Dinah Adams: Unsung Fashion Heroine

Flamenco outfit worn by Dina Adams

The appearance of this extraordinary flamenco-style creation at auction a couple of months back prompted an inquiry by THE LOOK into the designer, the “late, great” Dinah Adams, in the words of Gene Krell, one-time Granny Takes A Trip, Worlds End and Nostalgia Of Mud mainman and now creative director of Conde Nast Asia Pacific.

On sale for between £400-£600 at Kerry Taylor Auctions’ website, the dress is “a rare Granny Takes a Trip satin flamenco-inspired outfit, late 1960s, labelled, with tiered multi-coloured sleeves, satin buttons, the skirt piped in shocking pink“.

Flamenco outfit worn by Dinal Adams

Among Adams’ other fans are John & Molly Dove, who first encountered her when they took designs along in 1971 to Trevor Myles at his shop Paradise Garage at 430 Kings Road, where Adams was working at the time.

That dress is such a knockout piece!” says John Dove. “Dinah has been sorely overlooked, so I’d feel gratified to help resurrect her contribution to the 70s somehow.”

John Dove says he, his wife and Adams became the “backroom boys” at Paradise Garage. “Towards the end of the Trevor Myles’ era [late 1971], we were designing and producing the stock, working on the interior and opening up in the mornings.

When Malcolm McLaren, Patrick Casey and Vivienne Westwood took over the premises in October 1971, Adams and the Doves – who utilised the space as a design studio – upped sticks to work out of Granny Takes A Trip, less than a hundred yards down the road at 488 Kings Road. The Doves expanded their label Wonder Workshop while Adams worked closely with Gene Krell, who ran Granny’s at that time with his partner Marty Breslau. Krell is unequivocal about Adams’ talent: “Dinah was a gifted personality. It’s fucked up, brother, totally fucked up that today all this no talent shit is making millions while she was a brilliant innovator who never got her due.

Dinah Adams courtesy John Dove

THE LOOK understands that Adams encountered problems in her personal life and died tragically young. But it is heartening to know that her legacy is at last recognised, not just by the memories of those who worked with her but also in the respect now accorded her designs.

John Dove & Molly White said,

December 30, 2007 @ 2:37 pm

Great little feature stirring great memories of 1970/73 – well done THE LOOK! – if you want to expand it anytime, perhaps we should get together with Trevor and reminisce – there are some other people I’m sure we could make contact with, to find more examples of her work. Molly and I will be including a Dinah Adams section on the Wonder Workshop site eventually.

the link to Gene Krell was fab – some of the other links didn’t click in.

Love,
John Dove & Molly White.

Rebecca said,

March 11, 2008 @ 6:49 am

I met Trevor in 1967 when he was working at Kleptomania on Kingly Street and loved him and his clothes – still have a dress he made for me. I was a California girl with long blonde hair and quite a novelty in London at that time. I came to London for summers in the late 60s and early 70s and shopped like mad at the boutiques including Biba and Mr Freedom. I helped Trevor and Dinah stud jackets and jeans for Paradise Garage in their workshop on one trip – but I’m sure I was terrible at it..;-} So sorry to hear that Dinah passed away – she was fab! What’s Trevor up to these days?

Thanks for posting all this info. I can’t believe I found it…It was quite a special time and I’m so lucky I got to know them.

All the best,
Rebecca

rockpopfashion said,

March 11, 2008 @ 7:05 am

Hi Rebecca

Trevor is still in the fashion business running a few (mainly graphics/tees) labels including the revived LaRocka – see the link among the fashion designers/online shops section.

I am seeing him for coffee on Thursday so will give him your best!

Barbro Andersson said,

February 9, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

Anyone who knows what happened to Ben Bayford, he and Annabella were good friends of mine when I worked as an aupair girl in the late sixties.

stephen crowther said,

April 14, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

to john and molly (and anyone else who may be interested) i was a friend of dinah’s (i met you a few times and proudly wore marilyn and the silver surfer!) please feel free to get in touch, stephen

rebecca said,

April 3, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

I still have two or three wonder workshop t-shirts-I think one has a western movies theme and the other a women and a tiger? I have them packed away- I used to share a flat with Christopher Snow and I met Dinah a few times on Kings Road.

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