Living up to a reputation

1970s, Alice Ormsby-Gore, amanda lear, Asha Puthli, bill gibb, british boutique movement, christopher mcdonnell, frederick fox, ika hindley, Inspirational Images, jean muir, jean varon, joanna lumley, john bates, mary quant, pat cleveland, Sally McLaughlan, telegraph magazine, Terence Donovan, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, zandra rhodes

For some years now the London fashion designers have had the edge on their Paris rivals for ideas and innovations. Tomorrow evening a film on this subject will be shown on BBC1. Today we photograph the key London designers with their favourite clothes. What do they think of the London fashion scene? Where do we go from here?

Photographed by Terence Donovan. Fashion by Cherry Twiss.

Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, May 25th 1973.

Zandra Rhodes originally trained as a textile designer; she began designing clothes in 1968. She does not have her own retail shop; her fabulous creations are made to order and sell through the big stores. “I think fashion in London is like a sea with lots of little islands, lots of different looks. I am my own couture island,” she says. “I don’t like committing myself to any one collection. I like adding to it as my ideas come along.” Pat Cleveland, top American model, is wearing Zandra’s “off-the-shoulder lily dress” .of printed grey and cream chiffon with satin-backed bodice and embroidery. From Piero de Monzi, 70 Fulham Road, SW3.
Mary Quant, photographed with her husband Alexander Plunkett-Green, became famous in 1955 when she opened the first “Bazaar” shop in the King’s Road, Chelsea. Now her business includes linen, make-up, tights and dolls as well as clothes, all bearing the unmistakable Quant touch. Of current London fashion she says: “I think the mood is classic, and I love it.” Amanda, a model who typifies Mary’s look, wears trousers, striped pullover and co-ordinating jacket, all in an angora and polyester mixture, and a pure silk shirt. Mary chose this outfit because “it is the epitome of my new collection -the best of everything. Modern classics in the right colours, subtle soft fabrics, elegance, chic – the sort of outfit you want to live in.” From Mary Quant’s new autumn collection, available in September.
Designer Jean Muir with Harry Lockart, her husband and business manager. She started the firm which bears her name in 1966; her distinctive clothes are available at all the major stores. Says Harry Lockart: “The London fashion scene has tremendous potential and on the design side is moving marvellously. It must need organising very professionally along Paris lines, with proper collection weeks, at times that do not clash, so that buyers can see everything.” Joanna Lumley is wearing an olive green two-tiered silk jersey dress described by Jean as “one of my favourites”. About £75 from Lucienne Phillips, 69 Knightsbridge, SW3, or Brown’s, South Molton Street, W1 . Jade necklace by Jean Muir, £15. Shoes, £24, by Charles Jourdan, 47 Brompton Road, SW3. Tights, Elle.
Designer John Bates (left) with John Siggins, Director who handles Publicity, Press and External Contracts. John Bates started the firm of Jean Varon in 1959; he thinks that “fashion in London is no different from anywhere else; but it is only just recently that it has been taken seriously”. Kellie, who is one of John Bates’s favourite models, is wearing a Tricel surah dress in a print by Sally McLaughlan exclusive to John Bates. About £55 from Dickins & Jones, Regent Street, W1 ; Barkers, Kensing-ton High Street, W8; Bentalls of Kingston; Kendal Milne of Manchester. Hat made to order by Frederick Fox, 26 Brook Street, W1.
Christopher McDonnell started his career early in 1967 and now sells his designs at his famous shop in South Molton Street. He thinks London is the most exciting place for evening wear, “but until the factories learn how to cope technically with good ideas for day clothes, the rest of Europe will remain ahead of us in this field.” The model is Ika, who, says Christopher, can interpret any look. She is wearing a cream silk suit with short skirt, £33 from Christopher McDonnell, 45 South Molton Street, W1 . White silk turban £9.50 from George Malyard, 3 King Street, WI. Bangles and choker from Emeline, 45 Beauchamp Place, SW3.
Designer Bill Gibb started out on his own in 1969 and was voted “Designer of the Year” in 1970. He now has a wholesale firm, and in fashion feels that “everybody makes a different sort of contribution”. Asha Puthli, singer and actress is wearing a peach double satin jacket and halter top embroidered and edged with black leather, and Lurex pleated skirt. About £200 from Chic of Hampstead, Heath Street, NW3, or Chases, Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 by Chelsea Cobbler, 33 Sackville Street, W1 . Tights by Echo. Alice Ormsby-Gore is wearing a plain and printed grey Lurex skirt and sequin embroidered top, £128. Turban by Diane Logan to order. All from Lucienne Phillips, or ZigZag, 100 New Bond Street, Wl. Shoes £14.95 from Chelsea Cobbler. Tights by Echo.

Get away from it all

1960s, british boutique movement, granny takes a trip, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images
After a hot hectic day, you need a change of pace. So slip into a soft slinky dress like this one, 9 gns., from Granny Takes a Trip, 488 King’s Road, London, SW10.

(I can’t find a photographer credit for this stunner, so my apologies to them.)

Scanned from Honey magazine, July 1968.

Razzmatadvertising (Part I)

1970s, Adrian Mann, alkasura, biba, british boutique movement, Dick Polak, Emmerton and Lambert, harold ingram, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, jap, Joseph, kenzo, marshall lester, meeny's, miss mouse, outlander, rae spencer cullen, Vintage Editorials
Slippery satin cherry-printed drainpipes by Alkasura. Acid green cotton jersey t-shirt by Janine Designs at Harold Ingram. Conker choker by Adrien Mann. Leather belt by Biba.

This post is brought to you in two parts. The editorial was, unusually, photographed by two different photographers in two different locations. Tomorrow I will post the photos from Brighton Pier (very exciting for me, as you can guess!). Today’s were photographed in Meeny’s, which was a King’s Road boutique started by Gary Craze in 1972 – specialising in American brands for both adults and children. Clearly showing the same influences as Mr Freedom, this is the first I’ve seen of the interior. The clothes are the very creme de la creme of boutique ‘pop art’ joyfulness.

Photographed by Dick Polak.

Scanned from Honey, May 1973.

Desert island printed dungarees by Richard Green. Gitanes printed jersey t-shirt by Marshall Lester. Crochet cloche by Emmerton and Lambert. Spotted kerchief by Meeny’s.
Rock’n’roll printed skirt and bolero jacket and sun top all by Miss Mouse. Conker choker by Adrien Mann.
Hawaiian surfing printed cotton shirt from Joanna’s Fleamarket
Camel printed cotton t-shirt by Marshall Lester. Belt by Biba
Hawaiian printed cricket vest by Jap at Joseph. Red vest by Outlander.
Slogan printed cotton coated PVC aprons by Sari Fabrics from all branches of Habitat, DH Evans and Selfridges. Satin pencil skirts by Alkasura.

Kings Road Girl

1960s, Boutiques, british boutique movement, Honey Magazine, king's road, Kings Road Girl, Vintage Adverts

kings road girl

I’ll take them all, please and thank you…

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, March 1968.

Mother Wouldn’t Like It

1960s, Boutiques, british boutique movement, Heavy Metal Kids, Honey Magazine, Illustrations, kensington market, lloyd johnson, menswear, Mother Wouldn't Like It, wendy buttrose

Mother Wouldn't Like It

Have just formed a new organisation. It’s called SPOCC or the Society for the Protection of Clothes Customers. Idea came last night when I collected a couple of suits from the cleaners, only to find that the shoulder padding of one jacket was lost somewhere down the sleeve, and the trousers, supposed to be drip dry, were wrinkled like a Dutch dyke. The first suit came from Carnaby Street, the second from the Kings Road. Jose, my flat-mate, tried to pacify me by saying, “I thought you said clothes now are fashionable and short-lived. So what do you expect?” Simply that a suit shouldn’t disappear at the first clean! I accept built-in obsolescence and all those rubbishy excuses for using cheap materials, but I expect a suit to last a year, not a month. How about you? Let me know what you think … it might add up to some interesting revelations. Like the super trousers in the sketch. They’re Newman jeans from France; they cost much more than English or American but, in my view, are twice as good. I got a pair from the Heavy Metal Kids in the Kensington Market for £5. Elsewhere you can pay up to 8 gns. Shirts are another racket. The shirt here looks as if it costs 10 gns., and so it can at some places. In fact, it’s made by a man called Bryan King, who works in a Queensway attic, turning out great shirts handmade, frilled, tapered, for £2—£4, and sells them at his stall, Mother Wouldn’t Like It, also in the Ken Market. The tie-makers have become so ridiculously expensive that ties are out except for the odd occasion, and these shirts are as logical a take-over as the polo sweater. If Bryan can turn them out at this price, why can’t others? Remember—next time you think you’ve been rooked, let Luke SPOCC Jarvis know.

Written by Luke Jarvis.

Illustration by Wendy Buttrose.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, March 1968.

Meet Simon and Marijke – Two of The Beautiful People

1960s, Apple Boutique, Barry Finch, Boutiques, british boutique movement, celebrity boutiques, eric clapton, george harrison, granny takes a trip, Josje Leeger, marianne faithfull, Marijke Koger, mick jagger, Pattie Boyd, Rave, Simon Posthuma, The Beatles, The Fool

the-fool-1The world of pop artists Simon and Marijke is indeed strange—their philosophy is to spread the influence of art over every aspect of civilized society, to produce a world throbbing with colour, light and beautiful things—but are we ready for them and their way of life? Will they make it, or will they disappear into the realms of history? Jeremy Pascall visited them to find out!

Officially the street nameplate says “Montague Square”. Unofficially it says “George Harrison is the best Beatle” in felt-tip pen. Just up the road Patti Harrison’s orange and yellow mini is parked. Beneath the sun-hot pavement of the quiet London square is a cool basement area. Set into the wall is a blue-painted door with gold stars scattered across it. A small sign says “Love, special delivery!”

Behind the door is a large, calm flat, at the centre of which is a big, open room, bright with rainbow paintings, fragrant with incense and flowers, loud with music, and alive with happy, talking, laughing people.

Here two young Dutch painters, Simon and Marijke, hold court. Their boon companions are Barry and Josje. Their courtiers include the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Graham Nash, the Cream and the rest of London’s most beautiful people.

But this is not just a court, it is a painter’s power-house, a beauty factory. Simon, Marijke, Josje and Barry are part of a new generation of artists. Pop artists who are using pop music and stars and fashion to bring their work before us. If you’ve ever seen the Cream, opened the “Sgt. Pepper” cover, or bought the latest Hollies’ album you’ll have seen their work. And you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

Simon (pronounced Simone) Posthuma is twenty-eight. He was born the year that war broke out, and remembers the Germans being kind to him. “I turned them on”, he said and smiled. This is Simon’s mission, to turn everyone on to beauty and colour.

The son of a policeman (he admits to this with an ironic chuckle; his later life has shown that he and the police don’t always see eye to eye), Simon was an early drop-out, leaving school because “we didn’t under-stand each other”. He then went through every conceivable job. For a time he was an art student, “but they threw me out because they said I had no talent!”

Despite this set-back he continued to paint. “I’ve always painted, experimented, progressed, tried to find what I want to say.” At first his work was conventional landscapes and portraits, but he soon evolved his own highly individual (and now much copied) style of brilliant rainbow colours and patterns.

Four years ago the gently rebellious artist met Marijke (pronounced Marracca) Koger, than a commercial, but not very happy, artist working in an advertising agency. They clicked in every way and started creating happenings with the help of their growing circle of friends consisting of musicians, writers and artists.

Between them Simon and Marijke really stirred up Amsterdam. “We did some crazy, beautiful things, man,” Simon said in his soft, Dutch accent. “We organised evening happenings when we took over a house, and had music and dancing and action painting. One day we went out into the street and painted it gold. Crazy!”

Simon and Marijke were joined in their “rainbow circle” by Josje (pronounced Yosha) Leeger. Josje, an old school friend of Marijke, was already established as a designer in Holland, and her clothes reflect the beautifully bizarre, freely fanciful ideas of the group. The clothes are made of different coloured fabrics and materials. Like styled patchwork quilts and up-dated gypsy costumes, jesters’ motley and troubadours’ shreds and patches.

And so they were three—Simon, Marijke and Josje. They had good things going for them in Amsterdam — a boutique and exhibitions — but they wanted to get out and so Simon and Marijke went to Morocco and Greece and then decided that London was for them.

But at first London wasn’t sure if they were right for it! They weren’t readily accepted. “We got very annoyed about it at first, but then we got to know the people at ‘Granny Takes A Trip’, and through them we met hip P.R. man Barry Finch, who was looking for someone to design the programme for the Saville Theatre.”

Simon and Marijke came, he saw, they conquered, and that was the start! They designed the programme cover for the Saville, started meeting the most influential people in pop, fell under the patronage of the Beatles and never looked back.

Barry became manager of the romantic duo. The Beatles asked them to submit designs for their “Sgt. Pepper” cover. They did the full job, including a fearsome cut-out mask, but only the inner sleeve design was used.

Simon, Marijke, Josje and Barry have created their own little world, a prototype for what they want us all to have. It’s a sprawling, open flat, centred around a long hallway and communal room. Most of the business of living is carried on in this room, where visitors are made welcome. Unlike the classic picture of an artist’s home, the apartment is remarkably clean and tidy.

In the main room, be-decked with samples of their work, Simon and Marijke hold court. A record player in the corner drones Ravi Shankar, “a present from George”. Marijke hands round sweet little Indian cakes—”A present from Ravi”. Somehow the tiny community seems utterly cut off from the bustle of London and it is no surprise when Mick, Marianne and Patti wander in to savour the tranquillity.

Surrounded by the things and the people they love, they gently, persuasively expound their philosophy, and outline their plans.

It is a philosophy based on love. “The essence is love. Love will grow, spread until the whole world is turned on to it. Love will not die. Everybody must turn on.

“There are people who don’t understand and walk away, but the next day they find out a new part of what is happening. To them it appears that it’s all happening at once, but in fact it’s the culmination of years. People react to us; in Paris they shouted rude words at us and we smiled back, but it didn’t happen in London. Anyway we’re in a different society, we mix with people who think like us, we stay in our headquarters all the time, work all the time.

“What is the ultimate? Paradise, living for each other. No dirty cities. We will change back to country communities where money won’t be necessary, we’ll work for each other. Who’ll do all the work? Computers. Eventually computers will show we don’t need computers!

“The old leaders are dying. Soon there will be new leaders. No, not leaders — spiritual mentors. This is the divine plan,” said Simon.

The philosophy sounds muddled and naive but it’s spoken in all sincerity. Simon speaks wonderingly of Eastern mystics who can perform miracles, produce castles out of the air. Charmingly childlike, but they have exciting plans afoot.

There will soon be an exhibition of Simon’s work, followed by the opening of a boutique and a film or theatre venture.

Boutique isn’t quite the word. The shop will be more of an environment. Simon and Marijke think that pop, fashion, art and design have been too separate in the past. They want to bring them all together under one roof. It would be nice to see people walking around in their fabulous clothes, hanging their beautiful paintings on the walls (posters will soon be available) and accepting their philosophy. But are we ready for it yet?

All colour, fun, love, beauty. Gold streets! Why not? That’s how it feels to be one of the beautiful people!

Some wonderful photos of The Fool which I hadn’t seen before. Interesting to read about their plans for their boutique (the-here-unnamed Apple Boutique) which would open only a couple of months after this was published and closed six months later.

Photographer uncredited.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Rave Magazine, September 1967.

the-fool-2

Vintage Adverts: Mirror Mirror

1970s, british boutique movement, cosmopolitan, miss selfridge, Vintage Adverts

miss selfridge advert october 72

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, October 1972

Inspirational Images: Chokers

1970s, Bibette, Bibette Wainwright, british boutique movement, Inspirational Images, richard imrie, thea porter, Vogue

Arabella Churchill and voilet velvet choker: Bead in flower and loop, £3 at Thea Porter (her ribbons have butterflies too). Gibson Girl hair by Patricia of The Cadogan Club, Sloane St.)

Arabella Churchill and violet velvet choker: Bead in flower and loop, £3 at Thea Porter (her ribbons have butterflies too). Gibson Girl hair by Patricia of The Cadogan Club, Sloane St.

Photographed by Richard Imrie.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Vogue, April 1970.

More about Bibette here.

thea chokers vogue april 70 richard imrie 2

Indian glass bead choker, clever pretty patterns and tinkling fringe. One wide and black and white, £12, one narrow and yellow and orange, £6. By Bibette, at Thea Porter, 8 Greek Street.

 

Inspirational Editorials: British Birds

1960s, british boutique movement, bus stop, Concept, Downtown, gordon king, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, Jill Harley, kari ann muller, lee bender, monty coles

Crepe zipper upper dress with patent belt by Gordon King. Jersey trousers by Concept. Patent high-tongue shoes by Ronald Keith. Hearts and flower power satin top by Downtown. Red cotton trousers by Slimma.

Crepe zipper upper dress with patent belt by Gordon King. Jersey trousers by Concept. Patent high-tongue shoes by Ronald Keith. Hearts and flower power satin top by Downtown. Red cotton trousers by Slimma.

British Birds hip it, add ribbon round foreheads squaw-style, and dress-over-pants. Slip into pull-on jersey dresses over matching tights and way out shoes. Hair a-fuzz, English looks are a-buzz with interest…

Photographed by Monty Coles.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, April 1969.

Slinky little print wrapover by Bus Stop. Jersey pants by Concept.

Slinky little print wrapover by Bus Stop. Jersey pants by Concept.

Vest dress in jersey by Gordon King. Peasant shirt smock in jersey by Gordon King. Jersey trousers by Concept.

Vest dress in jersey by Gordon King. Peasant shirt smock in jersey by Gordon King. Jersey trousers by Concept.

Inspirational Images: Carnival!

1970s, british boutique movement, cosmopolitan, Inspirational Images, quorum, Sacha, Sacha

Samba dress by Quorum. Sandals by Sacha.

Samba dress by Quorum. Sandals by Sacha.

Photographed by Sacha.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Cosmopolitan, June 1976