Friday, 31 August 2012

Studio 54: how fashion fell in love with disco

One of the most iconic images of the 1970s is of Bianca Jagger riding into Manhattan nightspot Studio 54 on a white horse. The club finally closed its doors in 1991, but the legend lives on. Fashion, art, music and sex collided and the clubbing experience changed forever.

The 'disco look', further popularized by the release of Saturday Night Fever in 1977, involved sequins, platform sandals, wrap dresses and irresistibly wavy hair. This particular style is seen again and again in contemporary designer collections and I've noticed that customers are asking for more evening dresses from this period.

The fashion icons of the 1970s continue to inspire magazine editorials as well as the runway... 

Anjelica Huston (left) 

Lauren Hutton 

Diana Ross

Beverley Johnson

We have an original 1970s dress very similar to the one Beverley is wearing - to view in our online store click here.

Anjelica Huston 

Diane von Furstenberg in her own design, 1976

Cheryl Tiegs getting in the party spirit, 1975

Liza Minelli

The set design for Studio 54's New Year's Eve parties was legendary. One year event manager Robert Isabell ordered four tonnes of glitter to be dumped on the floor, creating a 4" thick layer which owner Ian Schrager compared to 'dancing on stardust'. 

In this short video Studio 54 regulars Michael Jackson, Truman Capote and Grace Jones explain why the club was so popular...

Sterling St Jacques & Pat Cleveland partying on Halston's balcony, 1975

Fashion designer Halston was a Studio 54 regular and his clothes became synonymous with the disco era. 

Halston with Anjelica Huston

In 2008 the label was revived by Harvey Weinstein, Tamara Mellon and Rachel Zoe. Marios Schwab and Sarah Jessica Parker were taken on as creative directors. The disco-luxe aesthetic remains... 

H by Halston, 2011

H by Halston, 2011

In 2010 a documentary about the designer was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival:

Fashion editorials became inspired by the disco sets of Studio 54...

Sequin dress by Biba

Jerry Hall in Vogue

Kate Moss celebrates her 34th birthday party 

Harper's Bazaar UK, Sept 2011

Disco-inspired gowns at Elie Saab

Lana del Rey turned up to the Met Ball earlier this year looking like a vampy disco goddess. We have a  very similar cape and dress - to get Lana's look, click here

Leelee Sobieski working the 70s glam look

We sold this original 1970s maxi dress to a customer earlier this year:

After the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the following decade brought about a self-exploratory and more daring sensuality. Magazines such as Nova claimed to be a 'politically radical, beautifully designed, intellectual woman's magazine'. 

This translated into more provocative fashion photography...

Jerry Hall for French Vogue by Helmut Newton, 1978

The rainbow make-up of the discotheque is still fashionable today, including the pointed manicure... 

Here's a 1970s make-up tutorial from the fabulous girls at Pixiwoo, filmed at the Chanel pop-up beauty boutique in Covent Garden earlier this year:

We have a fantastic selection of original 1970s evening dresses in stock at the moment... 

To view in our online store click here 

To view in our online store click here

To browse our full selection of 1970s evening gowns click on this link. To make an appointment in our central London please get in touch.

Disco-style accessories are still very popular. Charlotte Olympia's beautiful perspex 'Pandora' clutch has interchangeable fabric pockets to co-ordinate with your outfit...

Gianmarco Lorenzi's ridiculously over-the-top platforms, as seen on Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Katy Perry... 


No post about Studio 54 would be complete without Anita Ward's disco anthem. Push back the furniture and start shakin' it!


Monday, 6 August 2012

Vintage Headwear: Turbans

This is the first of four posts about headwear. First up: turbans. I wanted to start with Audrey because she's such a style icon and it's a joy to see a photograph where she looks so happy. 

Audrey Hepburn 

Turbans had featured in film and fashion long before, however. Here's a wonderfully sultry photograph of 1920s film star Anna May Wong... 

Norma Shearer, 1929

Valerie Hobson

Joan Crawford in matching turban & sweater, 1939

Rita Johnson, c. 1940

Lisa Fonssagrives, 1940

Elsa Schiaparelli

Vogue 1941

Vogue 1945

Marlene Dietrich in a turban by Dior, 1955. 

Revlon Beauty Advertisement 

Joan Crawford

Wilhelmina Cooper

Mary Jane Russell, 1954

Circus performers, 1955 

Victoria von Hagen, 1954

Vogue 1953

Printed silk beret-turban hybrid, 1957

Basking in the sun, 1950s

Turban by Adolfo Emme, 1960

Petal turbans, c.1960s

Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Cleopatra (1963)

She also loved to wear them out to parties... 

...including a society wedding with another rather important Liz

Grace Kelly and Jackie O with their respective husbands

Vogue 1960

Italian actress Virna Lisi, c.1960s

Vogue 1965

Sophia Loren

Cobra turban by Givenchy, Vogue 1973

Pat Cleveland

 Celia Hammond

Barbara Streisand

Margaux Hemingway sports a turban-headband, 1976

Contemporary designers, stylists and magazine editors fall back in love with the turban every now and again...  

Vogue Italia, 2000

Models on the runway at Prada SS/2007

Lanvin Resort 2013


The legendary Molly Parkin is famous for her beautiful headwear. If you haven't read her autobiography, I strongly recommend it; one of the most interesting (and scandalous) memoirs I have ever read. During the late 1960s Molly was fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and then The Sunday Times. Her wonderful stories turn the air blue! We have the book in our Kings Cross studio and customers are welcome to borrow it from our library at any time.

Molly Parkin in a signature turban

A few fashion-forward celebrities have tried out the turban look...

Nicole Scherzinger 

Jennifer Lopez in full-on 1970s mode 

SJP as Carrie Bradshaw

Olivia Palermo 

Karolina Kurkova

Eugenie Niarchos

Kate Moss

Chanteuse extraordinaire Paloma Faith

Style icon in-the-making Solange Knowles

Fashion historian Amber Butchart

Madonna, c.1980s

Italian beauty Paola Iezzi

Fashion aside, it would be impossible to write a post about turbans without mentioning the sublime Jennifer Saunders...