Monday, 24 December 2012

BBC Archives - Clothes That Count

The BBC is slowing making much of their surviving archive available online and luckily for fashion fans, amongst the shows available is the influential 1967 series, Clothes That Count. Clothes That Count was one of the catalysts for the home sewing & crafting boom of the '60's and '70's - bringing simple dressmaking to the masses, and demonstrating how one could easily re-create high fashion trends at home - designer Gerald McCann was the resident expert on hand to advise. Of course, dressmaking was common before this time - being a cheaper alternative to buying off-the-peg or from a professional seamstress - but with the rise of boutique culture and sewing machines becoming more affordable, it really became a craze amongst youth desperate to rustle up a new, fashion-forward outfit for their weekend dances.

There were 10 episodes in the original series, of which 4 are currently available to watch online, amongst other fashion programming. If you fancied having a go at any of the designs, it should be possible if you can track down any of the original patterns, which would have been widely available at the time. As well as letting viewers know the numbers of the patterns used in the series, there was also an accompanying guide book, and two supplements printed in the Radio Times, which are available to view here and here.

If you don't think you'd quite manage to rustle up a McCann-alike, the shop will have three beautiful mini dresses by the designer from around the time of the series available soon.

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