Day 12:01 am

  • A Vision Of Loveliness, pre-Swinging London glamour and tales of West End popsies

    A Vision of Loveliness-Louise Levene-Afterhours Sleaze and DignityA curious book Louise Levene’s A Vision Of Loveliness.

    It begins like a humourous, if at times grim and snobbery bound, snapshot of a previous era in Britain’s history (the late 1950s/early 1960s to be precise) that is all kitchen sink-esque non-glamour and pre consumer choice/disposable incomes; condemned gas geysers, every meal tipped out of a can, twitching curtains and conformity, dead-end jobs and maybe one good suit or outfit to wear if you’re lucky.

    It is a tale that is played out in a time before the true explosion of teenage tastes, styles and money to throw at fashion and fripperies; a time when glamour and style even of the young was nearer to hidebound tailoring, evening gowns and set hairdos.

    The story is framed through the lens of a young gal (not yet twenty) who is desparate to improve herself, the circles she moves in and indeed her wardrobe.

    Be careful what you wish for though.

    A Vision of Loveliness-Louise Levene-Picadilly Circus-West End-London-Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity

    Beauty and the body are a commodity to be traded for a nice pair of shoes or a plushly carpeted flat in Mayfair; the West End popsies who are these particular visions of loveliness look to the “favours” of moneyed older generations in order to acquire the fashions they desire…

    A Vision of Loveliness-Louise Levene-Soho-West End-London-Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity

    …as time passes – and suprisingly little time or indeed few action/decisions, the steps from A to there can be but one or two – and the pages turn, the book takes a considerably darker, more cynical turn and comes to remind me of the scandal, sleaze and exchanges that may well have taken place around/around the edges of the Profumo Affair in the heart of London back then and when.

    Read the (slightly misleading/possibly more morally hopeful than the tale itself) background information/blurb from the book here.

    Peruse the book here.


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