Back in the day, there was an amazing magazine called Nova, the intelligent woman's guide to life, fashion, politics and the rest. I adored it when I was a teenager.
A former journalist on the magazine, Brigid Keenan, has just emailed me with this gem, apropos the piece I wrote last week about the Queen as fashion icon:
It was in the days before you could change images on the computer, so what could have been done in a few minutes now, was an incredibly expensive and complicated affair. Basically, we had to find out the Queen's measurements and exact height (we did this at Madame Tussaud's) and then find a model of those proportions. I asked Andre Courreges to design a suit for the Queen - he made a very snappy navy and white outfit, then I got Alexandre, who was the world's top hairdresser then, to design her a hairstyle, and someone else to design the makeup. The Queen-sized model was photographed in the suit, and the hair and makeup superimposed on the image and it all ended up with the Queen looking like herself but some sort of continental, soignee version! (Apparantly she herself thought we'd made her look like Queen Fara Diba!) There was an awful hiccup at one stage because Courreges had insisted on making the skirt above-the-knee length, and when the finished pictures, which seemed to show the Queen in a mini skirt, arrived from the US (where the retouching was done) the Customs siezed them and we only got them back by negotiating with the Palace. The skirt was lengthened to an appropriate length and that was it.