The British Boutique Movement - Part I

Discussion in 'British Boutique Movement 2005 by EmmaPeelPants' started by emmapeelpants, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    Hello and welcome to the VFG workshop on the British Boutique movement of the 60s and 70s. My name is Liz, a.k.a Emmapeelpants, and I will try to introduce you all to the vibrant design movement as much as I can. Obviously it is an enormous subject, so I have chosen some select designers and boutiques to concentrate on. You are very welcome to ask questions on those I haven't discussed, and keep me running to my books all day!! :) The workshop will be formed of three sections - added over the course of the day, to prevent image overload!
    <P>
    The emergence of youthful and ambitious British designers in the 1960s was a revolution in the fashion world. Quite apart from the front-runners enabling lots of other young designers to feel that they too could start their own boutique, it forced the other fashion capitals to change their outlook and methods. So radical was the new look of the era, Britain became the focus of the world, and thus its leader. For once, New York, Paris and Milan were looking to quirky old England for inspiration. British designers headed out on PR tours of America, pushing the Swinging London lifestyle and expanding their empires. It would end, in the great scheme of things, almost as suddenly as it began. Failing economy in Britain in the 1970s increased overheads and reduced sales for these designers, and as the other fashion capitals of the world fell out of love with the London look, most British designers floundered. This workshop is designed to give you a flavour of the designers involved and, within their stories, the eventual decline.
    <P>
    <center>British Boutique Movement: burning brief and bright.</center><left>
    <P>
    To start, I have put the designers and labels I know of into a tier system, which make it easier to digest and remember all the major and minor players in the vibrant British fashion scene in the 60s and 70s.
    <P>
    <B>Top Tier</B>
    <P>
    The Haute Couturiers with the British flavour. They are associated with the era more through the timing of their emergence, their popularity during that time and their collectability now.
    <P>
    <I>Bill Gibb, Thea Porter, Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir</i>
    <P>
    <B>Second Tier</B>
    <P>
    The REAL stars of the period: the movers, shakers and talented kids who exploded onto the scene with a very British couture. A lot of them were the product of a strong art school scene in the late 1950s/early 1960s; Quant, Foale and Tuffin, Wainwright, Ossie and Gerald McCann are amongst this group.
    <P>
    <I>John Bates, Ossie Clark, Janice Wainwright, Foale and Tuffin, Mary Quant, Gerald McCann, Gina Fratini, Alice Pollock, Jeff Banks, Christopher McDonnell</i>
    <P>
    <B>Third Tier</B>
    <P>
    The true boutiques of the movement. A new kind of department store, stocked with cheap, throwaway trendy gear and with a strong concept. The true predecessors of modern, young High Street stores like Topshop and Miss Selfridge: who both sprung up in the mid-late 70s, coinciding with the demise of Biba and Bus Stop.
    <P>
    <I>Biba, Bus Stop, Clobber, Annacat, John Stephen (in all his incarnations; Lord John, Lady Jane etc), Granny Takes a Trip, The Apple Boutique, Quorum, Top Gear, The Fulham Road Clothes Shop, Pussy Galore, Miss Mouse, I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet.</i>
    <P>
    <B>Fourth Tier</B>
    <P>
    The celebrity boutique. This phenomenon was started by TV presenter and ‘Queen of the Mods’ Cathy McGowan in the mid 1960s, continued with Twiggy and chanteuse (and Jeff Banks’ wife) Sandie Shaw in the late 60s. Cashing in on the popularity of said starlet, these were unlikely to have been designed by them, despite what publicity material of the time might say, being more a clever marketing ploy by manufacturers. Honourable mention also goes to Lulu.
    <P>
    <B>Fifth Tier</B>
    <P>
    Nationwide; boutiques sprang up across the country like Pollyanna, The Birdcage and AnnaBelinda of Oxford. Inspired by their London counterparts, they would sell their own designs and select pieces by the big name London designers.
    <P>
    <B>Sixth Tier</B>
    <P>
    What I would describe as the commercialisation of the movement. Designers and ‘boutiques’ one knows little about these days, often a cloak for established clothing manufacturers wanting to project the boutique image. I would tentatively place Samuel Sherman in this tier because, despite the youthful image of his Dollyrockers brand, the sheer number of seemingly separate labels with his name attached might suggest he was simply a canny businessman. John Stephen (see above tier) had a similar ‘finger-in-all-the-pies’ syndrome, but he really was the KING of Carnaby Street and his influence on fashion and the business of High Street fashion is undeniable. Also the prevalent ‘QUAD’, ‘Mr Darren’, ‘Origin’ and ‘Polly Peck by Sybil Zelker’ would seem to be at the bottom of the pile in terms of price, quality and the lack of designer profile (or even existence in some cases) demonstrated in higher tiers. It has to be said though, that they did produce some mighty fine clothes which still make great alternatives to the ‘big’ names, just as they did back then!!
    <P>
    <I>Quad, Mr Darren, Dollyrockers, Polly Peck/Miss Polly, Origin,</i>
     
  2. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    <Center>Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves:
    The Emergence of the Young Businesswomen

    <p></center>
    The 1960s were a time of change for women in all spheres of work. The British Boutique Movement was spearheaded by a collection of young, talented and ambitious young women, eager to cater to their contemporaries in a way that fashion had failed to do for them.
    <p>
    The most famous of these young women is Mary Quant. She was trained in Illustration at Goldsmiths' College and worked at a milliner's, stitching hats for wealthy ladies. It was this awareness of the discrepencies between fashions for the privileged and for ordinary young working women which inspired her. The origins of the revolution in the 1960s lay in the Teddy Boys and Beatniks of the 1950s, who were disillusioned by post-war Britain and thus subversive in their clothes and lifestyles. Mary Quant opened her first boutique 'Bazaar' on the King's Road with her boyfriend Alexander Plunkett-Green and Archie McNair in 1955, clearly a part of this new way of thinking. She initially bought clothes in to sell, but was typically frustrated with what was available to her. So she set about creating her own, in a somewhat haphazard manner which never seemed to meet the level of demand from customers.
    <P>
    Creating unique clothes was simply not enough for her, she went several steps further to create a unique boutique through which to sell them. They would use completely outrageous novelties to keep the shop a controversial talking point in the heart of Chelsea, one of London’s most expensive and fashionable areas. The shop window was re-styled practically every week, exhibiting new designs and taking window design to new levels with extraordinary themes and accessories.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant1.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>c.1962, 'Bazaar' boutique shop window.</center></small>
    <P>
    Her earliest designs don’t seem all that radical when viewed through modern eyes, they have a more beatnik quality. Skirts were shorter than they had been, but the mini was a few years off being her trademark. The notable difference in her clothes though was the naivety; simple fabrics, simple straight cut shapes or sportswear influences.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant10.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant2.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant7.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left:Harris tweed knickerbocker ensemble from 1957. Photo from The Museum of London. Middle: Heavy cotton full skirted Mary Quant dress c.1962. Right: 'Fizz' an early Quant design.</center></small>
    <P>
    The above middle dress from my own collection is one of the earliest pieces I have seen and is exhibited in the window display above. It is very early and despite the full skirt and frilled neckline, actually demonstrates the new simplicity she was bringing. It didn’t require a petticoat, the fabric is a very heavy, dark, naïvely striped cotton and the frills are almost childish rather than sophisticated. The dress on the right shows much of her inspiration came from the clean lines and boyish cuts of the 1920s, and would eventually influence her work in a more subtle way. She cottoned onto the zeitgeist; youth. Women were young, women wanted to look younger, women now had the spending power to buy such clothes. They didn’t want the fussy, pastel concoctions of their mother’s wardrobe, so the dramatic move towards simplicity and 'kooky' colours began...
    <p>
    In 1963 she started the ‘Ginger Group’ label, which was the affordable branch of her empire. Although her main clothing lines was essentially ‘affordable’ to working women, she knew she could capture the younger market with a cheaper, more youth-orientated label. The Ginger Group was launched with much fanfare and celebrity endorsement:
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant12.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant11.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left: Advert for the launch of Ginger Group. Right: The star-studded launch photocall</small>
    <p>
    ;and a Ginger Group ensemble was voted the first ‘Dress of the Year’ in the label’s launch year.
    <P>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant3.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Courtesy of The Museum of Costume, Bath.</small>
    <P>
    I also have an early Ginger Group piece;
    <P>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant6.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Wool 'Ginger Group' dress with mock buttoned front and horizontal stripes, c.1964</center></small>
    <p>
    The highlight of her design career, and her most prolific period, was the period from around 1963-67. She went to America several times, launching The Ginger Group there and designing for collaborations with several manufacturers including Youthquake (c.1965) and JC Penneys (from 1963). She had a natural ability to promote herself, combined with the sharp business mind of her now husband, Alexander Plunkett-Green. It was during this period we get the definitive 'Quant look', with her use of op-art, mini skirts and PVC. It's safe to say that nearly every designer around was designing along the same lines, but the cult of Mary Quant was dominant, her range of make-up, shoes, tights and underwear helping to keep her in the customer's eye all the time. She was even awarded an OBE in 1966, collecting the gong in a mini dress!
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant9.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant8.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant13.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left: 'Christopher Robin' PVC raincoat, 1963. Photo from The Museum of London. Middle: Black and white check Ginger Group ensemble, 1964. Right: Quant sweater dress design for Courtelle. Mid 1960s</center></small>
    <P>
    There is also the question of the continually disputed title of ‘Inventor of the Mini’, which is frequently attributed to Quant. Whether it be Quant, Courreges or John Bates who actually got it out first, the truth is that all three designers were not ‘inventing’ anything - merely realising the potential of the street fashion for raising hemlines. However, Quant was absolutely the Queen of the mini-skirt, using her inimitable capacity for self-publicity to style herself as the spearhead for this revolution. It was a natural progression from her early designs, moving from the youthful into the practically baby-ish minis of 1966-67.
    <P><center> 'There was a time when every girl under twenty yearned to look like an experienced, sophisticated thirty...All this is in reverse with a vengeance now. Suddenly every girl with a hope of getting away with it is aiming not only to look under voting age but under the age of consent.' <BR>'Quant on Quant', 1966.<P>
    <P>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant4.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant5.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>
    Left: Mary Quant mini dress and daisy tights, 1966. Right: White unbleached calico babydoll mini, 1967. Also represented at the V&A.</center></small>
    <P>
    As you can see above, the look had softened by this time - with the emphasis on femininity with frills and floral prints. The late 60s spelled the end of Quant-mania. British fashion was evolving from the signature Quant look into a softer, more romantic look with the emergence of Ossie Clark and boutique 'Biba'. It is perhaps appropriate that the woman who defined the 1960s, was unable to adapt enough to move as successfully into the 70s. The Ginger Group was still active, and the pieces from this time are very cute and frilly - but she was no longer a fashion leader, clearly influenced by Biba and Jean Muir (see below). Quant was now that bit older, married and less appealing to the next generation of young shoppers.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant15.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i161/emmapeelpants/workshopimages/maryquant14.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left: Cinnamon satin, tiny buttons unbuttoned from waist over flounced underskirt of mattress stripes. Double cuffs to full sleeves, frilled hem to skirt. Mary Quant Ginger Group, £23 14s. Vogue, August 1970. Right:Orange cotton Ginger Group mini dress, c.1972</center></small>
    <p>
    She also mimicked French designers like Cardin by licensing her name out to all areas of design (homewares, the continuing reliance on make-up, umbrellas, ponchos, beachwear etc). Her ability to license herself benefitted her financially, no doubt, and for a while the US market was still mad on Quant. However, it inevitably meant that she was no longer considered relevant as a designer because she hadn't concentrated on evolving her style. She's been designing ever since this time, but it is our fascination with the image the name 'Quant' evokes and her own over-reliance on this which has kept her firmly in the past as far as fashion goes.
     
  3. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes Registered Guest

    A new kind of department store, stocked with cheap, throwaway trendy gear and with a strong concept

    If THAT is "Throway" those makers would certainly rollover in their places of retirement or graves if they saw what constituted trendy/throwaway clothes today. (quality wise).
    I'll take 60s "throwaway" any day LOL.

    Liz, thanks so much for doing this!

    now to go back and read in more detail...
     
  4. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    Indeed!! But it's also what makes them so desirable and rare because girls would do exactly that, wear them a few times and throw them away. Biba manufacture quality certainly varies vastly (from awesome to VERY poor), and it wouldn't surprise me if Topshop/H&M became just as collectable in the future!! ;)

    Liz
     
  5. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Great stuff!

    Liz, how lucky you are to have the shop window picture of your striped dress! Love it when that happens. What label does that dress have, btw?
     
  6. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    Hi Lizzie! That's the 'Gold Label', which I think is supposed to represent the top notch Quant stuff - but that may just be a modern take on the different label colours and styles! I bought it on eBay, and the seller had mentioned it was in the photo in the Boutique book by Marnie Fogg. Shockingly it didn't go for a great deal, thankfully for me, but it was a sure sign of how her over-licensing has led directly to a slump in prices (on eBay at any rate). There's just too much make up and hosiery to wade through!!

    Liz
     
  7. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes Registered Guest

    Is Jeff Banks the Jeffrey Banks we see on menswear today? Or are they two completey seperate people/entities/companies. The mens suits, etc that are Jeffrey Banks are really a far cry from any British Boutique situation. I am leaning towards the company changed or it was two different people with a coincidental same name.

    I WANT that black and white coat with the diamonds in it..I LOVE that!
     
  8. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    Jeff Banks is still designing under the Jeff Banks name, both womens and menswear - although there's little to differentiate between his clothes and anything else the high street is offering. Much as I love his 60s and 70s work, I must confess that seems to have been true of him all along - it always looks like someone else (be it Biba, Ossie etc etc). Can't say I've heard of Jeffrey Banks as a label, perhaps this is just the US?

    Liz
     
  9. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    Yes, and the "Mary Quant Twiggy Biba...." kws doesn't help either!

    I have an older gray wool flannel dress with the silver label that is the 4th one on the label resource, and I'm pretty sure that dress is early 60s. Unfortunately, it has been shortened a little. I'll see if I have pictures.

    This dress has has the first silver label that is on the resource:

    <img src=http://members.sparedollar.com/fuzzylizzie/quant(1).jpg>

    and here is another Ginger Group:

    <img src=http://members.sparedollar.com/fuzzylizzie/ginger.jpg>
     
  10. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    <center><h2>Foale and Tuffin</h2><P>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin5.jpg" border="1"><p><Small></center></small>
    <p>
    Quant wasn't the only talented and strong female personality breaking through in the early 60s. Foale and Tuffin were the true spearheads of the new female design revolution, completely self-reliant in their business where Mary Quant, Barbara Hulanick and Lee Bender were all supported by husbands and male business partners. Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were graduates from the Royal College of Art in 1961. In 1960, Mary Quant's partner Alexander Plunkett-Greene gave an inspirational talk at the RCA about the set-up of 'Bazaar'. The set pattern for graduating students was to get a job at a manufacturing firm, but Tuffin and Foale rejected this route to set up in business on their own, thus changing the outlook of later students (who included Ossie Clark).
    <P>
    Marion Foale had been taught pattern-cutting and dressmaking at home, and refined these skills at the RCA - ensuring that she knew exactly how to create the designs she made. When they graduated in '61, they rented studio space on Carnaby Street (before the revolution which made it a centre for London fashion). Two young women setting up on their own caused raised eyebrows from all quarters and Foale recalls "the hilarious response from wholesalers at two 'kooky' girls trying to source fabric and suppliers. We initially bought fabrics from Dickins and Jones and then realized that 'wholesale' existed."<P>
    Completely self-sufficient, they made their own patterns and cut their first samples themselves, before opening up a shop in Marlborough Court (off Carnaby Street) in 1962. They shunned Paris fashion, concentrating on creating wearable and fun clothes for young women like themselves.
    <P>
    <center>" We suddenly didn't want to be chic; we just wanted to be ridiculous."</center>
    <P>
    Around the same time, they discovered a love of lace - which inspired a collection of little lace dresses which were bought by the Woolands 21 shop (which, at this time, was a showcase boutique for many of the up-and-coming new London designers).
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin6.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>One of the lace dresses bought by Woolands 21, c.1962</center></small>
    <p>
    Thanks to this, by 1963, Foale and Tuffin were firmly established in their own business and had fulfilled their ambition of achieving this without the help of a man. They were a mainstay of mid-60s Vogue, their tailoring proving extremely popular and bold use of fabric and colour catering to the kooky young girls of London.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin8.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin4.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin13.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left: Christopher Robin suit, soft brown speckled tweed, soft velvet pockets and collar. The long jacket is finely tailored with three brown buttons, and can be worn with trousers too. Here with a skirt. By Foale & Tuffin, jacket 15 gns., trousers 7 gns., skirt 5gns. Vogue, October 1965. Middle: 'Double D' dress, 1966. Right: Hot-orange crepe shift with yellow stripes on sleeves and shoulders by Foale and Tuffin for Daphne, 1965</center></small>
    <p>
    In 1963, the US firm JC Penney had brought Mary Quant on board for a series of collections - masterminded by European buyer Paul Young. Fascinated by the kooky styles emerging in London, he felt that the connection would bring new buyers to the stores - translating the new 'accessible' clothes to US audiences. Young moved to the 'Puritan Fashion Corporation', and was briefed to position them at the forefront of the youth fashion market. He created the 'Youthquake' label for them, and asked several young British designers to design for them. These included Foale and Tuffin. A heavy promotional tour was organised, bringing with it the new trend for vibrant, dancing fashion shows which captivated the Americans.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin7.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Ready to wear designs for the American market, 1965</center></small>
    <p>
    However, the venture was initially unsuccessful. The manufacturers cut corners, used poor quality fabrics and the clothes were quite badly made. The department stores also didn't know what to do with the collections, as they were divided into sections for different ages and no one was quite sure where to put these quirky, 'teen' clothes. Young realised that the department store system would simply not work, and created specialist shop 'Paraphernalia' which stocked Quant, Foale & Tuffin, Ossie Clark and Emmanuelle Khan.
    <P>
    Moving into the later years of the 1960s, Foale and Tuffin continued to produce incredibly tailored outfits - this being something of a trademark for them at the time. It was still young and fun, but with a sophistication which belied their youth and outlook.
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin9.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin10.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Left: Little black suit, new style, finely fitted jacket with gathered sleeves, waisted extra-wide trousers, a frilly spotted Terylene bouse. £16, £8, at Foale % Tuffin. Vogue, January 1968. Right: Soft and sultry black crepe jersey wrapped into one of the prettiest dresses of the year. Tiny bodice tying behind, gently gathered short skirt and sleeves and a wide white spotted cummerbund and cuffs. By Foale & Tuffin, 13&frac12;gns. Vogue, September 1968, 'The Life That's In British Fashion'.</center></small>
    <p>
    They were so highly regarded they were even chosen to create costumes for Susannah York in Kaleidoscope (1966) and Audrey Hepburn in Two For The Road (1967)
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin11.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin.jpg" border="1"><p><Small>Foale & Tuffin design for Susannah York in Kaleidoscope, 1966. The same coat is shown on Pattie Boyd in 1966</center></small>
    <p>
    They were also becoming famous for using extraordinary fabrics, many by famed textile designer Bernard Neville, which they regularly used in some quite insane, some simply romantic and always fun outfits!
    <P><center>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin12.jpg" border="1"><P><small>
    Dress and scarf by Foale & Tuffin. Vogue cover, May 1969
    <P>
    <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin1.jpg" border="1"> <img src="http://members.sparedollar.com/talentedamateur/foaletuffin2.jpg" border="1"> <p>Left: Variously flowered Liberty wool print dress with flowery and check layered short sleeves, worn over long-sleeved, round-necked checked blouse. Both by Foale & Tuffin, £24 and £11.50, from their shop at 1 Marlborough Court, W1. Vanity Fair, October 1971. Right: Three smock top and pant suits in tartans and contrasting wools by Foale & Tuffin. Vanity Fair, October 1971.
    <p></small></center>
    In the early 70s, both women had got married and started families which meant their interest in fashion diminished somewhat. In 1972 they decided, very amicably, to dissolve the partnership and move on to new things. Sally Tuffin is now a highly regarded ceramics designer at Moorcroft and Marion Foale continues to design knitwear. Despite their prolific output throughout the 60s, their clothes are as rare as hen's teeth and they remain one of the glaring omissions in my collection. Foale and Tuffin truly represented the new position women held in fashion through the boutique movement. They managed to succeed on their own terms, without the assistance of any men and inspired countless other young women to do the same.
     
  11. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    No indeed, that drives me absolutely potty! I can't remember the last time I used Quant as a keyword, it's just not going to get you anywhere!!

    Oooh, they're both fabulous! That first one is very representative early Quant, I'll have to look to see if I can see anything similar in my books. The Ginger Group must be quite early too, with the 20s influence??

    Liz
     
  12. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    If you think Foale and Tuffin is a rare label in the UK, you ought to try finding an example in the US. I've never even seen one, except the rare eBay showing.

    I got both of the Quant dresses on eBay, but the other one I mentioned came from a local rummage sale, so it is possible to find good Quant in the US. I also have a few pieces of the JC Penney stuff, which I think is really cute stuff.

    And thanks for looking for my pieces. I've never found either of them referenced, but I'm sure I don't have your resources!
     
  13. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    re. F&T Thus far I have seen one crepe pantsuit, one jacket (which I believe Senti bought) and one floral jacket which had lost its matching trousers. I've also seen one mini dress for 'Youthquake' which was priced way too high for me. It does strike me as bizarre how few turn up, but I did wonder if it might be because the labels were SO enormous, perhaps they were ridiculously itchy and got yanked out fairly sharpish?

    There was a Quant coat in the US recently over on the VCA board, which sold quite well. I've subsequently found a photo of the exact coat (I believe) in Vogue 1965 - shame I didn't find it sooner!! The orange '72 one is the only one I haven't bought on eBay.

    Liz
     
  14. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes Registered Guest

    I wonder though that maybe Foale and Tuffin really never crossed the ocean in a big way is because ladies over here in 61/1962 were emulating the Jackie Kennedy look and were more interested in matching pillbox hat/purse, and boxey jackets over matching dresses. Unless you were young and very hip and into the beatnik idea, that is where fashion was really more at.
     
  15. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    That's certainly the impression I get from what I have read, although I think the youth eventually came around to them once it was being sold out of Paraphernalia. However, by the time the US had caught up with the look - they already had the likes of Betsey Johnson coming up and designing for them with an American twist. Quant was far more successful because I think she wanted it more, the other designers involved in the 'invasion' seem a bit bemused by the whole experience. Quant had gone out earlier for the Penneys collaboration, and had more experience behind her.

    On the other hand, Gerald McCann was (apparently) hugely popular with the US market because his work, like Quant's, was quite conservative and sportswear influenced. I think he was probably more successful over there than in England!!

    Liz
     
  16. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    The next part of my workshop will look at men designing for women, and concentrate on a couple of my favourite designers of the period (I wonder who they could be??? :D)

    Keep on posting here though!!

    Part II coming soon....

    Liz
     
  17. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    This is just one girl's perspective, and remember that I was quite young (born in 1955), but I do not remember F & T at all from my youth. On the other hand, Quant, McCann, E. Khahn and especially Betsey Johnson were HUGE names in my corner of the US.

    Maybe some of the other 50-somethings can weigh in here.
     
  18. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Trade Member

    And there's also the fact that Quant's things could be bought from the comfort of your own home through the Penney catalog. And she got a lot of coverage in <i>Seventeen</i>
     
  19. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Registered Guest

    That's quite interesting you should say that. I asked my mum earlier today if she remembered Foale and Tuffin (bearing in mind that my mum had ZERO interest in such things back in the 60s, only really remembers Quant as a name and managed to visit Biba once, not buy anything -"too expensive"- and then forget what it was like inside except... "dark") and she had never heard of them. I might have to ask my aunt, who was much more into those things and squealed when I had a 'Dollyrockers' dress out ("oooooh, I had a Dollyrockers, AND a black and white Quant"). Perhaps they had a lower profile generally....although it still doesn't explain the lack of their clothes turning up these days.

    Liz
     
  20. premierludwig

    premierludwig Registered Guest

    I bought the pale blue jacket, yes... and I wear it to death, it's fabulous. The labels are huge but very soft, and I've never had any trouble with it itching.

    It's amazing how many people who are into vintage clothing have never heard of F&T... maybe another reason why we don't see things turning up so often, people don't know what they've got.

    love, moons and starrs,
    Senti.*
     

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