Friday, April 16, 2021

Kiki Byrne


A rival of Mary Quant and a member of the Chelsea set, the designer Kiki Byrne was a leading influence in the new wave of fashion that swept across Britain in the 1960s. Her refreshing designs chimed with the spirit of the time, appealing to young women keen to develop a look of their own instead of conforming to the styles favoured by their mothers and aunts.

With her simple, chic, black dresses and stylish plain suits, Byrne’s Kings Road boutique attracted clientele including the actress Susannah York, Grace Coddington — now creative director of American Vogue, and Christine Keeler. Byrne also worked with Tony Armstrong-Jones (the Earl of Snowdon) to create a ski-wear collection that appeared in the pages of Vogue in 1958.

Speaking just for myself, I quite like her concepts, though reports say she wasn't particularly friendly, not suffering fools gladly and of course she nurtured exclusivity - quite a money spinner in any age.

I'd like to have seen her skiwear.- my own took some finding and was always black with green trim, minus decals and anything else breaking up the trim.  Gore-tex in those days was not yet universal.  Boots black, skis plain.

Those who saw the rare fashion post at the start of my blogging:

... will know I like plain with the variation in the accessories, same for boats. However, let's get off that topic and just look at the lady who passed away in 2013.  If you look about for material on her, as distinct from Mary Quant, you'll not find a lot.

Why not?  She was quite the thing - then to die in obscurity.

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