430 KINGS ROAD
While rewatching the dvd release of David Batty's 'My Generation' documentary a few months ago, I leisurely slowed down and paused on all of the fantastic archival footage filmed around Carnaby Street and the King's Road in the 1960s…which is exactly what I had wanted to do ever since frame after frame flashed before my eyes when the documentary—narrated and presented by Michael Caine, had screened at the IFI back in March 2018. Of the many images that caught my attention, one was of particular interest to me…it's just a cropped shot of a girl waiting on a friend outside Bazaar at 138a King's Road, Chelsea. She has already done some clothes shopping, but she hasn't bought them from Mary Quant…because as the camera panned across I noticed that the carrier bag she was holding came from 4.30 Boutique!
What did I find so interesting about the sighting of this particular boutique's carrier bag you may ask?...because it doesn't look or sound like much, and was visible for less than a second. Well, 4.30 at 430 Kings Road, was owned by Carol Derry (26) and her boyfriend Bill Fuller (33)...and to my knowledge, for a period of time in the mid sixties they were the very first to trade as boutique owners at the now legendary location before 'almost' disappearing into complete obscurity. But thereafter, the landmark fashion outlet and the legacy of its future proprietors would be well documented and widely known. Beginning with Michael Rainey's 'Hung On You' after he had relocated from his Cale Street premises to 430 Kings Road in 1967, 430's reputation continued to gather momentum when it became Mr Freedom under the partnership of Trevor Myles and Tommy Roberts in 1969, that was followed by Trevor Myles' Paradise Garage in 1971, before completely changing ownership once more to become Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's Let it Rock in 1972, Too Fast to Live Too Young to Die (1973), SEX (1974), Seditionaries (1976), and lastly, it became known as the Worlds End in 1980, and it remains as such to the present day.
The exterior of Hung On You, after it had relocated to 430 King's Road in 1967. There are quite a few photographs of the shop at its previous Cale Street address, but very few available of it at this location. I scanned this one from Paul Gorman's highly recommended 'The Look' - Adventures in Pop & Rock Fashion (Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 2001). You can view some further images and information about Hung On You at 430 Kings Road in one of my previous posts On the Boutique Beat.
I can't be certain, but I think the very first time I ever heard of 4.30 Boutique was around twenty years ago. I'd seen it mentioned very briefly in a couple of books from the period about the scenemakers and boutiques in sixties London, one published in November 1966, the others in May and July of 1967. At this point I don't have an exact launch or closing date for the shop, but they were definitely still trading there during the same time period as Granny Takes a Trip, which had opened further along down the road at 488 in February 1966. But long before Carol Derry or Bill Fuller took over the lease at 430 Kings Road, the premises in its many previous incarnations had initially been residential before becoming a pawnbrokers for several decades, it was also a cafe run by Ida Docker in the 1950s, a yacht agency, and a motor-scooter dealership until they came along, indelibly altering its course and establishing its future in fashion.
4.30 Boutique, 430 Kings Road. The boutique opened Monday-Saturday 10.30 am-6.30 pm, on Thursday's it closed at 1pm, and on Friday's it was open until 8 pm. It mostly sold girls clothes and accessories, but also stocked a good range of trendy belts for men.
I'm well aware that there was an abundance of boutiques throughout London during this period, apparently another seven new ones opened in this area between November 1966 and January 1967 alone, many were short lived and have disappeared without a trace, but while others came and went, something about this seemingly unlikely location worked...it had staying power! So i've always thought that the acquisition of 430 by Carol Derry and Bill Fuller was such a pivotal moment in both the cultural and fashion history of the street that it was a shame there was no visual record to document their presence there...I have of course searched regularly over the years, but never found anything and eventually gave up until I'd spotted the carrier bag, which inspired me to give it another shot..and as luck would have it, that very same day I came across not just one but six photographs!...all of which were taken outside the 4.30 Boutique. The images above and below are just three examples of the six photographs which turned up for sale as negatives on Ebay a few months ago.
These look like they may be outtakes from press publicity shots to me, and I also think that's got to be Carol Derry..and perhaps her partner Bill Fuller, although there is another guy visible inside the shop doorway and he's also in several of the other photos. However, I came across a snippet of archival information which mentioned that a 'Vivienne Parker' was also involved in running the boutique, but ultimately, it seems to be Carol and Bill's association with the shop that has just about stood the test of time. Carol was the daughter of the test pilot John Derry, who is believed to be the first Briton to have exceeded the speed of sound in flight in 1948, her boyfriend and business partner Bill Fuller, was an ex-naval officer. Other than this, very little appears to be known about them except that their clothes were the cheapest in London next to Biba's, and certainly the lowest in the King's Road. Carol created the clothes herself and they also stocked a range of imported French designs. Summer skirts cost from 25 shillings to 2 pounds, and dresses from thirty-nine-and-eleven pence to seventy shillings. Trouser suits averaged in price from eight pounds to eight-pounds-ten, and there was also an extensive range of accessories available. All of which mostly sold to their regular customers, largely made up of working class dollybirds who were prepared to spend between £6 to £10 pounds here every single week, in most cases that was probably about half or more of their wages...which astonished Carol Derry.
I always try to accurately credit photographers, but in this case it remains a mystery…as does the date that the photos were taken. I had initially thought 1965, but if you take a closer look at the window, you'll see what looks like possibly three lp covers, or more likely three record company A&R promotional poster boards on display…it looks like The Beatles circa 1964 on the right, there's a Miles Davis promotional poster on the far left, and in the middle is Barbra Streisand with circa 1963 Barbra Streisand hair, or at least how it looked on the cover of The Second Barbra Streisand Album. As i've said previously, I think these photographs look outtakes from some kind of press publicity shots, perhaps connected to the big announcement painted on the window, and upon closer inspection of the note on the shop door, they appear to be opening a coffee bar at 2.30pm on Saturday.
So, after some further research, i've discovered that he was quite the entrepreneur and that the boutique was not his first or last business venture. After his naval career ended in 1955, he dabbled in farming for a brief period before giving it up and moving to London where he found employment as a copywriter at the Mather & Crowther advertising agency. But by 1962, he had started a portable florist business in Chelsea known as The Flower Bar (Paris & Lambert Ltd.), which he ran with his French wife Jeannine from the back of a converted and customised 1930s London taxi-cab that they had bought for a tenner, a business idea that British Pathé found both innovative and quirky enough to become the subject of one of their short newsreel films. However, his career path would soon after take yet another direction when Clement Freud hired him to run the catering operations at the newly revived Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, a role which would last for six consecutive seasons, and on the back of its success he would also acquire the catering concession at the popular La Discotheque in Wardour Street, and eventually began to make his mark in the culinary world.
La Discotheque, 17 Wardour Street, Soho W,1., as seen in A Raver's Guide to discotheques, Rave Magazine, April 1966.
At some point after 1962 his marriage to Jeannine ended, and he would later marry Carol Derry in 1967. It was around this time—which coincides with the closure of the 4.30 boutique, that he was invited by the impresarios Charles Ross and David Conville—managing director of the aforementioned Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, to open and run the Spot restaurant in the Kings Road, the first of three. He would eventually branch out on his own, becoming the sole owner of Spot III located on the Fulham Road. Upon his return to his native Yorkshire along with Carol and their children in 1979, he acquired The Drum and Monkey restaurant in Harrowgate, which he ran for the following 24 years before retiring in 2003.
Bill Fuller and his wife Jeannine selling flowers in Chelsea in 1962, from the back of a converted 1930s London Taxicab which they had bought for a tenner. I haven't managed to identify the model yet, but I think it may be one of the range of Austin London Taxicab's.
BEYOND THE 4.30 BOUTIQUE
HUNG ON YOU
(1967 - 1969)
(1). A rare photograph of the interior at Hung On You, 430 Kings Road, 1967, this was the changing room area. I had a conversation with former Hung On You employee Timothy Allen a few months ago, and he told me that the custom wallpaper design (just seen) was based on the wall mural in Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's 'Odalisque, Slave, and Eunuch' (1839), the original painting which was previously known under the title Odalisque with a Slave, is currently held in the Harvard Art/Fogg Museum collection.
(2).The exterior of the first Mr Freedom outlet located at 430 King's Road, Chelsea, which previously operated as Michael Rainey's Hung On You before his departure from the premises in 1969. The refit was handled by the incredibly talented art collective known as the Electric Colour Company, and was carried out over a few weeks in July. The shop sign displayed the 'Mr Freedom' name in red and black concertina lettering embracing the planet earth, which was painted in blue and green against a yellow background. A flag bearing the comic strip profile of detective Dick Tracey in appliqué and plastic, rendered in the style of Andy Warhol's 1960 painting of the same image fluttered above a pole, and on the ledge over the shop there was a 50% life size hollow resin sculpture of 1940s Western movie star Roy Rogers on the back of his rearing steed Trigger, the refurbishment created the perfect pop art environment for Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles new venture.
(3).Trevor Myles on his flocked Tiger Stripe 1968 Ford Mustang outside Paradise Garage, 430 King's Road, in 1970. Photo: Tim Street-Porter.
LET IT ROCK
(4). Sales assistant Addie Isman (centre), and co-owner/designer Vivienne Westwood outside Let it Rock, 430 Kings Road in 1972. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita.
TOO FAST TO LIVE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE
(5).Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, 430 Kings Road, London, 1973.
(5).Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, 430 Kings Road, London, 1973.
(7). The shop's legendary sales assistant Jordan, photographed standing in the doorway of Sex, 430 King's Road, London, Photo by Sheila Rock.
Image Credits, Links & Further Reading
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from the following publications: Hung On You exterior and interior from The Look ― Adventures in Pop & Rock Fashion by Paul Gorman, Sanctuary Publishing Limited, 2001 edition. Mr Freedom exterior from Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts British Design Hero by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita Ltd, 2012. Trevor Myles/Paradise Garage from The Look ― Adventures in Rock & Pop Fashion by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita 2006...(yes, so good i've purchased it twice - this the recommended updated edition!). Let it Rock (1972) from Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly, published by Picador, 2014. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die from Punk―a life apart by Stephen Colgrave and Chris Sullivan, published by Cassell & Co, 2001. Jordan outside Sex, from Boutique London―A History, King's Road to Carnaby Street by Richard Lester, published by ACC Editions, 2010. Seditionaries from Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly, published by Picador, 2014. Worlds End from Satellite Sex Pistols by Paul Burgess & Alan Parker, Abstract Sound Publishing, 1999. 4.30 Boutique images courtesy of the Zafira88 Old Images Ebay Shop. 4.30 carrier bag screen shot via My Generation (Dir. David Batty - 2017).
Discover more about the story of Paradise Garage created by Trevor Myles and his posse of designers on the rebound from his first love Mr Freedom over on the magnificent Wonder Workshop. My review of Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts British Design Hero by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita Ltd, 2012. View some film footage of the Let it Rock stall at the London Rock 'n' Rock Show at Wembley Arena, 1972. Examples from the Seditionaries: Clothes For Heroes Mail Order form. Defying Gravity Jordan’s Story by Jordan and Cathi Unsworth published by Omnibus Press 2019. Punk's Original Provocateur - The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren by Paul Gorman, published by Constable 2020. More on the rise and rise of the fashion boutique in some of my previous posts: The Carrot on Wheels David Bailey's Boutique! (1965). The Birdcage Boutique Nottingham (1965). The British Boutique Boom (1966). Gear Guide A hip-pocket Guide to Britain's Swinging Fashion Scene (1967). Jenny Boyd on the Kings Road boutique beat in 1967. The Fool and Apple Boutique (1968). Apple, the Beatles' London boutique is the beginning of a whole new Beatle empire! (1968). And finally, The Boutiques Business (1970).