Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Another inspiration, influence and a governess

Another influence on my work was a letter, apparently published in response to a previous edition's questionnaire or some such thing, that I came across in a very old magazine that I had found amongst a batch of dogeared old magazines and stuff that I'd bought at a boot-fair. That was way back in the 1980s and all I have now is an old photo copy that I've scanned for the blog. I have absolutely no recollection of the title of the magazine it originally came from, other than that it was from a letters page (too many beers over the years I guess).
The pic on the left comes from a 980s catalogue issued by Garoulds of London, And now-defunct uniform manufacturer that used to have a shop the Edgeware Road, London W1.
Their range of styles, that I still vividly recall from the 1960s and 70s, have played a great part in influencing the design of the more institutional uniforms that I envisage (and hopefully manage to depict) in my writings. The 1960s styles, particularly those of the early 1960s, tended to incorporate long sleeves with buttoned cuffs, more defined belted waists and somewhat flared skirts. The front-buttoned belt seemed a feature of many of their styles throughout the period. Despite the above being a 1980s version I can still somehow imagine it worn by the writer of the letter above. It's not perfect, but it provides a fair illustration nonetheless. I leave it to the reader to make the necessary mental adjustments to envisage an early 1960s version, perhaps in a hard wearing navy blue nylon fabric, the woman casually toying with a heavy leather strap, her charge tightly bent over a stall or across the arm of a sofa nearby.

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