One of my favourite and most creative decades, the 1970s was big on romance. I created hundreds of one-off wedding gowns, many of were hand-painted with botanicals, from lily-of-the-valley to orchids and clematis, or embellished with spectacular antique beaded panels scavenged from flea markets and vintage stores.
I was also “discovered in Bloomingdale’s” (WWD’s words, not mine!) by a head buyer who happened to be chatting to the owner of a leisure and sleepwear brand called Contessa. “That’s what we need!” she exclaimed. “Let’s find out who she’s wearing.” I designed fabrics and appliqué templates based on icons and fairytales; this was a wonderful role that saw me overseeing production on Caribbean islands – a dream come true.
The 1970s also saw combining leather and suede with beautiful wool prints from Liberty and Soieries Nouveautés or Swiss embroidered fabrics.