Wednesday, 30 December 2009

There's always time for a bit of Bowie...

Do I really need an excuse to post some of my favourite pictures of Mr Jones, and a video one of my favourite songs? Anyhoo, below is a performance of Oh! You Pretty Things from The Old Grey Whistle Test 1972. I think this has to be my favourite look of his, pre red hair and with eyebrows, divine. I love how Mick Ronson looks here too, although he always looked a little uncomfortable in heels.......
Also, did you know Peter Noone of Hermans Hermits released a version of this song in 1971, it's pretty good and it does have Bowie playing piano on it of course.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year.

Thank you for reading my blog and for all your lovely comments.
Lot's of Love,
Smashingbird xxx

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


When I was little there was one LP in my mums record collection I was always mesmerised by, it had a cream gatefold cover with (to my young eyes) scary brown pictures and writing. In my teens when I first became interested in the fashion and music of the 60's, my mum told me I should listen to this album called Streetnoise. My goodness, what had I been missing, the female singer had the most soulful voice and the music had fierce hammond the whole way through. Later when I was nearly old enough to be going to the London 60s/mod clubs they would always play Indian Rope Man, which still makes me want to dance every time I hear it. Anyway enough with my reminiscing I have been planning this post for ages and finally got my butt into gear to give a brief history of the sights and sounds of Julie Driscoll.

Her musical life began in the early 60s when she released a single called “Take me by the hand”. Around the same time she was secretary of The Yardbirds Fan Club whose offices were in Carnaby Street. Their manager was a man called Giorgio Gomelsky who in 1965 introduced her to a group called Steampacket featuring the Rod “The Mod” Stewart & Long John Baldry plus a little known organ player called Brian Auger, they sung classic rhythm & blues, there were no official recordings released of this first british supergroup, and no video. Few pictures exist from this era, Julie's style at the time was classic british mod gal, mens hipster trousers and granny chic which must have been influenced by her Carnaby Street days and the shops of John Stephens, with a heavy fringed short hair do her eye make up was dark and distinctive. Below are images from pretty much the only two photo sessions that exist from this time.

The Steampacket was short lived, Rod went off and first joined a group called Shotgun Express and then The Jeff Beck Group, the rest is rock n roll history. Julie stuck with Brian Auger and in 1967 they formed Julie Driscoll Brian Auger & The Trinity. Their biggest hit was a cover of the Bob Dylan song “This wheels on fire” which was latterly used for the theme song for Ab Fab. Julie's style really came into it's own around this time, it was quite dark and bohemian with lots of crepe and victoriana. Her hair was cropped super short and was a big influence on the style of skinhead girls a few years later. The fashion press adored her and she featured in fashion shoots for UK & French Vogue. Although one feature that really stood out and that was her eye make up and the long spidery faux and drawn on lashes, Rave magazine even did a step by step guide to getting Julies make up, the September 1968 issue features an interview with her where she says “ I buy all my clothes from three places in London, Granny Takes a Trip, The Chelsea Antique Market and Forum....I like groovy gear, all loud and obvious. To hell with little demure dresses.”

Streetnoise was preceded by the album Open (1967) and followed by Jools and Brian (1969). All fantastic albums and really capture the spirit of late 60s London, with some great R&B and soul covers, and original sounds too. Do check them out if you haven't already!

American audiences may have spotted them in the 1969 Monkees special 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee, which is an interesting watch, this synopsis from wiki pretty much sums it up “The story focused around Charles Darwin (Auger) and his assistant (Driscoll) as they take The Monkees through various stages of evolution until they are ready to brainwash the world via commercial exploitation. Hatched in giant test tubes, the four are stripped of all personal identity and names: Mickey Dolenz becomes Monkee #1, Peter Tork becomes Monkee #2, Michael Nesmith Monkee #3, and Davy Jones Monkee #4.”

Not much is known about the split between Jools and Brian, she released a solo album in 1969, called 1969! Brian Auger formed Oblivion Express in 1970. Julie married jazz musician Keith Tippett in the early 70s and pretty much dropped out of the public scene. She still regularly tours with her husband in various guises.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Musical Interlude

I'm currently working on a post on Julie Driscoll's style because she is just
fabulous, and whilst browsing youtube I came across a ton of 60s videos
which I've never seen of her before and I couldn't help but post one as a
little taster because it's taking me ages to get the full post together...
So bear with me and enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Fantasy Bidding...

The latest sale catalogue is up for perusal over at Kerry Taylor Auctions, featuring items from Audrey Hepburn and the divine Marie Helvin. The sale takes place on Tuesday 8th December, in London and online. As ever there is the most amazing selection of antique and couture fashion. Although there isn't that much of a selection of mid century pieces apart from the Audrey bits and lot's of Ossie gowns. There were far too many lovely things for me to choose from but I had to narrow it down so below is a selection of my favourite pieces. Please click on the title of each to go to the listing.

Any 60s fan will have seen this promo shot before and this dress is Audrey perfection, soo chic but a little cutesy too!

I'm intrigued by this dress, I've never seen this print and also haven't seen many Ossie satin dresses either, 'tis beautiful though!

Just look at those sleeves, soo fabulous.

The draping, the print, the colour, the beading. Divine.

I'm ashamed to say I don't know too much about Bill Gibb items, apart from that Twiggy was quite a fan in the 70's and that they fetch very high prices nowadays, but this outfit really caught my eye, I love this mix of textures and the relaxed elegance of it.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A Little Bit of Ossie

Here's another shoot from Rave October 1967. This one has a couple of Ossie Clark cullotte suits in the first and last pictures, which cost about £6 each at the time, I expect it would cost a bit more to find one nowadays... I love this look with the longer skirts and low heeled knee boots.sorry the pictures aren't as clear as I'd like but this wasn't a high fashion mag so the quality isn't vogue-like!

Get Smart

Isn't Rag Dolls just a super name for a clothing line? Now to the ad. Okay, so are you a ziggydolly or a psychedolly? Personally I prefer the psychedolly dress with the contrasting cuffs and collar, and the models hair is pretty fab too, but with ziggydolly you get a free belt & bell, hmmm it's a tough one! Don't forget dolly-dear you'll get a mystery gift with your dress.....

Vintage ad from Rave October 1967

The Hoods Hit Town!

I have been looking through an old stack of Rave magazines and dug out the October 1967 issue, I used to be soo obsessed with the 60s, a total Quant girl with five point cut and all the lashes, my fashion tastes have changed a bit in the last few years, but I still love the late 60's, fashion was so much fun, and this magazine catered for teen girls with pics of all the cutest pop stars each month and tons of fashion and beauty advice. Anyhoo, I have scanned a few bits in from this issue to show what gals were reading 42 years ago!
The first is this shoot on coats. I love the title, The Hoods Hit Town! I think the little floral coat dress with the scalloped hem is my favourite. Coat dresses never really seemed to take off, I just don't think they are very practical! Now I just need to start looking for winter coat myself, I just have one need, it's gotta have a bit of fur (faux or vintage). Who else is after a new winter coat, and what are you getting?!?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Country Girl Part II

from Vogue July 1971

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I've been a naughty girl.....

Ok, so I gave in and got myself a pair of Terry's in the sale. I'm going to justify this by calling them an investment piece, but honestly I just couldn't resist them. They are even better in real life, the colour is gorgeous cadbury's purple. Don't you love it when you get a shoe bag, the box came in the special carrier bag too! Yes, I'm easily pleased.

Do excuse the poor pics, my camera is terrible and I can't afford a new one because I keep doing stuff like buying 6" purple suede wedges just in time for winter.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Oh Mr De Havilland you are spoiling us!

As I have mentioned a few times before, I just adore Terry De Havilland shoes. They are soo fun and sexy, and I love that they are pretty much replicas of original 70's designs.
I do keep a close eye on his website as the sale section can be Just check out some of the amazing bargains to be had right now. Somebody please themselves buy a few pairs, as I don't think I have any budget for delicious shoes this month! Although the purple Margaux's are seriously tempting me......

All images from, click on the link below to go straight to the shoe


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