John Bates was a very highly regarded British designer who began his label Jean Varon in 1959. Famous for sheer panels, short hemlines and bare midriffs, he was one of the pioneers of the miniskirt and trousers for women. He chose the name Jean Varon in order to appear to be French and also because it meant he was the only designer under the letter 'V' in the rag trade book. In 1965, he designed outfits in Op Art prints for Diana Rigg for her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers. Towards the 1970's, his garments took on a softer, more feminine look.