A Peek at the Boutique: John Stephen and Lady Jane

1970s, british boutique movement, carnaby street, john stephen, lady jane

John Stephen boutique. Image © Len Fernandes.

Many, many thanks once again to the wonderful Len Fernandes, who provided us with a fantastic image of the Pussy Galore boutique on Carnaby Street (from 1971) back in April. He has now sent two further images: one of John Stephen’s many boutiques at number 33 and also of Harry Fox’s Lady Jane.

Again, these give us precious glimpses of the somewhat wilted locale; a few years before the rot set in completely, but a good few years after its mid-1960s heyday. Proof that it is always a good idea to photograph seemingly unimportant scenes and buildings, even if the importance may take a few decades to become apparent.

Please do not repost these images without full credit to Len, thank you.

Lady Jane of Carnaby Street. Image © Len Fernandes.

Mensday: Double A-side

1960s, carnaby street, I was Lord Kitchener's Valet, john stephen, Topper, Vintage Adverts

Scanned from Photoplay, April 1967

Carnaby Male catalogue advert and ‘The Boys Go Antique’ clipping both scanned from the same issue of Photoplay, April 1967.

Scanned from Photoplay, April 1967

Geeky Cobblers (and other listings)

annacat, biba, bus stop, chelsea cobbler, georgina linhart, hats, jean varon, john bates, john stephen, lee bender, platforms, shoes, terry de havilland, website listings, yves saint laurent

I wanted these Chelsea Cobbler boots to fit me so badly. But my spindly calves put paid to that desire, so they’ve just gone up on the website. Then, flicking through a 1970 copy of Nova (as you do), I spy them on the rarely-spotted designer Georgina Linhart. Geek heaven + spindly calves = Geek Hell. Or something…..sigh. Please will somebody very lovely buy them from me?

Other newly listed pieces on the site include:

Annacat

Bus Stop by Lee Bender

Bermona

Biba

Terry De Havilland

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche

John Stephen

John Bates for Jean Varon

Lowy and Mund

Unsigned (poss. Mary Quant)

The Story of Cedric Safesuit

carnaby street, dandy, Illustrations, john stephen, king's road, lord john, menswear, petticoat magazine, sixties


Also contained within the aforementioned July 1967 Petticoat magazine, is this superb illustrated feature on some extremely groovy menswear. Illustrated by Gerry Richards. Utterly brilliant and too good not to share…

Cedric Safesuit was a civil servant with good prospects and only one problem – all the girls rebuffed his advances with haughty stares. Why? Because Cedric was an acute and unhappy case of B.O. (boring outerwear).

Fortunately for our story, Cedric’s best friend Teddy Trend decided to take him in hand. King’s Road, he whispered at ever more frequent intervals. Carnaby Street, he muttered whenever the conversation flagged. Finally Cedric was worn down and, let loose among the gear shops, an astonishing change came over him. With whoops of delight, he tore off his old brown suit and signed cheques for everything he could lay his hands on. “I’ll never have B.O. again,” he said happily, walking off with Teddy Trend’s latest acquisition, a Twiggy-hipped redhead. “A severe case of B.H. (big head),” diagnosed Teddy sourly.

Michael Man’s Boutique blue satin shirt, 69s. 6d., with matching striped trousers, 69s. 11d., by Lord John, and printed blue kipper tie by Sydney Smith 21s.

New summer image in John Stephen His Boutique yellow seersucker shirt, 55s., matching orange seersucker trousers also by John Stephen, 65s., boots worth a second look, black and tans by Topper, 89s. 11d., tartan chucka boots, 45s. 6d.

Brown herringbone coat by Dandy, 21gns., John Michael flat hat for flat heads, 89s. 6d., white jabot for that dapper look by Dandy, 20s.

From John Stephen His Boutique white satin vicar shirt, 89s. 6d., red velvet bow from the Chelsea Antique Market, 12s. 6d., matching black trousers with white inverted pleat by Lord John, 79s. 11d., and a business-like black bowler with red cherries, 15s. at the Chelsea Antique Market.

Os-squee on Carnaby Street

1960s, british boutique movement, carnaby street, Foale and Tuffin, john stephen, ossie clark, pussy galore


Had a look around the new little Carnaby Street exhibition (at 38, Carnaby Street….shockingly enough) on Monday. Mixed feelings about this one, since it’s both brilliantly informative (I, personally, had no idea that London Mob were created to be sold out of Pussy Galore and makes me wonder exactly how rare actual Pussy Galore labels are….) whilst missing out huge chunks of important stuff (What? No mention of The Small Faces? For shame…) and being a bit strangely put together. It is a glut of information, and it’s always nice to see anything new about things you [think you] know inside out.

However, the displays are a bit cruddy, to say the least, and the book is completely hopeless. £16 for a glossy book of photos of the cabinets. Complete with shadows, so you can’t even read all the cards. Huh? I had also just been wandering around taking photos for myself, and no one told me off. So I saved myself £16 and probably did a better job for the purposes of retaining the new information.

Hmmm. I didn't take a photo of my very unimpressed face. I will leave that to your imagination.

The clothes they had borrowed from Pop Boutique were a bit hopeless. There was one Carnaby Street piece, a slightly dull Seventies Aristos dress, and the rest were just generic Sixties. Why didn’t they call me? They could have borrowed a psychedelic John Stephen dress, a Pussy Galore dress, a Foale and Tuffin….whatever. Strange people.

Precious....one day, one day....

On the plus side, alongside the information, there was an awesome clown-frill Foale and Tuffin blouse I wanted to rescue from being hung limply in a bizarre display. A lovely spliced film reel of Carnaby Street footage projects onto a wall. And, best of all, some photos by Philip Townshend. You can’t buy them officially, it would seem, and they appear in the ‘book’ only as photos of photos. So I just took photos of the photos myself. Pah.

Anyway, the excitement ensued from the fact that there’s a photo of Ossie, presumably standing in John Stephen where his graduate collection was sold (another factoid I was unaware of prior to this), and MY ‘Lips’ dress is hanging just behind him. And then it appears in another shot of a model. Woohoo. Squee squee squee.

V&A’s Swinging Sixties Exhibition

1960s, annacat, british boutique movement, carnaby street, cathy mcgowan, gerald mccann, jean varon, john bates, john stephen, personal collection, pussy galore, victoria and albert museum

Since I’m distinctly unimpressed with the myspace blog facility, I thought I’d repost my images from the V&A Swinging Sixties Exhibition over here. The John Bates exhibition opens on the 13th July so I shall attempt to get photos of that too.

Pussy Galore of Carnaby Street

Gerald McCann mini dress with peter pan collar

John Bates for Jean Varon White PVC mini dress

Annacat Pink Velvet Mini dress

John Stephen of Carnaby Street Psychedelic Mob Cap

Cathy McGowan’s Boutique Pink and Purple Suede shoes