Thursday, 7 November 2013

Judy Geeson

During the late 1980's I would regularly scour the bargain bins at the various ephemera sales held at the hotels in the Bloomsbury area of London. Wonderful pieces could be found - and this was one of them. A cracking black and white 10" x 8" photograph of the actress Judy Geeson wearing a remarkable example of Swinging 60's chic. The typed-up copy on the back of the print reads:

"JUDY GEESON in the target outfit which Bermans' designer Brian Cox calls a 'MiniUnik'. It is in red, white and blue linen, the boots trimmed to match."

On Target!: though the caption failed to mention the arrow...'s the strip of information pasted on to the back

Berman's was a legendary London-based costume house which had been founded by the Russian-born East Ender Morris Berman in 1900.  His son Monty (1912-2002) was responsible for building up the firm, which had begun making costumes for the London stage, into one of the major costumier's for the film industry. 
Berman's list of clients included James Bond's Sean Connery and Roger Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Harris, John Mills - and Judy Geeson...
Monty Berman was a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force in World War II, who helped organise the famous 654 Squadron, for which he received the MBE. In the early 1970's he successfully merged Berman's, with Nathan's which had been making costumes for the London stage for 200 years. Two decades later the company was bought by Angels, who now own the world's largest collection of costumes and accessories for the entertainment industry - hanging from eight miles of clothing racks in their North London warehouse.
A special tip of the hat to Anthony B in Brussels, Belgium who sent me an email only last week about a little-known late 1960s film with Judy Geeson called 'Two Gentlemen Sharing'.
Judy G was of course best remembered at the time for her role as the wonderfully named Pamela Dare in 'To Sir, With Love' (1967) with Sidney Poitier.playing the British Guyanese-born school teacher Mark Thackeray.

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