Tuesday, February 15, 2011

you're reading all them high fashion magazines, the clothes you're wearing girl they're causing public scenes

As has been said dozens of times since its closing in the seventies, Biba is back! The House of Fraser, which purchased the brand in 2009, has reinvigorated the legendary label to garner a success similar to when Barbara Hulanicki was at the helm.
The latest campaign for the new Biba has Daisy Lowe as the face, and is set in the same decadent luxury of the early campaigns - which matched 60s/70s bohemianism with 20s/30s Art Deco decadence. Heavy velvet curtains, Oriental carpets, gilded mirrors and frayed, overstuffed chairs with frames chipped with gold paint - all signal the decayed decadence that so fascinated the Biba brand. But while the setting is right, I'm a bit unsure of the clothes themselves. The creations that Lowe is wearing do not scream 'BIBA!' to me. Yes, I know that times (and, by default, fashions) have changed since Biba's heyday, but the new line doesn't appear so much a maturation of style as a complete separation from what the label originally represented. 
Though, to be fair, this may be intentional - Stephanie Chen (of House of Fraser) said that their Biba is "not a retro collection." But what about all of us Biba babes out there? Those of us who long ago fell in love with the billowy maxidresses, the wide-legged trousers, the delicate silk tunics, the femininely-tailored menswear in heavy tweeds and plaids, that were worn by the likes of Twiggy, Pattie Boyd, Marianne Faithfull, Julie Christie, Cher, and Princess Anne! 
Well, unless you can get a hold of some of Barbara Hulanicki's designs she made for Asda (and if you can, please let me know!) - content yourself with glorious photos of Biba babes

I'm not sure how old these photos are (or if they're from a relaunch) but with outfits inspired by Chinese silk pajamas, as well as floor-length leopard coats - I'd be hard-pressed to ignore them

Pattie Boyd, who describes Biba "Barbara Hulanicki's brain child" in her book Wonderful Tonight as one of her favorite stores of the sixties, also modeled for the brand

If any brand could bring bonnets back into style, it was Biba

Some fantastic catalogue looks - ranging from Victorian-inspired high-neck dresses to girlish menswear pieces (complete with ties and hats!) 

Stephanie Farrow, little sister of Mia, was another famous face of Biba

Twiggy modeled for the label various times over the years, most notably with the launch of Big Biba, where she posed in different rooms of the fashion house

The simplicity of Biba's designs sometimes goes overlooked in favor of remembering the label as a hippie brand - but the focus on miniskirts, shift dresses, wide-legged trousers, deep v-neck blouses, low-slung belts or long scarves was particularly gorgeous, especially matched with the neutral tones of Biba's favored "Auntie Colours"

Title: from "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (The Monkees)

2 comments:

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I'm enamoured. Such a beautiful post. The oictures that you shared are just amazing and impressed me a lot. Thanks for the share.