I finally picked up a copy of London Scene over a year ago after a really long search, and was very pleased to do so—having been intrigued by the cover and thoughts of what lay beyond it ever since it had first came to my attention. And it hasn't disappointed, it's every bit as good as I had imagined it would be. Originally published in 1969, the book consists of 220 pages, 44 of which are made up of text (all in German...I will get around to translating it someday!). Thankfully, the other 176 are all photographs, mainly black & white with about seven or eight in colour, the title page plus the endpapers (both front and back) also contain several images. I would describe it as a reportage photographic document of street style and the underground scene in London during the late 1960s, it reminds me of the work of Frank Habicht and John Hendy from around this period. A copy can set you back anywhere between £80-£180, but I have previously seen it auctioned for a lot more on Ebay, the price obviously driven up by the fact that it has become so rare over time. However, once in a while, a slightly less expensive copy arises for sale, and at last it was my turn to find one! There are some really beautiful photographs in this book, it captures the hippie fashion scene particularly well, and it also contains several images of Amanda Lear with Ulla Larsen at The Chelsea Antique Market among others, such as Yoko Ono, David Vaughan of Binder, Edwards & Vaughan, The Nice, and Alexander Trocchi. The photographers also captured images of the International Times office and The Arts Lab, lots of London street fashion, architecture, plus shop window displays from Gear, Mary Quant and I was Lord Kitchener's Valet. My personal favourite, is a beautifully illustrated advertisement by Rob Peters for Tommy Roberts' Kleptomania boutique in Carnaby Street, the scan doesn't do it justice, in reality it's actually printed on a silver foil background. The following images are just a brief glimpse of what you can expect to see. It's also worth noting that the book measures 8"x 8" and that the majority of the images are of a corresponding size, so if you click on the individual scans it will give you a good indication of what to expect.
PHOTO CREDITS All images scanned by Sweet Jane from London Scene by Juergen Seuss, Gerold Dommermuth and Hans Maier, published 1969
LINKS In the Sixties - the photography of Frank Habicht can be found here. Further information on Tommy Roberts' Kleptomania Boutique can be found here. Black on the Canvas: The trailer for the feature length documentary about the life and times of the artist David Vaughan. And last but not not least 'My Dad's Photographs - the photography of John Hendy' - a comprehensive study of London Street style from 1967-1975
This is the first half of an eight page RAVE feature originally published in 1965, which documents the rise of the new boutique phenomenon in Britain. It covers a total of eight London based boutiques in full but also recommends another seven, which gives just some indication of their increasing popularity at this point in time. Within a year, Millicent Bultitude had published a pocket book called Get Dressed, a useful guide to London's Boutiques, in which she features 38 boutiques and name checks another 29, while also leaving some pages blank at the end of the book for the reader to fill in the facts about any new ones that they may discover themselves due to the rapid pace at which they were popping up in the capital. I'll post the rest of the RAVE article at a later stage, meanwhile the four covered in this particular post are Victoria and Albert,Hem and Fringe, Biba and last but not least Pennyhapenny Boutique, which I was intrigued to discover was owned by one of my favourite bands The Pretty Things. There isn't a great deal of information given about the group's connection with the shop in this piece, but I was interested enough to go searching for more, however, I couldn't find anything... until a couple of days ago, I just happened to check out the Ugly Things Magazine page, when suddenly they uploaded an interview with Dick Taylor about the boutique, (the interview was from an issue of Jackie magazine dated the 12th March 1966). Apparently, it was equally owned by himself and Phil May, they seem to have decided on the name Pennyhappeny as part of a gimmick at first, which they quickly realised wasn't going to prove profitable if they followed through on their original ideas of having nothing in the shop which cost over a penny-halfpenny or by always including a penny and one half penny as part of the change with every item purchased. You can read the rest of the interview by clicking on the link above or in the further reading/links section at the end of this page. I'd love to know much more about it, how long it remained open and what became of it all etc, because at this stage they do seem to have plans to expand the business in the not too distant future and are also considering opening a male equivalent. So anyone out there with any relevant information, feel free to get in touch!
VICTORIA and ALBERT BOUTIQUE 28 Victoria Grove, London W.8
Owned by Rosemary Kirsten who is an ex-model. Sells boys and girls gear of varied price range. Amongst her customers are Twinkle and Lulu. Our choice is a raincoat in P.V.C designed for the boutique by Hilary Floyd, 11gns.
HEM and FRINGE, 35 Moreton Street, London, S.W.1
Recently opened by Patrick Kerr and his wife Theresa. All exclusive designs very inexpensive and way-out. Sandie Shaw and Lulu are among the pop world customers. Our choice (exclusive to RAVE) is a red, white and black light wool dress, 33 9s. 11d, hat to match £1.
PENNYHAPENNY 112 Kensington Park Road London W.11
Boutique with which The Pretty Things and their manager are associated; clothes designed by Tricia Farrar. Inexpensive, exclusive dresses. Our choice - red and black striped dress with long sleeves and round neck, exclusive to RAVE, 5gns. The boutique itself is pretty and feminine, with pink paisley chiffon drapes at the windows. The atmosphere, unlike some of the others, has an olde-worlde air, a touch of Victoriania! Tricia Farrar says The Pretty Things have very definite ideas ideas about what they like and what they don't - they see all her designs.
BIBA 87 Abingdon Road, London, W.8
Owned by designer Barbara Hulanicki and her husband. All exclusive, inexpensive gear. Amongst the customers are Cathy McGowan and Cilla Black. Our choice (exclusive to RAVE) is this black and white Op Art dress with big zip down the front. Price £3 10., helmet to match 21s.
FURTHER READING Boutique - a 60s Cultural Phenomenon by Marnie Fogg published by Mitchell-Beazely. The Look - Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion by Paul Gorman published by Adelita. Boutique London - A History: King's Road to Carnaby Street by Richard Lester (ACC Editions) LINKS The Pretty Things Official Website can be found here. Ugly Things Magazine: Wild Sounds from Past Dimensions can be found here. You can see The Pretty Things in action, in one of my previous posts about Mr Freedom here. The Look of London: An illustrated guide to the city's most influential fashion spots 1950-2000 can be found here. (It's an excellent & far less expensive alternative to Millicent Bultitude's guide)
All images and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from RAVE magazine September 1965. Photographs by P.L James, Fashion Notes by Trilby Lane, Fashion Sketches by Alan Parry. Get Dressed-a useful guide to London's Boutiques by Millicent Bultitude published by The Garnstone Press in 1966.
Venice for the grand passion and the grand manner. Venice for the entrance and the brooding exit. If you've got Byronic humours boiling in your soul, Venice is the place to let them out. For it's one of the few places left where you feel left out if you don't dress up. No sloppy sandals and torn old jeans. A flurry of feathers to float down canals in. Voluminous papal vestments to confess your sins in. Chic trouser-suits to carry out your eccentricities in. The riotous fantasies of Pucci to be wayward in. You can dress to kill and it all adds up to a riotous death in Venice for somebody.
ABOVE: Two-tiered mauve crepe dress with miniature set-in waistband and long pastel pink stole in Ascher Giselle crepe, trimmed with ostrich feathers. Both from Maxine Leighton.
ABOVE: White crepe trouser suit appliqued with daisies, from Femme 90. More ostentatious ostrich feathers on a scarf in white Giselle crepe from Lida Ascher Boutique.
With panache is the way to take fashion and passion in Venice. ABOVE: White cotton pique suit by Bob Schulz, worn with a black cotton Italian skinny polo-necked sweater from Jaeger. The Oliver Goldsmith glasses have one white, one black side. Black and white leather belt with gilt buckle from Galeries Lafayette. Long black and white Gisellle crepe scarf from Lida Ascher Boutique. Black and white twisted bracelets and Vendôme ring with flat black oval onyx, both from Fenwick.
ABOVE: grand fantasy. Venetian Cowboy in white crepon shirt and black trousers by Londonus. Side fastening black leather ankle-boots by Moya at MB shoes. White sunglasses slung over belt, by Oliver Goldsmith. Dicey black and white silk scarf from Fenwick. Black sombrero from Lida Ascher Boutique.
All images and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from The Sixties in Queen published by Ebury Press, the article was first published in Queen Magazine August 1966, all photographs by Helmut Newton.