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Classic Biba fashions at Brighton Museum
4:30pm Friday 21st September 2012 in News
By Rachel O'Brien
Get set to return to swinging London as Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki launches at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday.
Hulanicki, who studied Fashion Illustration at Brighton Art College, is renowned for transforming British fashion in the 1960s and 1970s with the success of Biba.
Approximately 200 exhibits of clothing, make-up, illustrations and photography will be split across three gallery rooms at the museum located in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.
The exhibition will also include interactive elements including the chance to dress up in Biba garments.
It is one of the largest fashion displays the museum has produced to date and has been in planning since 2009.
Curator of costume and textiles, Martin Pel, who worked very closely with Hulanicki confirmed everything is a genuine Biba.
The first two galleries tell the story of Hulanicki’s early life and the development of Biba: the iconic fashion label and brand Hulanicki founded with her late husband Stephen Fitz-Simon.
What started as a mail order clothing boutique in 1961, the first Biba shop opened in Abingdon Road, London, in 1964. The Biba shop was re-located in 1966 and in 1969, before finally, after entering into a partnership with Dennis Day Ltd and retailer Dorothy Perkins in 1973, it opened as a six –storey department store in Kensington High Street.
Worn by working women and celebrities, including Cher, Yoko Ono, Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot, Biba clothing was affordable but stylish in design.
Customers were given a shopping experience to remember. The shop interiors were inspired by art nouveau, art deco, Hollywod glamour, Victoriana and pop art.
Shoppers at the Kensington High Street store in 1973 could sip cocktails and listen to live music performed by acts such as The New York dolls, Cockney Rebel and The Bay City Rollers.
The final gallery will look at Hulanicki's work ‘beyond Biba’ after she and Fitz walked away from the brand in 1974. Visitors can expect to see pieces of Hulanicki’s work as an interior designer, fashion illustrator and photographer and also from her fashion collaborations with Coccinelle, Topshop and Asda’s clothing range ‘George.’
Entry is £3 for Brighton and Hove residents, £6 for adults and £4 for concessions.
To book tickets call 03000 290902.
See an interview with Barbara Hulanicki in today’s guide.