Wednesday 21 September 2011

Viva Biba!

BIBA - perhaps one of the most iconic fashion looks
of the 60s and early 70s.

All these pictures are from the October 1973 edition of 19 Magazine which I wrote about yesterday.

Biba's founders were Barbara Hulanicki and her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon.  Barbara started designing for the mail order business and rapidly became very popular. 

Click on pic to enlarge and have a look at the prices!
They opened a small boutique and called it Biba.  Unusual for its time, it was painted black and contained vintage items used for display, mood lighting, music - all the sorts of things we are used to now.  This was unusual in a time when most boutiques tried to be as "modern" (plastic) as possible.

The company grew rapidly and the Dorothy Perkins group put money into the expansion.  At the peak of its popularity, Biba took over the old Derry & Toms department store on Kensington High Street and expanded into home ware and children's wear - becoming a lifestyle brand.


Unfortunately, due to financial problems, the store closed in 1975. 

Recently, House of Fraser have re-introduced the brand.  I had a look at their website and the look is still as distinctive as it was in this 1973 edition of 19 Magazine!

For more information, and pictures of Biba's fantastic "vintage" clothing - there is a good website called The Biba Collection.

I'd be interested to know if any of you have found Biba items while out thrifting!

Love, Liz


Max said...

Great post! Tiger print bookshelves-mental!!!! Glad I didn't see my long lost, thrifted aged 19 brown biba print minidress in those photos, I couldn't have lived with myself... now wondering if HoF do overseas shipping, might help with the lost dress-grief lol! x

Kylie said...

Must check out The House of Biba style also think it's flattering and womanly.
Love pic of glamerous pregnant model, is that mrs Biba?

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Don't know who the model is - they didn't get mentioned in those days.
Very pretty, though! Think modern Biba is out of my price range!

Karen S Booth said...

Wonderful post and I used to read 19 magazine! I also loved Biba and remember buying a black nail varnish from Biba!! LOL!

Jem said...

There was a Biba dress on eBay I'd have loved to win and just hang on the wall as a piece of loveliness!

Great post, Liz!

Jem xXx

Celestial Charms said...

Such a lovely post. I always enjoy looking at vintage fashions, and the way they advertised them. Great photos!

Anna at the Doll House said...

Hello Liz

I have loved looking through your Biba posts. If only we could find a stylish pair of shoes for £18.50 today.

It was also fun to see the Queen Mary 2. I know what you mean about the excitement surrounding the visit of a spectacular ship. The World anchored up in our little town this summer and it was quite a treat to see it at such close quarters.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such lovely comments.

I have immediately signed-up to follow you.


Catherine said...

Very interesting post, love this vintage fashion.Blessings Catherine

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Oh I could LIVE in that changing room picture - so glamorous! *not that I am you understand*

@nne said...

remember this collection, although I was only 14 when their shop closed! thanks you for sharing, love, @nne

Olga Rani said...

It is interesting but in India there is also brand "Biba" that creates clothes for women. In Punjabi the word "biba" is "an endearment for a young and pretty girl implying sublime qualities". I even have a few dresses by this Indian Biba.