Museuming in London… FTM and John Soane’s house

 On my birthday I had a wonderful day up in London with one of my best pals Caro (her boyf even cooked us dinner in the evening…win!) Anyway, it was a day filled with museum visiting.
First Stop Sir John Soane’s museum. This is one of the museums in London I had never visited before… and it is so inconspicuous you could easily walk right past it and not notice it. The museum is actually what was once Soane’s house. It is a glorious testament to the architect who bought outside architecture in. The ceilings and stained glass in the house are particularly wonderful and you see a mish mash of eras in the objects he collected. I particularly liked his “gallery” where there are some sensational Hogarth painting on display. John Soanes house is actually free,,, and well worth a visit.
We then pootled off to the Fashion and Textile museum where I FINALLY got to see the POP exhibition. I have to say this is one of the best exhibitions that FTM have held in a while (Second only to the Horrockses exhibition from last 2010). In particular I highly rated the layout of the exhibition, considering the space is quite small there was A LOT to see.
If you are expecting this to be an exhibition which places its primary focus on the sixties, think again. There is wonderful design from both the 50s and 70s too (both decades I personally prefer to the 60s). I really enjoyed too that this exhibition wasn’t just textiles focus but looked at broader “design” too.
Here are a few of my personal highlights.
I couldn’t see an exhibition label for this skirt but I know it is a Sportaville model, as I tried to buy one of these about a year ago.
Martini label skirt
Biba jacket. I am just swooning at the cut of this
Zandra Rhodes shorts


It also re-introuded me to the brand Mr Freedom, which really epitomises what I love about 70s design.

This dress is another Sportaville model dress and shows that the company were still producing highly imaginative print design in the 1970s.

Two Miss Mouse designs showing the early 70s revival of 1950s styles by Rae Spencer-Cullen

Superb Terry De Havilland platforms
Zandra Rhodes emsemble
Vivienne Westwood knitwear
 Paper dresses in their packets

An original Biba ensemble from 1973

Over on ebay this week I have some FABULOUS items listed but the absolute gem has to be the Biba cardigan suit I am offering.

Now 70s isn’t normally my thing, but as I said before when I was selling a fantastic Alice Pollock dress, I sometimes make exceptions, and this is one of them ( Actually I’ll be honest I’m getting more and more into 70s stuff all the time)



I’ve done quite a bit of background research into this wonderful suit and have been able to date it to 1973 after finding some amazing original images!




 The first image shows just the skirt, I found this online on Helga Von Trollop’s wonderful blog, I don’t have the original reference for it but I believe this was in one of the Biba books. Doesn’t it look fab? And also show her versatile it is.


The second image is the really exciting one, this is by photographer Brian Duffy, who took some of the most iconic shots of the 60s and 70s. He was the photographer for David Bowie’s infamous album cover Aladdin Sane in 1973. The photograph here features Jean Shrimpton and Barbara Miller and you can see Shrimpton in the background wearing an example of the suit I am offering for sale! I wish I had the hat too. That would be rather amazing. This image featured in the Telegraph in 1973
This suit is evidently an important ensemble, an example of just the jacket features in Marnie Fogg’s book vintage knitwear which was published a few years back (an excellent read, I highly recommend it)
This is a truly fantastic example and typifies the style of Barbara Hulanicki’s designs.
 The Biba chevron design stripe like this was hugely popular featuring on everything from tops to skirts to jumpsuits. I really like the deco 30s look to the design, again typical Biba. As this dates to 1973 it would be pre the Big biba store, and would have come from when Biba was located on Kensington high street.
So what else can I say? Rather than buy a modern Biba from house of Fraser why not have an ORIGINAL 70s one!
This week I’ve got lots of lovely things listed including a sensational Horrockses evening dress and a lovely polka dot CC41 dress too.