There is no place like home and although it had been fantastic staying in the country, it was great to be home again and have all our own things around. I had it clear what I wanted to do so I called my close friend Cooky Debidour as I knew she would be open to undertake something with me and explained the idea about the Tunic I had in mind. In my travels I had seen it in many different forms and from more than 2000 years ago till now women and men have been wearing Tunics so it must be OK. I always loved it because it looked so comfortable and colorful and now I wanted to do my own interpretation simply because I wanted to wear it myself. So this classic, interpreted by me, became a wide Tunic with open neck and a small Chinese collar always lined in a different color as well as the cuffs on the inside of the sleeves. The Tunic was not that long, more like an over sized shirt till the knees, apart from the sleeves which were not too wide and long because that is not comfortable. Then there was the pants which actually came in 3 or 4 sizes + a one size fits all but the fitting ones were great, very good cut I was proud of and very smart looking with just a T shirt. The Tunic was “one size fits all” ( it really did) and in at least 8 different colors and different materials which all would be possible to mix together. It came with a belt as well that was 3 yards long so you could wrap it around several times or use it for something different like a wash line to hang your laundry.

 We made this poster for all the shops that was selling our “Tunique Unique” and I am sorry I don’t have it in color, lost almost all the pictures and my press book full of newspaper and Magazine cuttings from all over the world, but I have a few to show you here.

 It was very hard work, first design and make up name-tags, look for the materials in different shops in Rue Goutte d’Or where it always smelled of heads of lamb they were grilling outside, negotiating for the best price because the same thing in an other store was prized differently. We found this lovely flowered materials from China in many wonderful colors and for the moment there was a lot of it. OK, now the pattern, which I made, also of the pants in my size but they had to be professionally sized in 4 different sizes and once that done we had to find an atelier ( workshop) where they would actually make them. Here came a problem because in every place we looked into told us we had to have them make a certain amount of pieces that was much too much for us and quiet impossible because we were starting small! We ended up, via via, with a small Atelier of Turks ( people from Turkey) that had no working permits but they could sew very well although they were all men and they would do anything we asked for a reasonable price. This place was in Belleville , a part of Paris not so Belle, and there in a small apartment they had a workshop set up with some sewing machines and tables to cut the materials and where they would sleep on at night. They would cook and fry on a tiny stove right there on the cutting table, with lots of grease and honestly we had to hang out the clothes and air them for at least a day before we could send them away because they also all smoked like trains and hardly ever opened a window. One time when Cooky and I went on inspection there I really literally fainted. We had to overlook all the time because they could make the most incredible mistakes like cutting the opening of the collar in the back instead of the front, which is not the same thing and since they were always cutting a whole bunch at the same time… We were wrestling with all that when the orders started to come in…

Anna Piaggi did this very nice thing in Italian Vogue and Tracy Weed (model that became photographer) made the pictures and between Ana and Karl Lagerfeld they organised these wonderful personalities as models and they each had a different take on it…

This is only a photocopy of a photocopy but I enlarged some here so you can see a little bit better how each one wears it her or his way… here are the links to all of them,       Tracy Weed, Heidi Moravetz, Emanuela Papatakis, Loulou de La Falaise, Joan J.Buck, Paloma Picasso, Anja Lopez, Jacques de Bascher, and below the pictures a bit bigger:

Emanuela Papatakis

Heidi Moravetz

Jacques de Bascher

Joan J.Buck

Loulou de La Falaise

Paloma Picasso


 Cooky and I packed our bags full and went selling to the model agencies, it was crazy we sold a lot even that it was not that cheap but everybody wanted it and so easy to sell because it would always fit, except the pants and if we did not have the size in stock we would make it up in a few days but it was mostly OK because all the colours looked nice together so if there was no blue in a particular size well, then green would do or yellow or red…

 with Cookygoing out to sell,

some pictures were taken for news papers… here in the elevator of our place,

and have to tell a lot more  but that is for the next post…

Its 1977 and I am 36 and Salvador became 29. 

This picture by Laurence Sackman in 1976 just for us with our own clothes…

I used to make or remake  blue Jeans and other pants for Salvador .…

oh, and don’t forget to check out Alegria’s blog to see what Salvador is doing…


One thought on “DESIGNING IN PARIS – 2

  1. Wow, that was so cool that Anna Piaggi. I worked alot with her and Alfa Castaldi, back in the Sixties for many Italian magazines. did that article. I had left Paris by this time. Salvador looks so cute. I love the clothes and wish I could wear them now.

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