Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 70s Revisited

Looking through next seasons Chanel collections I noticed this outfit, which I have illustrated. Lagerfeld must have looked up 70s London fashions and came up with this. Is it just the ultimate 70s homage or what??
A 70s inspired design from Chanel's new 2013 collection, illustrated by Lee Bender

Friday, October 12, 2012

Absolutely Fabulous!

I was recently interviewed by a journalist from Notting Hill's Absolutely magazine and there's a double page article in the new issue out now.  If you don't live in the area, you can read it online here (page 30-31)

Bus Stop featuring in this month's Absolutely Magazine

Bus Stop featuring in this month's Absolutely Magazine

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Big Life Foundation

My son, Nick Brandt, is a wildlife photographer & filmmaker. He has founded the Big Life Foundation, a charity in Africa that runs anti-poaching patrols to conserve elephants and other wildlife. 

Big Life have just produced a short film highlighting their work, which has been featured in various publications, including the last month's New York Times, you can watch it here.

Elephant Drinking, Amboseli 2007. Killed by Poachers, 2009. Photo by Nick Brandt

Friday, September 14, 2012

How I work when illustrating

This is how I tend to work when producing illustrations.  There are three main stages.

No. 1  Often I will  find something that gives me an idea for the finished drawing. In this case it was this funny hat seen in the Net-a-Porter website.

Net-a-Porter hat

No.2  I draw a rough idea, and at this stage have no pre-conception of how to go forward with the colour or design until I start.

Initial rough design for one of Lee Bender's fashion illustrations

No.3  In this case I decided to use only pens (I usually also work in watercolour) as I thought that an "in your face look" was more appropriate for this illustration.  As you see it came out in red, and I thought that Turquoise sunglasses would make it look better than matching red! Striping the hat instead of copying the photo I thought would make it stand out more!

Finished fashion illustration by Lee Bender

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sarah Jane and Doctor Who

Bus Stop clothes would often be worn on TV and in Films - I've already blogged about Joanna Lumley and the Bus Stop clothes she wore as Purdey in The New Avengers.  One of the most regular wearers of our pieces was the character of Sarah Jane in Dr Who, played by Elisabeth Sladen. 

Here are a some of stills of Elisabeth wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop stripes

Doctor Who's Sarah Jane wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop clothing

Doctor Who's Sarah Jane (played by Elisabeth Sladen) wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop clothing

Doctor Who's Sarah Jane (played by Elisabeth Sladen) wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop clothing

These are similar to this Lee Bender at Bus Stop striped jacket. From 19 Magazine (70's)

Lee Bender at Bus Stop. From 19 Magazine (70's)

But the Sarah Jane outfit that is considered iconic is the Andy Pandy jumpsuit - also a Bus Stop outfit. It featured in Doctor Who story The Hand of Fear.

 Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane (wearing her iconic Lee Bender at Bus Stop Andy Pandy Jumpsuit) and Tom Baker as Doctor Who

That iconic Lee Bender at Bus Stop Andy Pandy Jumpsuit

Youtube being the wonder that it is you can even watch the relevant Andy Pandy jumpsuit episodes here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fashion Illustration

I love the fact that despite this digital age fashion illustrations are making a resurgence. Vogue and the Sunday Times Style Magazine amongst others are increasingly using them alongside photos of the latest pieces. Here are some of my recent illustrations of the latest trends. 


Dolce & Gabbana

Meadham Kirchhoff



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bus Stop Mail Order

I was asked to feature the best of the Bus Stop Collections for Grattan mail order in the late 70s, and did this for 6 years.

As I chose the photographer and art director myself from the pages of the best magazines, my pages for Grattan were far superior to theirs, and set a standard for their own pages in years to come.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Famous Faces

Bus Stop clothing was often modelled by famous faces, here are a few selected from my archives:

Although this looks like a boring sweatshirt now, it was one of the first of its kind before they became commonplace. Debbie Harry is wearing it with my Lee Bender at Bus Stop satin jeans. I manufactured then in Florence.

Debbie Harry wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop

A young Greta Scacchi in Lee Bender at Bus Stop. Cosmopolitan 1978.

Greta Scacchi in Lee Bender at Bus Stop c1978
A very young & dark-haired Jerry Hall wearing Lee Bender for Bus Stop. June 1976 Womans Realm
Jerry Hall in Lee Bender at Bus Stop c 1976
These pics of Barbara Bach (who has been married to Ringo Starr since 1981) wearing Lee Bender at Bus Stop both appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine circa 1976. These pics also appear in my book Bus Stop and the Influence of the 70s in Fashion Today

Barbara Bach in Lee Bender at Bus Stop c 1976

Barbara Bach in Lee Bender at Bus Stop c 1976

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Check Mate!

I found a picture of a 1970's BUS STOP Jacket on Pinterest the other day.

This is one of my check jackets on the model Amanda Lear (who was a great socialite) - it was featured in the TV Times back in '73. At the time the jacket cost £9.95, and trousers £4.95, waistcoat £4.25.

It also featured in Vogue

and the one below I think is from Vanity Fair

Amanda Lear is just the most amazing character - read her Wikipedia entry to find out more!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I am slowly getting to LOVE Pinterest.  The content is so lively and different! One just finds the best possible pic and adds them! It's very immediate.

You can follow me and any pins that take my fancy here

Here are some of the pics I have pinned this week!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Last Thursday I went to the opening of the new showrooms for Kerry Taylor Auctions. She specialises in Antique costumes through the 20th century.

Below is the white dress from Audrey Hepburn designed by Givenchy.

And this Mondrian look alike I believe is from Yves St Laurent

This is a suit that belonged to the Duke of Windsor

On being introduced to her, she told me that she often gets Bus Stop clothes to sell!
If you want to browse the wonderful full catalogue for the sale - it's here

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Pics

I've added two new prints to my website - the inspiration was simply to leave serious fashion behind and do really BOLD designs in extra extra large sizes for possible Loft dwellings.

They have to look minimalist and simple.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tonight or Never!

I saw a very stylish film last Sunday made in 1931 and starring Gloria Swanson - TONIGHT OR NEVER.

Although it was the usual feel good movie - boy meets girl, and a happy ever after ending - the clothes were what stood out for me!

Gloria Swanson's wardrobe was designed by Chanel, and they were absolutely sumptuous!

This is from the cinema viewing on Sunday, part of a programme on Chanel & Film at the V&A and Cine Lumiere

If you want to see these wonderful Chanel costumes for yourself, try and track down a copy of the film on DVD.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What A Purdey Outfit!

This recent blog with some great photos by Miss PeelPants reminded me that Joanna Lumley had once worn my halter neck two piece in an episode of The New Avengers.

Joanna must have also remembered it fondly because it features in her recent autobiography.

I intended it to be worn to show the midriff, as in these photos here from my book, but maybe with all the running around Joanna did in episodes of The New Avengers the demure way she wore it was more appropriate!

The wonders of the internet mean that you can now watch Joanna wearing the outfit in the relevant episode here on YouTube - she even rides a motorbike while wearing it at one point!

I will be writing other blogs about some Bus Stop outfits that had an iconic place in 1970s TV in the near future.