"". What I Wore to the BIBA Exhibition | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

Search This Blog

Wednesday 3 July 2024

What I Wore to the BIBA Exhibition

 And Wow on Wednesday

Gail Hanlon from over-50s style blog Is This Mutton in retro lime green 60s dress with crochet overlay

Dear friends.  Had a delightful outing with friends from the Kettlewell Colour Club to see the BIBA exhibition at the London Fashion & Textile Museum. 

BIBA was a fashion brand started by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964.  It became very influential and along with Mary Quant, was one of the fashion retailers shaping "the London Look." 

The opening of "Big Biba" in London in 1973 was a landmark moment, with 7 floors devoted to fashion.

BIBA was just a bit before my time. It ceased operating in 1975. At this time I was a young teenager just getting started in fashion.  I didn't have much money to spend but when I did I went to Van Allen, C&A or a trendy boutique in Plymouth, where I lived, called Eve. BIBA didn't come as far west as Plymouth.

A knee length retro 60s dress was what Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon wore to the Biba exhibition at the London Fashion and Textile Museum

Nonetheless, it was fascinating to see all the influences (David Bowie, Twiggy and others) and the fashions and brightly patterned fabrics in the exhibition. A lot of the fashion is still highly wearable today.  There was a brief foray into soups and chutneys, and a makeup line with scent was inevitable.

You may remember BIBA being relaunched at House of Fraser in the 2000s.  I had a fuchsia taffeta blouse with black pencil skirt which I wore at a work event where I was required to "say a few words."  I don't have either piece now. 

What did I wear at the exhibition?  A dress with definite 60s vibes, which was mine for just £5 from a charity shop. It's a lime satin dress with a crochet type overlay. I don't know if it's a genuinely vintage piece. The label says Opus London. 

It was a sunny day and we had a fabulous time, followed by lunch.  

The shop had some excellent books about fashion history plus some jewellery and other items. I picked up a pair of earrings that looked very Mary Quant-esque  (check out my post from when Penny and I visited the Quant exhibition at the V&A). 

Here are a few pictures of the ladies plus some of the BIBA exhibits. Below: Clare, kneeling next to me,  is wearing a genuine BIBA top. 

A group of colourful mid-life women enjoying a visit to the BIBA exhibition at the London Fashion and Textile Museum

I don't think many of us meet the BIBA shape definition,  below! 

Dresses on display in the BIBA exhibition at the Londo Fashion and Textile Museum

The BIBA exhibition runs until 8 September at the London Fashion and Textile Museum

What are your memories of BIBA? Do you have any BIBA clothes? What shops did you you frequent as a teenager?  Do tell in the comments.  Scroll down below the link-up for the comments box.

Sharing my posts with these fabulous sites. 

Subscribe for 1 email a week from Is This Mutton for an update on posts you may have missed. Find us on FacebookInstagram, X

Wow on Wednesday Time!

Bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTubers are invited to share their posts in this weekly link-up. Readers can find new blogs to enjoy and bloggers can find new readers.


Summer Alternatives to Shorts with the Ageless Style Link Up from Mirelle at Chez Mireille 

How I've Lost Weight in Midlife by Alison at Midlife and Beyond

How to Style the Encore Dress by Zuri for Work by Daenel of Living Outside the Stacks

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I never heard of Biba but I would wear that check skirt suit immediately. I love that dress on you. You wear this style so well!

  2. I love what you wore. It’s so feminine and lovely. The exhibition has such a great use of colour and texture in the prints. It’s absolutely beautiful.


Blog Design Created by pipdig