Thea Porter

Posted by Laura
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Floating caftan—white chiffon with sequins.

As a historian you sometimes get to work on a worthy project that has been sorely neglected thus far—one that allows you really delve deeply into a subject, become consumed by it and an expert. For me I was lucky enough to have this happen with Thea Porter. While I had been a fan of her designs for years, after seeing them in old Vogue's and up for sale at auctions, it was not until I was doing my master's degree in fashion history that I realised how little research had been done on her, which led me to uncover her archive and find her daughter. This chance decision to start investigating her has resulted in the a book (published by the V & A) and an exhibition (at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London), both scheduled for February 2015. Thea's daughter, Venetia, edited the book and has written the introduction and afterword.

As with any book full of beautiful images, there are always some that do not make the cut. Today i am sharing one of my favourite stories of Thea's designs, modeled by Bond Girl Barbara Bach.

Barbara Bach photographed by David James for The Telegraph Sunday Magazine, April 3, 1977.

Barbara Bach is the new James bond girl - who stars with Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. She was photographed on location in Egypt wearing the most glamorous evening dresses we could find: some of Thea Porter's latest designs. These are evening clothes for the rich and famous (the prices are fabulous, but so are the fabrics). Who buys them? Thea Porter says her clientele is mainly from abroad. Each dress is unique.

Dress for a thousand and one nights—of many fabrics.


(L) Harem pants with many-coloured chiffon top. (R) Evening dress in moon-coloured brocade.

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