September 27, 2011

Barbara, Biba And Beyond


Mid-1970s tee shirts with Biba's Deco-inspired logos.

The Biba label has always been a Holy Grail for several of our customers, so I thought this recent article would be of interest. Scroll on for some terrific vintage Biba photos and a bit more...

Store manager Eleanor Powell in front of Biba.

Mail-order catalog excerpt with baby doll-inspired fashions.

For those new to the name, Biba was a phenomenon of fashion that ran its course from 1964 through the 1970s. The label began as a mail-order catalog, the brainchild of Briton Barbara Hulanicki, who was tired of stodgy fashion houses and instead created on-trend fashions for young women at very affordable prices. She flourished on high-turnover fast fashion. The idea was new, the look was new, and Biba soon became a storefront and a major London destination.

Biba was always off-the-rack. Here it is on the rack in their posh 1970s London location.

A 1960s London photo shoot contrasts old & new Britain.

For me personally, I've always loved Biba designs for their 1930s & 40s inspirations, their outlandishly cool personalities and their impact on 1970s fashion. They often remind me of uber-expensive Ossie Clark from the same era.

Ever hip, this photo shoot features 1930s-inspired pant suits.

It's interesting that in our experience, pricey Ossie is actually found more often than street-chic Biba. An interesting twist on this sought-after ready-to-wear label!

References:
Turner, Alwyn W. Biba: the Biba Experience. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 2005. Print.

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