“Wherever the girls went there was silence. There they were in their full regalia looking as if they had just left a Fellini set.”
Halloween is just around the corner, so here’s a costume idea (and history lesson) if you’re stumped ladies!
Biba was an iconic and popular London fashion store of the 60’s and 70’s that morphed into a fashion label, a feeling, and a mood all it’s own. Biba was loved by the likes of Bianca Jagger, Twiggy, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Marianne Faithful to name a few. The look was a unique mix of Art Nouveau decor and Rock & Roll excess which equaled 100% awesome.
Biba was started by Barbra Hulanicki and her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon as a humble mail order business in the early 1960’s, but blossomed into a chic department store in Kensington by September of 1964. Soon, Biba would encompass four direct selling shops, all in London, all within easy walking distance of each other and among the shopgirls was a young Anna Wintour, later editor of Vogue. In 1969, they opened their fifth store, an epic seven story department store (which at the time was unheard of) that sold almost everything – from A-line shift dresses and wellingtons to makeup and even Biba blend coffee. What had started as a just an innovative department store had turned into a lifestyle brand for the ladies of London.
Sadly, Biba closed around 1975 but in it’s heyday, ”the Biba girl” took the sixties and seventies fashion world by storm. With a look that was decedent and dark but yet floral and feminine: berry colors and prints, golds and blacks, turbans, prairie dresses, and tights, it all added up to a hodgepodge gypsy look that’s unmistakably Biba. Biba broke the rules, or rather changed the rules for younger female Londoners. During a time when a young woman would still dress in the image of her mother, Biba encourage a whole new look, and it’s a style that continues to be copied today and has influenced such designers as Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, and Vivienne Westwood.
Take a peek below for more Biba girl inspiration (including a picture of the lovely Kate Moss done up in full Biba style).