Mr Freedom

19 magazine, 1960s, glam rock, Inspirational Images, mr freedom, Stuart Brown, Tommy Roberts, Vintage Editorials

Navy blue t-shirt in cotton with dynamic POW stitched front by Mr Freedom, £4.

Photographed by Stuart Brown.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, December 1969.


Black cotton t-shirt with a satin ZAP stitched on the front by Mr Freedom, £4. Green satin trousers by Ossie Clark for Quorum, approx 5 1/2 gns.


T-shirts by Mr Freedom. Shorts by Jack Hobbs.


All by Jack Hobbs.


Bright red t-shirt overprinted with Tarzan riding a lion by Mr Freedom, 27s 6d. Green satin trousers by Ossie Clark for Quorum, approx 5 1/2 gns.


Printed cotton Superman t-shirt by Mr Freedom. Shorts by Jack Hobbs.

Wham, Pow, Splat: Mr Freedom in Rave magazine

1960s, 1970s, Chris Holland, glam rock, Inspirational Images, mr freedom, Rave, Tommy Roberts, Uncategorized, Vintage Editorials
Rave - Mr Freedom - December 1969

For crazy cartoon lovers, blue long sleeved tee-shirt with super leather motif of ‘Roger the Dodger’ sewn into the front, 4gns.. also available are many other comic characters. Red velvet trousers, £6 15s.

Hey, Supergirl! Are you a match for Superman? Or even Mickey Mouse? A girl can have too much of looking smart and neat – there comes a time when we all like to lounge around with a cute comic book and an even cuter guy. So get tuned in to this crazy clobber. And Captain Marvel will be yours for the asking…

Photographed by Chris Holland.

Fashion by Annette Grundy. Toys by Polypops.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Rave, December 1969

Rave - Mr Freedom - December 1969 - b

Rave - Mr Freedom - December 1969 - c

Satin jacket with ‘Jack Flash’ motif on front and back. Also in black and red, 6gns.

Rave - Mr Freedom - December 1969 - d

Beautiful calf-length blue crepe dress tied at the waist with the New York skyline around the hem, 11gns.

Rave - Mr Freedom - December 1969 - e

For all Mockey Mouse fans a mauve crepe blouse with pleated front and satin Mickey Mouse motif on the back.

What went on: Or what people wore to be seen

19 magazine, 1970s, glam rock, Mick Rock

Photography by Mick Rock. 19 Magazine, 1974.

While I initially thought ‘ooh, fantastic’ to this spread, my thoughts began to turn to Heat, Grazia et al (Cult of Fashion Bloggers inclusive) and mused upon the very fine line between glam rock ‘cool’ and modern hipster naff. Still, at least this lot were generally much better turned-out.

Inspirational Images: Noosha Fox

1970s, glam rock, Inspirational Images, Look In, noosha fox, platforms

Scanned from Look In, 12 June 1976

Umm. Pink tights and green platforms? Yes please!

Noosha just gets more and more spectacular…

British Design Hero: Tommy Roberts

1960s, 1970s, british boutique movement, carnaby street, City Lights, glam rock, Inspirational Images, king's road, kleptomania, mr freedom, pop art, Tommy Roberts

Mr Freedom interior. Photograph: JON WEALLEANS

The lovely Paul Gorman very kindly sent me some sneaky peeky previews of his much-awaited new book about Tommy Roberts (Kleptomania, Mr Freedom, City Lights etc). From what I’ve seen and read so far, this is going to be quite a ‘must have’ book for anyone interested in Sixties and Seventies fashion – and specifically, the British Boutique scene in London at the time.

Cheeky and freaky, Mr Freedom clothes are amongst my very favourites of their kind. The bright, brash shapes, colours and logos have long since moved beyond pop-art irony and into the realms of the iconic themselves. This is the first, and I’m sure will remain the only, definitive look at the life of Roberts and his various other boutiques and projects … and I actually cannot wait to have a hard copy in my hands! I will give it a full review eventually, but until then…

Rock on Tommy, rock on…

You can pre-order Mr Freedom direct from Adelita for a mere £20.

Mr Freedom hotpants, 1970. Photo: Stephen Markeson (The Sun/NI Syndication)

Derek Morton suit for City Lights, 1973. Photographed by David Parkinson

Vintage Adverts: Carnival, 1972

1970s, glam rock, Inspirational Images, Make-up, platforms, shoes, Vintage Adverts

'Carnival' shoes advert from the Co-op. Scanned from Vogue, April 1972.

I will definitely be attempting to recreate that make-up at some point in the future, how incredible!

Does anyone know the way… to Chartbusters?

1970s, album covers, glam rock, haute naffness, interesting record sleeves, Slade, the sweet

I really try to keep such frivolous record purchases to a minimum (I mean, how many times do I want to listen to somebody else’s version of songs I love?) but certain covers are pretty much impossible to resist. Knitted hotpants and thigh high socks? Lace-up knitted top? Wildly hairy jacket? Perfect Jo Grant-style feather haircut? Yes. Please.

If you, like me, love all things Seventies [and are in the UK], then don’t forget to tune into Dominic Sandbrook’s new series on the era on BBC2 at 9pm tonight. Plus a new series of Sounds of the Seventies after this at 10pm. Heaven…

I also never need much excuse to post videos by Slade and Sweet…

Mensday: Golden Earring

1970s, glam rock, Golden Earring, Look In, Mensday, menswear

Pilfered from Mr Brownwindsor's extensive collection of Look-In magazines. 9th March 1974.

Captions on a postcard, or in a comment, please.

Mensday: From the sublime to the ridiculous, and back again…

10cc, 1970s, bryan ferry, david essex, glam rock, haute naffness, Mensday, menswear, mud, rod stewart, the arrows

Bryan Ferry

Pilfered from a SuperSonic annual (1977) I found in a charity shop in Ramsgate. Some of the best and worst examples of manhood from the period. I don’t know all of them terribly well, so feel free to pipe up if you used to throw your knickers at any of them.

For all the ridiculousness of how some of them look, it alarms me a lot less than how most modern men dress. I saw a chap the other week wearing a tweed jacket (tick) with crotch-at-the-knee jeans (ick). You might be 50% vintage, but you still look like a prat. Top marks, of course, to the BryanGod and the guy from The Arrows (below) in the velvet trousers. Yum.

The Arrows

Rod Stewart


Bilbo Baggins




Slik (with pre-Ultravox Midge Ure)


David Essex

"It hasn’t got boobs or anything".

david bowie, glam rock, mick ronson, petticoat magazine, the who

So very quotable (see post title and also: “I cannot breathe in the atmosphere of convention,” he told one interviewer. “I find freedom only in the realm of my own eccentricity.”), it is hard to believe that David Bowie is actually allowed to age at all. But he reaches the very elegant and refined vintage of 65 today and I would like to wish him many, many returns of the day. So, in his honour, here is an interview from Petticoat Magazine, January 1973…


Heralded by a thunderous chunk of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement as adapted by Walter Carlos for march from A Clockwork Orange, Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders From Mars skip on stage virtually unseen under cover of the murky gloom.

When the spotlights come on the audience gives up a single gasp of utter disbelief Ziggy’s hair is a solid bob of flaming Apricot Gold, made even brighter by a deathly-white made-up face. He is wearing a blue Lurex jacket open to the navel and a pair of blue denims tucked into what , appear to be boxing boots.

The Spiders—Mick Ronson on guitar, Mick Woodmansey on drums and Trevor Bolder on bass—seem ill at ease in their silver jumpsuits.

The exhibition that follows is of secondary importance. David Bowie made his impact the second he stood there under the lamp, legs apart, hips gently swaying, guitar slung over his back and a limp smile playing on his mouth.

There`s no getting away from it, the boy is beautiful.

Articulate and animated David has his own ideas about what he is — “just a cosmic job” — and where he’s going — “to be an astral spirit” — but he leaves us to make our own interpretation.

The heads hold him in awe and regard him with respect, a last stubborn vestige of what was once the Underground.

A number of usually-cynical music paper writers forgot to be objective when Bowie re-appeared on the scene last year and quite openly played John the Baptist to his Messiah.

To them he is the Samuel Pepys to a Clockwork Orange generation; chronicling alarm, violence and anarchism but always ending on a definite note of optimism. (As you’ll find out if you listen to Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World collection.)

Fans just bop to him in Stoke-on-Trent, hang his picture on their bedroom walls, grab at him in stage door scrums and dismiss him the minute his latest forty-five rpm chartbuster slips from the Fun Thirty, just another hit parade idol.

So who is David Bowie? He was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, South London, probably twenty-five years ago. His accurate birthdate is a well- kept secret. The family moved to Bromley, Kent, and David won O level GCEs in art and woodwork before leaving Bromley Technical High School at sixteen to become a com- mercial artist with an advertising firm.

It only took him six months to realise that his artistic sense‘was in danger of collapsing under the strain of working in the world of advertising. He handed in his notice and formed his first professional group, a “progressive blues” outfit known as David Jones and the Lower Third.

One record that lingers from that period is I Dig Everything, a piece of shattering, quavering vocal acrobatics from Bowie. But with the advent of the Monkees in the mid-sixties David had to face up to stark reality. The Monkees were being sold on the unspoiled features of an exiled Mancunian, one Davey Jones. It was obvious this bright-eyed, young smiler was going to happen so David played it shrewd and dug up the name   Bowie.

David Bowie and the Buzz were on the point of breaking big a number of times. They had a residency at the Marquee in Wardour Street and since they had no money they lived in a beaten-up old ambulance parked right outside the club.

“We were second billing to the Hi Numbers who later became The Who,” David recalls. “Even then Pete Townshend was writing great stuff. In fact he and I were the only ones with anything to say.”

Sadly The Buzz subsided and a disillusioned Bowie stopped playing professionally to throw himself into a lengthy period of meditation and self-examination. He read huge amounts of Albert Camus, Harold Pinter and Oscar Wilde. He joined the Buddhist Tibet Society and helped to establish a Buddhist monastery in Scotland.

He met and worked with mime actor Lindsay Kemp and then formed his own mime troupe as part of his Arts Lab project in Beckenham, Kent, where he’d now set up his headquarters.

Several misguided people said at the time, that by Bowie’s efforts, his Arts Lab commune could become Britain’s first self-sufficient sub- community, but the project floundered.

By the time David had made a “don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss- me” appearance in the film The Virgin Soldiers and had gone to the cinema one night to see Stanley Kubrick’s 200l-A Space Odyssey.

“The whole thing just zapped me,” Bowie said. Bowie went home and wrote the song that was to change his life. Space Oddity was the story of Major Tom, the astronaut who shut off his communications systems, said goodbye to a doomed world and prepared to spend the rest of his life in never decreasing circles in outer space. Space Oddity was also a mammoth seller, topping thei charts round the world. It elevated Bowie to big box-office status.

“It was a catastrophe,” he remembers. “One month I was playing acoustic guitar to ah handful of people in folk clubs, the next I was out on the Mecca   ballroom circuit, a pop star; playing to thousands of scream- i ing kids who wanted to pull me to pieces.

“I couldn’t take it for very long so I went into retirement for a couple of years.” In those two years, during which he married Angela, the daughter of an American mining engineer and had a daughter [sic], Zowie, his peace went undisturbed. Bluntly, he was finished and that was the way he wanted it.

“I had time to sort myself out and write. I needed that time where nobody wanted me to do anything, nobody expected anything of me.”

Then he suddenly appeared with some new almost frighteningly significant songs to which he gave the name The Man Who Sold The World. He was back but this time he was given respect as a composer not just adulation as a pop star.

It was about this time that David was photographed in his Mr. Fish dress. “It’s a man’s dress,” he insisted, “it hasn’t got boobs or anything. I`ve always loved clothes and think that you should dress exactly how you like without a care for what people might think.

“I cannot breathe in the atmosphere of convention,” he told one interviewer. “I find freedom only in the realm of my own eccentricity.”

David finally consolidated his new-found position in pop with The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, the saga of an imaginary pop group, it’s adventures and eventual destruction.

He is very involved with the stars and beyond, and warns that we should be happier than we are about the prospect of meeting real Spiders from Mars in the years to come.

Bowie leads an isolated life. He surrounds himself with allies and no-one else gets through.

How would he like people to think of him?

“Anyway they want to,” he says. “I’d hate to think I was anybody`s guru, nor am I a pop , idol. Music is far from being my whole life, it’s only my mode of transport for getting my thoughts and beliefs across. I want to retain the position of being a photostat machine with an image.”

Gordon Coxhill