VERY PRIVATE LIVES... a drama of today in seven scenes

Posted by Liz
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Scene One: "There's no use crying over forgotten luggage. Though how I am going to manage without my fifth case I can't think." Suzie hopes to pass in the crowd - and fails dismally - in a Garbo coat by Ossie Clark at Quorum. Silk chiffon scarf and kid gloves, Harrods. Clutch bag at Lily. Fendi luggage at Condotti."


September is when the year really begins. Back to town, the typewriter, or taking the kids to school. Your suntan fading as fast as that holiday flirtation. It's time to try out the new clothes, look around at the new men. By day, sway gently on high heels, wearing soft suits with skirts that hug the bottom lovingly - or flare at the hem slightly. Belt your coat tight, like Garbo in a gale. By night pull out the stops in full movie star rig, sequins worn like a second skin. Accept that weekend away from it all; hotel bedrooms make the most contented couples turn on like the newest lovers. Dress up to your role at all times. Old loves and new should make this month a very private scene.

I have to admit, I do Autumn/Winter a lot better than I do Spring/Summer. The fabrics, the colours, the accessories... So I was immediately drawn to this sophisticated editorial from the September 1973 issue of British Cosmopolitan, featuring lush Autumn clothes by the Boutique greats like Ossie Clark, Mary Quant and Sheridan Barnett. With an emphasis on tailoring and texture, even down to the silk Janet Reger underwear, this is going to be one I keep returning to. As so often with Cosmopolitan, the concept and captions are ambitious, florid and torrid! Lock your door, snuggle down and enjoy! (Plus, if anybody has that exquisite Garbo coat by Ossie Clark, feel free to send it my way immediately...)


Fashion by Penny Graham. Photographed by Norman Eales. Cosmopolitan, September 1973.


Scene Two: "Tea for two - upstairs - I just adore; it's a lovely change from buns in the kitchen with the kids.". Suzie relaxes in a ladylike cardigan suit and blouse by Mary Quant. Thirties crocodile bag from a selection at Cornucopia. Bangles from Butler and Wilson.


Scene Three: "Fancy meeting Gerald and Annabelle here? Gerry's never seen me out of trousers before... is it his phone number he's slipping me, or a tip for the 4.30 at Goodwood?" Over a strong drink, the plot thickens: Suzie in check suit and silk shirt by Stirling Cooper. Annabelle in tailored trouser suit by Alistair Cowin; shirt by Stirling Cooper. Brooch, bangles and necklace from Butler and Wilson.


Scene Four: "Sequins bring out the Marlene Dietrich in me... is that why he's wearing a white dinner jacket like Burt Bacharach?" A clinching dress with chain straps by Frank Usher. Bangle from Butler and Wilson.


Scene Five: A girl's best friend can be her worst enemy, thinks Suzie bitterly. "Does she think I can't see what she's up to? Just because she cradle-snatched Gerry, one man isn't enough." Suzie in injured-innocent white dress from John Marks, shoes at St Laurent Rive Gauche. Annabelle triumphant in red cloque with feathers, by Sheridan Barnett at Quorum. Shoes by Zapata.


Scene Six: "Alone at last... whoever would have though a quiet weekend at a hotel for an old married couple like us would prove to be so fraught?" Suzie calms her nerves - and rattles his - in satin underwear. Bra and French knickers by Janet Reger. His dressing gown from Turnbull and Asser. Furry rug at Harrods.


Scene Seven: "I never thought it would be so hard to say goodbye..." Suzie goes back bravely to the kids in the suburbs, while he makes for the office. French movie star parting, Suzie so triste in striped suit by Mary Quant.

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