The massive image: girls’s style finds an unlikely fashion hero | Pictures

In 1967, Caroline Baker who contributed as secretary Shirley Conran on the Observer, took a job with the fashion editor Molly Parkin at Nova, the iconoclastic women’s magazine. Parkin left soon after Baker’s arrival and Baker took over as she had never done a fashion shoot in her life. In the following years she developed a distinctive look that rebelled against the stereotypes of the industry. “I didn’t want to be this pretty girl, this toy for men,” she writes in the introduction to a new book that celebrates her career. Rebel Stylist: Caroline Baker – The woman who invented street fashion.

Instead of using clothing from design houses, Baker looked elsewhere for the material for their fashion sites, using oversized men’s clothing from thrift stores, fitted with belts and suspenders, army surplus, gauntlets and tights from ballet companies, chef’s clothes, school blazers, hospital gowns and pajamas. Her street style set the tone for punk fashion – Baker later worked with Vivienne Westwood – and the liberated androgyny of the 1980s and beyond.

An inspiration for this look was Charlie Chaplin, “his messy way of dressing”. This image, which is included in the book, was taken from a Nova shoot by photographer Sarah Moon, styled by Baker, not long before Nova’s death in 1975.

Moon was one of the few female fashion photographers at the time, and she and Baker made a series of films together that reinterpreted film nostalgia through a female lens. They went to Brighton to take the Chaplin pictures. “Sarah wanted two young children and an old car … you planned your fashion shoot like a mini movie, ”recalls Baker. Chaplin’s spacious silhouette had both a practical and an aesthetic appeal. “I was always so jealous that men were so lucky to have bags.” She decided women should have them too.

Rebel stylist is published by ACC Art Books (£ 35)