Thursday, July 4, 2013

Poll Winner: Barbara Hulanicki

Approximately a month ago I came to a dilemma. I could not decide who my favourite 1960's fashion designer was. Favourites, yes. But not a singular favourite. And so, I created a poll asking you who your favourite designer of the time is and why, out of Mary Quant, Foale and Tuffin, and Barbara Hulanicki, in the hope that this may help me decide who to crown as my favourite. You can see the post here

Well, here are the results!

Mary Quant - 47

Marion and Tuffin - 2

Barbara Hulanicki - 56

The winner you chose is Barbara Hulanicki of BIBA!

Here are some of the reasons why you believe Barbara Hulanicki was the best fashion designer:

"I love the whole concept of beautiful and affordable clothes, the whole BIBA brand (clothing, accessories, make-up, food, etc etc). Also the art deco vibes as brilliant! Barbara is by far my favourite designer!"

"I think she is the most deserving being that she created a entire feel of luxury around her affordable clothing. Her first mail order dress, a pink gingham shift, was so popular it was on back order for months and it was only her FIRST!"

Catherine of Sewing the 60s

"I just adore the clothes and love the art deco interior of the Biba shops."

Sarah of Among the Dancers

Looking at images of the designs and interior of the BIBA stores it is clear why she was voted most popular.
One can see that BIBA was not just a brand, but a lifestyle. In the later years of the decade, and early years of the next, Barbara Hulanicki's choice in fabrics, colour palettes and  art deco inspired designs seemed to just breathe the word "luxury" and emit the scent or rich perfumes and fragrant oils from another land. Model shots of long lashed dainty foals promoting her fashions emitted an atmosphere of delicate dreaminess and her store interiors exhibited an extravagance that, if they dedicatedly saved up their pocket money, any fashionable girl of the 1960's could afford.

Unlike other boutiques of the 1960's and early 1970's, the windows of BIBA were darkened. This was to create mystery and entice people in to discover the beautiful and affordable treasures that lay hidden inside.

I personally think that this picture of Twiggy in Barabara Hulanicki's fashions is the quintessential example of the luxuriousness of BIBA. To me, this picture just shimmers class, style and glamour.
If I ever become anything like this picture I will be one happy girl.

After all this, I think I am at last learning towards Barabara Hulanicki as my favourite 1960's designer. Though it is still not certain!
 And I think Foale and Tuffin deserved a bit more love too!

Images: (1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.)


  1. I'm glad Barbara won! Well deserved! The pictures you used to illustrate the post are also beautiful and thank you for quoting me! xxx

  2. Thanks for the mention! I'm really happy Biba won, except I kinda wish they were all even and there was a triple tie!
    Since you posted this, I have bough Mary Quant's biography and am about to read A to Biba. Not to see who IS better but to have a better knowledge on all of them.
    There is also a Foale and Tuffin book - I might have to get that next!

    1. Yes I've seen the Foale and Tuffin book, it has been on my wish list for quite a few years now!

  3. Hi, Lucy! The history of fashion design is a subject about which I admit I know little, but I am here to learn and you make learning a pleasure. Much of my career revolved around advertising and I am well aware of the importance of image and packaging. Barbara's strategies built a dynamic brand and positioned BIBA as the leader in affordable luxury, a concept that will always be popular with women. Thank you for an interesting lesson, Lucy, and good night to you, dear friend!

  4. those are really beautiful pictures to show how well deserved she won. i always thought she was a a great designer. how amazing it would be to have something like BIBA nowadays, fabulous and reasonable prices and far away of all the chainstore stuff we have today.
    hope you are having a great weekend!
    love and kiss,mary

    1. I agree, it is very rare to come across a clothing store nowadays that gives off a feeling like I imagine the BIBA stores would have presented to their customers. I think it would have been magical to have experienced the store when it was open all those years ago.

  5. She was a GENIUS!!!
    I love her too. XXX

  6. Thanks for the mention, I adore Barbara and wish I could go back in time to visit one of the Biba stores x