Alrighty then: It’s Monday, June first (which I find shocking — not Monday, the date — but never mind) and we are now about to embark on a stroll down Fashion Memory Lane.
Those of you on the lighter end of “a certain age” must pay particular attention. Let’s flashback to an epoch blithely referred to as “Swinging London” when Mary Quant and Barbara Hulaniki were the bright, perfectly aligned stars reflecting the precise temper of the times, when the adjective micro was added to the concept mini; when granny dresses (see Twiggy above) happily coexisted with simple, sleeveless shifts; and love and peace and rock and roll and drugs were wafting through the air.
In 1964 Barbara Hulaniki sensed the mood of the moment and created inexpensive, operative word, “fun” clothes that turned her boutique, BIBA, into an iconic reflection of what that young, dreamy generation desired. A little star dust rubbed off on anyone who simply visited her hyper-hip shop because one never knew. . . Mick Jagger and the Stones, David Bowie, Marianne Faithful or even Bridgitte Bardot might be scanning the racks or just hanging out. And if they weren’t there was always something to buy: a floppy hat, colorful beads, a marabou coat.
It was a winsome pink gingham dress with a peep-hole in the back, accessorized with its own matching scarf that put Hulaniki in business back then. It was corporate raiding, before the concept became part of our vocabulary, that ultimately led to the demise of BIBA and the end of a great fashion story.
Hulaniki has never stopped designing in one way or another since the closing of BIBA in 1976 including everything from clothes and costumes to hotel and home interiors.
But the real news is BIBA is back (!)
The now 73-year-old designer has imagined a capsule collection for Topshop. I know this for two reasons: I read about it in French “Elle” and one of my close friends — she’s French btw, you know how I wander off subject, but here we have the French connection so I can justify this entire post — bought the orange sort of abstract leopardish/gray stone motif bodysuit (no, she did not buy the skirt). Yes it was a long trip for something to wear under her whatever, but she went to London on business and just happened to find it because as you all know one cannot go to London these days without popping into Topshop any more than one could go to London some 40 years ago without dropping by Biba or Mary Quant.
I’ve chosen the filmy silk blouse, along with the bodysuit as something I think we could all wear from her latest collection. Yes, yes, I know: Just wear something OVER it.