The vintage fashion designer John Bates alias Jean Varon

John Bates (Born in 1938) is a British fashion designer who was very famous in the sixties and seventies. In 1960, he started his label “Jean Varon”. John Bates chose the name “Jean Varon” for his label because he wanted a French name (Jean is the French name for John) and “Varon” because there was no ‘V’ in the rag trade book.

Leading figure of the “Swinging London”, John Bates exerced a great influence on fashion in the sixties : mini-skirts, mini dresses, trapeze dresses, Op art fashion, Space Age, popularization of trousers for women, invention of the ‘underwear as outerwear’ style… Sixties icons like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton had worn his creations. He is also reputed for the outfits he designed for Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in the serie “The Avengers” from 1965 to 1966.

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