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

Sisters, sisters…

Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, jackie collins, jenny boyd, joan collins, judy geeson, lillian gish, loretta young, lynn redgrave, Pattie Boyd, sally geeson
Judy and Sally Geeson


…never were there such devoted sisters…. I only have brothers so I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have a sister. I always wanted one when I was younger, mainly because my brothers seemed like a pain in the backside a lot of the time (as I’m sure I was to them). Although I love them both dearly, they always had each other and I felt deprived of such a partner in crime. But I guess I’ve also benefitted from never having that kind of competitiveness. This post is pretty much just an excuse to post pictures of a few glamorous famous sisters…

Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac

Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave

Loretta Young, Sally Blane and Polly Ann Young

Patricia and Rosanna Arquette

Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave

Loretta Young and Sally Blane

Jackie and Joan Collins

Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac

Jenny and Pattie Boyd

Lillian and Dorothy Gish

Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine

Joan and Jackie Collins

Jenny and Pattie Boyd

Joan Fontaine and Olivia De Havilland

Weekend Inspirations: The Furry Variations

1970s, brian jones, brigitte bardot, celia hammond, charlotte rampling, diana rigg, edward mann, Inspirational Images, jenny boyd, julie driscoll, linda thorson, Pattie Boyd, sandie shaw, sixties, veruschka

James Wedge the Milliner

british boutique movement, countdown, Foale and Tuffin, hats, james wedge, jenny boyd, moyra swan, Pattie Boyd, sixties, susannah york, top gear, Vogue

James Wedge the Milliner

I’m often yapping on about the genius of James Wedge’s photography, but I have been meaning to share this very rare, very precious part of fashion history and of my personal collection for a while now. Wedge is one of those rare Renaissance-man types; successful in every new skill to which he turned his hand. He successfully ran his own boutiques (Countdown and Top Gear), forged a career in photography with no experience or working knowledge (trial and error often creates some of the best works of art) and, initially, he trained and worked as a milliner.

 James Wedge hats in Vogue

James Wedge hats in Vogue

His hats were regularly featured in Vogue in the early to mid Sixties, often teamed with outfits by his friends Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, and are some of the most perfect examples of mod ‘op-art’ ever created. But they weren’t being produced for long, or in any great quantity, so they are now incredibly rare.

This hat splits me in half. I cannot wear fur. I just can’t. Not particularly morally, I eat meat and wear leather quite happily, but the feel on my skin is like nails down a blackboard. Consequently, a hat made from rabbit fur is a thing of beauty aesthetically but I wouldn’t wear it even if I could squish it over my big head. However, I can’t quite bring myself to sell it just yet. I mean… it’s James Wedge?!

James Wedge the Milliner

Big Hair

backcombing, brigitte bardot, britt ekland, Catherine Deneuve, charlotte rampling, diana rigg, hair, jane asher, natalie wood, Pattie Boyd, picture spam, sixties, talitha getty, twiggy

Big Hair

A celebration of big Sixties hair. Because, if you’re anything like me, Big Hair is the only hair you can possibly manage in summer humidity…

Big Hair
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Big Hair

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Big Hair

The Comely Miss Lumley

Inspirational Images, joanna lumley, Pattie Boyd, sixties

Joanna Lumley in her Swinging Sixties modelling days. An unashamedly posh bird who knew how best to work with masses of hair and ‘insufficient flying buttresses‘. I choose my style heroines verrrrrry carefully, you know…

She’s been in two of my favourite cult TV shows of all time (The New Avengers and Sapphire and Steel) and continues to be an elegant, engaging performer and a true lady to this day. I always admire those who broke somewhat pointless social taboos back in the Sixties, and Joanna chose to have her son ‘out of wedlock’ at a time when it would have ruined many a career.

She’s one of those people who just seems to float gracefully above the mêlée of the world below. Elegant, classy and sparky, never a snob or an airhead. She wasn’t drama school trained either, and I often wonder if this makes someone a warmer, more likeable actor (much like the best fashion designers are rarely those propelled from St. Martins each year).

One day I’ll probably do a proper post on The New Avengers and Sapphire and Steel but, until then, enjoy La Lumley, Sixties-style.












Le Freak, C’est Chic: Ossies! Dancing Pattie!! Ossies!!!

amanda lear, ossie clark, Pattie Boyd

Pattie is shown wearing the ubiquitous scalloped edge trousersuit and Lamborghini. Interestingly named as ‘Georgy Porgy’ in the film. I wonder if that was the original name for the outfit or whether they called it Georgy Porgy as a joke reference to Mr Harrison? Oddly enough, I have greater Ossie-envy for Amanda Lear’s outfits [and, while I’m here, I want her hair!]. And the lucky cow who gets to wear the kicky flared ensemble (Dress of the Year at Bath in 1969 – see below). That’s probably the ultimate Ossie holy grail….for me at any rate.

Irritating that you could dance like that back then. I can dance like that, I could be one of the cool girls… Le sigh.

Top Five Tasty Vintage Blokes

crushes, diana rigg, marc bolan, oliver reed, Pattie Boyd, The Beatles

….In the “those sadly no longer with us category”.

Number Five:


Clark Gable. Not so much for Gone With the Wind services, but for It Happened One Night which is one of my favourite films of all time. The sexual chemistry between Gable and Claudette Colbert is crackling, and it renders him totally irresistable. I was umming and aahhing between Gable and Gregory Peck for the ‘old school’ filmstar Vintage Bloke, but decided Peck (though gorgeous and wonderful in Roman Holiday particularly) was far too clean and smooth looking for my tastes.

Number Four:

Gareth Hunt in The New Avengers. I’ve had a soft spot for poor Gareth Hunt (poor because the man became rhyming slang for something unrepeatable) for years. But seeing him in his youth more recently in The New Avengers. Rowrrrrrrrrr!! He’s a proper blokey bloke, but very sweet with Purdey (the luminous Jo-Lum) and well, it’s inevitable I’d like him isn’t it? He’s so Seventies it hurts!

Number Three:

Marc Bolan. Le sigh. Pretty pretty pretty!! He wore ladies clothes with great aplomb and had the most phenomenal hair. He’s just indescribable, so I’m not going to try…

Number Two:

George Harrison. Seems I chose the right Beatle for my favourite (John Lennon is the only one who has never been my favourite, I think he’s a bit too prickly for me to love him unconditionally). And now he’s sadly left this world, he can’t ruin it all and taint our view of him like Paul and Ringo regularly do. His songs are also my favourite of all Beatles songs, and I think his solo career has been my favourite too. Soulful eyes, beautiful hair and that mystical, serious, quiet persona. If I can still love him after reading Pattie’s autobiography, which is incredible but so sad it can be very hard to read at times, then it must be true love.

Number One:

Oliver Reed. If I had known Olly in his youth, or at any point quite frankly, I know I couldn’t have put up with him. I’d have probably thumped him one on a regular basis, if he didn’t thump me first, and knowing that he liked his women to have ‘traditional’ values he probably couldn’t have put up with me either. But the man was a walking chunk of sex. If you’ve never quite ‘got’ the Oliver Reed thing, just watch The Assassination Bureau with Diana Rigg. Trust me. I know I still haven’t ever recovered.

Bookworm? Well it depends on the book….

granny takes a trip, Pattie Boyd
I know I always read in stockings and suspenders….


I used to be a voracious reader when I was younger. Now I barely seem to have the time, or inclination to get involved in much fiction. But I do have a passion for historical books, biographies, auto-biographies and fashion books (quelle surprise!).

So when Sharon Rose tagged me for a bookworm award, I scanned my room for any books out of my bookcase and found a book which has a bit of each. Pattie Boyd’s autobiography, Wonderful Today. Page 46, sentence 5 and a bit beyond…

Then there was Mr Chow’s restaurant in Knightsbridge; he was going out with Grace Coddington and later married Tina Chow, whom everyone fell in love with. We went to quirky little boutiques, like Granny Takes a Trip, owned by Nigel Waymouth, who was a painter, and John Pearce. They sold paintings, posters and clothes – crushed velvet trousers and fitted jackets with thin arms in wonderful greens and burgundies. Everything was very tight and men wore boots, jackets and shirts with big collars – Regency, almost. There was an amazing number of new shops for men, who were refusing to be like their fathers.

Unusual that it should be a small section without mention of George Harrison, but I figured you’d all appreciate a rare bit of menswear chat on here 🙂

I shan’t tag anyone else because there’ll probably be lots of repeats. But if you’re a reader who’d like to do the ‘bookworm’ blog then please do, and link me up if you’re not already on my links.

Dhani look like his Daddy?

dhani harrison, george harrison, Pattie Boyd, The Beatles
Apologies for the very poor pun in the title, I couldn’t help myself.

Is it wrong to worship Dhani Harrison as some kind of reincarnation of his beautiful father? I’ve always resisted before now, because it seemed very, very wrong.

Well, if it was wrong before I don’t suppose it can be wrong now he’s gone and let himself be photographed AS his beautiful father. Although the supermodel he’s posing with can’t hold a matchstick, let alone a candle, to the magnificent Pattie Boyd. She looks like a prize prat for even trying. But Dhani…..*sigh*….just look at him, let the beauty wash over you and pray that they get around to cloning all the Beatles for every generation.