Mod Fashion 2013

Marc Jacobs Mod Fashion 2013
As we are trying to fight our way into Spring, there is a “new” fashion trend hitting the street. Mod & Rocker are back with a 2013 update. Quiff’s, high-school American style bomber jackets, like the ones worn in Grease. Even brothel creepers or now known as the Flatform. 50s & 60s style seems carefree and wild  at the same time to me giving it an intriguing appeal that is catching on.
Mod Womens Fashion
The secret to this trend is all in the detail, that goes for Men as well as Women. It matters that your jeans are not to new not to old, worn just low enough but to low your showing off you bum crack, cuffed hem and Levis are a must… 501’s if you can. Wallet chain swinging from pocket to pocket is also a must.  White plimsoles should be white with the odd scuff on the plastic toe, laces loose and not ties but tucked in.
Mod Fashion For Men
Looking back at 50’s & 60’s fashion now seems like it was a time or preening and dandifying for Men & Women. The decade which created the teenager, the 50’s, created the uncompromising vanity of youth.
Bradley Wiggins Velvet Suit
Bradley Wiggins in the Modern Man to take to “Peacock Dressing” with a Mod/Rocker edge- suit Mod, Sideburns all Rocker baby. His style stood out for all the right reasons, the meticulous detail, fine cut of the suit and accessory choice were all perfect!
I am welcoming the return of this trend, showing the teenagers of 2010- 2020 how it was done, good bye Bieber lookalikes, hair as straight as their faces for girls. Express yourself be individual and dare to dress how you want.
Good I think I am starting to sound old!

Vintage Biba & 1960’s London

Biba is frequently mentioned in the same giddy breath as mini-skirts, Mini cars, the Kings Road, the pill and various other London ‘happenings’ which shall forever define the 1960’s as a decade that swung. It was, however, born of humble origins – garments were initially sold cheaply and to many, by mail order in newspapers. But by the early 1970’s, Biba – a labour of love, a label, a lifestyle – had reached hitherto unknown heights of sophistication, innovation and retail experimentation, via its legendary Big Biba emporium on Kensington High Street (once hailed in the Sunday Times as ‘the most beautiful store in the world’). Biba makes for a true rags to riches story.
She was uprooted from her home and moved in with her rich eccentric aunt in London. After leaving Art School she became a very talented in demand Fashion Illustrator, her work was featured in publications like Homes and Gardens, The Times, Daily Express and Vogue, and she got to sketch the frocks at Givenchy and Balenciaga’s couture shows in Paris.
1961, Hulanicki married Fitz-Simon, and several years later he suggested she design a garment to sell by mail order. Biba’s Postal Boutique was duly formed and her long evening skirts with draw-string waists sold “ok” in the Daily Express. Other garments followed, with varying degrees of success, that was until Felicity Green, Fashion Editor of the Daily Mirror, proposed Hulanicki’s design something for a reader’s offer. The resulting pink gingham dress sold through the paper for 25 shillings, and immediately netted £14,000-worth of orders. And so began Biba, despite the business still being run ramshackle-style from the couple’s flat. The fashion-influential likes of Ready Steady Go presenter Cathy McGowan, the ‘Queen of the Mods’, became a huge Biba fan, typifying the sort of young, liberated woman to whom the label appealed. Next came the very first in a series of Biba shops – a near-derelict former chemist on Abingdon Road, Kensington. Here, Hulanicki artfully went against the plastic-fantastic ‘youth’ ethos of the decade – retaining all the dilapidated, faded character of the premises, and kitting out the interior with navy blue paint, old bronze lamps and an antique Dutch wardrobe. (Her instinctive knack for mixing the best of the past with the shock of the new would prevail through Biba’s progression – some three decades before ‘eclectic’ became a tired aesthetic cliché.) For the first year of the shop’s existence, there was not even a sign over the door – word of mouth making ‘hard sell’ irrelevant. In terms of the Biba palette, again, in high fashion terms, convention was flouted: Colours were often funeral-like – blackish browns, dark prunes, plus rust and blueberry hues.

Business boomed. The shop shop eventually became too small for the hordes of customers – who often included celebrities such as fashion editor Molly Parkin, popstrels Sonny and Cher, actress Julie Christie and model Twiggy among their ranks. Hulanicki observed: ‘All classes mingled under the creaking roof [of the shop]. There was no social distinction. Their common denominator was youth and rebellion against the establishment.’ America lapped up this pulpable buzz, and the UK rag trade began to take note, too. In 1965 a new space was found – a former grocery on Kensington High Street. Again, a radical interior was created: Art Nouveau squiggles, painted in gold by fabric designer Tony Little, marked a new Biba store front sign; inside was lined with specially printed deep red wallpaper; the original grocer’s mahogany shelves and counters were retained. Again, the shop was a thundering success – customers would queue and jostle before it had even opened each day, and could expect to see the likes of Yoko Ono, Brigitte Bardot, Mia Farrow or Barbara Streisand trying on togs alongside them.

Restless to expand their business, Hulanicki and Fitz-Simon found a much larger vacant building on Kensington High Street in 1969 – formerly a carpet warehouse. Initially, it seemed they had bitten off more than they could chew, (despite at the time making around £10,000 per week) and extra finances were needed urgently. Their bank and Dorothy Perkins provided extra investment, for a large stake in the company, and the project got the go ahead. The building’s non-lovely fixtures were stripped back to the original Egyptian-topped columns and marbled floors; stained glass and wood panelling was appropriated from a nearby school being demolished; clothes were draped over old hatstands, lit by fringed lampshades; a heavily cushioned area below the stairs would play host to stoned hippies and the occasional tramp. Biba was no longer just about glad rags for girly gadabouts, either. In addition to the new cosmetics range (which would in its own right become de rigeur around the world) plus shoes and boots, there were now household products (everything from Biba wallpaper to Biba baked beans and Biba soapflakes), and mens/childrenswear was also on offer. The finished result was more glamorous, more decadent, than any other store in the city. On its opening day in 1969 – as the loudest, latest sounds pumped from the stereo – the Daily Mail counted 30,000 customers scurrying across the threshold. The store grew in popularity, not to mention notoriety: some of the female staff forming trade unions to protest at perceived unfair working conditions, and anarchist group the Angry Brigade blowing up a bomb there – to protest at women being enslaved to fashion.

Hulanicki felt that Biba could become an even bigger phenomena still. She obsessed over the 400,000 square foot, Art Deco Derry and Tom’s department store on Kensington High Street. It had long since faded from glory, but was still complete with its romantic rooftop garden (today, this is still in existence and utilised for dining, private parties and promotional events, such as album launches). Following many complex financial twists, turns and near misses, and with the involvement of the Fraser group and Dorothy Perkins, they secured the building for £3.9 million. Literally hundreds of
builders duly prepared the space – working to a budget of £1 million – and toiling around the clock for months on end. The former Biba store can, in hindsight, be seen as a dress rehearsal for this ultra-bold venture: Big Biba – the first new department store in the Capital since the second world war. Though it was not so much a mere department store as a kind of spectacular fantasy-land shopping/eating/drinking/hanging out/rooftop garden-perching experience. One entire floor was named the Casbah – filled with Moroccan and Turkish-influenced splendour; there was a Biba food hall; anyone could sit in the windows – traditional displays were banished (which would be deemed commercial suicide in this day and age); penguins and pink flamingos lived on the roof; the Rainbow Room restaurant and concert hall – with its pink marbled floors – served 1,500 meals a day on exquisite black china. Performers whom appeared there ranged from the New York Dolls to The Wombles, from Liberace to The Bay City Rollers, with artist Andrew Logan hosting oppulent fancy dress parties, still talked about to this day.

Alas, the dream could not last. Biba’s business partners sold out their large stakes in the company to the British Land organisation, who totally failed to appreciate the intuitive and lucrative methods employed by the twosome. Gradually they were eased out – ultimately over-ruled and derided by the men in suits. Tacky mannequins, cheap signs and harsh fluorescent lighting replaced the lush, dark 1930’s ambience of the store, and heralded the end of its glory days. It had become scruffy and sad. Their spirit broken, Hulanicki and Fitz-Simon quit on 1975, and moved to Brazil. The store closed down shortly afterwards. Following the death of her husband, Hulanicki – now based in the Art Deco heaven of Miami – has since carved out a new career, renovating the prestigious South Beach hotels like The Marlin.

So, as hippy-esque chic once again ventures to fashion’s front-line, and the new London boutiques are springing up –  which fuse ‘old-fashioned’ elements (antique fixtures, pieces of vintage clothing), alongside upfront garb from the most influential young designers, it is easy to spot the legacy of Biba living on. But what is it, specifically, about the label that captures people’s hearts? Nostalgia plays a part, obviously. Hulanicki believes: ‘It became a meeting place. Years later I had letters from people who met at Biba, spent their courtship in Biba on Saturdays, married, had babies and wrapped them in Biba purple nappies.’ But for those not old enough to remember the Biba experience first hand, it also holds an enduring fascination for its ambition, its accessibility, the impossible grandeur of the Big Biba store and so on. Berlin-born Pari is a London-based collector, who now owns the largest collection of original Biba clothing and merchandise. She explains: “When I first started collecting Biba, I began to advertise and people would call me up – not just wanting to sell, but just wanting to talk about it, to tell me stories about the store. It was a whole lifestyle to people then. And you have to remember that, price-wise, Biba meant that you could buy a whole outfit and accessories for the same prices as one Mary Quant garment. Before Biba, fashion was all very haute couture – it changed all that.” Pari is determined to sell her entire collection en masse to a museum rather than see it split up, and has recently launched her own website which documents the myriad items she owns, along with an archive of press coverage.


Grace Coddington

If Wintour is the Pope . . . , Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year,” Time magazine said in 2009. Grace was unexpectedly launched to fame by the hit, my favourite documentary film, The September Issue. Where us mere mortals got to see the inner workings of how an issue of Vogue is put together. After this Grace was seen as the friendly down to earth face of fashion.


For more than four decades, she first worked at Vogue in 1941, Coddington—a onetime model turned master stylist—has collaborated with the best photographers and hair and makeup artists in the business to create what amount to moving pictures on the page. One of my favourite moments in The September Issue is when she says that she see’s fashion as escapism, fantasies where you can create & tell a story. Not only are her images outstanding & inspiring she has an incredible instinct for knowing the next trends.

Before Coddington became “Fashion Editor. Grace entered a competition in Vogue to become a model, she lived in a Nunnery on Isle of Anglesey, Wales where you couldn’t buy Vogue, or any fashion magazine, in the shops she had to order it in & by the time she got it, it was a couple of months out of date. After She won the Vogue competition she became one of the most-photographed faces of sixties Swinging London. She modelled minis for Mary Quant and cutting-edge hairstyles for Vidal Sassoon, who gave her a radical geometric bob that catapulted them both to fame.

There was no such thing as a stylist when Coddington got her start: The girls all carried their own wigs, makeup, and jewellery, transforming themselves to suit the job. Grace seemed to have a particular knack for this, always pulling just the right piece out of her bag. As the decade came to a close she was involved in a car accident which damaged one side of her face, so she turned that talent into a career as a fashion editor. At British Vogue, she began making the fantasy travelogues that would become her signature. She went to great lengths to get the shot. For her mentor, the photographer Norman Parkinson, she climbed a Grecian column to set off smoke bombs at the feet of her model, Apollonia van Ravenstein. For the exacting Guy Bourdin she tipped vats of cerulean-blue dye into the ocean to achieve the brilliant shade he demanded. Once, she hatched a scheme with the seventies übermodel Jerry Hall to smuggle exposed rolls of film from a Norman Parkinson shoot out of the USSR in Hall’s makeup bag. All “in pursuit of fashion glory,” Coddington wrote in the 2002 chronicle of her work, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.

Since 1988, she has been Vogue’s creative leader, encouraging the team to push beyond the frame. “I like to give the photographer a starting point and then let him or her go as far as possible,” she told the magazine in 1993. Wrote Wintour, in the preface to Grace: “She inspires and challenges them like no one else.”

As you can tell I love Grace & her work, the way she tells a story in each shoot, the goose bumps I get from looking at the images she has created & how from looking at her work she inspires me to aim for the same level. To never give up.

The Slogan T-shirt Tribe….

So the second Elizabethan age has not been without its fashion moments. The 50’s saw the 1st rebellion of teenagers who for the first time wore clothes that weren’t the same as thier parents, the freedom that we have now was unheard of.  The 1st fashion revolution began with the Teddy Boys and has never stopped growing, Every subculture began with the need of self expression.

The swinging 60’s saw the teenage dominance of fashion grow again with the mini skirt, with Mary Quant & Twiggy leading the way. The 70’s were Hippie Chic and a all love, peace and flower power and in stark contract Punk with DIY fashion and safety pins there design choice. 80’s saw women taking to the business world with Power Dressing. The 90’s was all Herion chic and saw a rise in body piercing and Tattoo’s. The noughties saw the influence of celebrities and throw away fashion influence our shopping habbits. 
From Biba to Ossie Clarke, Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen, the most groundbreaking inspiring designers have emerged from the British Fashion Scene, I am not the only one in agreement, in the top French, Italian and American fashion house British designers are influencing fashion around the world .

From Carnaby Street in the 1960s to Glastonbury in the 2000s, the Queen’s country has led the world in street fashion. The slogan t-shirt has been around for literally decades, with the 1st being sold in London’s Kings Road by Mr Freedom. The designs have changed from Disney characters to shock political slogans such as “Destroy” designed by Vivienne Westwood and partner Malcolm McLaren, which they referred to as the ultimate punk-rock T-shirt. It was the 80’s that the slogan T-shirt reached saturation point because of Katharine Hamnett, dressed in a “58% Don’t Want Pershing” T-shirt, she was photographed shaking hands with the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher at a Downing Street reception for London fashion week designers in 1984. Her designs were copied world wide with megastars such as Wham wearing slogan T-shirts such as “Number One” and “Choose Life”, to “Frankie Says Relax”, “Just Do It” to J’Adore Dior. Sixty years ago, the slogan  T-shirt simply didn’t exist; now, there is one in most wardrobes. (Before you exclude yourself: what about that FCUK T-shirt you wear to do the gardening?)
Fashion has always been about communication, and the slogan T-shirt shows how communication has changed, wearing a slogan T-shirt is a modern form of tribal branding. We are less interested in listening to received wisdom (whether these be dress codes or expert analysis of the world around us) and more interested in telling the world what we think (by wearing a slogan T-shirt or by posting our views on social media).

In the last decade, as fashion has taken an ever more central position in pop culture, slogans have become increasingly self-referential: think of Carrie Bradshaw wearing a J’Adore Dior T-shirt in Sex and the City, and the designer name-dropping T-shirts with which Henry Holland made his name at London fashion week.

With the reasuregance in DIY fashion I think that slogan T-shirts will be around for decades to come, the sad thing is that the slogans of the 80’s would still be relevant today. These problems- Nuclear Weapons, World Hunger and Faminie are still around. I would wear a Katharine Hamnett design with pride.

Queen Chic

Elizabeth as young child.
 So its Queenies Diamond Jubliee in a little over a week and what better way to celebrate 60 years on the throne that looking back over her wardrobe.
At Balmoral with Charles and Anne.
She is the most photographed women in the world with a varied working life, from welcolming world leaders one day to visiting charities or local hospitals the next no day is the same, you could say her clothes are her uniform. The Queen always wears a two inch heel, hemlines are always well below the knee and she always carries a handbag.

Hints of the Hippie Trend with a Butterfly style hat.

The Queen is known for her conservative outfits, accessorised with sensible comfortable shoes and handbags, five years ago she was listed in Vogue magazine, beside Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell, as one of the 50 most glamorous women in the world. I can see why, she is, and always has been stylish, she looks comfortable in her outfits and is not a slave to fashion and that is important. Everyone has an image of what she should look like in their mind and she knows that. She also surports British design.

The year of here coronation, with a sharper shilouette.

6-7 years ago traditional British style was very cool, with all the Dolce & Gabbana models wearing below the knee tweed skirts and headscarves and big, boxy bags- A look that Queenie has been rocking for years.

Very cool lace outfit, with gloves and parisol.

In her younger years The Queen was in step with fashion and certainly had an influence on the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s. But now she has developed her own style which is appropriate for her age, you could never say she’s mutton dressed as lamb! “The Queen is not terribly interested in fashion- fashion is what other people do” Freddie Fox

Monochrome outfit with bold shapes and ankle length dress.
Queenie always looks smart, elegant and never overdress, which I think is a sign of an amazing working wardrobe. She is now a women in her 80’s and what she wears is well cut and flattering. The point I feel is that she always looks like The Queen- We would be very disappointed if she didn’t.
Two pieces outfit very 80’s and very cool.

How to build a vintage capsule wardrobe….

Everyone wants to have the perfect wardrobe that is not just stylish, individual and wearable but so you have something to wear for every occassion, a capsule wardrobe. So how do you build the perfect vintage capsule wardrobe? Like anything start with the basics, the Trench Coat, White Shirt,Trousers, Pencil Skirt, Blazer and Black Dress…..
Then add the jazz and your own individuality….
Ada’s Attic… Coming Soon…
Roar… Ada’s Attic coming soon…
Add some Leather & Colour……
Coming Soon…. Ada’s Attic
 Then go all out!….
Coming Soon……. Ada’s Attic-
The main thing to remember is to have FUN!! If you like it and it fits right, who cares if its not on “trend” just buy it and wear it anyway, you could just become a “trend” setter =D

This weeks must have…… Tie Dye

Yes you read this right, I said this weeks must have is Tie Dye, and yes I am a Hippy at heart. I am LOVING tie dye at the moment, its perfect for the summer months ahead of us, here or abroad and for any summer festival your going to! For some reason, unknown even to myself, it just makes me smile! Its fun, colourful and to top it all of interactive!=D If you have never Tie Dyed something before in your life you have not lived. For inspiration for your Tie Dye adventure check out the ultimate Hippie Scene Woodstock.

If Jimmy Hendrix wore Tie Dye it must be cool!

Possible the cutest couple ever!
Peace out xx

How To Dress Through The Ages.

So we all like finding that bargain piece down our local charity shop, that everyone asks “where did you get that from?” I love that smug feeling I get. But its not always easy to spot the diamond among the rough, so I though I’d share with you some tips on how to spot clothing from different era’s, so you can dress through the ages.


French Women 1945
Women wearing dresses to resemble Allied flags- American, French, British & Russian 
Italian postcard of a bathing beauty, showing the transition from bare midriff to fully exposed belly button 1947.

In the 40’s with the WW2 going on the world saw the 1st mass use of man made fibers in clothing manufacturing. The classic 1940’s style is A-line skirts/dress, but mainly workforce and utility dress, there was a focus on DIY fashion with many articles on how to change a mans suit into a women’s suit. It was illegal to buy clothing from abroad, including Ireland which was a neutral country, in Britain when clothing rationing was going on, if you were caught you would get a serious fine.


Couture Chanel 1950’s
Cristobal Balenciaga’s day dress  
Dior’s New Look 
The Teddy Boy’s

The 50’s saw a change in female dress after Dior’s New Look was unveiled in 1947. Following wartime measures in the 40’s women wanted to look feminine again. Designers such as Balenciaga, Laroche and Givenchy (the designer of the classic little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) were iconic in this era: they embraced feminine fashion and determined the looks of the decade.

Key features of the decade:
Pencil and full circle skirts
Sack and Sheath dresses
Empire lines, especially empire line LBD’s
The American influence, wide belts, gloves, hats, nipped in waists.

1960’s Biba

Trends from the 60s are well known for their wide-reaching influence on fashion. A revolution was approaching and fashion was extremely important among young people. This generation had more power and more money, and Britain — in particular London — was where everyone wanted to be for the most experimental clothes and accessories. Hemlines shortened and prints became ever bolder, inspiration was taken from music and a change in lifestyle. The 60s also saw the revival of Art Deco, with the opening of the famous Biba store.

Key features of the decade:
Miniskirts, shift dresses
Space age and psychedelic looks
Graphic lines and cut outs
Materials included PVC, chainmail, sheer and transparent fabrics, chiffon, hosiery and synthetic materials


Westwood 1970’s 

The Sex Pistols 1975
1970’s colour blocking
Fashion in the 70s saw a wide variety of trends, from folk to disco to punk. The influence of disco was seen widely in fitted lycra clothing, flares and hotpants. For some, fashion became more natural, in line with a more ethical lifestyle. The hippy looks were reworked with a folksy feel. Hemlines fell and shapes and structures became more relaxed. Designers took inspiration from traditional crafts such as weaving, knitting and tapestry. Collaborations became more popular — designers such as Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell worked together. And the famous designer Vivienne Westwood lead the punk movement.

Key features of the decade:
Disco (flares, hotpants, wraparounds) and punk looks
Folk style included blouses, frills, maxi skirts, floral prints, knits, lacing, patchwork and waistcoats
Eastern influences (kaftans, kimonos, prints)
Jumpsuits and bodystockings
Prints included florals, geometrics and stripes

Power Dressing 
Adam Ant 
The New Romantics 
Fashion in the 80s took great influence from political changes. Anger over the economic depression was reflected in street style. But by the second half of the decade things were beginning to look up, and this was shown in the clothing. Two themes emerged: power dressing became popular among women as they became more dominant in the workforce — pencil skirts and shoulder padded power blazers reigned for working women — and 80s sportswear was important, with brands like Nike leading the way, and bright colours, neon shades and shellsuits gaining popularity.

Key features of the decade:
Power dressing- shoulder pads, suits, bright colours and black and white dogstooth
Streetwear- graphics, tartan, stripes, denim and leather.
The new romantics
Sports and dancewear influences
Body con (lycra was the main influence