Sunday, 18 July 2010

Centrefold Venus of the Month 14: Helene

No Pet, Playmate, Honey or Dolly label here: just the unadorned Helene

This month's centrefold of the month is a very simple affair from Club International in July 1975. We don't know amything about the girl except that they claim she is called Helene and the photographs were taken by Mike Bramman. Bramman photographed for Club Internatonal, Knave, Penthouse and Gallery in the seventies.

The pictures were taken on the Greek Island of Spetsai and Club International often had these sun-kissed outdoor shoots.

There is nothing particularly clever or arty about his pictures (C.f. Bob Guccione at this time who was right at the beginning of his super-soft-focus period. He just stands Helene up or sits her down and takes pictures of her in the Aegean sunshine.

The clothes, what there are of them, were provided by Biba. This is not the British Insurance Brokers Association (which is what naturally springs to Agent Triple P's mind) but was a super-trendy fashion house and shop which had moved to the old Derry & Toms department store building in 1974. This huge store caused the company financial difficluties and by the time this pictorial was shot the writing was on the wall for the company and founder Barbara Hulanicki would leave the company in 1975. The store finally closed in 1976.

Helene does very well to remain standing on the beach on the then de rigeur platform shoes. She also demonstrates (especially in her centrefold) one of the problems in flying girls out for glamour shoots in hot places: she looks quite sunburnt. The normal remedy for which amongst photographers is to cover them with baby oil so their skin reflects the sun and detracts from the redness.

Club International was still in non-labia flashing mode in 1975 but this would all change by the following year. Unlike Penthouse, who usually featured anywhere between afifteen and twenty pictures of their centrefolds Club only gives poor Helene a modest eight.

Agent Triple P had a girlfriend in 1979 who had some of these knitted stockings and we very much enjoyed the change in texture as we slid our hand up her leg. The poor girl got used to the fact that whilst we would strip the rest of her clothes of, in our chilly student rooms, the wooly stockings stayed on. Actually, given how cold it got (we had no heating at all in our bedroom) maybe she was grateful.

According to the rather brief blurb, which spends rather a lot of time talking about the tour operator and villa service on the Island, Helene is nineteen. She may or not be nineteen and she may or may not be called Helene but she has that dark and obvious look which Agent Triple P appreciates.

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