Bette Bright's dress
The cult band, Deaf School, was formed at Liverpool Art School in 1973. They played at the opening night of legendary club Eric’s on Mathew Street. Bette Bright (Anne McPherson) was the lead singer. This dress was specially made for her by Swanky Modes, London. Bette wore the body con dress on the LP cover of English Boys/Working Girls. Melanie Langer (nee Herberfield), one of the co-founders of Swanky Modes tells us more about how the dress came about. “We had been making stage clothes for Bette since 1977. In 1978 we were asked to make a red Lycra dress for her for use on stage and for the album cover. We had recently designed a wet-look white Lycra dress with the words, ‘Swanky Modes’ on the rear. We copied this for Bette in red and used the album title, ‘English Boys’ on her derriere.” Melanie’s husband, Clive Langer, guitarist and composer in Deaf School and later a successful producer and songwriter explains the significance of the album. “English Boys/ Working Girls was a strange but exciting album for Deaf School to make. We’d toured America and our playing was at its best. As usual we scrambled the last couple of songs together to complete the 12 tracks and B sides needed and were under the guidance of a very professional and successful record producer, Mutt Lange. It was an all out attempt by the band, the record company and the management to achieve world wide success......it failed! But we’re proud of it and many of the songs we still perform today.” The same year that they realised the album the band split, however they have reformed and played together many times since.