Foale and Tuffin: The Sixties. A Decade in Fashion by Iain R. Webb
Foale and Tuffin - Made in England was an exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum from October 2009 - Febuary 2010 celebrating the vibrant and inspiring representation of two key British fashion designers of the 1960s and the part they played in creating the changing London scene. It revisited the Sixties vibe by recreating their boutique, showroom and design studio and charts the very personal story of two women who set up on their own with just a lot of courage and £200 in their pockets!
Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were two bolshy girls who just did it. After meeting at Walthamstow Art School in 1955 and then studying together at the Royal College of Art, they embarked on a trailblazing career in fashion lasting throughout the 1960s, until their partnership came to an end in 1972. Quirky, youthful creativity, acute sensitivity to the latest moods and trends, expert craftsmanship, and a little Swinging Sixties good fortune placed them at the hub of the cultural explosion in London that defined the era. Their boutique off Carnaby Street was at the epicentre of the new fashion scene. Suddenly, David Bailey was photographing their outfits for Vogue, Cathy MacGowan was wearing them on Ready, Steady, Go!, and they were jetting around America as part of the ground-breaking Youthquake tour. Through detailed interviews with Foale and Tuffin themselves, exclusive access to their personal archives, and contributions from an extraordinary array of figures from the fashion, art and cultural scenes of the 1960s, 70s and beyond, Iain R. Webb builds a fascinating picture of the time, throwing new light on how fashion and business underwent a period of unprecedented change. It was a period of cross-pollination in art, music and fashion, of entrepreneurial and cultural innovation. Contributors include Manolo Blahnik, Sir Terence Conran, Felicity Green, Barbara Hulanicki, Caterine Milinaire, Janet Street Porter, Mary Quant and Jean Shrimpton. The narrative of the "Foale and Tuffin" story perfectly traces the decade from its groovy, optimistic beginnings, when the two embryonic fashion designers blithely set up shop in 1961, to its crash-and-burn finale, as Sixties sanguinity melted away into a hangover of Seventies cynicism, masked as it was with the distraction of fancy-dress escapism.