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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1970 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Biba (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lamé and mixed fibres

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Barbara Hulanicki and her husband John Fitz Simon set up Biba in 1963 as a mail order boutique. The success of their affordable, youthful designs enabled them to open a small shop in Abingdon Road the following year. As the business expanded they relocated to ever grander premises in the Kensington area. The atmosphere was unique. Loud music, stylish staff, chaotic communal changing rooms and dimly-lit period interiors: these defined a new kind of shopping experience.

Many of London’s fashionable new boutiques catered only for well-off customers, but at Biba the clothes were much cheaper, so young working women could shop alongside models, singers and TV celebrities. Twiggy, Cilla Black and Ready Steady Go! presenter Cathy McGowan were all loyal customers. In April 1966, the American news magazine Time published a special edition celebrating ‘London: The Swinging City’. It named Biba as ‘the most In shop for gear ... a must scene for the switched-on dolly-bird at least twice a week’.

Hulanicki’s later designs were inspired by the past. She created romantic, decadent garments for women swept up in the growing craze for vintage dresses. This lamé jacket with zip detail is constructed from modern materials, but the narrow, puffed sleeves and high collar recall the fashions of the late nineteenth century. Biba was important in leading a trend for exaggerated 'retro' styles, which came to dominate youth fashion by the 1970s. It has also been suggested that the excesses of glam rock can be traced back to Biba 'camp'.

Physical description

Jacket made of gold lamé and mixed fibres.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1970 (made)


Biba (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Lamé and mixed fibres

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1990/403.

Descriptive line

Jacket made of gold lamé and mixed fibres, designed by Biba, Great Britain, ca. 1970


Lamé; Fibre


Women's clothes; Fashion; Shopping; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Ready to wear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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