BIBA Fever back to 1969 London

Biba Fever 

Biba was a London fashion store of the 1960s and 1970s.  Biba was started and primarily run by  the Polish-born Barbara Hulanicki with help of her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon.

Biba's early years were rather humble, with many of the outfits being cheap and available to the public by mail order. Biba’s postal boutique had its first significant success in May 1964 when it offered a pink gingham dress with a hole cut out of the back of the neck with a matching triangular kerchief to readers of the Daily Mirror.  The dress had celebrity appeal, as a similar dress had been worn by Brigitte Bardot. By the morning after the dress was advertised in the Daily Mirror, over 4,000 orders had been received. Ultimately, some 17,000 outfits were sold.

Hulanicki worked as a fashion illustrator after studying at Brighton Art College inthe late 1950s. She married advertising executive Stephen Fitz-Simon and they soon opened a mail order clothing company that she named Biba's Postal Boutique. Biba was the nickname of her younger sister Biruta.

The first store, in Abingdon Road in Kensington was opened in September 1964.

Hulanicki’s first encounter with her new customers was at 10 o’clock on theSaturday morning it opened; "...the curtains were drawn across the window…the shop was packed with girls trying on the same brown pinstripe dress in concentrated silence. Not one asked if there were any other styles or sizes," Hulanicki remarked.

The brown pinstripe dresses were being stored in the shop because Hulanicki’s apartment was overflowing with boxes of clothes for their mail order service. Fitz-Simon dropped Hulanicki at the shop and went to pick up more dresses, Hulanicki went to the bathroom and when she came back the shop was packed. "The louder the music played the faster the girls moved and more people appeared in the shop. I had sold every dress by 11. After the last dress had been sold, people were still lining up inside waiting for the next delivery.

The shops' main appeal was what was seen on TV on Friday night could now be bought on Saturday and worn that night. As the Biba style (tight cut skinny sleeves, earthy colours) and logo became more and more recognisable, themore and more people wanted to be seen in it.

The second store at 19-21 Kensington Church Street opened in 1965 and a series of mail-order catalogues followed in 1968, which allowed customers to buy Biba style without having to come to London.

n 1973 with the backing of Dorothy Perkins and British Land , the store moved to the seven-storey Derry & Toms  department store, which immediately attracted up to a million customers weekly, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions in London.

There were different departments, and each floor had its own theme, such as a children's floor, a floor for men, a book store, a food market, and a "home" floor which sold items such as wallpaper, paint, cutlery, soft furnishings and even statues. The overall design was produced by Whitmore-Thomas Partnership, run by artist/designers Steve Thomas and Tim Whitmore.[Each department had its own logo or sign, which was based on the Biba logo and had a picture describing the department. These were commissioned by Thomas and Whitmore and designed by Kasia Charko.

The store had an Art Deco-interior reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood. and non-traditional displays,  Barbara Hulanicki and her husband Simon Fitzsimon have spent £1m refurbishing the Art Deco department store - known as Big Biba - to house her idiosyncratic collection of clothes and accessories.

The Biba Food Hall was also designed ingeniously, each part being aimed at one particular kind of product; a unit made to look like a dog (based on Hulanicki's own dog, a Great Dane named Othello)  consisted of dog food; a huge baked beans tin can consisted of only tins of Baked beans; a can of "Warhol's  Condensed Soup" etc., all foods having individual innovative units. Also at the new "Big Biba" was "The Rainbow Restaurant", which was located on the fifth floor of the department store and was destined to become a major hang-out for rock stars, but which was not solely the reserve of the elite. With all of these renovations and additions, Biba became known as a "theatre for fashion."Also at the site was the Kensignton Roof Gardens  which are still there today.

The move to Derry and Toms in 1973 gave a much needed boost to other more conventional department stores in a lacklustre Kensington High Street suffering from recession.
Dorothy Perkins bought 75% of Biba taking it from a loss of £40,000 to a profit of £300,000.Biba was a victim of the same recession and only survived for two years before closing in 1975.

It seemed people wee happy to come and see the impressive decor and designer goods but were more reluctant to buy.

Barbara Hulanicki moved to Beazil in 1975 and in 1983 she published a book about the Biba enterprise called A to Biba in which she blamed British land forthe demise of the store by running it down to save other parts of its empire.

Twiggy Modelling for Biba 1971

Twiggy Modelling for Biba 1971

Twiggy Modelling for Biba 1971 

Twiggy Modelling for Biba 1971 

Why We Love TURBANS

Why We Love Turbans 

 

Other than being one of the most glamorous hair accessories and the easiest cure for a bad hair day that makes you look instantly Glam.!! , bad hair day? (throw your hair in a turban and way you go).. The Turban has quite  a history behind it and while the fashion for the turban was partly borne of necessity in Europe, it became chic and highly worn in the early late 1930s early 1940s when it appeared on the heads of Hollywood icons. such as  Lana Turner who created an iconic image of femme fatale in turban in The Post man always rings twice..( I highly recommend to watch) ,the growing US popularity of South American stars such as Carmen Miranda  also raised the profile of the draped turban as glamour wear – Miranda wore hers in a variety of extreme permutations in her films. The turban really  never lost its glam as it was still a hot accessory straight through into the early 70s when Biba loved a shiny disco turban .

In current time the Turban has made a huge come back as seen on Prada's runway in back in 2007 and a huge turn around in the Pin Up scene , incorporating into  vintage hairstyles.

You can really adapt your own style & character with a classic turban, add a vintage brooch, a feather, the turban can take you from day to night.  

I fell in love with the turban many moons ago , and started experimenting with my own  variation of the 1940s turban creating it into a classic modern day design and using  high quality Dupion silk that I sculptured, I managed to recreate an easy lightweight style that can be worn everyday.

Shop our Turban collection made to order in any colour 

https://www.thehouseofhats.com.au/shop

I hope you enjoy our Turbans and never have a bad hair day again

ilana Xx

 

The House Of Hats Turbans
The House Of Hats Gold Dust Turban 

The House Of Hats Gold Dust Turban 

" My Gold Dust Turban is so beautifully made for me  it gets worn almost daily, i love it so much'    Testimonial form one of our Clients Melissa Bant. 

" My Gold Dust Turban is so beautifully made for me  it gets worn almost daily, i love it so much' 

  Testimonial form one of our Clients Melissa Bant. 

Photo shoot with Photographer Margaret Ellen Burns & Model Pearl Spring Featuring our Aqua silk Turban

Photo shoot with Photographer Margaret Ellen Burns & Model Pearl Spring Featuring our Aqua silk Turban

Vintage 1940's Turban 

Vintage 1940's Turban 

Vintage Vogue 1940's Featuring a glam Turban 

Vintage Vogue 1940's Featuring a glam Turban 

Carmen Miranda was the Queen of Turbans , Famous for topping them with Fruit 

Carmen Miranda was the Queen of Turbans , Famous for topping them with Fruit 

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The House Of Hats Fortune teller Silk Turban as featured in Elegant Magazine .

The House Of Hats Fortune teller Silk Turban as featured in Elegant Magazine .

Behind The Scenes @ Our SS16/17 Bridal Enchantment Photo Shoot

Behind The Scenes at Our Enchantment Shoot 

Here is a peek behind the scenes from our stunning S16/17 ' Enchantment photo shoot.

The House Of Hats new Bridal & Fashion collection of various headpieces & accessories for that finishing touch.

In this collection with a mix of Art Nouveau , Medieval, and Mystical Fantasy influence. 

Inspired by nature and all things mystic and beautiful, this collection radiates femininity beauty and the magic of falling in love and being Enchanted.

Our Stunning Model Stephanie wearing the Nymph Headpiece.

Our Model Stephanie modelling our ' Mucha ' Headpiece.

Inspired by Art Nouveau artist Mucha this stunning Gold brass headpiece fit for a goddess.

Our Model Stephanie wearing the ' Enchantment ' Crown 

Enchantment SS16-17

Enchantment Collection SS16-17

' Deep into the forest whimsical mystic nymphs flock amongst butterflies & fairies enchanted by their beauty.'

Our new collection coming soon is  " Enchantment" inspired by all things mystical and whimsical. The magic of enchantment being under a  spell, a spell of love

Introducing The House Of Hats ' Nymph ' headpiece and matching comb The first piece in our new  ' Enchantment ' collection.
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The Nymph headpiece featuring vintage velvet and pastel flowers and brass leaf accents creates a light ethereal headpiece.

The perfect headpiece
 

The House of Hats ' Nymph' Crown & Comb now available in our online store  

The House of Hats ' Nymph' Crown & Comb now available in our online store  

Star Light Star Bright

Star Light Star Bright 

2016 has seen a huge influence of designers using ' STARS' in their collections.

Especially Alexander McQueen's latest Aw16 collection, the Silver moon embroided chiffon dress was a huge hit as seen at the MET ball on Aussie actor Nicole Kidman featuring billowing chiffon with embroider stars & moons.

A huge movement also  in  bridal accessory trends are gold star headpieces as seen in The House of Hats latest bridal collection.

 'Cosmic Love' represents the heavens , a gold upright crescent moon & stars with a setting of round Swarovski rhinestones.

On either side of this features delicately wired crystals of silver, gold and clear representing falling stars.

I've always been hugely fascinated in the celestial heavens, always gazing up at the heavens just waiting to spot a shooting star.

The 'Cosmic Love' headpiece now available to order at The House of Hats online shop.

 

 

Star Headpiece by Shaun Leane For Alexander McQueen 

Alexander McQueen Silver Moon Dress AW16

 

 

 

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The House Of Hats ' Cosmic Love' Headpiece 2016 Collection 

 

The House of Hats on REIGN

Our Renaissance Crown on Tv show Reign 

We were over the moon to see The House of Hats Renaissance crown  featured on famous tv series REIGN.

The Renaissance Crown was featured on season 3 episode 7 The Hound & the Hare 

After hours of obsessing over the costumes and headpieces on Reign The House of Hats was inspired to create the Renaissance crown , later to be featured on the stunning Adelaide kane who plays Mary queen of Scotland  on the show.

This rustic crown was delicately hand crafted with  gold wire using selected fresh water pearls and beads to create this stunning classic crown.

The Renaissance crown is available to order on our online store 

The Knot blog post featuring The House Of Hats

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The House of Hats Spring Bridal Collection

The House of Hats Spring/Summer bridal collection as featured on Wedding blog THE KNOT



lIana Meilak is the designer behind the new The House Of Hats ‘Bohemian Dreaming’ spring collection we’re showing you today. If you’re not keen on wearing veil on your wedding day then this collection could be for you.

Inspired by the ethereal world of fantasy romance and love any of these pieces would be perfect for spring/summer weddings. And with a bohemian summer feel these pieces reflect modern  who want to be individuals on their wedding day.

Many of their pieces also feature Swarovski crystal, sills, lace, pearls and semi precious stones which will turn this accessory  into something you’ll want to keep long after the wedding day is done.


Read more at http://www.weddingclub.com.au/inspiration/bride-dress-party/accessories-bride-dress-party/house-of-hats-spring-bridal-collection#TrdzPIGE5X2VVXs7.99

DUKE @ One Fine Day Wedding Fair

If you were lucky enough to experience the ultimate Bridal fair last weekend you would have come across some of my amazing friends from Duke the Band performing.

Josephine , Ben, Nick & Shawn are the ultimate wedding band delivering a sensational vibe 

to weddings across Nsw.

How amazing is their beautiful bohemian setup.

http://www.dukemusic.com.au

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Josephine looking Stunning in her Renaissance Crown 

Josephine looking Stunning in her Renaissance Crown 

Silk Flower Making at The House Of Hats Studio

Behind the Scenes of the process of silk flower making at The House of Hats studio

Each flower is  delciatly hand tooled using heated brass flower tools to create the perfect lasting flower.

A little history behind silk flower making.

During the Middle Ages, nuns started to make artificial flowers from silk to decorate church statues with flowers during the winter, while relying on fresh flowers during the summer. It became a regulation by the church that silk or metal flowers were only to be used for decorating altars. Northern Italy in particular developed a whole industry for making flowers.

In the 19th Century, flowers were used more often in fashion: to decorate clothing, for hat trimmings and in artful hairstyles. The industry spread throughout the world. France, being the leading country for fashion, hosted the most important flower factories and flower artists (Monsieur Seguin, Monsieur Beaulard, T.J. Wenzel – the royal flower maker for queen Marie Antoinette).

Contact The House Of Hats for your own special custom made flowers or headpiece.

Stunning Bride Britta on her wedding day Wearing The House Of Hats custom made silk flower headpiece

Stunning Bride Britta on her wedding day Wearing The House Of Hats custom made silk flower headpiece

Bridesmaid Amy wearing The House Of Hats custom made headpiece 

Bridesmaid Amy wearing The House Of Hats custom made headpiece