Night In Casablanca

Posted by Liz
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On left: Lilac jersey Good Girl dress with butterfly yoke by Clobber. Suede and snakeskin shoes by Rowley and Oram. On right: Satin and jersey midi dress with gloriously 40s shoulders by Crowthers. Moc-snake t-bar shoes by Mary Quant.

"Shady ladies chassezing in with their heavy sidekicks - the sexiest way to wear midi jersey and crÍpe dresses with new tailored shoulders, piles of wonderful hair and immaculate 40s necklines - perfectly ladylike and so simply gorgeous."

This editorial from 1971 is everything I love about early 1970s fashion. It speaks volumes about how much inspiration designers were taking directly from the 1940s: the crÍpe and satin midi dresses, all flippy skirts and puffed sleeves, the chokers, the snakeskin platform shoes. It was even photographed in Morocco to give added authenticity to the sultry boutique clothes.

Most interesting, however, is the inclusion of several shoes credited to Rowley & Oram. Looking from our modern perspective, it seems extraordinary that the true designer of these shoes is left uncredited. For it was one Terry de Havilland whose snakeskin three-tier platforms were sold from Rowley & Oram in Kensington Market, the success of which would eventually lead to the opening of his own shop, Cobblers to the World, on the Kings Road in 1972.

It's incredible how a single shoot can capture such a fleeting but important fashion moment. Within a few months of this editorial, Terry de Havilland would become a household name, his shoes being worn by Angie Bowie, Bianca Jagger and Cher, amongst many others. In the same year, John Rowley of Rowley & Oram, better known as Johnny Moke and later a shoe designer in his own right, would open the legendary but short-lived boutique The Hollywood Clothes Shop in Fulham.

Also captured here are boutique names such as Clobber (Jeff Banks's boutique) and Crowthers, as well as far lesser-known names such as Tony Berkeley and Fotheringay & Hepplewaite. It's easy to think of Biba, Ossie Clark and Bus Stop as shorthand for the look, but editorials like this remind you of why it's worth keeping an open mind when it comes to vintage labels.

Photographed by John Cross. Honey Magazine, January 1971.


(L) On left: Button-up black crÍpe dress with white flowery panel by Louis Caring. Beige ankle strap sandals by Elliotts. On right: Frightfully Forties cream double-breasted jacket, claret coloured tie-neck floppy shirt and wine and beige jacquard jersey midi skirt all by Tony Berkeley. Brown shiny bar shoes by Freeman Hardy Willis. / (R) Jet black georgette dress with violet frilled neckline by Tony Berkeley. Cork soled strappy sandals by Elliotts.


On left: Definitely 40s crÍpe dress with embroidered yellow flowers by Louis Caring, Suede and snakeskin ankle strap shoes by Rowley and Oram. On right:  Bottle green crÍpe dress with matching long jacket by Linda Warren for Downtown. Two-colour snakeskin shoes by Rowley and Oram.


On left: Odeon-design black, white and grey striped crÍpe dress by Louis Caring. Velvet ribbon made into a choker with gangster badge from Mr Freedom. On right: Chocolate brown crÍpe fitted midi dress with square yellow buttons by Fotheringay and Hepplewaite. Yellow enamel brooch by Mr Freedom. Moc-snake t-strap shoes by Mary Quant.


On left: Ritzy panne velvet patterned button-up dress by Marlborough. Shiny bar shoes by Freeman Hardy Willis. On right: Square necked crÍpe dress with embroidered orange flower by Louis Caring. Ankle-tying suede and snakeskin shoes by Rowley and Oram.

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