Thea Porter’s anti-evil eye charm will bring you luck
Barney and I worked co-operatively on this invitation. When the only remaining original was recently lost in the mail, it was cleverly rescued by RandM from an indecipherable scan I had done earlier. (The silver stock reflected the scanner light and overwhelmed the image.)
Of interest to curators world wide: Amazingly the somewhat bent card was returned to sender today, through the international co-operation of the postal authorities, after having been stolen in an incident in Birmingham I expect, and returned as “undeliverable” (I also suspect the fact I left the street number off the address was the real reason).
Subsequently Thea was transported back to RandM who received it in fine fettle, taped to a hunk of wood to prevent further damage. They photographed it with skilled lighting to eliminate the crinkles. Revised picture shewn.
Greek Street fun
The invite was designed for my friend Thea Porter who had a store in Soho on Greek Street that was a fascinating mix of fashion and eastern bizarre,. We were paid in kind, a stuffed embroidery elephant and a rooster amongst the trove. The cut-out Hand of Fatima was an image taken from a good luck charm often attached to Egyptian taxis for a safe ride. It was photographed by a process house. (Ha, showing the old gray (grey) hair there, of course no one under 90 knows what a process house is these days. It was a place that shot photographs of flat art and the like on an enormous stand camera, like a very ancient plate camera, but vertical, if you get my meaning, if not, tough.) The silver stock and cut-out was Barney’s (expensive) idea, he also suggested breaking the word Caravanserai in the address, because my presentation rough shewing the ragged right would have been different. I wrote the copy, found the hand. Barney didn’t like the indent for the missing day in the date.
From Thea’s obit in The Independent, “IN THE fleeting period when British fashion became a fine art, Thea Porter had her moment. From the mid-Sixties to the early Seventies, before London designers knew the meaning of the word “commercialism”, Porter reigned supreme. Her exquisite Oriental dresses, kaftans and harem trousers, often overlaid with ethnic embroidery, applique and sequins – invariably made from iridescent silks sourced from remote souks – were not merely fashion fixes, but food for the soul.”