Womens 1960s vintage topsJune 17, 2015
Apart from Mary Quant, Biba was one of the most famous names of the 60s for Womens 1960s vintage tops. Biba started out as a small London Fashion store run by Barbara Hulanicki with the help of her husband.There was the Biba Look and the Dudu Look and this consisted of a wide eyed femme fatale, reminiscent of “little foals, as Barbara described them at the time, with long legs and thin arms.
Hulanicki had a very definite image of who her customers were, she described them as “post war babies” who, due to war rations, had grown up skinny due to malnourishment during the war years.
The typical Biba girl
Womens 1960s vintage tops
Womens 1960s vintage tops-Teenagers and middle age
This is was also a time when there was a clear distinction between teenagers and older women over 30, who were considered too old for the Biba look. Today, 20 year olds and 40 year olds shop side by side in the likes of Top Shop and H&M, this wouldn’t have happened in the 60s.
In this decade, there was middle age and there was the young woman, a universe apart. The sizes were too small for anyone older than 30 to fit into, so it was exclusive to those young enough and thin enough to fit to wear them.Colours were black, the colours of berries, such as mulberries, blueberries and plums. It was a look that Hulanicki referred to as “Auntie Colours,”
The wide eyed Biba girl
Biba-gold, 2015 and beyond
The Biba label is still popular today and it’s easy to see why. There’s an emphasis on gold and there’s a much more diverse colour palate than before, but the unique patterns and shapes are all still there.
Biba was successful during the late 60s and 70s and although she described her palate as dark with berry flavours, her Womens 1960s vintage tops were still decedent and bright, there was something luxurious about her clothes, something indefinable and almost impossible to replicate today.
Classic Biba, including a shot of Twiggy
Detail, pattern and lush shades of purple and pink
Biba Womens 1960s vintage tops were rich with detail and pattern. Sleeves were beautifully shaped, they were either bell sleeved with long cuffs, or long and wide. There was cleavage and sometimes collars with matching cuffs, or ties and plunging necklines. The bell sleeves were generous and opulent and to wear one of her tops or dresses gave off a sense of bohemian luxury, of hippie decadence and a hint of the forbidden.
The wide eyes and the skinny frame so familiar of the Biba look
One of the most famous models of the 60s and 70s was Twiggy, and she became synonymous with the Biba label, she loved Biba and Biba loved Twiggy. She would often keep the clothes from a fashion shoot, and made no secret of her love of the Biba label. And she was perfect for it too, her tall skinny frame and androgynous look made the clothes look even better on.
The Biba brand is still going strong today
Long live Biba
There’s something about Biba Womens 1960s vintage tops that represents everything the 60s was about, a decedent decade purely for the young. Exotic purples and berry colours with exotic prints, bold patterns and plenty of décolletage. The shapes, the fall of the fabric – it was pure 60s, pure Biba.
A Biba label is a highly coveted one, but once you find one, regardless of how much you may have to pay for it, it’s an investment – in fashion, in you. Long live Biba.