I think I may have seen one or two Avengers episodes as a child, and I remember how funny, bright and eccentric everything seemed. Fast forward to college when a fellow musician walked up to me and said I looked like Mrs. Peel. I stayed up to 2AM to see reruns of the show and loved it; I just had to know everything about Mrs. Peel and John Steed, my favorite of The Avengers.

Since then, even with a somewhat vague appearance connection, I like to think, act, speak and even dress like Emma Peel, at least some of the time...like when I need to foil some diabolical mastermind. She is my heroine extraordinaire.

Emma Peel's fashions evolved in her 1965-67 stint on the show, starting where Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale character had left off, with pretty but rather conventional 60s clothing, and a solid dose of black leather. Then came inventive styles by John Bates, and later Alun Hughes. Bates created haute mod black and white get-ups, and mini skirts before they had become mainstream. Later she was known for wearing Hughes' bright stretch knit (crimplene) "fighting suits," used for her highly accomplished martial arts and fencing scenes.

Some items in my shops that seem good for both a karate kick and a glass of champagne: