Friday, 20 May 2011

I love Biba

I've said before I feel I should have been around in the sixties, I love the music, the clothes, the hair, everything. My second favourite decade would be the 20s, and Biba is a label that perfectly encapsulates the sixties and was influenced heavily by the 20s and art deco period. 
I was really excited to hear that the new re-launched Biba would be available in House of Fraser in Dundrum (and elsewhere!) but I've been really disappointed by almost every item of clothing I've seen there, and anything that did seem to have the spirit of the original Biba was way too expensive to even consider buying! It really disappointed and annoyed me, the original philosophy behind Biba was that interesting design should be available to everyone at affordable prices and to re-launch the label with high prices purely because the iconic name means you can get away with it seems like cheapening something beautiful to me.
 Barbara Hulanicki, the original founder of Biba has distanced herself from the re-launched brand for exactly that reason.
Here are a few pictures from her designs and flagship store in London.....................I have deliberately picked the black and white designs, and those with stripes because I love them best!

The iconic art-deco design. This might be the only logo I'd ever wear on a top

The original London flagship store

Love the spats!

 Barbara Hulanicki designed clothes for girls she described as having the "Dudu" look; ‘fresh little foals with long legs, bright faces and round dolly eyes, postwar babies who had been deprived of nourishing protein in childhood and grew up into beautiful skinny people: a designer's dream. It didn’t take much for them to look outstanding.’ I've also heard that along with an increase in the amount of meat in our diets she feels the contraceptive pill came along and made everyone a little fuller-figured after the sixties. Hmm...

Easy to see how Twiggy and Biba were made to go together!


Twiddy in a "Dudu" pose, very obviously 1920s inspired.
The 2020 take on " Dudu"....more tacky Cleopatra than mysterious 1920s dame
One of the few pieces I like from the re-launched Biba line is this amazing wedding dress...but again this is marketed as a budget wedding dress!!! At £695!!!

Barbara Hulanicki launched a capsule collection in 2009 with Topshop and has just launched her third collection in Asda, staying true to her belief that style should be democratized and affordable for everyone. There are some gorgeous pieces here, I will be popping in on my next trip northwards but the collection can be purchased online here

The retro prints are very cute but the colours are up to date and everything is very wearable, especially love the pink tea-dress, £18.
I'd happily wear a bolder print, my ideal retro dress would be made with the print from Father Ted's bathroom.

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