There are no gloomies in Peter Max land - just twirl the cheeriest umbrella this side of cloud nine and see the smiles. Vinyl; for D.Klein; about $8. Then hop-to skippy scrambled legs. Petaled nylon pantyhose pace in myriad colors - Mr Max did them for us and Burlington-Cameo; about $8.
Image & original text scanned by Sweet Jane from Seventeen Magazine April 1970.
A charming article, written by Ready Steady Go presenter and 'Queen of the Mods' Cathy McGowan for RAVE magazine in November 1964, enthusing about the fledgling designs of Barbara Hulanicki at a very early stage in her Biba career. this piece was published less than two months after the opening of the first Biba shop in Abingdon Road. It's part of a fourteen page feature (six of which are made up of poster style photographs) called 'Cathy's Clan - Are you with them?...They're the new Jet Set, today's Fun People...and the Ready Steady Girl knowsthem all.' And she certainly did! Having made the transition from secretarial work in the fashion department at Woman's Own Magazine to co-presenting Britain's premier weekly music TV show while still in her teens after she had been chosen from among 600 other applicants for the position, she suddenly found herself propelled to fame and became a key component in the emerging British pop and fashion scene. The show beamed into every household between 6-7pm on Friday nights under the declaration 'The weekend starts here!' and as its youthful co-host, she personified the new-profile teen of the decade - a genuine music fan, with an impeccable flair for fashion and an informal presenting style which was a like breath of fresh air compared to what had gone before.
Cover girl - Cathy McGowan (1965) This was Cathy's second feature for RAVE, having only recently joined them as a contributor in the previous October issue. The pages are full of the latest insider pop gossip, musings about what's 'in' versus what's 'out', her style heroes, and the clubs that she and the new jet set frequent, such as The Scene, Beat City and the 51 Club, but the definite favourite at this point in time seems to be the Ad Lib in Soho. She also chats about her most recent designer discoveries, as presenter of RSG it was a firm rule that she wore a different outfit on the show every week (she was given a clothing allowance to cover this), and usually went shopping for a new look on Saturday mornings with her sister Frankie. Apparently, a regular port of call was always Woollands in Knightsbridge, where she had purchased her first ever RSG outfit, but reading between the lines, I'm guessing that overenthusiastic sales girls, a dozen or more approaching her at once each time since with 'just the right little number that they had been keeping especially for her' may have taken the spontaneity out of the shopping experience there and sent her in other directions....namely, in the direction of Foale & Tuffin and Barbara Hulanicki. She was introduced to Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin through a friend in December 1963 and soon became a regular client at their Soho showroom, viewing all their new work several weeks before it went into production and the Biba designer was first brought to her attention through her sister Frankie, via a double page spread in Honey Magazine which had featured several of Barbara's designs, they included a mix and match printed cotton blazer, skirt and trousers along with a Winnie-the-Pooh hat and blouse, this was the summer of '64 approximately four months before Biba had made the changeover from fully fledged mail order business to bricks and mortar shop.
Cilla Black & Cathy McGowan helping with the move from Biba in Abingdon Road to the new Biba premises in Church Street (1966). Upon meeting, the pair struck up an immediate friendship, and Cathy was soon to be seen regularly wearing Biba designs on RSG. I'd love to track down a photograph of the very first Biba dress that she wore. I have most of the Ready Steady Go shows but they're all on VHS and long since stored away, but as this was June 1964, i've narrowed it down to the following episodes, it's either Season 1, Episode 45 which was aired on June 5th (Adam Faith & The Fortunes) - Season 1, Episode 46 which was aired on June 12th (Dusty Springfield, Dave Clark Five) - Season 1, Episode 47, June 19th (The Animals, Davie Jones and the King Bees) or Season 1, Episode 48, June 26th (The Rolling Stones,The Merseybeats). RSG ceased broadcasting in December 1966 after a three year run, and although Cathy McGowan's career in television was relatively short lived, there is no doubt that she was pivotal in translating current fashion trends to the masses. According to Revolt intoStyle - George Melly's account of the Pop Arts in the 50s and 60s, based on his own experience as a touring musician, he notes that prior to the arrival of RSG, fashions and other trends could take an incredibly long time to spread throughout the country, with even the larger cities such as Manchester and Liverpool flagging at least six months behind the capital. However, the weekly transmission of the new pop show changed all that, because it plugged directly into the centre of the latest scene and immediately transmitted the information to the entire teenage population of the British Isles all at once. Although an ardent admirer of all aspects of the show, which by his own admission he never missed if he could help it, in spite of being middle-aged at the time, he didn't quite realise just how vital her presence was to its success! But he eventually came to the conclusion (upon reflection after the show's demise) that Cathy McGowan was RSG! In his final analysis, he stated that she was - The bridge between Pop and its audience, her clothes, her jolie-laide sex-appeal, totally transformed the girls of Britain. She was the prototype dolly. She destroyed the class basis of fashion, gesture and speech. 'Smashin,' she said. (George Melly, Revolt into Style, p. 189).
CLAN CLOTHES FOR YOU!
Barbara Hulanicki's designs are really crisp! But Cilla and I agree, she's a problem. Why? Because she's so good we'd like to keep her to ourselves - our "secret" dressmaker. On the other hand, she deserves to be wider known. We just have to tell people about her. Like Cilla, I introduced Barbara to Elkie Brooks at the Ad Lib. It was just before Elkie was to go to New York with The Animals. She wasn't happy with her clothes and Barbara promised to design some specially for the trip. They were so super I asked her if I could show them to Rave readers. And here they are! Elkie's wearing them. Barbara is Britain's top fashion artist, so I was delighted when she agreed to do the sketches herself. Designing such great clothes is a fairly new development for her. Now she's taken the plunge, gone into manufacturing and opened her own little boutique in Kensington. Barbara is making copies of Elkie's clothes, so now you can wear them, too. And they're ridiculously cheap now they're in production.
Left: For those cool Clan parties, simplicity is the style. Like this long dress in black and white pin dot jerseyland at £3 3s. Sizes 8-14. Looks great! Centre: Still on easy-on-eye simplicity, this black crepe tube dress with full-length flared sleeves and beach bobble turning at neck and cuffs takes a lot of beating. Cost: £3 3s. Sizes 8-16. Right: Always get your man in one of these two-piece suits; patterned lace or white rib (far right), with matching shoes by Saxone. Suit sizes 8-14 at £5 5s. For that ice-cool Clan look top the suit off with a matching hat: £1 1s.
Left: How's this for way-out-in-front Clan-girl trendsetters? Elkie's sophisticated but casual in this dark-coloured print culotte, priced at £4 4s. Matching low-heeled Saxone shoes are essential to get the smooth girly look. Centre: Ideal for slim Clan-girls; this delicate "Cathy" smock dress priced at £3 3s. in navy and white dot jerseyland with white pique collar and cuffs. The soft hat costs £1 1s.
Top Right: Your man will envy this "Carnaby" shirt on a casual date. In black or white crepe, it costs £2 2s. Wear it with 5s pearl links (below). Bottom Right: Clan-wear accessories; a five ft-long scarf and matching hat in black-white check. Hat: £1 1s. Scarf: 19s 6d.
PHOTO CREDITS & LINKS
All images & original text scanned by Sweet Jane from the following publications, Rave and Hit Parade, issue No.10, November 1964, Ready Steady Go! book published by TV Publications Ltd. 1965 and From A to Biba by Barbara Hulanicki (1983). Rave photographs by P. L. James, illustrations by Barbara Hulanicki. Further information about Woollands 21 Shop can be found in one of my previous posts here, and finally Generation X are in love with Cathy McGowan here.
Dude cubes! City-slicked flats. Block-busting little heels. Bounding about on nice-cube toes. Some big with the buckle bit. Others take the button whole. One razzles tassels. Another bow-ties bows. All in more colors than money. $8 - $11 at stores who dude-it before anyone else!
Image and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from Seventeen Magazine September 1967.
A gorgeous, full colour, two page illustration, measuring 20½" x 13¼" originally published in EyeMagazine, 1968. (Click image for larger view.)
PARDON ME YOU'RE STANDING ON MY YELLOWFOOT
OUCH, my orange foot, maroon, blue foot, foot shod in leather, suede, kid. Oh, my foot in shrieking color. My masculine or feminine foot. Color is for everyone.
From left to right: Cannes racing sneaker; Keds Uni-Royal, $5.95. Leather Edwardian Pump; Perugia, $40. Patent leather granny oxford; Sbicca, $16. Suede loafer; Renegades, $19. Suede and leather boot; London Character, $20. Thirties platform-soled shoe; Dan Berk, $32. Slipper with high vamp, new higher heel; Evelyn Schless, $27.
Image and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from Eye Magazine April 1968. Illustration uncredited.
Cola was never like this. You don't just drink Wink. You feel it. A million liquid diamonds turn on all at once. A tintinnabulating* tingle wipes out your thirst. And your taste will tell your mind...Wink is where it's at.
*Definition of Tintinnabulation 1: The ringing or sounding of bells 2: A jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells. First known use: 1831
(Image scanned by Sweet Jane from EYE Magazine April 1968)
Choose your new face at Selfridges The biggest cosmetics department in the country. And the best. And it isn't even confusing. To start with you'll find it without even looking. Right in the centre of Selfridges Ground Floor. Then you'll see it's divided into separate cosmetic houses. With top consultants from Elizabeth Arden, Harriet Hubbard Ayer, Orlane, Revlon, Helena Rubinstein and everybody else who's anybody. And they nearly always choose Selfridges to launch their new products. And hold their special promotions. And give away their free gifts. So if it's a new face you want. Come to Selfridges. And if you want a new hairstyle to match try one of the wigs on the Ground Floor east. Or the new Hairdressing and Beauty salons on the Third Floor will do wonders with your own hair. A new body to go with it all? Take a Sauna or experience a Massage. Also in the Third Floor salons. Give us a chance and we'll make a new woman of you. IMAGE CREDITS Image and original text scanned from The Sixties in Queen published by Ebury Press, advert first published in Queen Magazine 1969.
Jewels, twentieth-century style: four glimmering striped skimmers! Glimmer-green T, above, of Arnel and Celanese nylon knit (Winkler) striped and belted in hot pink. By Kandy Kaye Jr. Petites; about $18. Hattie Carnegie earrings.
Three neon-striped shinies to seize a discotheque spotlight. Bared-away chevron stripes, orange on black, about $25. Maison de Fou earrings, Mr Wepin, Capezio shiny shoes. Shiny bars of hot pink and black, circled and bowed by more of the same, about $30. Maison de Fou earrings, Hattie Carnegie ring, VanEli shoes. Emerald and black chevron stripes for a tent swung from a high collar, about $25. Tacoa earrings, Piccolino shoes. All three of Wales shiny acetate, by Norman Sacks. Stockings by Christian Dior.
PHOTO CREDITS All images and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from Seventeen magazine September 1967, Photographer: Carmen Schiavone, Hairdos by Magrit of Elizabeth Arden.
An easy do-it-yourself design is the dress that is literally a snap to do. It is made of strips of pliable leather held together with metal grip fasteners. Beginning at the hemline, a girl can remove a layer to get a mini-skirt length (Top), take off a circle at the waistline to expose her midriff (Middle) and end up with a bare-minimal two part outfit (Bottom). The dress is designed by Emmanuelle Khanh of Paris for Paraphernalia. It costs $90.
All images and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFEMagazine September 1966.
IMAGE CREDIT Image scanned by Sweet Jane from Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s published by Fiell. llustration by Chuck Wilkinson for Woman's Mirror 1969. Discover more about the artist & view other examples of his work here. And you'll find the CW Collection Facebook page here.
Pampered to pieces: isn't that the life you dream of ? Now you can pick up these pieces and settle for the look (while the dream, like Twiggy's, stays intact).
The Twig feels pampered to pieces in cuddlesome, easy-living wools - all her own selections. Powdery pales, above, melt into a crusader coat-dress of tiny herringbone (with rabbit's hair added). When more coverage is called for, the cowled pink yoke becomes a full-fledged hood ($35).
Runaway ribbon, with embroidery for company - finds it's way up and down a zip-it coatdress with raglan sleeves and welted pockets, in gaberdine ($40).
British 'ardware, above, studs coaty chinchilla in a queen's-greenery shade, ($25). PHOTO CREDITS Images scanned by Sweet Jane from Seventeen Magazine - September. 1967. All three dresses by Twiggy of London. Photographer: Joseph Santoro.
See-through shoes! Open to flattery in the prettiest pastel shades of suede. And only 52/11 a pair! Also in black leather and brown suede. Wouldn't you know they're from Manfield-The fashion shoe shop.
Image scanned by Sweet Jane from RAVE magazine April 1966
Atlantic City, that granddaddy of all shore resorts, is a place of warmth and whimsy, of sun-bleached boardwalks and grand if slightly tatty architecture, where a hotel may take the shape of an elephant, and the ghosts of vacationers past - Diamond Jim Brady was one - stalk the verandas. Atlantic City is also the natural setting for this season's nostalgic fashions. Updatings by designers, ranging from Elder master Norman Norell to the off-beat young, recall a time when every lady bore a parasol. And though unabashedly romantic, the styles are fresh as the salt beeeze, saved from being saccharine by a sense of simplicity and, ocasionally, humor.
Baring a lot of modern back is a frilly play outfit ($25) by Jeannemarie Volk. The top, which is derived from a pinafore, ties over a pair of bikini pants. A don't go near the water suit, it is in spirit and intent a complete contrast to the classic maillot.
Perched on the penthouse balcony of the Shelburne Hotel above the boardwalk, model wears an organdy outfit ($125) by Adolfo, who also made her hat and belt.
Behind the linen dress above ($495 from John Moore) stands a two-storey high elephant, once a honeymoon hotel.
Girls holding parasol-like umbrellas are wearing matching striped raincoats ($250) by DonaldBrooks. Water resistant curls are wigs made of Dynel by Reid Meredith ($26).
Bikini cover - up copied from 1910 motoring duster is by Gayle Kirkpatrick ($159).
Straw-hatted girl in a vest-topped midi dress, from Geoffrey Beene ($190).
Midi-length dress with a look of old thrift-shop authenticity comes from the New York shop, Etcetera ($69).
Juggler stands in front of Steel Pier's mystery ride and wears fancy sleeved mini, BetseyJohnson ($34).
Romper-suited model wields life-size blow-ups of Atlantic City's first paid lifeguards, who took up their posts in 1892. The play suit (Doodles, $18) is modest but it shows a lot more skin than these two ever saw. (Until 1907 ladies had to wear stockings on the beach).
On the roof of the Steel Pier, ruffled lace dress by Kasper-Joan Leslie ($150) is worn with a flower-laden hat from Emme.
PHOTO CREDITS All images scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFE Magazine May 1968, photographed by Richard Davis.
Five floors of fashion-wise shopping-everything a woman could ask for - for herself and her family; fashions, accessories, fabrics, top-to-toe grooming in our Hairdressing and Beauty salon. The fully licensed Restaurant serves the entire menu of delicious dishes all day from 10 a.m. Interpreters and currency exchange facilities available - all this in a day's shopping!
There have been numerous books written on the subject of fashion from the 1960s and 1970s, but every now and then, a snippet of news about a brand new one appears on the horizon, and I instinctively know that it will become an instant favourite...which leads me to believe that perhaps sometimes you can actually judge a book by its cover! So, a couple of months ago, as the release date approached, I reserved a special place on the Sweet Jane bookshelf as I awaited the arrival of Mr Freedom - Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero by Paul Gorman. I have been following the progress of this book for the past year or so and enjoying all of the updates via twitter and The Look's blog, there have also been some very entertaining promotional radio interviews with Tommy Roberts in recent times too, prior to its publication. He truly is a British Design Hero and one that seems to have been totally overlooked until now for some reason, which amazes me! Especially when contemplating the iconic visual impact that his many contributions have made on the collective consciousness regarding popular culture from those particular eras. Thanks to author Paul Gorman, this oversight has now been put to right, and Tommy Roberts has finally been given the credit and acknowledgment that he deserves. The book itself is wealth of knowledge, thoroughly researched, brilliantly written and evidently a labour of love! Every page is an inspiration, as it tells Roberts' story from his childhood through to his early modernist years spent in Soho jazz clubs and coffee bars, before moving on to the opening of Kleptomania in 1966, which was to be the first of several highly successful and innovative forays into world of retail and design. The pinnacle of these ventures being Mr. Freedom, the boutique which Roberts and his partner Trevor Myles launched in late 1969 as the decade descended into a sartorially drab decline. Taking inspiration from the William Klein movie released earlier that same year, the emerging fashion label lived up to the superhero connotations that the name suggested, exploding onto the high street with an infectious vibrancy that essentially pumped new life back into the flagging fashion scene, and carried it safely over the threshold from 1969 into 1970. According to Roberts, sales got off to somewhat of a slow start, but business eventually picked up via a very favourable double-page spread in the Sunday Times by influential fashion editor Molly Parkin. The new shop at 430 king's road, which had been completely refurbished in pop art style by the Electric Colour Company, soon became a mecca for visiting celebrities. On a typical day you could wander in to find the likes of Peter Sellers, Twiggy, Mick Jagger, Paloma Picasso, David Bailey and Marc & June Bolan, all shopping or hanging out, while Tommy and Pamela Motown (one of the Mr Freedom design team) jived around the clothes racks to the sound of their favourite album of surf hits, Cruising '61. As popularity grew, demand rapidly increased, everyone wanted a slice of the Mr Freedom action, Barbra Streisand and Cher both purchased an entire rail of merchandise each! And when they decided to remarry, Liz Taylor commissioned the shop to make a vest with Richard Burton's face appliquéd onto it for herself, and one for Richard with hers...people were flying in from the continent just to purchase the signature Mr Freedom star design T-shirts! In a little over a year of opening they had relocated to a much larger three story premises at 20 Kensington Church Street. With extra space at their disposal, the characteristic Mr Freedom Pop Art decor now took on an even more elaborate progression of this design concept, under the creative guidance of architect Jon Wealleans, and its success was closely followed by the launch of an equally flamboyant themed restaurant called Mr Feed'em in the basement. The Mr Freedom moment was one of the most innovative and visually spectacular in British retail, and as they branched out into other areas of merchandise it became the first true lifestyle fashion shop. However, its existence was relatively short lived, by 1972 it was all over and Tommy Roberts was soon on to his next venture. He launched City Lights in Covent Garden, which was yet another groundbreaking boutique, patrons included Angie & David Bowie, Roxy Music and Jerry Hall. At one point in his illustrious career he also managed Kilburn and the High Roads-Ian Dury's art rock outfit, before eventually moving on to become one of the first purveyors of high-tech/kitsch homewares and original art and design collectibles at his Practical Styling and Tom Tom outlets in the 1980s and 1990s. And in 2001, along with his son Keith, Roberts launched Two Columbia Road, specializing in a broad range of collectible furniture, associated design, works of art and photography. Although I've never met Tommy Roberts, I have come away from this book with a great regard for him. He exemplifies British boutique culture at its best and is a man of many talents...visionary, pioneer and the ultimate shopkeeper. But I think his greatest attribute is his natural sense of entrepreneurialism, it has successfully led him from one business to another over the past fifty years. I admire his ability to make things happen, his knack of surrounding himself with a stellar cast of exceptionally creative contributors and co-conspirators along the way, far too many to name individually, who all equally played a part in translating his incredible vision into a tangible reality and vice-versa. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, book of the year for me so far! And one that I can see myself referring to for many years to come. Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts: British DesignHero by Paul Gorman is available to order directly from the publisher, here.
A promo card from Kleptomania-Tommy Roberts' first boutique, which he opened in the summer of 1966 along with his wife Mary and partner Charlie Simpson. They initially tapped into the second-hand market, selling an eclectic mix of paraphernalia from bygone eras. On opening, the stock itinerary included Edwardian wind-up gramophones, Chinese opium pipes, 1920s candlestick telephones, old military uniforms, police capes, and an assortment of Victorian oddments and curiosities such as What The Butler Saw Mutoscope machines and Penny Farthing bicycles. As the business progressed they began to introduce new stock from young and upcoming designers, meanwhile the customising of second-hand garments and the introduction of a line of kitsch slogan printed t-shirts and accessories gradually moved them towards the eventual manufacture of their own label.
Postcard from Kleptomania, 22 Carnaby Street W1. 1968.
By 1967, they had fully embraced the first Summer of Love and Flower-Power with open arms, selling Kaftans, beads, bells and incense, followed by embroidered afghan coats, floppy-brimmed felt hats, crushed and panne velvet flared trousers, granny glasses and psychedelic goggles adapted with prism lenses to provide a trippy effect! Examples of which, can be seen in this Rave Magazine article, first published in October 1967.
Rave Magazine's in-house dandy decked out in flower-power finery from Kleptomania 1967
Like most ravers i'm all love and flowers this month. It's a great idea in itself, but I don't go much on some of the nastier things that have been associated with flower-power, like drug-taking. I got this complete hippy outfit from that great boutique, Kleptomania, at Kingly Street, London W.1. The loose green, cotton kaftan shirt costs £4 15s. and the white bell-bottom trousers, 50s. The trousers are available in a variety of colours for 55s. a pair. The bell bracelets costs 21s., the joss-sticks 2s.,the beads 7s. 6d. and 9s 11d., The posters are 7s., 9d. for the English* ones and 12s., 11d., for the American ones. All the above are available by post for 3s., extra. (You can read more about the posters mentioned in this article from Rave in one of my previous posts here.)
A Kleptomania boutique slogan, just one of the many hundreds of amazing archival images (both classic and previously unpublished) contained within the book.
Jimi Hendrix, London 1967, wearing a shirt by the label Sam Pig in Love, a new line of clothing introduced to the shop which became a Kleptomania staple, any discerning Rolling Stones fan will be able to tell you that Brian Jones also wore the very same style of shirt. Because, although Kleptomania's location in Kingly Street was off the main Carnaby Street shopping thoroughfare, it was ideally situated in close proximity to the Bag O' Nails club which was one of swinging London's most popular late-night establishments. Frequented by the top echelon of the new rock elite, its clientele included The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Jimi Hendrix Experience among others, who all became regular customers of the Kingly Street shop. According to Tommy, they'd spill out out of the club at three or four o'clock in the morning and spot something in the window that they liked, then send someone around to get it for them the following day.
The exterior of the first Mr Freedom outlet located at 430 King's Road, which previously operated as Michael Rainey's Hung On You before his departure from the premises in the summer of 1969, Roberts struck a deal with him to take over the shop lease for £1,200 with a weekly rent payment of £25 to the landlord. The shop refit was handled by the incredibly talented art collective known as the Electric Colour Company which consisted of four fine art students: Andrew Greaves, Jeffrey Pine, Rod Stokes and David Smith. The refurbishment took place over a period of a couple of weeks in July, the transformation created the perfect pop art environment for Roberts and Myles new venture. 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 on a pole above, 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.
Mick Jagger wearing a Tommy Roberts/Trevor Myles designed T-shirt which he purchased as stagewear for the Stones fateful American tour of autumn 1969. This photograph is from their show at Madison Square Garden. The T-shirt was one of a series of twelve zodiac designs which Tommy and Trevor had created just prior to launching the Mr Freedom shop at 430 King's Road in august of the same year.
The ground floor interior of the Mr Freedom shop at 20 Kensington Church Street , 1971.
David Bowie photographed by Mick Rock at a photo session for the cover of his 1973 Pin-Ups album in a suit designed and made by Derek Morton for City Lights Studio, which was Tommy Roberts third great adventure in retail. Tommy had launched City Lights in 1972 after the demise of Mr Freedom earlier that year, once more engaging the talents of Andrew Greaves and Jeffrey Pine from ECC for a spectacular refit. The new shop was yet again a complete departure from from the previous one in every way possible, all traces of the fun clothing and bright Pop Art aesthetic that had gone before were now eliminated in favour of an emphasis on maturity of design, which was realised by collections that were smart, sexy and noir-ish, set against the decadent proto-goth/industrialised environment of the secluded high concept Covent Garden outlet.
Absolutely fantastic footage from 1970 of the new Mr Freedom look in action, this clip features some of their most iconic designs..brightly coloured midi length jersey dresses, T-shirts and accessories decorated with Pop Art appliqué and Disney prints, satin hot pants, dungarees and over-sized baker boy caps. When Tommy Roberts and his partner Trevor Myles launched the Mr Freedom boutique at 430 King's Road, their mission statement declared that it would be "A total reversal of what was being worn on the street", and what was generally being worn on the streets in London as the 60s came to a close says Roberts 'was an agglomeration of dreary browns'...so I think this footage is definitely proof that they succeeded, the 1970s had 'arrived'.
The Pretty Things performing live in '71, drummer Skip Allen is wearing one of the first Mr Freedom star print long sleeved T-shirts (as seen on the cover of the Mr Freedom book). The star is printed in bright red against a green background with alternate trim detail around the neck and cuffs. The essence of this one simple but very effective design formed the basis upon which the entire Mr Freedom design aesthetic was built.
A great rendition of The Yardbirds' For Your Love performed here by Humble Pie in 1970, Peter Frampton is also wearing yet another variation of a Mr Freedom star design printed T-shirt.
Marc Bolan, a regular customer, can be seen here (1:27) wearing a Mr Freedom mint green single-breasted fitted jacket with wide lapels, embellished with black sequin musical notes and diamante treble clef motifs. Marc wore the jacket several times throughout the filming of this 1972 Apple film 'Born To Boogie'. . Elton John also a regular at Mr Freedom, had decked himself out in clothes from the shop for his debut US appearance at LA's legendary Troubadour club in august 1970, the outfit consisted of velvet dungarees, a baker boy cap and a black T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase 'Rock and Roll'. (The velvet suit that Marc is wearing at the beginning of the video is by Granny Takes a Trip.) Photo Credits, Further Reading & Links Mr Freedom book cover, Kleptomania promo card, Johnny Rave/Rave magazine article, kleptomania boutique slogan, Jimi Hendrix, Mr Freedom shop interior/exterior and David Bowie images - all scanned by Sweet Jane from Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita. Mick Jagger, Madison Square Garden, photograph scanned from The Rolling Stones by Jeremy Pascall & Rob Burt, published by Hamlyn. Recommended reading by the same author; The Look-Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion by Paul Gorman, published by Adelita. A very entertaining BBC Radio 4 interview with Tommy Roberts from june 2012 which you can listen to via the BBC iplayer here. Spend 5 minutes with Jon Wealleans (Mr Freedom's interior architect) and view some of the amazing Mr Freedom furniture designs. here Two Columbia Road-20th Century Art , Furnitiure & Design Collectibles. Here The Electric Colour Company website and ECC Facebook page. Visit the website of Jim O'Connor, designer of the incredible winged boots on the cover and more here