Thursday, 22 August 2013

Mr Freedom: Kensington Church Street 1971

A truly great article about the Mr Freedom clothing boutique, originally published in the Look-In Fashion Model Annual, 1971. Comprising of seven pages in total, with several colour fashion photographs and another five in b&w showing both the interior and the exterior of the shop, it also includes an amazingly detailed text by Laurie Kuhrt which really captures the essence of what Mr Freedom was about.  All of the clothes modelled by Frederika Elizabeth Mary Lambert-Laughton (better known to her friends as 'Freddie') are from the Kensington Church Street branch of the boutique. The Diana Crawshaw baseball suit is of course instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with the label, and although none of the designers were credited individually in the piece at the time, I have been able to match a few of the other outfits to their creators thanks to Paul Gorman's book - Mr Freedom Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero which you can read about in one of my previous posts here. The following paragraph is a brief extract from the Look-In article which gives a wonderful description of the shop.

"It's a remarkable shop. The price tags are cardboard fried eggs. Inside, a huge fly eight or nine feet long slowly flaps it's wings just above your head and further inside a chest-high model of a shoe looms large in metallic mauve. There's an armchair made to look like a huge set of false teeth and furniture the shape and colour of liquorice all-sorts. There are beautiful Mr Freedom-clad assistants and a wide-grinning Teddy boy called 'arold. Not to mention the clothes. Mr Freedom stocks an ever changing shopful of vivid, original fashions, each one more outrageous than the last and each quite different. There are fashions from the thirties and forties. There are drape jackets and blue suede shoes from the Teddy boy era, and shorts and sling back shoes fit for fifties film stars, enamel brooches, sneakers, platform shoes, sailor suits, and a whole host of incredible clothes that could have only come from the seventies. And all the time new ideas bring new clothes. Mr Freedom doesn't follow fashion, he leads".



Velvet shorts and woolly hooped socks by Pamela Motown matched with a T-shirt carrying the number 6.




                 Yellow and blue suit worn with art deco belt and suede helmet with printed goggles.




                           Velvet Baseball suit in black with red trim designed by Diana Crawshaw.




                    Teal Satin coat with fur trimmed collar and cuffs, worn with red butcher boy cap.




Mr Freedom multi-coloured satin jockey cap designed by Diane Saunders, as worn by Mick Jagger during his performance of Brown Sugar on Top Of The Pops in march of 1971.




The Stones on Top Of The Pops, 1971. Mick is wearing a satin jockey cap and number 3 t-shirt from Mr Freedom.


                                                                   IMAGE CREDITS
All images and original text scanned by Sweet Jane from Look-In Fashion Model Annual 1971.  Model: Freddie, original article by Laurie Kuhrt, photographs by Bob Hall. The fashion shoot took place at a gymnasium above a pub called the Thomas a Beckett in the Old Kent Road.


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