The First Lady of Fashion Journalism

Felicity Green is a diminutive person in height but certainly not in personality. The reason I know this is because MSL attended Susie Stone’s In Conversation Event with the good lady herself, last Thursday evening. She was the first woman to work her way up as an editor of the Daily Mirror in a male dominated sphere. During her time there she was responsible for launching the fashion houses of Mary Quant and Biba.

It was an intimate audience, held in the environs of Susie Stone’s studio, who were lucky enough to be parley to Green’s natural wit and words of wisdom. She stood up to reveal her trademark top to toe black and started to tell her story of how she became such a strong influence on a national newspaper in the sixties. She began by telling us that she did not see herself as a fashion journalist; but foremost a journalist who enjoyed writing about style. It was refreshing to listen to a woman with so much prestige being so very self-deprecating about her impact on the women’s movement. When asked specifically about this she responds: “It was nothing.” She feels there is still a long way to go before women are equal to men in the workplace and that we have not even dented the ‘glass ceiling’.

It was quite an eye-opening experience to be given an insight into her job as a fashion journalist in the swinging sixties. Although it was the philosophies on life that left more than a lasting impression on team MSL. Green believes that it is not right to ‘demolish people as you will get the best out of that person’ and she says that the best way to be is ‘honest’ and ‘kind’. In the dog-eat-dog modern world it is good to hear that traditional values are being campaigned to the young. I asked Green what was the highlight of her career. She responded by telling a story of how she gave Mary Wilson, wife of the board of trade, Harold, a perm whilst dining at her Editor’s house when she worked at Woman and Home. Far from Green feeling confident about this task she relates with bathos of how she noticed on the perm packaging it had a helpline number located in Kingston. The story ended happily however with her hairdressing skills deemed a success.

I left the event feeling in awe of someone who has such a strong essence of style from the outside and in.

Caroline Barnes

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