Iconic clothes store Biba was founded by Polish born fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki OBE (b. 1936). She opened her Biba shop in the Kensington district of London in 1864 with the help of her late husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon.
The shop soon became known for its stylishly decadent atmosphere and lavish decor inspired by Art Nouveau and Art Deco. It became a hangout for artists, film stars and rock musicians, including Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull.
In the shop, a young clientele bought affordable mini-skirts, floppy felt hats, feather boas, velvet trouser suits and unisex T-shirts dyed in rich, muted colors. Incidentally, Anna Wintour started in fashion as a Biba employee.
After the shop’s 1975 demise, Hulanicki continued to work in the fashion industry, designing for labels such as Fiorucci and Cacharel and, from 1980 to 1992, designed a line of children’s wear, Minirock, licensed to the Japanese market.
The London Biba store via
Queue for the Biba store via
Inside the Biba store via
The food department was sectioned into separate units that each contained one type of item. There was a section modelled after Hulanicki’s great dane Othello in which you’d find only dog food via
Shopping at Biba, 1960s via
Some Biba sales-girls via
Mary Quant adjusting a miniskirt on a model, 1967 via
By the mid-1960s, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world’s best-dressed women.
Valentino’s international debut took place in 1962, at the Pitti Palace in Florence. The show cemented the designer’s reputation and attracted the attention of socialites and aristocratic women from around the world. Within a few years, Valentino’s designs were considered the pinnacle of Italian couture. In 1967, he received the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.
His client list included the Begum Aga Khan, Queen Paola of Belgium and movie stars Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Jacqueline Kennedy developed an interest in the designer’s work after admiring friends in several Valentino ensembles. In 1964, Kennedy ordered six dresses in black and white, which she wore during the year following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy (source).
In July 1962 in the last hour on the last day of the Autumn shows Valnetino was given an opportunity to present a collection that became known as Sala Bianca. The designs were showcased at the stunning ball room, the White Hall, of the Pitti Palce. Overnight, Valentino Garavani was famous internationally via
Valentino Fashion Show, Salla Bianca, Palazzo Pitti, Firenze, 1964 via
In 1964 Jacqueline Kennedy chose a Valentino dress for the wedding with Aristotle Onassis. The gown was a part of the Sfilata Bianca collection shown in 1968. If Valentino was a fashion darling of the global press and buyers before, Sfilata Bianca (and its connection to Jackie Onassis) was the final step in conquering the States and securing his position as one of the best and most influential fashion designers of our time via
Valentino, Ensemble, photographed by Henry Clarke, 1968 via
Valentino, Vogue, 1968 via
Veruschka, Valentino, Vogue, 1965 via