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Who said fashion shows had to be morose? In 1965 fashion legend Jean Varon took the popular television series The Avengers (starring a young Joanna Lumley) as his source of inspiration and had models conducting theatrical fights on the runway! Varon’s innovative designs often drew from contemporary artists from the period, notably the Op-Artist Bridget Riley, although it is his daring leather catsuits that the fashion world remembers him most fondly for. He even dressed Diana Rigg in one!

Click on the still above to watch our fantastic clip from this 1965 catwalk show. Having thrown a man to his apparent death, the model then continues to strut down the catwalk nonchalantly while a bemused frontrow of Sloan Street fat cats sit by and watch with crossed legs and cigars. The footage contains some brilliant pieces from Jean Varon’s 1965 collection, particularly a “bull’s-eye dress”.

The clips also shows Jean Varon’s dog range, then known as his “poodle pants”. 50 years before Paris Hilton the London fashion scene went crazy for dressing up their doggies!

For a collection of fashion videos from the British Pathé archives click here

To read a short biography on Jean Varon visit his page on The Fashion Spot

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