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FUCK YOU: A Magazine of the Arts - Number 5, Vol. 4

[Complete Set of Six Biba Mail Order Catalogues]

[Fashion]: [BIBA]. Barbara Hulanicki (Designer)

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(London): Biba, [1968-1969]. First Edition. Six volumes, each matching narrow 4tos. Stapled wraps. Very good with some light overall handling creases, and some light rubbing. Illustrated with drawings and photographs, and featuring numerous fold-outs. (Item ID: 22805)

A complete set of mail order catalogs issued by the revolutionary fashion house, Biba. Founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964, Biba was, in the words of Wayne Hemingway, "the first designer label for ordinary women," and the mod "Biba Look" became synonymous with London's Swinging Sixties. Though celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, Angie Bowie, Princess Anne, and Twiggy were regulars, Biba was arguably the first label to combine cutting-edge fashion with affordability. And these six catalogues, issued between 1968 and 1969, were part of that same spirit of democratization, allowing buyers access to Biba outside of their London boutiques. The catalogs were designed by John McConnell (with the first marking the debut of Biba's iconic art nouveau logo), and each featured the work of a different photographer, including Sarah Moon, Hans Feurer, Harri Peccinotti, Donald Silverstein, and perhaps most importantly (for the fourth issue) Helmut Newton. While featured models such as Elizabeth Bjorn Neilson, Marie Knopka, Quinilla, Madeleine Smith, Vicki Wise, Stephanie Farrow, Donna Mitchell, and Ingemari Johanson exemplified Biba's "Dudu" look, these catalogues were ultimately a victim of their own success ó proving so popular they became too expensive to maintain. Despite this popularity, however, they remain decidedly rare. OCLC records only three holdings for any of these catalogues, all of them at V&A. A rare, complete, and ephemeral document of this quintessentially Sixties fashion designer. [THE BIBA YEARS: 1963-1975, pp. 90-105].


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