Yellow sou wester from Badges and Equipment. Striped sweater by Shar Cleod. Tan canvas trousers by Marielle. Single breasted raincoat in cotton satin by Hans Metzen. Watch by Old England. / Black jersey vest, rust trousers and matching cape, all by Hans Metzen.
Once upon a time, I lived in London. A place where often the furthest you might have to walk is a few yards to the nearest bus stop, a few metres from a tube station or, if you're feeling flush, bouncing out of a taxi and straight into wherever you're going. Now I live down on the south coast. Yes I love it, we all love it down here, but when Autumn arrives and the holidaymakers disappear, it becomes all too apparent that you are on your own. You vs. the elements. Wind, rain, a bit more wind, and a bucketload more rain.
Soon you learn there's little or no point in 'styling' your hair. No, the wind and rain have got their own dastardly plans for it. You also learn that umbrellas are useless, water-resistant make-up is a misnomer and wearing wool will just make you smell like a damp dog as soon as you get indoors. But you still love it, and you have no intention of leaving. Standing on the promenade on a wild November day can be the most exhilarating, refreshing feeling there is. So you adapt...
So I when I spotted this editorial in a copy of 19 Magazine from 1971, photographed on the seafront here in Brighton, and looked out the window at the changing season, I knew these were going to be images I would return to again and again. I love the combination of practical waterproofs, hats and boots with the outrageous styles and colours of the period. Even some of the biggest names in fashion, like John Bates and Pierre Cardin, were designing rainwear ranges for brands like Alligator and Rainsport.
Bright PVC boots, velvet raincoats, a mad variety of hats and, most excitingly of all to me, the iconic Mr Freedom baseball-style knickerbockers. Just because you're damp and cold, doesn't mean you can't be bright and beautiful!
Photographed by Duc. 19 Magazine, March 1971.
Sky blue quilted cotton raincoat by Emmanuelle Khanh.
School cap from Mr Freedom. Yellow shirt by Jaeger. Blue denim dungarees by Medusa. Navy PVC shirtie raincoat by Pierre Cardin for Alligator.
Rainhat from Feathers. Gingham shirt by Jaeger. Tan trousers by Marielle. Chocolate panne velvet midi raincoat by Weathergay.
Denim hat by Titfers. Cotton raincoat by John Bates for Rainsport. Baseball trousers by Mr Freedom. Tartan scarf by Herbert Johnson. / Denim hat by Titfers. Yellow and blue sweater by Mr Freedom. Peacock gauchos by Get for J. Cowell. Cotton denim raincoat by John Bates for Rainsport.