Before the screening of 'Beyond Biba' I met Barbara Hulanicki for a picture. There was no entourage - actually - that threw me a bit, just me and 'Lady Biba' in a makeshift dressing room. Needn't have worried, Barbara's no fashion ice maiden, relaxing with a glass of beer she's not in the least bit haughty. We have a laugh and she's intrigued by my magnetic 'Style Scanner' cards. Bet she'd be great fun to work with.
Barbara's last collection for Top Shop sold out in days, so I enquire if she has any plans to do a follow-on collection, she tells me there is indeed another planned. I ask when we can expect it in store and she coyly whispers... "February".
Watching the film, I discover that this couple, who I'd snapped earlier, are Delisia Howard, former Biba model and buyer, pictured with her husband, the illustrator Chris Price. They're also the authors of two beautiful books, 'In Biba: A Graphic Romance', and 'SinBiba'.
A Chris Price illustration.
To the left of Barbara, is Louis Price who directed 'Beyond Biba'. The GFT Cinema's Art Deco surroundings were quite redolent of the Biba era, lending a rather evocative air to proceedings.
Peppered with personal anecdotes from the people at the epicentre of the Biba fashion phenomenon, the film documents Barbara's colourful life. Including the awful split from Biba's investors, which saw her lose control of the name. Together with her late husband Fitz, Barbara relocated to Miami where she began her new career as an interior designer. She's credited with being a major contributor in the renaissance of Miami's South Beach area.
Barbara has also rediscovered her love of illustration.