Friday, July 10, 2009

Emma Peel Fashion Icon

Back in 1965 when we still watched TV from a little black box with rabbit ears there was a British import on the tube called The Avengers.

It was the Swinging 60s, the British Invasion, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Mods and Rockers, Carnaby Street and this show gave us everything including Emma Peel.

Diana Rigg played the iconic role of Mrs. Peel on the 60s British TV series The Avengers opposite Patrick MacNee as John Steed.

What I loved about Mrs. Peel was that she was never a damsel in distress. She was an expert in the martial arts and was a formidable fencer. She also had a brain! She was a certified genius specializing in chemistry and other sciences.

But what I loved most about Mrs. Peel was her mod look. I loved her leather catsuits and those high kicking boots! However, though I enjoyed the leather look, Diana Rigg did not and eventually when the show went to color (imagine black & white TV!) the catsuits were done in a stretch jersey and used bold colors, psychedelic patterns and color blocks.

John Bates was the costume designer for Mrs. Peel and the fashion became so popular that he also licensed his designs to several manufacturers under the Avengerswear label.

The show was known for its witty banter and sexual tension between John Steed and Mrs. Peel. I'm feeling a little...Moonlighting anyone?

Alas, all good things must come to an end and Diana Rigg left the show in 1968.

Be sure to visit the lovely Fifi Flowers for more fun and Fashionable Friday posts!


  1. Oh what fond memories of watching this show in front of the TV while eating Swanson's frozen TV dinners! You brought back a great time of my life with a fun fashion show to boot! HI BONNIE! I am coming up for air from academics for a moment! Take care, Anita

  2. Ohhhh, Bonnie! How I LOVED Emma Peel! You are right...she definitely took care of herself! She symbolized what I hoped I could be...strong, smart and independant! And it didn't hurt that she was a snappy dresser! lol Thanks for the pleasant memories! Have a great weekend...Debbie

  3. oh she was so pretty! i completely agree with your fascination with her!