John Tullis

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(19**-19**) Designer.


Quoted from the programme of Two Into One in 1986: 'John, born in Johannesburg and educated in South Africa, served with the No. 1 South African Fighter Squadron for three years in intelligence before embarking upon his illustrious and highly successful career. He left South Africa in 1947 to join the couture House of Molyneux as a designer. Due to failing eyesight Captain Molyneux closed hi London and Paris businesses in 1950 and John was employed by Horrockses where he remained as resident designer for 12 years. It was during this time that John designed for the then Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen of England (and who was to feature again very prominently in John's later designing years). He also dressed Princess Margaret, Marina Duchess of Kent amongst other royals and began designing for the theatre. He was asked to design clothes for Gladys Cooper in a new Noel Coward play, Relative Values and this was followed by 23 other West End productions. Among the other star names were Vivien Leigh, Margaret Leighton, Googie Withers, Moira Lister, Coral Browne, Evelyn Laye and many others. Horrockses was then bought out by a new group of financiers, "all of whom I thought were terrible and without any sort of taste" says John. Molyneux came out of retirement in 1965 and John rejoined the Captain in the world of Haute Couture. He stayed in Paris for a further 13 years, his last designs there being for Lilli Palmer and Irene Worth in the last Noel Coward play written by 'The Master' A Suite in Three Keys. Back in London, John joined he House of Hartnell. The dress worn by the Queen Mother for her official 80th birthday photographs was designed by John, and also the outfit she wore to Prince Charles' wedding. He returned to South Africa in 1981. He joined Pieter Toerien Productions at the beginning of 1986 as resident designer/costume co-ordinator.'



Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Awards, etc


Programme notes of Two Into One in 1986.

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