Sunday, November 27, 2016

Barbara Hulanicki and Biba

The design impact of the Biba brand by designer Barbara Hulanicki during the late 1960's and early 1970's on the more progressive fashion scene cannot be underestimated. Her 1920's and 1930's Art Deco influences helped to create a whole world of style that is iconic for that era.

Hello Atelier just released a podcast interview with Barbara that includes a page with great links and images. This renewed my interest in her work and I'll share with you here what I found.

Starting at the source, Barbara Hulanicki has a wonderful portfolio website with too many images to share: vintage photos, fabric prints, fashion illustrations and artwork, among other interesting items. It's a great way to see her work and get a better idea of the Biba legend.

She also has a media page on Youtube that brings together the many interviews she has made or been featured in. Watching helps to get a good idea of her history and point of view. There is also an hour long documentary from 2009, "Beyond Biba: a Portrait of Barbara Hulanicki".


After seeing these, I noticed that she designed a series of home sewing patterns for McCall's in 1971 that do not feature her name or the Biba branding, but clearly show her style. These fashions were featured in a magazine article that shows full color photos of the outfits. I was able to locate four sewing patterns from the McCall's set: 2725, 2728, 2746 and 2727.

McCall's 2725

McCall's 2728

McCall's 2746

McCall's 2747

After taking a good look, these designs still seem as fun as they did over 45 years ago.

McCall's 2746: from Pretty Pattern Shop

all others from

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