Friday, 28 September 2012

My fashionable mother (and father)!

I have written about my mum's clothes from the 1970s in a previous post. I have also written about her 1960s scrapbooks. I now want to combine the two using some photos that I found when I last rummaged through my parent's photograph albums. I have chosen photos that show outfits of my mums that I love and which particularly reflect the era in which she grew up. Many of the clothes she wore as a teenager she made herself, some of the clothes of her early twenties are bought from boutiques.

This is my mum aged about 15 in the back garden of her house. The trousers are dark green cotton and the blouse is white trycel with a frill, from the John Moore's catalogue. The shoes were her favourites, they were nice to walk in, had a tie at the front and a block heel. Two things stand out in particular for me in this photo. The blazer pulls the outfit together and it made me laugh to find that it is my mum's oldest sisters. It is the blazer of Bridlington Girl's Grammar and was dark green with white and black stripes. Then the sunglasses, mum looks so cool but they can't have been needed in Lincolnshire!

I love this picture even though the detail is hard to see as it has been double exposed. I couldn't find any single pictures of either of the outfits featured. Mum is about 16. The pale green coat is from a Petticoat magazine pattern offer, the material arrived cut out and ready to sew. It was herringbone tweed, fairly straight up and down, long sleeved and had a front zip with a big ring pull a la Mary Quant. Mum's main comment was that it was itchy!

The second outfit is brown, shiny, single breasted coat. It was made of a new fabric which was a foam backed cotton/rayon. I think that sounds strange but mum said that it draped well as it was heavy, it was warm and it was showerproof. This coat was not handmade but the red baker boy cap was, out of some old clothes, a good example of recycling!

Mum made this green suit in 1967 from a Petticoat magazine pattern. You sent away for the basic pattern and then every week in the magazine it showed you how to adapt that pattern in different ways. For example, to change basic sleeves to puff sleeves, to add epaulets to make a military dress or to change from a round to a v neck. It was like having pattern cutting lessons and helped mum expand her dressmaking techniques. At junior school she had learnt how to sew simple gathered skirts, blouses and some embroidery.

Trouser suits had just become fashionable with thin legged trousers and a Mod length coat. You can see the influence of The Beatles in this and in the John Lennon sunglasses.

This is mum aged 18 in her favourite dress; it is navy and white patchwork knitted trycel. The bodice is sheared to the waist and the sleeves are sheared above the elbow and tie at the wrist. Mum has paired it with navy shoes and hat. It was bought from a Mod shop in her hometown and she wore it when she was at college and at work in London. I commented on the length of the dress when I found it, I don't think I would have been allowed out in it! Mum said she hadn't thought about the length until one day half way up the stairs to the top deck of a London bus!

This is mum in Hyde Park in 1971 just after doing her A levels. She was staying with a friend. This dress is handmade; it is cotton polyester with a pink paisley on a white background print, bought in Eve and Ranshaw in Louth, Lincolnshire. The dress was cut in one piece and was slightly A line. It has puffed sleeves, a V neck and a zip up the back. Mum's shoes are grey snakeskin sandals from Clarks.

I love this outfit of mums from when she was at college, it is 1972. The photo was taken in Greenwich Park which mum and dad visited via a boat trip on the Thames from Westminster. The trousers are from Topshop; blue bell bottoms printed with white stars. Although you can't see her top mum remembers that it was a red t-shirt with blue star shaped buttons. Her shoes are blue patent clogs, it is so wonderfully co-ordinated!

The clogs almost got mum into trouble. When at college she could not afford the halls of residence so lodged with some other girls in the nun's wing of a convent! Curfew was 11pm, one day mum just made it before the door was locked and ran down the corridor to her room, clogs banging away on the floor. The next day at breakfast Sister Patricia spoke at length about the noise and the seriousness of almost being late in. After that mum ran down the corridor in her socks!

Mum made her coat by cutting down a big black sealskin coat of her Nanas. Nana used to demonstrate ballroom dancing at The Pavilion in a park in Sheffield. She wore the coat over her dancing clothes. Mum lined it with brown and gold brocade which came from old curtains. It fastened with a large press stud.

Mum made this dress; she bought the material at Peter Jones; it is purple cotton with a white pattern. It is
1972 and maxi dresses were beginning to come in. The dress had a tight bodice and sleeves with an A line skirt and a tie at the back. I like this photo as it shows mum dressed up to go out and celebrate my dad's 21st birthday. She also remembers that it was just after Lady Chatterley's Lover had had the ban on it lifted.

This was taken in Hubbard's Hills, Louth in 1973 on the way to a wedding. The dress is from Bus Stop, a boutique in Kensington Church Street London. It was one of the places to go and shop, it had communal changing rooms (horrors) which were a new idea. The material is dark red, dark blue and cream Indian paisley on cotton lawn. It fitted very closely over the ribcage a la Biba. I have shown it in the 'inside my mother's wardrobe post'.

Itis time to feature dad! It was much harder to get memories about his clothing from him but I did get a few facts. I love the colour combinations here. It is 1973, the shirt is skinny fit with a long collar. The tank top is Lord John and is maroon and white stripes. The jacket that can just be seen is part of a tweed wide lapel suit.

I couldn't find out why dad looks so puzzled! I picked this photo because of the leather jacket which is from Lord John. It is brown leather with cloth ribbing around the waistband and the cuffs. I like it so much it has been in my wardrobe for some time!

Here it is 1974 and mum and dad are on their way to a dinner dance. Mum's dress has a knitted sliver and black top with a deep rib at the waist. The skirt is long, black and gored. Dad is in his wedding suit which is Lord John. He thinks the tank top may have been BHS.

I have included these two pictures as they show mum in clothes that are featured in my post 'inside my mothers wardrobe'. All the details on the clothing can be found there.