Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It was 1967, I was doing the
Cilla show for the BBC, and Cliff Richard was guesting. Barbara [Hulanicki] of Biba was my lifeline, mine and [TV presenter] Cathy McGowan's. Cathy was doing Ready Steady Go! every week, and I wanted to be with her at the height of fashion. We'd go to Barbara's flat at 15 Cromwell Road, and they'd be sewing as we sat there. We'd be doing TV's Ready Steady Go! the next day - so this was Thursday night - and we'd sit there, having great faith that everything would be wonderful. And it always was! Barbara did my dress for the very first Royal Command Performance - it was maroon velvet . We were just babies at the time and she thought I should be very Juliet-esque. It got pinched actually. I lent it out to some exhibition, and never got it back. I wore a lot of Ossie Clark. I was mates with Ossie because he was from Liverpool. I've still got a lot of clothes in my attic that date from the Sixties. There's a lot of Biba, and a lot of Jean Varon there too, and Missoni ... When you got a bit of money, well, you went into Missoni, didn't you? I wore heaps of Tommy Nutter suits. Bobby and I financed Tommy when he opened his first business in Savile Row. He was the first tailor to open there for a couple of hundred years. We didn't know how the other tailors would react to it, but Tommy was the most lovable person, and they took him to their hearts. I remember him making a suit for Yoko [Ono], and he didn't really want to measure her inside leg. He had a problem with that. Tommy was a great designer. I still have his suits. I could have worn them a year ago, but I'm now at the weight I want to be, which is 9st 4lb. In those days I was seven and a half to eight stone. I brought one suit down from the loft. The jacket I can do. The waist-band on the trousers - no! But I'm not giving my clothes away. Why do you think they're in the loft?

(Cilla Black interviewed by Vicki Wickham - excerpted - July 9 2006, The Observer)

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