Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brilliant Biba

original Biba Logo © Barbara Hulanicki

Ah, sweet memories... I watched British Style Genius, on BBC2, earlier this evening and it transported me, happily. Much as I don't believe in living in the past, it was wonderful to be taken back there, in vivid technicolour.

How I miss wonderful Biba; at school, a weekend highlight was to trek over there for a brilliant adventure. The huge store on the former Derry & Toms/Barkers site, on Kensington High Street, was unlike any other. It had a unique atmosphere; darkly-lit, you could wander in for an accessory (feather boa, anyone?); Sarah Moon poster; glorious, dusky, make-up; reels of haberdashery should you want (or feel inspired) to create, or customise, your own design classic.

As a young teenager, I was enamoured and recollect one of my favourite items being a floaty, empire line, russian-red jersey dress that had pointy-ended sleeves with a finger loop. Along with a pair of fabulous, plum, 40s-influenced, platform shoes - that I wore to death - with my fabulously-faded drain-pipe Levis. I still have one of my favourites: a plum jersey, short, stream-lined zip-up jacket, with a deep, soft fake fur collar. It still fits but seems too precious (or risky) to wear (just in case it might fall apart, if I did...) Bless Barbara Hulanicki! High Street Kensington has never felt the same since...

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