The only Earlybird pieces I have encountered don’t really warrant such a sexy illustration, but it’s always nice to flesh out a lesser known boutique label when you can! The advert accompanies a feature on boutiques in the Fulham Road, with a lovely lengthy description of both Laura Ashley and Boston-151 amongst others.
You can begin on the outskirts of Brompton Village, just past Habitat, with the best of fashion, then move on for miles—literally—past spaghetti, spaghetti, hamburgers, junk and tortoises, the Chelsea Supporters’ Club and Fulham Broadway, until you arrive at Pollyanna’s excellent children’s clothes, 660; The East & West Superette, at 694, continental groceries; Fulham Surplus Stores, 686, bargains like army surplus arctic fleecy coat linings at £5.
Clothes you really want to own: Laura Ashley, 157, a big barn of remarkably low-priced things—Jacqui Smale’s demure print dresses, fine white tucked camisole petticoats, or nightdresses, shirts, print and plain velveteen and corduroy in colours of cloudy blue, dull purple, faded rose made into baggy knickerbockers, capes, shirts.
Boston-151, 151, is Gundrun Boston’s new beautiful clothes place, “filled with all the things I’d like to buy and never can find”. The functional chic workshop design is by Michael Chow. big lacquered tin central changing room, black mirror, clothes easy to look at and get at, a sewing lady sewing away instead of window dressing. Watch for: incredible hand-sewn clothes by Carlos Arias, his peasant print silk and cotton shirts, panne velvet ones too with tasselled ribbons, Mohammedan bloomers and boleros, soft dishcloth crochet dresses inset with Ibiza embroidery. These have clinging tops and flowing skirts and you tie yourself in (he practically never uses zips). There are Turkish mixed prints of marvellous cut, caftans made from rare Edwardian and Twenties fabrics. Kaffe Fassett’s macrame work, wool and string chokers and belts, old stones, ivory elephants threaded in,
hours of work. Boston & Kaffe’s subtle patterned knits, kimonos, sweaters, skirts; Chloe and Jean Muir. Lillian Delevoryas’ picture patchworked clothes. Linen shepherd smocks and jackets with velvet binding. Crochet cloche hats and ties where almost every stitch changes colour. Sexy seamless sweaters. Missoni knitted things from Milan, T-shirts, skirts and trousers so light you can wear several at once, and Kaffe Fassett evolves their colour schemes so you can imagine how lovely they are. Classic tailored trousers. Brown string butchers’ bags. Linen duffle bags stencilled with Boston-151 and made up in the workshops at Wormwood Scrubs. Valerie Goad, 185-7, has grown. She has 30 designs and more of best dresses, midi and long, shirts that match skirts and knickerbockers. There are Liberty wools, plain and print velvets and voile. Everything can be made to measure for a few guineas more, dresses, for instance, are from 19 gns (£19.95). Rene Aubrey, 122, 370 4745, hairdresser, has just opened a men’s salon next door. Early Bird, 20 Park Walk, has long velvet dresses, ruched sleeves, frilly cuffs, or hooded. All washable, 15 gns (£15.75).
Dean Rogers, 60, is a new man’s shop, with excellent-fitting trousers, velvets, tweed, cashmere, home-spun knitting, good belts and shirts. They open until 10.30 pm. Piero de Monzi, 70, is a double-fronted elegant shop with classic French and Italian clothes for men and women. Shirts from 5 gns (15.25) in delicate prints, exuberant Ken Scott prints, plain voiles, fine jerseys. Daniel Hechter suede and fleece greatcoats. Belts from 4 gns (£4.20), weighty affairs of hide and snake and brass. Suits, jackets, trousers, in bird’s eye tweed, velvet, gabardine, denim. Italian shoes, 16 gns (116.80). Next month an early spring fall of languid V de V clothes, moons, stars, wavy bands and boats knitted in. One partner, Alain Mertens, has opened the DM Gallery next door, 72, with Paolozzi, Hockney, multiple multiples, chic Italian design as in the perfect transistor. Imogens, 274, is ethnic: Palestinian embroidered wedding dresses, Kurtas, burnooses, shawls, belts, Israeli glass, Middle Eastern rugs and trinkets.
Afew months ago Kjeld Jacobsen opened Danish Silver Designs at 84. He’s a goldsmith turned business man, the jewellery shown comes from about 10 workshops in Den-mark and has a nordic coolness—strange pale stones, precise curves and spirals, 80 per cent in silver, a little gold. Special orders are dealt with by Jens Torp who can be seen at work through a window in the back of the showroom; this keeps the customers happy while they wait. Prices from £24100. Opposite the Queen’s Elm pub is that smart new block. There’s Alistair Colvin, 116, decorator and antique dealer, a drawing-room-sized shop, bizarre and interesting pieces. Zarach, 110. They’re the Sander Mirror Company, with elegant modern design grafted on. Downstairs there’s a new mirror showroom, looking glass in fifteen shades, antiqued, smoky, marbled, tortoiseshell, almost any effect -you could wish for, from £3 per square foot. Upstairs, with David Hicks black and white carpet, royal tartan blue walls, are beautifully designed things from Italy like Perspex ice buckets, boxes, clocks, spot lamps; status bibelots, work by Ciancimino, Billy McCarty, Tony Stubbin, Jon Bannen-berg, all Hicks carpets of course. Look out for the Italian gong chair. Rubber stretched on a round chrome frame and comfortable.
Travelling on to the heart of the Fulham Road, Charles Quinlan, 309, does upholstery work, recaning, polishing, loose covers and curtains. Tulleys, 289, have everything and endless windows of second-hand furniture, pale ranks of calico-covered sofas and chairs. Humpherson, 186, are the builders’ merchants who have a three-floor showhouse of bathrooms and kitchens. Solarbo, 230, make pelmets, curtain rails, cupboards, sliding doors, louvred doors (made to measure for no extra cost, and in do-it-yourself kits), a flexible shelf and drawer storage system with clear plastic or white wire baskets. Jonathan Minns, 1a Hollywood Road, a few feet off the Fulham Road, is a fascinating machinery shop, industrial and scientific antiquities, model ships, traction engines, locomotives like Birmingham Piddlers, extraordinary machines for extraordinary work like stitching army tents in Poona. All serious stuff and remarkably pleasing to look at. If Mr Minns isn’t driving traction engines at 6 mph through the countryside, or setting up museums with his new company Industrial Originals, he’ll be in the shop to explain it all. Hollywood [a.k.a The Hollywood Clothes Shop], 10 Hollywood Road, has ravishing thirties and forties clothes. From here down to Stamford Bridge are small nests of antique shops. Among the most interesting: Goldsworthy, 346, for a pair of gilded Siamese umbrellas. Stephen Long, 348, with painted bamboo, doll’s house furniture, tapestry bell pulls, bits of this and that, biscuit tins, patchwork quilts, books on bezique and cribbage, all the charming funny household paraphernalia of the past 150 years. Arthur Brown, 392-400, has everything. Perce Rye, 495, has Invincible Motor Policies.
And go back to Finchs, 190, for a drink, to find the village nucleus of excellent food shops and eating places. Hazel’s, 172, sell the finest fruits and vegetables. There are specialists in kebabs, ice-creams, pizzas, traditional English fare (as in Hungry Horse, 196). If you don’t wish to queue for hours outside The Great American Disaster, 325, for the greatest hamburgers and milkshakes this side of the Atlantic, then try the new Parsons Café Royal & Old Spaghetti Factory, 311: spaghetti, choice of six sauces, garlic, bread and salad for 9s (45p).
Text by Antonia Williams.
Scanned from Vogue, February 1971.