Document 105486

December 22, 2009
Style B5
The Epoch Times
PART OF THE SCENE: Barbara and Andy Warhol. manfreddi bellati
FASHION PHOTO: Barbara in a popular 1960s look. courtesy of barbara
SIXTIES STYLE: Barbara when the action began. courtesy of barbara
Up Close and Personal With
Barbara Hulanicki, Part 2
It’s been a while since world-famous
fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki
has been back to the University of
Brighton, in the U.K. She studied at
the then Brighton College of Art in
the 1950s, but this year returned for
a screening of a documentary film
about her life.
The film “Beyond Biba” was made
by the son of a friend who worked
with Hulanicki at Biba, the iconic
‘60s fashion shop she set up with
her husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon.
The filmmaker followed her around
for a few days and spliced in documentary footage.
“I thought it was a bit of a gas and
wouldn’t see the light of day,” Barbara says, laughing. Little did she
imagine that she would be doing
a question and answer session following the film screening at her
old university in front of a sell-out
The film includes footage of her
early life and talks about her time at
Brighton College of Art. Hulanicki
says her teacher, Joanne Brogden,
was “a breath of fresh air” and incredibly stylish and modern with
a nonprovincial attitude at a time
when fashion meant “steel-like
women with concave tummies.” She
swept down from London, and Hulanicki, who, as a private student,
paid £3 a term to study at Brighton,
was in awe and “worked like mad”
to impress her.
Barbara had had a tough job to
persuade her mother to let her go
to art college. “Art college was a bit
like acting. A bit of a no-no. It was
for people with loose morals and
dirty nails,” she laughs. She was
determined though, and describes
art, particularly drawing, as her
Sleepyhead Sleepwear
great escape from provincial life. “I
loved fashion and of course there
was nothing around for people my
age at that time,” she says.
Hulanicki was born in Poland in
1936, and her family came to England in 1948 and moved to Brighton
from London for the fresh air when
she was 13. Brighton was not the
fashionable arty town it is today. “It
was like any other seaside town,”
she says.
Hulanicki, who was sent to boarding school in Worthing, says her
main ambition in life was to get out
of her hometown and get to Lon-
don. Brighton College of Art was
her ticket out. She opted for fashion,
and in those days the classes were
small—there were just 20-30 people
in most of her classes.
Hulanicki spent her first two
years taking a general course, including life drawing. She had one
hour a week of fashion class and
says that, because she was a private student, she could sign in and
then spend the afternoons watching
films noir.
After just two years, she realized
that the way to get on in fashion
was to work your way up in the industry, so she left college. She had
done holiday jobs and realized that
it took years before you could move
from pinning up hems to becoming
a fashion designer.
“Everything was much slower
then,” she says, and she was clearly
impatient to get on. She decided
that becoming an illustrator was a
quicker route and wrote what she
calls a very cocky letter to Helen Jardine Artists asking for a job. She
got it and spent the next six months
making the tea, she says.
It was, however, her foot in the
door. She went on to do drawing for advertising and work with
newspapers before finally setting
up Biba with her husband, Stephen
Fitz-Simon. They started with a
shop in Brighton, on the Queen’s
Road. “It was in a nice Georgian house,” she says. Eventually,
though, Biba decided to focus on
one place—London.
The intervening years have been
full of activity, and Hulanicki has
moved from fashion design to interior design and beyond. There are
Speaking of Fashion
Let’s Get Organized: Part 2
Epoch Times Staff
With the winter weather keeping us indoors and
the holiday spirit wafting through the house, I
started thinking about keeping my kids warm
while they are home for the holidays.
I wondered what kind of options there are for
kids’ pajamas. Looking at the favorite traditional
sources of warm clothing—L.L. Bean and Land’s
End—and the most popular children’s clothing
companies— Carter’s and OshKoshB’Gosh—
then searching in other eco-friendly companies I found a variety of products. Some companies say only that their clothing is imported.
I’d rather know a little more about where the
clothes come from, so this is a selection criterion that filters out some companies for me. If
you’d rather not have your child sleep in fabrics
chemically-treated to be flame retardant this will
filter out some products, but there are definitely
options for you. The Carter’s web site explains
that their polyester is in itself flame resistant
so it does not have to be treated, and the 100%
cotton pajamas are snug-fitting so they meet the
Consumer Product Safety Commission requirement that snug-fitting styles do not have to be
flame retardant. All of the brands I looked at did
meet the Federal child safety requirements; there
was a jersey knit polyester that was described as
flame retardant, micro-fleece and polyester that
were said to be flame resistant, and snug-fitting styles in 100% cotton. Another feature you
might want is to have a positive, relaxing design
or decoration on your kids’ pajamas. There are
many choices with flowers, sea shells, cuddly
animals, or simply solid colors. You don’t have
to settle for monsters or sharks or skulls printed
on their sleepwear. So very quickly you can find
some good options, depending on how many
requirements you have.
With a little more searching, I found baby
sleepwear that advertises not just organic cotton but also nontoxic dyes, from Newbornmom.
com. A company named Bamboosa sells American-made, soft, organic bamboo-blend sleepwear,
baby blankets, and socks.
And finally, looking on the Fair Trade Federation Web site, I found a company in Vermont
called Kusikuy Clothing Company which meets
just about every responsible point you could want.
The clothes are hand-knit from alpaca wool, machine washable, 100 percent fair trade, carbon
neutral, animal friendly, and hypoallergenic. The
company sells woolen pants and night pants for
babies and toddlers as well as sweaters, jackets,
hats, and scarves for kids and clothes for grownups, too. The web site said that the owner is on
Never hang knits
from the shoulders. That’s a
definite no=no
because they’ll stretch. Knit suits and
dresses should be folded horizontally
at the waist or knees and hung from
the rod of the hanger. It’s a good idea
to pad the rod with tissue paper first.
An exception is some light knit jackets that I do hang but I first cross the
sleeves over the opposite shoulder:
right sleeve draped over left shoulder and left over right shoulder. This
keeps it from stretching.
My hats are kept in hat boxes on
the shelves.
On the floor of one closet I have
a large basket with my pantyhose.
I keep all my pantyhose together in
clear plastic bags with slips of paper
inside describing what is inside and
how many pairs. For instance, inside
one bag will be hose and a note reading, 5 pairs sheer black with seam.
This way I always know what I have
and what I need and never go looking
for brown hose only to realize my last
pair has a run.
In another basket I keep my kneehighs and socks. Naturally, all my
red socks are together, all my white,
My scarves are hung folded in half
vertically on the rod of a hanger. You
no signs that she is slowing down
at 72.
The past year has been a particularly busy one for Hulanicki. Apart
from the documentary, she has designed her own line of clothes for
Topshop. She says it is great not having to worry about how the clothes
are manufactured. She just does
her designs and other people worry
about the details.
She finds this method very liberating creatively, and says that Topshop is always moving forward and
doesn’t wait for the next fashion season. Plus the feedback is instant and
direct, she says. If someone likes
your work they buy it; if not, it stays
on the rack. She designs casual,
wearable clothes and is dismissive
about the catwalk trend for evening
dresses. “Everyone is doing evening
dresses, but who wears them?” she
asks. “It’s bonkers.”
Her years of experience mean her
advice is well sought after. She says
fashion students at Brighton need
to learn by doing. “Try to work for
people you admire and then you will
really learn on the job,” she says.
“Make clothes that people want to
wear, but that doesn’t mean you
can’t put your own ideas in.”
She also advises students to learn
pattern cutting. “You can’t get
clothes to look right unless you understand pattern cutting,” says the
veteran designer. “If you can do it all
yourself, you have the power.”
Harold Leighton started in the
beauty industry in London and now
lives in Boca Raton, FL, and writes
about beauty and interesting people.
He can be reached at [email protected]
can fit many scarves on the same
hanger. When you look for a particular scarf, you just fold over the top
scarves until you find the one you’re
looking for.
Heavy chains and belts are hung
from a hook. Thin, dainty chains
are wrapped around a piece of doubled paper and placed in my jewelry
I’m lucky enough to be able to devote an entire closet just to shoes.
Most are out of boxes and on shelves
grouped by color. Since I’ve run out
of shelves, I stack some in boxes, but
I tape a note outside each box so I
know what’s inside: Anne Klein black
velvet, Michael Kors metallic.
I know. I’m disgustingly organized.
But it saves me from ever going to my
closet and saying, “I have nothing to
wear.” I promise.
Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg
Associates, a boutique publicity agency
in New York City, She may be reached
at [email protected]
PAJAMA PARTY: Actress Tami Anderson and her
daughters Kenni (left) and Lyric (right) arrive at “The
Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” DVD Party in
2004. amanda edwards/getty images
leave, finishing her doctoral degree, so there is
a limited selection right now, but I’d keep an eye
on this company for upcoming inventory.
If your kids are teenagers, there are some
responsible companies offering sleepwear for
women but not for children. From Gaiam, you
can get organic cotton gowns, robes, and pajamas, even some with lace trim, as well as fair
trade silk lounge wear. International Princess
Project uses Indian sari fabrics and makes some
cotton pants with polyester trim borders.
This year I noticed a lot of matching family
pajamas, especially in holiday themes, which
would add some fun to your festivities. And if
your little girl likes the American Girl series she
can have sleepwear that matches the doll and
the story. And finally, as a money-saving idea a
colleague suggested there is a good selection at
good prices at an outlet store.
Again, there is a wide selection to fit different
standards. So have fun shopping, and may your
purchases keep your kids warm now and bring
you many warm memories over the years.
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