci has created some fabulous statement leather jackets over the years featuring bold and beautiful colours, such as pink and turquoise. Gucci’s first colorful leather jackets appeared in classic designs, mimicking biker styles from the 1950s. The difference was in the vibrant hues that Gucci incorporated ~ mustard yellow, bright reds, bright blues, among others, were often seen in vintage Gucci styles. When their colorful biker leather looks were a huge success, Gucci began experimenting with leather trench coat styles in bold colours also. Colourful leather in a vintage leather jacket still makes a bold, statement piece today ~ and as these jackets become rarer to find they become more and more sought after by those who adore vintage pieces.


Sophisticated Vintage Leather Jackets: A sharp and tailored silhouette is the standout element of a sophisticated and sleek vintage leather jacket.


Designers such as Michael Kors focus on creating this classic piece of leather clothing, resulting in a sleek style that is undeniably chic. Celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Lopez are often spotted in sophisticated vintage leather jackets, pairing them with almost everything in their wardrobe. Sleek leather jackets which feature pretty and unusual details are also very popular. Ruffled sleeves, innovative collars and pleats are all additions which top designers may include to add interest to their leather pieces.


The best part about a sophisticated vintage leather jacket ~ and vintage biker jackets also ~ is its element of timelessness, knowing that it will never go out of style. The original sophisticated leather jackets were often inspired by military jackets ~ often double breasted designs, and in chic black leather. This look was innovative in the fashion industry, taking it by force. Designers throughout the years have borrowed from military looks and paired and updated this style with iconic leather details and clever tailoring to create jackets which are chic and contemporary.


vintage-leather-jacket-05_20140224-213213_1.jpgThese three popular leather jacket designs make great staple pieces in your wardrobe, but a standout vintage leather jacket often takes leather to the next level, incorporating outlandish and unique elements of design such as coat tails, amazing collars and flared sleeves for example. Top designers, including Gucci, Prada, All Saint’s, and Burberry have all created iconic leather jackets throughout the years, offering the modern woman a chance to wear outlandish a vintage leather jacket with a contemporary edge and look absolutely fabulous.


Burberry is known for taking their leather to the next level, and they have become know for incorporating extensive studding into their motorcycle style jackets. Their designers were inspired by the edgy vibe and iconic appeal of the motorcycle jacket, and sought to extend the style by focusing on the detailing and embellishment of the leather. Sleeves and collars, and sometimes the body of the jacket itself, were covered in silver studs, creating a glamorous, edgy, very rock star look, which really catches the eye. Although the fit of the jacket remained the same, the detailing transformed the look of leather jackets, and is still a very popular trend today. Zip up sleeves and extensive quilted leather are another standout element of Burberry’s vintage leather jackets, marking them unique among their contemporaries.


Gucci’s colorful leather jackets not only incorporate stunning hues, but also complex patterning which marks Gucci’s vintage leather as unique. Stripes and other geometric patterns are pieced together from bright leather, creating mesmerizing designs which are unrivaled in intricacy. One of Gucci’s iconic pieces features two yellow stripes that contrast with a pink background ~ very striking. Coloured leather jackets also utilize quilting to add another dimension to the vintage leather jacket, and metallic material is often used also, giving a futuristic vibe to these vintage pieces.


Prada’s sophisticated leather jackets embody beautiful design, while often including fresh details such as tails and flared sleeves. These aspects were unheard of in the leather design world, until Prada included them in their designs, when people began to take notice. Prada incorporates inspiration from many sources, including the more flamboyant elements of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and from the even earlier military brocade styles, creating perfect and stunning leather pieces to mix and match with more conservative pieces.


These top designers have revolutionized the world of leather jackets, creating vintage leather pieces that are still sought after today.





Leather jacket women

Best Winter Jackets - Riding jackets

Vintage leather jackets on Pinterest


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1930s-30s.jpgThis video beautifully encapsulates the 1930s, the elegance, the beauty, the glamour..... Just exquisite.


Lyrics to - 1935 Cheek to Cheek - Video below


Heaven, I'm in Heaven,

And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak;

And I seem to find the happiness I seek

When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek.


Heaven, I'm in Heaven,

And the cares that hang around me thro' the week

Seem to vanish like a gambler's lucky streak

When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek.


Oh! I love to climb a mountain,

And to reach the highest peak,

But it doesn't thrill me half as much

As dancing cheek to cheek.


1930s--1930.jpgOh! I love to go out fishing

In a river or a creek,

But I don't enjoy it half as much

As dancing cheek to cheek.


Dance with me

I want my arm about you;

The charm about you

Will carry me thro' to Heaven


I'm in Heaven,

and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak;

And I seem to find the happiness I seek


When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek.



- I think I would like to have lived in the 1930s and worn beautiful bias cut dresses all the time.


 - Nanette Lepore





Fred Astaire performing "Cheek to Cheek" in the movie "Top Hat" (1935)


1930s Fashion - Hollywood Style! - 30s fashion


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30s-wedding-30s-fashion.jpgThe 1930s influence on modern day fashion.


When Kate Moss, the fashion icon and supermodel, got married, she took inspiration from the 1930s and The Great Gatsby to create a wedding so glamorous, elegant and romantic it has influenced thousands of brides to turn to the roaring twenties and thirties for inspiration...


The model showed off her 30s inspired theme in a Galliano gown, with a sheer slip dress, bias cut in silk, with a bodice detailed with a sheer overlay embroidered with gold sequins ~ while the skirt was an intricate web of beading, embroidery and rhinestones. Kate perfected the look with a 1920s inspired lace cap veil, embroidered with flowers, thirteen beautiful bridesmaids dressed in flowing white gowns and of course her husband Jamie Hince, dressed in a pale blue suit. Brides to be and the fashion world alike, waited in baited breath for this glamorous union, and it certainly didn't disappoint ~ and ever since, Kate’s 30s inspired nuptials have sparked a vintage wedding frenzy for 20s/30s Great Gatsby inspired vintage weddings and vintage wedding dresses...


Think of Pippa Middleton in THAT beautiful sheath of a dress...Think of Jean Harlow in all her sleek glamour...Think of Marilyn Monroe, the platinum blonde in platinum silk...



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40s Dance — The Magic of Fred Astaire & Rita Hayworth



The songs and dance numbers are of from the 1942 Columbia Pictures movie "You Were Never Lovelier" with Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Xavier Cugat, Adolphe Menjou. Music by Jerome Kern, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Directed by William A. Seiter



Fred Astaire & Rita Hayworth, A little bit of 40s tap dance.



A musical act from the movie You'll Never Get Rich. You'll Never Get Rich is a 1941 Hollywood musical comedy film with a wartime theme starring Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Robert Benchley, Cliff Nazarro, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The film was directed by Sidney Lanfield.


This video has a more late 40s dance feel.




Stormy Weather (1943) - The Nicholas Brothers 

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To Have and Have Not (1944)


To Have and Have Not is a 1944 romance-war-adventure film. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and Lauren Bacall in her first film. Although it is nominally based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, the story was extensively altered for the film.


"I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of The Look." (L.Bacall)


To Have and Have Not (1944) - Humphrey Bogart - Lauren Bacall



To Have and Have Not (1944) - Humphrey Bogart - Lauren Bacall



To Have and Have Not (1944) - Humphrey Bogart - Lauren Bacall




More info

40s Fashion Vintage Hollywood

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Equestrian fashion - Riding jackets

Posted by on in Styles

b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-20s.jpgThe Equestrian and Victorian Trend


  'Equestrian is always in...' ~ Ralph Lauren



The distinctive and very elegantly sexy Victorian and equestrian looks are very on trend ~ and with their timeless elegance, always will be...


As design icon Ralph Lauren asserts, 'equestrian is always in' ~ perhaps because it can be worn with as much flair as fits your personality and always instils a sense of timeless class and subtle femininity as inherited by the Victorians who were able to achieve both rather admirably. So, don the leather riding boots and delight in the gorgeous hour glass silhouette intrinsic of the riding jacket, Equestrian-fashion--1.jpgor just as striking, the tailcoat, harking back again to the Victorian and Edwardian era.....


Women have always styled and worn their own versions of what is, or was, considered to be ostensibly men’s fashionable dress, with riding coats and all things ‘equestriana’ being no exception. From the 1870s, the more 'masculine' shape of women’s’ riding costume began to evolve into garments reminiscent of their daywear bodices ~  keeping the lapels and collars of men's jackets, but defining the shape of things to come in terms of the now familiar fitted silhouette with its rather romantic look of defined waist and long frock coat shape.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion.jpgThe dawn of the Edwardian age saw the emergence of the blazer and, with the addition of darts, this new coat shape became trimmed to flatter the female form ~ a silhouette still echoed today in riding coats and jackets. 


By the 1910s, women's riding jackets had lengthened ~ a modification that adhered to the long lines of the columnar fashions, resulting in a style that would dominate riding wear well into the 1920s.b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-40s.jpg  The introduction of jackets that were cut away at the front came from a solution to the previous square-fronted jackets being damaged against the saddle when riding, while the outer skirt became flared at the back to drape comfortably over the saddle ~ and with the flattering, form-enhancing darts back in place, the cutaway frock coat was quickly adopted as a fashion staple by equestriennes and non-sporting women alike to become the classic, definitive 'riding' jacket or coat.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Equestrian-fashion---Riding-jackets-01.jpgThe distinctive, beautiful and timeless shapes of Victorian and Edwardian riding wear are fully evident in the modern trend for the equestrian look, with smart yet sexy coat and jacket shapes in various styles and lengths ~ single or double breasted, in wool/cashmere, tweed or velvet; short, chic jackets with military embellishment in the form of buttons, loops or braiding; long, flowing velvet coats with contrast trim, corset-style lacing, fitted or belted waists and bustle-style backs; the classic shape and authentic look of riding coats with smart tailoring and asymmetrical buttoning ~  it’s little wonder that contemporary designers and brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Hermès constantly extol the virtues of, and continue to rework, the equestrian aesthetic.



Equestrian-fashion-010.jpgRiding wear often stands out from other looks with its fabulous and fitted tailoring, powerful silhouettes, romantic elegance, smart detailing and the often huge sweeping coat skirts. These are garments that continue to stand the test of time and whether vintage or contemporary, they evoke the Victorian ethos for quality, shape and style that’s perfect for a trend able to traverse so many modern looks; from the elegance of the courtyard and countryside via Gothic Noir, Dandy, Poet, Mistress, Steampunk, military, pirate and more...equestrian style is endlessly evocative and beautifully timeless...



Best Winter Jackets

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60s style dresses - 60s style

Posted by on in The 60s - 1960s fashion




 1960s Fashion ~ Focus on Design      

While the flamboyant and outlandish fashions of the Swinging Sixties exploded through the music scene, another style revolution was taking place ~ more demure, elegant and refined, but no less central to 60s style and its embodiment of cutting edge fashion design.

The elegance of Jacqueline Kennedy (a style icon throughout the decade) was reflected in fashions of the early 60s: aside from her Oleg Cassini coats and neat pillbox hats, she And 60s style itemspopularised fitted suits with short, boxy jackets and oversized buttons in diverse colours that were smart and chic. Simple but flattering geometric dresses (shifts) were also in style and for evening wear, full-skirted, often low cut gowns with close-fitting waists were popular.


60s-style-dresses-8.jpgHowever, the epitome of 60s style undoubtedly belongs to the brilliance of its fashion designers, the iconic 60s style dresses they created and their outstanding influence that has since permeated a multitude of collections. The roll call of revolutionaries to be relished and revered includes Mary Quant, Barbara Hulanicki, Ossie Clark, Jean Muir, Emilio Pucci, Guy Laroche, Oscar de la Renta and Yves St Laurent ~ fashion pioneers whose contribution to 60s style remains legendary.


Mary Quant is one of the most influential designers associated with 60s style dresses and ranks alongside luminaries such as Chanel and Dior. Already possessing an avant-garde, modish look with her new razor-sharp haircut, she introduced the boundary-crossing mini in 1965 (popularising an earlier Courrèges design), with a hemline and a shape that was to revolutionise fashion. Her remit was to make youthful, simple clothes in which one could move more easily ~ so hem lengths simply got shorter (and shorter!) in line with her customer’s requirements (a design that she credited to ‘the girls on the King’s Road’).  In 1963, she won the first Dress of the Year award for an outfit that best represented the most important new ideas in contemporary fashion.


60s-style-dresses-011.jpgHer position at the heart of London’s stylish fashion quarter was instrumental in rocketing the mini from street fashion to major international trend, with top models working the iconic leggy looks in A-line dresses or sleeveless shifts of cotton, Crimplene and lace-adorned velvet or the micro-mini ‘Angel’ dress. The model Twiggy (the ‘mini-girl of the mini-era’) shattered the previously perceived ideal of beauty with her gamine, doe-eyed image and slim figure and Quant’s genius was to capture that zeitgeist of 60s style by clothing her in dresses that showed off the designer’s talent for the contemporary which distinguished British designers as a breed apart. The mini is one shape that will never date:  it encapsulates 60s style dresses absolutely, and works as well with today’s essential, ubiquitous opaques as it did with Quant’s innovative coloured tights. Simply fabulous!


On the subject of ‘mini magic’, YSL’s Mondrian dress (inspired by the Dutch artist), a wool shift printed with primary block colours, became one of the dresses epitomising 60s style and generated an array of copies. Indeed, it looks as modern now as it did in 1965.


60s-style-dresses-767.jpgPierre Cardin, André Courrèges and Paco Rabanne introduced futuristic fashion and space-age silhouettes, (Rabanne’s metal mini dress was truly ahead of its time), and Emilio Pucci pioneered psychedelic patterned prints ~ while the likes of Jean Muir, Barbara Hulanicki for Biba, and Ossie Clark continued to fly the flag for designs that were smart, beautiful and desirable.


60s-style.jpgMiss Muir was known for her precision cut and considered herself a craftswoman ~ disciplined, skilled and dedicated, and her formidable attention to detail belied her statement minimalist shapes. She was one of the first designers to produce ready-to-wear with a couture aesthetic and while she didn’t officially invent the ‘little black dress’ (a look immortalised in 1961 with Givenchy’s creation for Holly Golightly), she did perpetuate its all-round use with other dark signature colours. Muir was the doyenne of the little dress, engineering seriously elegant clothes for grown-ups. The ineffable elegance of her designs, renowned for their quality and deceptively simple but sinuous lines, continue to impress with their timeless, effortless chic while her label still attracts new admirers and clientele who wish to look demure in Muir.


Biba opened its first shop door in 1964 ~ its stylish décor, lavish decadence and hatstands of gorgeous garments in dark, jewel coloured velvets, tie-dye, feathers and felt became a melting pot of fabulous fashion and cool creativity, attracting the glitterati of the day. Artists, film stars and rock stars rubbed shoulders with the beautiful young clientele who epitomised trendy 60s London and devoured Barbara Hulanicki’s stunning designs. From her original sleeveless gingham shifts and her faux fur trimmed maxi coats, to her billowing chiffon dresses and richly-coloured mini dresses ~ often expressing her ornate William Morris aesthetic (her vibrant, purple and yellow zig-zag print mini dress with fitted waist and slightly flared skirt has been displayed at London’s V&A) ~ the Hulanicki name remains synonymous with evocative design. Indeed, her 2009 30-piece collection of 60s style dresses for Topshop flew off the rails and she continues to collaborate on collections for the high street. Her original 60s and 70s Biba designs helped to iconically define an era and are coveted by fashion collectors worldwide, and still infinitely wearable ~ not bad for someone whose first shop stocked a solitary brown pinstriped smock!


60s-style-01_20140128-183347_1.jpg60s-style-02.jpgFinally, to Ossie Clark ~ a major figure on the scene and another innovator of 60s style who produced the most desirable dresses, often in collaboration with print designer Celia Birtwell. His design style in the mid 60s was heavily influenced by pop-art and Hollywood glamour and while he may have attracted major attention from the fashion press with that ‘light bulb’ moment at his degree show (an illuminating design that boosted his career), he’s renowned for his vintage designs ~ exquisite, flowing and sensuous maxi dresses in both fabulous plain colours and in bold flower prints, smocks in soft chiffon, wrap dresses, halter-necks and tea dresses in stunning patterns ~ and has influenced the likes of Anna Sui, Tom Ford and Manolo Blahnik. Ghost’s diaphanous gowns are certainly reminiscent of Clark’s vintage pieces and his original and collaborative vintage collections remain highly regarded and sought after, very often seen on celebrities at red carpet events.


The shining lights of 60s fashion design left their mark and their legacy with a glorious imprint of 60s style dresses that continues to inspire, excite, innovate and endure; as they say, style never goes out of fashion.






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1960s Fashion


Grace-Slick-60s-outfits_20140126-042243_1.jpg1960s Fashion – The Sounds and Styles

Music and passion were always the fashion..”  ~ but it was during the 1960s that music and fashion became forever entwined and redefined for a new generation who eagerly embraced the pop culture that marked out the Swinging Sixties as a decade unlike any that had gone before.


This was a time of upheaval in politics, fashion, attitudes and music and while the ‘teenager’ may have been 50s borne, the 60s delivered a new-found sense of freedom as society moved away from the conservative values of the previous decade and discovered colour, flamboyance, style and ownership that gave rise to a multitude of groundbreaking fashion trends. These new looks not only mirrored the social movements of the time, but were particularly influenced by the iconography of the popstars, music, dances and the burgeoning festival scene. Music led the way in ‘alternative’ fashion for the young and the restless, the ‘in’ crowd and the trendsetters, and designers began producing clothing suitable for those eager to find their own identities. The first major fashion movement of the 60s emerged from the ‘British Invasion’ ~ the Beatles phenomenon (and their much emulated ‘Liverpool Sound’), the Rolling Stones and many others who were enjoying immense popularity.


1960s-fashion.jpgIn the early to mid 60s, the London Modernists (the Mods) shaped a look for a British subculture of young women and men ~ a counter culture movement which became widely imitated and identified by their classy, tailored suits, Levis jeans and slim button-down shirts contrasted with their trademark anoraks. Both female and male Mods dressed very similarly and both had a sense of ‘alternative cool’ with their instantly recognisable customised scooters and mopeds  ~ and bands such as The Who, The Kinks and The Small Faces were to emerge with a faithful following.  By contrast, the Rockers of the time were still heavily influenced by 50s rock and roll icons, bringing black leather again into 1960s fashion. The decade also gave birth to drainpipe jeans, for women and men, an item that has remained forever in fashion (having latterly evolved into the ‘skinny’ jeans trend we are seeing again today).


TV music shows of the time featured a plethora of groups and artists from the established crooners to the up and coming rebels that were ready to revolutionise the music scene. Boy Meets Girl, Juke Box Jury, Ready Steady Go! and Shindig! were among the latter, alongside the iconic juggernaut that was Top of the Pops (first aired in 1964), a show that would later become the nostalgia-laden popfest for millions. They showcased the main chart toppers and heart-throbs of the day, among them Cilla Black, Lulu and Sandie Shaw who all played their part in defining the fashion of the era ~ and the Beatles and the Stones whose definitive 60s outfits were to have a huge influence on fashion (and music) which still endures ~ from sharp suits and Nehru jackets to velvet, brocade and ‘jazz band’ chic, via leather drainpipes, billowing blouses, that white ‘dress’ and iconic pop-art logos.

60s-fashion-Jimi-Hendrix-01.jpgDance crazes such as the Twist, the Mashed Potato, the Swim, the Freddie, all demanded a new freedom of movement for women and evolving fashion styles reflected this ~ the 60s saw curve hugging satin sheath dresses to match the sultry sounds of Motown and R&B, and the cute swing shifts of the sophisticated Supremes and the Detroit sound. But one image that so often defines 60s outfits, almost more than any other, is the fabulous monochrome mini dress, quirky white boots, pale lips, false eyelashes on feline flicks and hair that was bobbed and bouffant or sleek and chic. Once Mary Quant had introduced the mini-skirt in 1965, everything changed and this embodiment of 1960s fashion was popularised by chanteuses such as Sandie Shaw, Petula Clark, Cilla 1960s-fashion-1960s-outfits-01.jpgBlack and Kathy Kirby. These young pop stars, who were becoming household names, wowed in sleeveless minis and groovy A-line and shift dresses with colour pop geometrics, big bright flower prints and patterned tights; and crop tops with hip-hugging trousers and bell bottoms (often embellished with sequins) were also seen on screen ~ while marvellous maxis and floaty frocks with billowing sleeves in velvet, chiffon and satin were modelled by the likes of Marianne Faithfull and Jane Birkin, hidden under floppy hats and layers of cool and sultry chic.


The achingly trendy style arenas of London’s Kings Road and Carnaby Street gave rise to an explosion of flamboyance, flair and ‘far out’ fashion in 60s outfits that saw A-lines, Angel dresses, bell-bottoms, boas, capri trousers, cravats, Cuban heels, culottes, Go-Go boots, kaftans, maxis, minis, shifts, space-age, stilettos, swing coats, tunics and winklepickers parade through the decade in a refreshing riot of batik, brocade, chiffon, crocheted lace, faux fur, frills, leather, neon, PVC, paisley, patent, psychedelic prints, stripes, suede, tie-dye and velvet. 1960s fashion continued its evolution into the later decade, influenced by the growing popularity of rock and its subgenres: surf, roots, hard, psychedelic, folk ~ and the boom in music festivals.


Festivals were flourishing and artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Grace Slick shaped the Hippie movement. A sense of empowerment and liberation became apparent in 60s outfits of the time as a bohemian counterculture took hold: clothes became loose and relaxed with brightly coloured, clashing prints and patterns, bell bottoms, tunic tops and tie-dye, velvet waistcoats, flowers, frills, headbands and beads that reflected the mood and the music, while longer, looser, hair replaced the structured beehives and bouffants. This sense of idealism, freedom and optimism was captured at a moment in time which can never truly be recreated, but which will always evoke those sunny, carefree, heady days of 60s Summers and immutable music ~ represented by the gorgeously gregarious and bohemian fashions that freed the spirit and blazed a trail for generations to come.


Joni-Mitchell-60s-outfits.jpgThe politically charged decade also saw the emergence of folk artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell who lent their working class American values not just to their outspoken lyrics, but to their look ~ soon, fans were embracing denim, military style jackets and western-inspired shirts. Jeans became the indispensable, integral item in any self-respecting music fan’s wardrobe, a discipline and a ‘rock solid’ fashion staple that still prevails.


1960s FashionWith gender definition becoming less limiting, and with the resurgence of the Women’s Liberation Movement and a new wave of feminism, the androgynous look of 60s outfits
 became more pervasive: women blended the feminine and masculine and wore Nehru jackets with miniskirts and short sculpted haircuts; while men sported polo necks, billowing shirts, decorative scarves and skirted coats, and long flowing hairstyles. The ‘dandy’ look, celebrated by Brian Jones et al, became ‘de rigeur’ with bands who rocked the outlandish, the outré and the outrageous in tight fitting trousers and double-breasted suits of crushed velvet, brocade waistcoats and frilled shirts. This look was perfectly summed up at the Stones’ Hyde Park concert of July 1969 by the ‘King of Peacocks’, Mick Jagger ~ his white voile smock with bishop’s sleeves, ruffled neck and wrists, and bow-laced front is surely one of the outfits, alongside Mary Quant’s iconic mini skirts and dresses, most redolent of the exhilaration, the empowerment, the revolution and the zeitgeist of 1960s fashion.


For the first time in history, 1960s fashion was geared towards the youth market, a trend that set the mood for the rest of the century and beyond. Styles changed more frequently than ever before (and continued to do so throughout the decade), undeniably influenced by the pop and rock stars, the ever-changing music scene and the flourishing TV and media culture that portrayed them. The music scene was the voice of the 60s generation, heavily influencing style statements that continue to impact on modern fashion in a way that perhaps no other decade has done since.



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1940s-40s-1940-fashion-1942-40s.jpgThe 1940s

Please see video below....


Three songs and dances from the 1942 Columbia Pictures movie


"You Were Never Lovelier" with Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Xavier Cugat, Adolphe Menjou

Music by Jerome Kern, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Directed by William A. Seiter


Together, the three videos contain these songs and dances:

"Chiu Chiu": Cugat's band performs this showpiece samba with music and lyrics by Nicanor Molinare sung and danced by Lina Romay, Miguelito Valdés and chorus in front of Astaire.

"Dearly Beloved": Kern's ballad became a major hit for Astaire -- who sings it here -- and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Shortly after, Hayworth (singing dubbed by Nan Wynn) reprises the song with a brief but erotic dance, alone in her bedroom.



"Audition Dance": "One of my best solos" was Astaire's verdict on his first solo routine on the theme of Latin dance, celebrated for its comic inventiveness and dexterity. Astaire's number also inspired Jerome Robbins' solo Latin dance in the latter's first ballet Fancy Free, created in 1944.



"I'm Old Fashioned": A Kern melody, with Mercer's lyrics mimed by Hayworth, inspires Astaire's second Latin romantic partnered dance, and one of his best known. This dance was chosen by Jerome Robbins as the centerpiece to his ballet of the same name, created by him for the New York City Ballet in 1983, as a tribute to Astaire.



"The Shorty George": Required more rehearsal time than all other dances together. A synthesis of American Swing or Jive, and virtuoso tap dancing by Astaire and Hayworth, both in top form and exuding a sense of fun in an arrangement by Lyle "Spud" Murphy. The title refers to a popular dance step of the time, attributed to George "Shorty" Snowdon a champion African-American dancer at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom and reputed inventor of the Lindy Hop or Jitterbug dance styles. Here, as in the "Pick Yourself Up" and "Bojangles of Harlem" numbers from Swing Time, Kern belied his claim that he couldn't write in the Swing style.



"Wedding in the Spring": Overly sweet and soppy number performed tongue-in-cheek by Cugat's band.



"You Were Never Lovelier": A Kern melody, sung by Astaire to Hayworth, with a celebratory dance reprise at the film's end, initiated by an armour-suited Astaire falling off a horse, and shedding his knight's armour, only to reveal himself in white tie and tails. According to Astaire, the original dance number that followed the song was cut from the film after the preview as the studio felt it "held up the story".




"These Orchids": Cugat's band provides an orchestral serenade in rumba style to Hayworth outside her bedroom window with this Kern melody.




1940s Fashion

Vintage Hollywood


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From the bestselling author of Birdsong comes Charlotte Gray, the remarkable story of a young Scottish woman who becomes caught up in the effort to liberate Occupied France from the Nazis while pursuing a perilous mission of her own.

1943. The World is at war. Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman is parachuted behind enemy lines in southern France. Officially, she has been recruited by the British government to liase with the local Resistance group. Unofficially, she is searching for her lover, missing in action. As Charlotte becomes more deeply involved with the Resistance fighters, she realises that her love for France and its people will change her life forever.

Charlotte Gray, Set in -


The 1940s


Quote - Psychiatrist: Of these three, which in your view is the most important: Faith, hope or love?

Charlotte Gray: Hope.



Quote - [last lines] Charlotte Gray: There's something I've been meaning to tell you.

Julien Levade: What?


Charlotte Gray: My name: Charlotte Gray.







Charlotte Gray, a little taste of the movie



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The 1940s


Gilda (1946) is a black-and-white film noir directed by Charles Vidor. It stars Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth in her signature role as the ultimate femme fatale. The film was noted for cinematographer Rudolph Mate's lush photography, costume designer Jean Louis' wardrobe for Hayworth (particularly for the dance numbers), and choreographer Jack Cole's staging of "Put the Blame on Mame" and "Amado Mio", sung by Anita Ellis.



Quote - Gilda: I can never get a zipper to close. Maybe that stands for something, what do you think?




Dress to Impress, 1940s Fashion - 1940 dresses and 1940s fancy dress

40s Fashion Vintage Hollywood - 1940 fashion


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