Thea Porter: 70s Bohemian Chic
Her shop in Soho opened and instantly drew a rock and film star crowd of clients from the Beatles to Elizabeth Taylor
It’s that time of year again when we begin our festival planning. Tickets bought and copious discussions about what to wear.
For most of us the most wearable and effective looks begin and end with Boho. Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have timelessly showed off Boho style for years and there is no sign that this ending anytime soon.
If Boho is your thing then a visit to the London Textile Museum is a must as the first-ever exhibition on the fashion and interior design of Thea Porter (1927–2000) runs until 3 May.
Thea pioneered bohemian chic in the 1960s and 1970s. Her shop in Greek street, Soho opened in 1966 and instantly drew a rock and film star crowd of clients from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand. The retrospective covers Porter’s life and career from her early years in Jerusalem and Damascus, Beirut in the 1950s, Soho in the 1960s, and New York, Los Angeles and Paris in the 1970s. Featuring outfits worn by some of the world’s best dressed women, the exhibition explores the influence of Middle Eastern and North African textiles and culture on 20th century fashion and interior design.
Highlights include Porter’s seven signature looks:
the Abaya & Kaftan; the Gipsy dress; the Faye dress; the Brocade-panel dress; the Wrap-over dress; the Chazara jacket; and the Sirwal skirt, as well as important fashion photography from the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Wear Daily.
Top Image - Floral cotton voile Gipsy dress. 1969 (Credit: Willie Christie)
Bottom Image - Sheila Hudson fabric with polo players