White and navy—the standout for day!—symbol of the trim new mood of dressing that whipped through the collections like a clean salt breeze! The super new T-shirt: Saint Laurent's pullover of a dress in white and navy cotton jersey, all very concise around the edges—and very sneaky-sexy in the narrow, side-slit slide of the fit and the breezy little sleeves (don't miss his gob hat, either—irresistible!).
As the weather starts to warm up, I'm busy shedding layers, reorganizing my wardrobe and planning spring trips. These images by Helmut Newton were taken in Nice to showcase the 1976 spring collections - full of 70s spins on classic French beachside dressing, many of these pieces wouldn't have looked out of place on Gabrielle Chanel in 1930s Deauville. Patti Hanson and Gunilla Lindblad are the dream girls parading around the Hotel Negresco, the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, the Palais de Méditerranée, and the Promenade des Anglais in all of the finest transitional weather looks by Valentino, Saint Laurent and others.
Photographs by Helmut Newton for Vogue, March 1976.
(L) Trig and soft—most-wanted day look at Basile: the easy-as-a-bathrobe unlined coat in white flannel with navy piping (the touch that sharpens everything!), over a white flannel wrap skirt and skinny-striped-and-piped pullover—to sash this-year style, on the hip! (R) Count on Dorothée Bis to do the snappiest, most modern sweaters—her navy-and-white double stripes, left: the wide-striped sweater coat tied like a beach robe over a narrow-striped pull and white pants... Her new cardigan to own, right: a little "doublet" of a navy cardigan, drawstring-tied—perfect puller-together for a lean little sweater and skirt in navy-and-white fine stripes.
(L) The blazer as a suit—key Saint Laurent!—it's an instant tip-off to the whole new feeling for suits that hit like thunder in the Couture collections. Here, the classic look of a tailored blazer in soft, thin navy wool gabardine; white crepe shirt; white wool flannel skirt—simple and perfect. (R) Lanvin's instant evening, left: the shorter unlined coat in palest-beige Ultrasuede, that goes all day and slips into easy-evening over a creamy wool jersey top and new, bloused-at-the-ankle pants. From Karl Lagerfeld, who put unlined clothes on the map—his unlined bathrobe of a coat (if you can imagine a bathrobe this luxuriously soft and small-wrapping!), in thin double-faced cream wool flannel, over a cap-sleeved shirt and narrow pants in a single thinness of matching flannel. Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé.
(L) The new pants suit at Ungaro, left—the trim little unlined jacket and narrow trousers in thin silk pin-stripings of tan and beige, with a beige crêpe de Chine shirt to slip underneath. Extra easy!—the Dior "wind-breaker" suit, right: Marc Bohan's unlined drawstring jacket and front-pleated breeze of a skirt in thinnest brown wool jersey; the soft silk shirt in stripes of chocolate, beige and ivory. (R) Tiktiner's classic, basic navy and white, left: small, knitted white crewneck, white flannel trousers, and a terrific spring jacket - double-faced navy wool, unlined and easy. The thing about André Laug—he gives you something a little "dressed". which is a very nice thing to have in your wardrobe. Here, his small-bodied, small-hipped pullover of navy-and-white knitted tweed, over a tiny-pleated slim skirt in navy-and-white stripes.
(L) Valentino's soft-but-snappy white "suit"—a knitted white wool jacket to the top of the hip (lots of these little "suit-makers" at Valentino, and lots of this relaxed cardigan-cut in every length), over a soft, soft shirt in blue-and-white striped silk, and a waist-knotted white cotton skirt. (R) The great puller-together jacket at Dior: Marc Bohan's take on the classic Chinese jacket—unlined red cotton poplin cut just to the top of the hip (the new length of a jacket!). Here as he showed it, swung over tony red-violet ribbed-cotton tank top and clingy-soft Bordeaux jersey pants—really pretty warm-weather dressing for late-day/easy-evening.
(L) Pieces of white and navy and stripes for day—the cleanest, dashiest spring things ever invented! From Givenchy, the best duck suit!: everyone's favorite white pieces plus Givenchy cut and tailoring—cleverly sharp. An unlined cotton jacket and trouser-top skirt, plus a perfect navy-and-white T-shirt, long-sleeved cotton jersey with navy-V neck. (R) The softness of the smallest body-sweaters - everyone loved them! From Sonia Rykiel—who practically invented the soft, subtle-sexy body-sweater—her new collectible, the long, clingy café au lait pullover, side-slit to show beguiling little glimpses of skin and held with a pocketed hip-belt (in case you haven't got the message—everybody is doing a number on hips this spring!). The matching skirt with "inside-out" seaming, to wear on either side.
(L) The seductively thin, silky sweaters of Missoni—no matter how many you own, you always want more! Sweater-dressing in palest beige and café au lait: a little polo shirt, cardigan, and button-front skirt—so air-light, you can almost see through. Right, thin silky pieces cocoa ribbed knit: the perfect slink of a tank top just to the hip over a narrow skirt; the cardigan in a slightly heavier rib—wonderfully day-into-evening way to dress in sweaters. (R) Out of the masses of navy-and-white stripes for spring day, Valentino's navy-and-white stripes for easy evening: drawstring-top pyjama in crêpe de Chine, with a narrow little shrug of unlined navy cardigan—the coat/jacket shape at Valentino—to slip over it (and everything else for spring!).
(L) A treasure!—one of Saint Laurent's irresistible little off-the-shoulder dinner dresses (everybody's favorite P.M. neckline!), in thinnest white-and-black silk jersey to just below the knee—elasticized at the neck, waist, and the hip, to slide the body and blouse where you like—here, deeply bare at the neck, narrowly bloused on the hip... (R) The body-touching clothes that wrap and bare—you have to be in shape to wear them. It's worth the effort—it is the modern, seductive way to dress at night. Patou's simple, beautiful wrapping of silk—black-edged red crêpe de Chine held with two black strings at the neck that clings and slides like the sexiest sarong.
(L) The look of hips at Kenso (and everywhere in Paris!): his narrow cotton-print camisole-dress to the floor, tight-sashed low on the hips, in a Javanese garden of color—purples, pinks, red, ivory—young, sexy, charming! (R) Karl Lagerfeld's thin little pieces of ivory silk crêpe de Chine, hand-painted with real gold in tiny French knots and scallops and lattice-roses, like beautiful embroidery—soft tank top, slim skirt, a triangle of scarf to hip-wrap or hold, and extra little pieces of ribbon-sashes to tie here and there for flirt...