1973 | KENSINGTON HIGH STREET, LONDON | IN & AROUND BIBA | PART 2

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London


Shops came and went so fast you never remembered their names,’ said Alexandra Pringle, a literary agent and book publisher then growing up in the area; by 1967, nearly 2000 ‘boutiques’ were listed in London’s telephone directory.
The single most important of them all, you would get no argument, was Biba, which had four locations in its existence, none of which was on the King’s Road but all of which were within a reasonable trot. At the dawn of 1966, Biba was still lodged in a two-room shop on Abingdon Road, nearly Earls Court – nowhere special but, increasingly, a vitally necessary weekly destination for young women who wanted to swing but had only a few pounds with which to propel themselves. ‘There should be a plaque on 87 Abingdon Road,’ declared one famous habitué of the shop. ‘It transformed the way the ordinary girl in the street dressed.’ 
Shawn Levy
Ready, Steady, Go!Swinging London and the Invention of Cool
(William Collins, 2002)


January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

In time, Biba came to constitute an empire. (Barbara) Hulanicki introduced an entire line of children’s clothes, as well as shoes, cosmetics and household products like sheets and towels. Even more than Mary Quant’s vision, Biba constituted a complete aesthetic a decade before Laura Ashley or Ralph Lauren tried the same trick. But it was a double-edged success. Unlike some other celebrated designers and boutique operators, Hulanicki felt herself scorned by the fashion press: “We were just a gimmick. The fact that we sold to real people and not just jet-setters made them ignore us. The popular press, however, seemed to love us.’ 
Shawn Levy
Ready, Steady, Go!Swinging London and the Invention of Cool
(William Collins, 2002)


January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London

January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London


1973 | IN & AROUND BIBA
PART 1

1973 | SUPREMELY DANGEROUS
PLATFORM SHOES IN KING'S ROAD




January, 1973 | Kensington High Street, London


 

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