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Victor Frank Stiebel (1907- 1976) was a South African-born British couturier.

Born in Durban he arrived in Britain in 1924 to study architecture at Jesus College, Cambridge. Having designed for theatre wardrobe at university, he worked as a dress designer for the House of Reville for three years beginning in 1929 until he opened his own fashion house in Brunton Street in 1932. Terry Reville was a court designer and his fashion house was one of the foremost in London before the First World War. Here Stiebel learned the art of fashion design, this being the method by which the trade was learned prior to fashion design courses being established at the art schools.

He enlisted for the Second World War in 1940, closing his house, but he was allowed to continue designing while involved with the services, his designs being manufactured as part of the war effort using the government stock fabrics which were all that was available at the time. Called "Utility Fashion", each designer produced a coat, dress, suit and shirt or blouse. He returned to designing in 1946, working for Jacqmar, and becoming Chairman of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. He reopened his own house in 1958, having great initial success, but being forced to close after only 5 years in 1963 on health grounds, having become confined to a wheel chair as a result of multiple sclerosis. Hardy Amies was kind enough to take all 120 of Stiebel's employees.

Stiebel was commissioned to design new uniforms for the WRENS (1951) and the WRAF (1954) whilst also creating the going-away outfit for Princess Margaret on her marriage to Lord Snowdon in 1960.


Model Vivien Leigh






Photo by Norman Parkinson












Photo by Peter Clark












Model Bettie Spurling


Photo by Alan Boyd


















Model Fiona








Photo by Alan Boyd








Photo by Alan Boyd


Photo by Peter Clark




Photo by Eugene Vernier


Photo by Peter Clark


Photo by Peter Clark




Photo by Alan Boyd


Photo by Peter Clark


Photo by Alan Boyd


Photo by Alan Boyd




Photo by Alan Boyd




Photo by Alan Boyd


Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon


Photo by Alan Boyd


Photo by Alan Boyd


Photo by Barnet Saidman


Photo by Barnet Saidman



In 1968, Stiebel published an account of his youth in South Africa but it did not include his career in fashion. Instead, he writes about his experiences as a child described as 'artistic' by his mother, something that was not appreciated by the rest of his family. He was regarded as odd for preferring the dramatic society to playing rugby at school. He describes the landscape, the flowers and the sea but is not oblivious to the realities of life in a racially divided land.

He was for many years the companion of composer Richard Addinsell.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Stiebel

Richard Stewart Addinsell (13 January 1904 – 14 November 1977) was a British composer, best known for film music, primarily his Warsaw Concerto, composed for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight (also known under the later title Suicide Squadron).

Richard Addinsell was born in Woburn Square, London, to William Arthur Addinsell, who was a chartered accountant, and his wife, Annie Beatrice Richards. The younger of two brothers, Addinsell was educated at home before attending Hertford College, Oxford, to study Law but left after just 18 months. He then became interested in music.

In 1925, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music but lasted only two terms before leaving, again without obtaining any formal qualification. By this time Addinsell was already collaborating with Noel Gay, among others, in an André Charlot Revue. More work for Charlot in 1927 was followed in 1928 by a collaboration with Clemence Dane on Adam's Opera at The Old Vic. In 1929, he completed his informal education by touring Europe to visit major theatrical and musical centres such as Berlin and Vienna.

In 1932, with Clemence Dane, he wrote the incidental music for the Broadway adaptation of Alice in Wonderland by Eva Le Gallienne, starring Josephine Hutchinson (produced 1933). In 1947 it was revived, starring Bambi Linn.

The Warsaw Concerto was written for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight, and continues to be a popular concert and recording piece. The film-makers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff, but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a piece. Roy Douglas orchestrated the concerto. It has been recorded over one hundred times and has sold in excess of three million copies.

Addinsell also wrote the short orchestral piece Southern Rhapsody, which was played every morning at the start of TV broadcasts by the former Southern Television company in the south of England from 1958 to 1981.

As was common with film music until the 1950s, many of Addinsell's scores were destroyed by the studios as it was assumed there would be no further interest in them. However, recordings of his film music have been issued since his death, often reconstructed by musicologist and composer Philip Lane from the soundtracks of the films themselves and conducted by Kenneth Alwyn or Rumon Gamba.

He collaborated from 1942 with Joyce Grenfell for her West End revues (including Tuppence Coloured and Penny Plain) and her one-woman shows. Addinsell's music is in the "English light music" style. He regularly composed at the piano, providing other creative musicians such as Roy Douglas, Leonard Isaacs or Douglas Gamley with broad indications for their full orchestrations.

Addinsell retired from public life in the 1960s, gradually becoming estranged from his close friends. He was, for many years, the companion of the fashion designer Victor Stiebel, who died in 1976.

Addinsell died in Brighton, Sussex in 1977. His funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium..

In 1999 it was revealed that the royalties for Warsaw Concerto had belonged to the parents of author Jilly Cooper, whose brother advanced the theory that Addinsell - for many years their neighbour - gave it to them as thanks for being discreet about his relationship with Stiebel.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Addinsell

Further Readings:

100 Years of Fashion by Cally Blackman
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Laurence King Publishers (May 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1856697983
ISBN-13: 978-1856697989
Amazon: 100 Years of Fashion

This book documents in pictures the most exciting and diverse period in fashion: from 1900 to today, covering high society, uniforms, sportswear, streetwear, and couture. It will appeal to everyone with an interest in fashion as well as students Over 400 photographs and illustrations, many published for the first time, tell the stylish story of a fashion revolution.

British Queer Cinema (British Popular Cinema) by Robin Griffiths
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 14, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0415307791
ISBN-13: 978-0415307796
Amazon: British Queer Cinema

British Queer Cinema draws together a diverse range of innovative new essays that explore, for the first time, the provocative history of lesbian, gay and queer representation in British cinema.
From the early years of ‘Pre-Gay’ film, through to the social upheaval of post-war ‘permissiveness’, Gay Liberation and the ‘post-AIDS’ queer generation, contributors examine the shifting and complex nature of queer identity, desire and spectatorship across a number of classical and contemporary British popular film genres and traditions.

Through case studies of key works such as The Killing of Sister George, Prick Up Your Ears and Beautiful Thing, a reappraisal of the films of Anthony Asquith, Terence Davies and Derek Jarman, to the ‘queerness’ of the heritage film, the homoerotic ‘New Wave’, or the star performances of Dirk Bogarde, Beryl Reid and Stephen Fry, this timely collection maps the relationship between contemporary queer sexuality and its socio-historical, national and critical contexts.

More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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