Friday, 23 December 2016

Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly Boutique Sheffield ┃Jackie Magazine (1969)


Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly, the Sheffield fashion boutique launched in 1967 by local business entrepreneur Roger Howe, has been a source of intrigue to me for quite a while. He was inspired to name the shop after one of Marc Bolan's lyrics from 'Desdemona' the John's Children single which had been released earlier that same year (and then subsequently banned because of it by the BBC, as they considered it to be too controversial). I first came across the boutique in 2009, when I picked up a copy of the excellent King Mojo and Beyond book about the Pop Art scene which sprang up around the legendary Sheffield live music venue. There, on page 39, amongst the club posters, membership cards and murals, were three small images which included an advertisement for the shop and a couple of photographs of Sue Barfield, one of the artists who had painted the facade and designed the interior, while also working as head sales assistant. I've always been curious to know a bit more about it, but apart from one other fantastic photograph taken by JR. James in December 1967, I hadn't managed to find anything else until quite recently. Sometimes these things tend to unravel at their own pace, and purely by chance, it eventually arrived out of the blue via a weekly feature written for Jackie Magazine in 1969 called Around the Boutiques with Sam. It gives a little bit of information about the owner and the back story of how he launched the shop, plus a really great description of the interior and the type of gear that they sold, which you can read all about for yourself in the original article below.


All because John Lennon made a slip of the tongue

Question: What have a cut-price bathroom suite showroom and way-out boutique got in common??! The answer is—tah-rah—a very trendy, go-ahead young man by the name of Roger Howe, who owns both. His main interest, though, is in the boutique at 157 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, called ''Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly.'' ''Ooo!'' I hear you gasp. ''How Suggestive!!'' But keep your hair-piece on. It was all due to a boob made by John Lennon when, in a show, he introduced the song ''Desdemona'' as ''Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly.'' which is a line in the song. That decided Roger to call his boutique the same. What has all this got to do with cut-price baths, then?? Nothing.

A man of many interests is Roger, so he opened the bath business last year as a prosperous sideline. Although he is racing off to London, buying stock for the boutique every week, he still manages to run both enterprises successfully. AND, apart from all that Roger plans to turn the back half of the ''Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly'' into an antique shop. About two years ago, several young ladies were almost arrested for parading around Sheffield's main streets wearing kinky Quorum see-through blouses! VERY DARING!! But it was only a brilliant opening-day publicity stunt, contrived by Roger. With the result, he succeeded in getting the recognition he set out to achieve for the boutique, by his shock tactics! Clever! 

There is a sort of Victorian air in ''Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly'' although the music which constantly blows your mind, I'm sure would not amuse Queen Victoria!! The interior of the boutique was creatively designed by head assistant, Sue Barfield, who should know what she's about, after doing a three year design course at Sheffield College of Art. One wall is completely white with a gigantic psychedelic flower decoration. The two deep red walls add to the mysterious atmosphere created by the striking blue tinted window, which takes up the entire front of the shop. The clothes hang on red rails attached to chains suspended from the tiled mirror ceiling.  

Everywhere you look there are relics of Victoriana times. A super, huge antique cash register, old but now brightly painted chairs, the same with a chest of drawers and painted-up curly coat stand which some of the most fantastic gear is draped over. The communal changing room is divided at one end by a heavy wine velvet curtain hanging from large white rings on a low, white pole. Old reproductions decorate the deep blue walls along with 1930 pin-up type notelets which  sells for a shilling each.  Although this is the colour scheme now, it may change tomorrow because every time Roger returns from London he not only brings back new clothes but also lots of groovy ideas for interior design, which Sue soon puts into action! ''Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly'' is definitely THE place for Sheffield's turned-on dollies stocking such excellent makes as Ossie Clark, Alice Pollock, Early Bird and Consortium. 

The illustrated trouser suit by Ossie Clark is black crepe with scarlet silk edging and costs £10 10s. A bit pricey perhaps, but so outstanding it's really worth it. The jacket is fitted, giving a very slimming effect and the trousers flare out gently with an edge split from the knee down. Also featured is a gorgeous dolly dress in flame satin by Early Bird with black velvet bands round the gathered cuffs and neck and round the hemline. A bit more economical, this at £5 5s. Other good buys are Ossie Clark blouses for £3 15s which look really soopah teamed with a shocking pink velvet tunic suit by Early Bird £6 19s 6d. Dresses range from as little as £3 to £7 and trousers at roughly £5 5s. 

The black crepe trouser suit illustrated above is featured in this episode of the German TV series Der Kommissar, it's modelled by Pattie Boyd at approximately 1:50 into the clip, along with several other Ossie Clark designs throughout, which are again modelled by Pattie and some more very well known models, including Amanda Lear and Kari Ann Muller. 

The Fashion boutique Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly, Norfolk Street, December 1967, Image titled "Sheffield Graphics" by JR James, courtesy of The JR. James Archive.

Sue Barfield at the entrance to Lift Up Your Skirt and Fly on Norfolk Street, Sheffield.

  Another photograph of Sue Barfield taken inside the boutique.

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from the following publications except where stated *otherwise (1.) Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly (poster advertisement) from King Mojo and Beyond by Peter J. Stringfellow, Dave Manvell and Paul Norton. (2.) Ossie Clark & Early Bird illustration from Jackie Magazine issue No.226 April 1969 for an original article by Sam (artist uncredited), (3.) The facade of the Fashion boutique Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly, Norfolk Street, December 1967, Image titled "Sheffield Graphics" by JR James, *courtesy of The JR. James Archive, (4. & 5.) Sue Barfield at Lift Up Your Skirt and Fly on Norfolk Street, Sheffield, from King Mojo and Beyond by Peter J. Stringfellow, Dave Manvell and Paul Norton. Listen to 'Desdemona' by John's Children here, Discover more about Peter Stringfellow's King Mojo Club here, You'll find film footage of an early interview with Alice Pollock & Ossie Clark at Quorum from 1966 here.  An example of another dress from Early Bird Boutique here. And finally, purchase the King Mojo book here, it's a really interesting read with incredible images, and all author royalties go to a very deserving charity.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Baby●Doll Make-Up Woolworth's┃Jackie Magazine (1969)


Yet another fantastic advert for the Woolworth's Baby Doll cosmetics range, this one is a double page measuring approximately 20¼'' x 13½'' from Jackie Magazine, 1969. You can view some more examples of my previous Baby Doll Advert posts via the links at the end of the page.

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from Jackie Magazine, February 15th, 1969 (artist uncredited). Discover more about the Baby Doll Range over at the Woolworth's Museum archive here, view some of my previous Baby Doll Make-Up adverts here, and also here. Take another trip down memory lane via Woolworth's adverts of Christmas past here. And finally, the Fans of Jackie Magazine UK group.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

La Bagagerie┃Jours De France (1971)


1970s Fashion Accessories Paris

Image scanned for the Sweet Jane blog from Jours De France 5th March 1971, with thanks to Brad Jones, photographer Patrick Chambon, outfit by Repetto of Paris, model uncredited. Discover more about the heritage of La Bagagerie founded in 1954 by Jean Marlaix here and view Brigitte Bardot wearing one of their designs in Babette s'en va-t-en guerre here. There are more than 5000 bags to explore in the collection at the Museum of Bags and Purses here, and you'll find a completely different type of of Baggage via Janet Street-Porter hereDandyism has returned! Wear Ruffles! Buy yourself a purse (1970) hereThat's the Bag I'm In: The Life, Music, and Mystery of Fred Neil hereThe Artesians cover of Earl King's Trick Bag here. And finally, The Yardbirds - No Excess Baggage here

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Dentelle Galler and the King's Road Hippies┃Jours de France (1969)

Dentelle Galler and the King's Road Hippies


A somewhat unusual advert promoting lace fabric, obviously there's nothing unusual about a well established company using an advertising campaign to put a new spin on a traditional product―a lot of old brands tried to attract younger customers by tapping into various aspects of the counter-culture scene via print adverts at the time. But I do find it interesting that they make a point of saying that the publicity photograph was taken spontaneously with the participation of some 'hippie friends' in the King's Road! Because generally speaking, advertisement campaigns are usually predetermined right down to the last detail. The couple on the right are the only ones actually wearing lace shirts, it's difficult to tell if they were also part of the impromptu gathering or if they were in fact agency models. Who knows?...perhaps just prior to, or mid-way through the session they went out and scouted for suitable people on the street to join them, to give it a more authentic feel! Which wasn't a bad idea, but may have worked better in a natural setting. It's still a cool shot though, they almost look like they're a band!

C'est à londres que cette photo a été réalisée par publicis, avec la participation spontanée de hippies rencontres dans king's road.                                                   

Image scanned for the Sweet Jane blog from Jours de France, 19th April, 1969, photographer & models uncredited. Some more examples of London street fashion from the same period in one of my previous posts:  London Scene - Juergen Seuss, Gerold Dommermuth and Hans Maier (1969). Swop Shop - fashion for him & her in 1970. Curls―the Nouvelle Wave trend, courtesy of Vidal Sassoon (1967). And finally, discover more about the origins and history of lace on the Lace Guild website.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Carte Blanche de Weill Paris┃Elle Magazine (1969)

Carte Blanche

 de Weill 

Some very striking images from Weill's 1969 prêt-à-porter collection, these three adverts were part of an extensive publicity campaign to promote the rather exotically named range. 

       Modèle Indiana


Modèle Jade

   Modèle Bali


Image (1.) scanned for the Sweet Jane blog from Elle Magazine 13th October 1969 with thanks to Brad Jones, photographer and models uncredited/unknown. Image (2.) scanned by Sweet Jane from Elle Magazine 6th October 1969.  Image (3.) scanned from my personal collection of vintage adverts which I purchased as an individual page separated from the original unidentified 1969 magazine publication, although I would say it is more than likely that it was also featured in Elle from this period. Discover more about the Weill brand heritage founded in 1892 by Albert Weill.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Pop Style! (1965)



In this exuberant year of crazy haircuts, above-knee skirts and giddy stockings, the fashion designers in search of something even further out have turned to pop art. A dozen Junior Miss firms are busily running up little sleeveless shifts to serve as human canvases for the carefully delineated mundane objects which pop artists love to glorify. The dresses display a man's waistcoat and watch, beads and zippers, and for a real clincher, that famous can of soup. Pop fashions already have it made in the U.S. where teenagers are collecting them as avidly as their elders collect painted classics by pop masters like Warhol and Lichtenstein. According to visiting Londoner Jill Stuart, who poses here, they are a threat to those invading far-out styles, the French Yé-Yé's and her hometown Chelsea look.

Jill Stuart wears a simple cotton dress (Crazy Horse, $15) printed in pop art style. Her vest a parody of real ones worn by the British singing pair, Chad and Jeremy. Chad is Jill's husband.

Bold polka dot collar and tie and out-sized hip belt are screen printed on above-the-knee shifts each $15, Bandbox Junior Petites. (*The dress on the right was yellow with a red printed belt). They are worn here by Jill (right) and American teenager Paula Feiten with no other accessories but their swinging, shoulder length hair, black stockings or boots.

Giant zipper pretends to fasten front of dress (Crazy Horse, $15) - kidding, in pop fashion, about one of the most practical and unglamorous parts of apparel. (Real zipper in back doesn't show.)

Glamorous beads cover most of facade of dress (Kelita $15) contrasting with Orphan Annie black stockings. 

Another example of the printed bead dress by Kelita (above), in colour this time round, for the full 'Pop Art' effect! 

Some of the most famous pieces of pop art are Andy Warhol's paintings of Campbell's soup cans. He has made 32 oils of this familiar first course, and has sold them for $1,500 each. He also autographs actual 12¢ cans of tomato soup, selling them at $6 each. But this dress by Crazy Horse costs only $15.

All images scanned By Sweet Jane from LIFE Magazine, 26th February 1965. All photographs by Fred Eberstadt. All information courtesy of the original article. Except for the colour example of the Kelita printed bead dress, which I scanned from Sixties Fashion, from 'Less is More' to Youthquake by Jonathan Walford. Read about how Warhol's work influenced our wardrobes here. Discover more about The Fabric of Pop Exhibition at the V&A in 1974 here.  Examples of Geometric Pop Designs by John Kloss here. All about Chad & Jeremy’s Double Life here and view some more examples of Jill Stuart modelling in 1965 on Mini Mad Mod 60s here, and Ford Model Paula Feiten here. You'll find Cathy McGowan & Ready Steady Go - a key component in the emerging British pop and fashion scene here Some New York Pop Fashion from 1971 here. Pop Goes the Easel-A portrait of pop artists Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty & Peter Phillips (documentary 1962) here. And finally, view Andy Warhol-The Complete Picture (a documentary) here.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Picture of Fashion┃Richard Evans┃Daisy Roots (1972)


A do-it-yourself fashion feature scanned from The Sun annual for Girls (1972), encouraging the customisation of old clothing and accessories with some hand-painted designs―a very popular trend throughout the early 1970s, along with applique, embroidery and tie-dyeing techniques. They're making it all sound relatively easy enough to achieve, as they always did in these teen magazine and annuals. However, the incredible Pop Art boots on display which were used as examples (although uncredited) are actually the work of London shoe designer Richard Evans, who made boots for lots of well known music biz types at the time such as Elton John, George Harrison, Rory Gallagher and Roxy Music, these particular boots were from his 1970 collection.

Richard Evans had originally studied fashion design at the Nottingham School of Art in the 1960s and followed that with a post-graduate course in graphic design at Leicester College of Art, working as a fashion illustrator for a brief period afterwards. He then began making leather and snakeskin clothing and accessories, before progressing on to designing platforms and stack heeled boots, eventually setting up Daisy Roots, his footwear design label. His foray into fashion appears to have been quite short lived though, and you would probably be more familiar with his graphic work via Hipgnosis―the art design group who specialised in album cover art, where he continued to work from the early 1970s until 1976 when he set up his own design studio.

Four fantastic images of Richard Evans photographed with his Pop Art boot collection in November, 1970. The 'Yellow Submarine' boots featured above are included in the slideshow. Photographs by Paul Fievez courtesy of the Hulton Getty Archive.

All images scanned for the Sweet Jane blog from the Sun Annual for Girls 1972, with thanks to Brad Jones. Original article by Brenda Uttley. Photographer & models uncredited. The Richard Evans series of photos by Paul Fievez courtesy of the Hulton Getty Archive. Visit the official Richard Evans website, and view further examples of Richard Evans 1970s footwear. Here, you'll find an example of his Fashion Illustrations for Petticoat Magazine, 1968. A link to all things Hipgnosis. The official Storm Thorgerson website here. View some other D-I-Y boot fashion from 1971 in one of my previous posts. and more examples of the applique fashion trend of the 1970s. The amazing Pop Art fashions of Mr Freedom. Plus, an interview with Richard Evans on Rockerista from 2011. And finally, the inspiration behind some of those pop art boot designs  above.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Dandy Fashion | New plumes in the peacock's tail! (1968)



I first blogged about this Daily Telegraph Magazine article by Geoffrey Aquilina-Ross back in 2012, although I didn't have the original issue at the time, but had managed to piece some of it together from extracts which had been featured in a couple of 1960s style reference books, including one by the author. I finally managed to find an original copy of the issue around three years ago and have been meaning to update the post properly ever since. It was Part One of a series on men's fashion by the magazine, I also have the second in the series, which you can find via the links at the end of the post.

The End of  the Saggy Baggy Elephant...

Clothes by Mr. Fish, Douglas Hayward, Blades and other tailors, who see nothing sissy about finery for men, are influencing the ready-to-wear racks. Bulky drab has had its day!

Terence Stamp 1960s Style

TERENCE STAMP, unshaven but certainly elegant, plays a Mexican bandit in the psychological western Blue, due this summer. Here he wears a suit that looks like his uniform in Far From the Madding Crowd. The jacket is tight-fitting, with a large collar, and although double-breasted looks trim and narrow. Black barathea, edged with braiding. 70 gns, to order. Arrogant touches are his black velour hat and silk scarf. Douglas Hayward, who made the suit, is wearing his single-breasted calvary twill suit, 60 gns to order. 95 Mount Street, W1.

Blades 1960s Tailoring

PATRICK LICHFIELD, right, at Blades with Rupert Lycett Green, who owns it. A photographer and charity worker, Lord Lichfield needs clothes that are hard-wearing. His suit in black worsted is very slim-fitting, with a waisted jacket, double-breasted with a Regency collar and braid, 75 gns to order. At the neck of his deep-collared shirt is a bold sari silk scarf tied tie fashion. Rupert Lycett Green wears a light-weight worsted, cut classically with a waisted jacket and straight-cut trousers, 74 gns to order. All at Blades, 8 Burlington Gardens, W1.

PAINTER PATRICK PROCKTOR at hatters Herbert Johnson. His show at Redfern was a resounding success and his sets and costumes for Twelfth Night at The Royal Court made it a memorable production. To improve the popular image of the artist's standard of dress, he has an elegant slim grey suit with big  full lapels, from Dulis at Croydon. He likes hats and always wears a romantic, wide-brimmed fedora. Here his red hat is stitched in velvet, and the plum hat with wide floppy brim is velour, both 6 gns. from Herbert Johnson, Bond Street, W1.

DAVID HEMMINGS is in The Charge of the Light Brigade and plays a con man in Only When I Larf, coming in June. Here he wears the newest smoking coat, light-weight, in navy-blue velvet trimmed with black. The coat is long and very slim, the pockets are deep and button high, 45 gns. Pink silk crepe shirt, 12 gns, roll-neck as originally designed by Turnbull & Asser many years ago. All from 71 Jermyn Street, W1.

Mr Fish Tailoring 1960s

BARRY SAINSBURY, one of the grocery heirs, is always named among Britain's best-dressed men. He is a director of Mr Fish, where he buys most of his clothes; the rest he picks up in Paris or Rome. In the shirt cutting room at Mr Fish, with Christopher Lynch, a co-director and stylist of the shop, Barry Sainsbury wears an embroidered velvet brocade evening jacket; 65 gns to order. It is a slim, slightly waisted, double-breasted jacket that buttons low, with wide lapels. His roll-neck shirt in Viyella is one of a wide range of colours at 7 gns. Mr Fish, 17 Clifford Street, W1.

Barry Sainsbury Mr Fish Tailoring 1960s
NEWEST LOOK at Mr Fish is a lean coat in antique brown leather that converts into a short jacket. It is very long, with a huge coachman collar, and all around the waist is a concealed zip *that when undone changes the coat into a jacket. 65 gns to order. With it, Barry Sainsbury wears an extra deep-collared white roll-neck sweater in triple cashmere, 17 gns. Mr Fish, 17 Clifford St, W1.

TOMMY STEELE will be seen as an Irish butler in The Happiest Millionaire at Easter, and later this year as Og, the leprechaun, in Finian's Rainbow. Here with Douglas Hayward, he wears a corduroy suit and roll-neck sweater. The suit is casual, single-breasted, with wide lapels and a deep vent at the back. 60 gns. Douglas Hayward's shop, flannel-walled and marble-floored, is at 95 Mount Street, W1.                                                        

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from The Daily Telegraph Magazine, April 5th, 1968. Original editorial by Geoffrey Aquilina-Ross, all photographs by Hans Feurer. View my original post from 2012 here. Part Two of the Geoffrey Aquilina-Ross series on men's fashion for the magazine in 1968 . Spend 45 minutes with Terence Stamp on Desert Island Discs. Discover more about the heritage of Hayward 95 Mount Street and the man behind it via Doug Hayward the Tailor as told by Terence Stamp. Art and Life: A short documentary film about the Dublin born artist Patrick Procktor, and also, some further reading on Patrick Proctor The lost dandy. Discover more about Blades & Rupert Lycett GreenDavid Hemmings Is Ready For His Blow-Up. View The Real Blow Up - Fame, Fashion, and Photography ( Part One of a BBC Two documentary). Another example of tailoring Peculiar to Mr fish in one of my previous posts, plus a recent article about the Mr. Fish label and some film footage of the man himself with his collection for 1969. And finally, whatever happened to Christopher Lynch?―co-director and stylist at Mr.Fish.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Whatever Happened to Stephen Topper & Topper Shoes Carnaby Street?

Whatever Happened to Stephen Topper

 & Topper Shoes? 

If you were to browse through the men's fashion section of every other issue of Rave magazine from the mid 1960s onwards, I guarantee, you would soon notice that the names Stephen Topper and Topper Shoes show up one after the other on a fairly regular basis. Much favoured by stylish young men about town, Topper Shoes were without a doubt one of the most happening footwear brands of the era. Their clientele list included members of the British pop hierarchy such as The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces and The Who, as well as visiting international acts like Bob Dylan, and Johnny Halliday...and yet, they seem to have 'almost' vanished from history. At this point in time, there is barely a trace of their legacy to be found online, apart from inclusion in the occasional Carnaby Street reference and a couple of interesting threads posted on 1960s and 1970s style forums. Although in fairness, they have been name checked in several books and slightly elaborated upon in others through the personal stories of former customers, but there is no definitive account of the brand's heritage or any archival examples available all in one place that I am currently aware of. 

Topper shoes were already well established by the early 1960s, with three branches in London, the first shop opening at 57 Shaftesbury Avenue in W1 in 1953, the others located at 68 Queensway in W2., and at 34 Coventry Street. But they really came into their own when 18 year old Stephen Topper, the owner's son, took the reins and headed for Carnaby Street. I don't have an exact date, but he was definitely trading there by 1965. However, the earliest reference that I've come across in print from my personal vintage magazine collection dates back to the 'London Swings' issue of Rave magazine from April 1966, when 'Topper Shoes' located at 45 Carnaby St is landmarked on the poptastic illustrated Raver's Map of London, along with a brief description of the shop on the following page.

By the following year they were featured in Gear Guide―A hip-pocket guide to Britain's Swinging Fashion Scene, and while still brief, it does give a more detailed account of how things were progressing.  There were now two Topper Shoe shops on Carnaby Street, they were still at No.45 but also had a branch at No.9. The first one catered for Men only, it was open 9.00 am to 6.o0 pm from Monday to Saturday (and late-night shopping until 7.00 pm on Thursday and Friday), with the range costing between three pounds to ten Guineas.  The other shop at No.9 had a 'beautifully cool interior in weird purply shades', it kept the same opening hours as the previous store, but catered for Girls and Men. I've never seen any examples of their Girls shoes, but apparently they had a wide and original range which cost from three pounds to five pounds-fifteen for shoes, and from ninety-nine-and-elevenpence to seven pounds-nineteen and six for boots. All of the collections—which perfectly complimented the latest clothing for sale on the street, were designed by Stephen Topper himself, and manufactured to a high standard in France and Italy.

According to Tom Salter's book about Carnaby Street, there were a total of five Topper shoe shops operating in 1970...I'm assuming that he is referring to the original three that I have mentioned plus the last two at this point..but then again, maybe not, perhaps some of the originals had closed and there were more branches in Carnaby Street or at new locations! It also says that the owner was a chap called 'Monty Stewart'...So, Topper was merely a business name rather than the actual family surname. While researching material for this post, I came across a photograph of another branch at 146 Markham Street in SW3 (undated) and also a piece of film footage which features a Topper Shoe shop located on the King's Road circa 1977 but unfortunately the trail runs cold after that, in spite of their obvious long term success,  which leads me back to my original question...Whatever happened to Stephen Topper and Topper Shoes?

Toppers Shoes 57 Shaftesbury Avenue 1960s
The Fortunes, suited and booted, outside Toppers at 57 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W.1., 1964. Photograph © Jeremy Fletcher.

Topper Shoes London 1960s
An example of an  early 1960s Topper Shoes business card.



1960s London Boutiques, 1960s Shoe Shops, Topper Shoes, Rave Magazine

The Raver's Map of London—an illustrated guide to the most happening Boutiques, Discotheques and Restaurants in the Capital as featured in Rave magazine's 72 page 'London Swings' issue of April 1966...and Topper Shoes make the list!  The description of the shop on the following page says that it sells reasonably priced mod designed shoes, and that they always have the latest! Designed by Steve Topper, at prices ranging from £2 10s to £7.

1960s boutiques, Carnaby Street, London

A close-up of the Raver's map. And a
ccording to this, Topper Shoes—located at number 45 Carnaby Street, is situated between John Stephen's Tre Camp (No.46) and Ravel Shoes (No.44).  But in reality, it was actually between Inderwicks the Tobacconist & Pipe Specialist on the left and Ravel on the right. (Rave, April 1966).

Topper Shoes Carnaby Street London 1960s

A rare photograph of the Topper shop facade at 45 Carnaby Street, you can just about see Ravel, but the shop on the left is clearly Inderwicks the tobacconist, which intriguingly also seems to be located at number 45 Carnaby St! (So, perhaps as they shared the number, the full postal address included an 'a' and 'b' to avoid confusion). Photograph © Mario de Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images. (1966).




Inderwicks, Pipe & Tobacco Specialist  45 Carnaby St London 1960s

Inderwicks, the Pipes & Tobacco Specialist at 45 Carnaby St, illustrated by Malcolm English for Tom Salter's Carnaby Street book in 1970. The company was founded in 1797 by John Inderwick, and the original shop located on Wardour Street was one of the earliest tobacconists in London. They may have seemed out of place in the midst of the Carnaby St pop explosion but stayed put nevertheless, resisting several tempting offers on their lease throughout this period. The pop revolution actually enhanced their business rather threaten it, as curious Carnaby St shoppers spilled off the busy pavement and ventured inside to buy their specialist tobacco blends, cigarettes and the long clay Churchwardens, Corncobs and Meerschaum pipes which they had been selling for 170 years. Above Inderwicks was the very first Aristos Boutique, it comprised of two rooms on the first floor, a small shop area in the front and a workroom in the back, in which Constantinou Aristos ran up garments for girls. The son of a master tailor, he had graduated from the London College of Fashion in 1965 and with the profits from the fledgling boutique he soon opened up his second shop named Blooshp at 45 Newburgh Street, W1. He was eventually joined in the business by his younger brother Achillea, the two went on to expand the company, later renaming it Ariella in 1971.

Bob Dylan photographed by Barry Feinstein,  Topper' Shoes Carnaby Street (1966).

Bob Dylan photographed by Barry Feinstein, trying on shoes in Topper's (1966). He was at the end of a world tour at this point in time, playing The Royal Albert Hall twice while in London on May 26th and May 27th, so this was more than likely taken sometime on or around those dates. There seems to be a wall of fame in the background, perhaps made up of other well known celebrity customers, included are The Who on Bob's immediate left, unmistakable in their pop art regalia.

Topper Shoes London, 1960s mod fashion, Just Dennis Rave Magazine, Mod Shoes

High sand suede boots with leather linings to keep water out. Also in black leather and olive suede. From Steve Topper, Carnaby Street, London, W.1. Price £7 19s. 6d. (Rave, November, 1966).

Rolling Stone Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, Topper Shoes London 1960s

Brian Jones with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Brian is wearing a pair of two-tone basket weave laced-up shoes by Topper. December, 3rd 1966.

Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones, Topper Shoes London 1960s

The side and back view of Brian's two tone basket weave lace-ups by Topper, December 3rd, 1966.        

Topper Shoes London, 1960s Men's Mod Fashion, Mod Shoes, Just Dennis, Rave Magazine

All of the shoes featured here are by Topper.  Left: Shirt, £5 19s. 6d. Cape and topcoat for spying! Coat, £9 19s. 6d, cape £2. 19s. 6d. Trousers, £3 19s. 6d. All from Take Six, Wardour Street, W.1. Shoes, 69s, 11., from Topper.  Middle: Prime ministerial shirt in purple satin with super puffed sleeves, £2 15s. Black trench coat, £17 17s. 6d. Wool hessian trousers in charcoal, £4 9s. All from Adam W.1, Kingly Street, London, W.1. Shoes, 99s.11d., from Topper. Right: Aristocratic double-breasted suit from John Stephen, price 18 gns, 16s. 6d. Pink seersucker shirt from Paul's boutique, 79s. 11d. Macao canvas and leather shoes, 85s., from Topper. (Rave, February, 1967).

Ian McLagan, The Small Faces, Stephen Topper Shoes London, Carnaby Street 1960s,

Ian McLagan of The Small Faces photographed at home for an article in Rave, he's wearing the same style of basket weave laced-up shoe from Topper of Carnaby Street that Brian Jones has on in the previous photos above. (Rave, April 1967).

1960s men's fashion, Carnaby Street, Topper Shoes London, Mod Shoes, Johnny Rave, Rave Magazine,

Harris Tweed suit with waisted jacket and turn-ups. It costs 16gns. at Take Six Boutique, Wardour Street, London, W.1.  Also from Take Six is the fabulous skinny sweater in bright green. It's got a purple band on the roll neck collar, and costs 40s. 6d. Completing the outfit are casual shoes from Steve Topper, Carnaby Street, London W.1. They're in red-brown and black leather. Price £5 9s. 6d. (Rave, February, 1968).

Topper Shoes Carnaby Street London 1960s

In spite of this issue's slew of teenage worries, there's still just enough space left to promote the new summer range from Topper Shoes, these are all from the branch located at No.9, Carnaby Street. Left to Right: Slip-on in hessian, Natural or Ice Blue, 59s. 11d., Cord boots in Camel or Brown, 59s. 11d., Lace-up in Navy or Natural, 49s. 11d., Canvas slip-on in White or Brown, 49s. 11d. All shoes are lightweight and ideal for the beach. (Rave, August 1968).

Topper Shoes Carnaby Street
Signage over one the Topper Shoe shops on Carnaby Street.

Topper Shoes Carnaby Street

Topper Shoes, 45 Carnaby St (just seen on left next to Ravel) still going strong eight years later in October 1973. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Topper Shoes 45 Carnaby Street 1970s London

A rare colour photo which clearly shows Topper Shoes at No.45 Carnaby Street, taken sometime after the area had been pedestrianised in October 1973. Special thanks to Kosmo Vinyl for the image.


Topper Shoes Kings Road London 

The facade of another Topper shoe shop, which was included in a short news report for Thames Television in 1977 about the 'health concerns' associated with the fashion fad for wearing platform shoes. I'm not sure of the exact address of this branch at this point in time, but I think this is most likely the side view of the building rather than the main entrance, which was located somewhere on the King's Road. The precise number of the shop could be close to 59b, which is seen on a door above the interviewer for a couple of seconds during the filming. I can't quite make out the name on the premises behind the Topper van opposite, but just beyond, there is a branch of Irvine Sellars' Mates boutique. Several interviews take place throughout the footage, there is one in particular filmed right outside Topper's with a young chap who seems to be fairly knowledgeable about the customer base, quite possibly a sales assistant or the manager of the shop. I've also included a link to some footage of outtakes from the same film at the end of this post, which provide excellent examples of popular street footwear and fashions of the time (lots of platform shoes, boots and wedged heels worn with flares, maxis and minis). However, there is some discrepancy regarding the correct date via Pathé, who have credited it as 1970 this time round, rather than 1977. 

After some further research, I have recently discovered that the side window view of Topper Shoes in the photograph above, is located at 59B Wellington Square, just off the King's road. The shop makes a brief appearance in a Fashion Report about Menswear made for Spanish Television in 1973. I've included a couple of screenshots from it below.

Topper Shoes Mod Shoes London

Topper Shoes, 59 Kings Road, 1973. Located on the same side of the road as The Chelsea Drugstore, but at the opposite end of the block, which turns on to Wellington Square.

In the background (right), a better view of the entire side profile of the building in which Topper Shoes was located, at 59 King's Road and Wellington Square, 1973.

Another view of Topper Shoes at the same 59 King's Road/59b Wellington Square location, this screen shot is from  Mary Quant - Una Donna un Paese, a programme made for Italian Television in 1972, which includes lots of footage filmed around Chelsea and the King's Road. 

Topper Shoes London

The original location of Topper Shoes at 59 Kings Road/59b Wellington Square, as it looks today in 2017.   


 Toppers, Kings Road,  1973.

Toppers on the King's Road also makes several appearances in Coffee, Tea, or Me, 1973. A Romantic/Comedy Drama, Starring Karen Valentine, John Davidson, Louise Lasser and Lou Jacobi.  

Stephen Topper, Topper Shoes London

Above right: A Topper shop sign in another scene from Coffee, Tea, or Me (1973). This image is from a shopping spree scene which is meant to take place on the King's Rd. There were two branches of Topper's in the same area, so I think this sign could be above the front entrance of the shop on the corner of Markham St and Kings Road, Chelsea SW3. You can see an example of the Markham Street view in the photograph below and I've also posted the entire film clip further down.

Stephen Topper, Topper Shoes London
Topper Shoes, 146 Markham Street, Chelsea SW3. Photograph courtesy of Sixties City (*The photographer and original source currently unknown/uncredited).

A Topper Shoe shop, next to a Barclays Bank on the Kings Road, in a scene from Coffee, Tea, and Me (1973).

A short news report for Thames Television in 1977 about the 'health concerns' associated with the fashion fad for wearing platform shoes. The interview is filmed outside Topper Shoes at 59b Wellington Square, off the King's Road.  


It has recently been brought to my attention that Topper Shoes on the King's Road makes an appearance in the promotional video for Nobody Told Me which is available on Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon (DVD). I've added a couple of screenshots from the footage below. Post Updated: 07/09/2019.
Topper Shoes, 59 Kings Road, London. See *Bagism.

Topper Shoes on the corner of the No. 59 Kings Road and  59b Wellington Square, London.

Topper Shoes on the corner of the Kings Road and Wellington Square can be seen in the background towards the end of the footage at 3:02 in this promotional video for  Nobody Told Me by John Lennon. (Recorded in 1980, Released 1984). The video, edited from newly transferred footage and out-takes from John & Yoko's "Imagine" film and other previously unseen material is available on Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon. 

Topper Wedge Sole Shoes 1970s

An example of a pair of Lace Up, Leather Ox Blood, Bubble Toe, Crepe Wedges with matching suede side panel which were available from Topper's in Carnaby Street circa 1971/72, they also came in black with a grey suede side panel. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who is still in possession of a pair of these or knows the whereabouts of a pair for sale, and also any other information relating to  Stephen Topper & Topper Shoes.
Note: Also known as/or referred to as Steven and Steve, throughout various original 1960s magazine articles.

All images credited in descending order: The Fortunes 1964. Photograph © Jeremy Fletcher courtesy of Carnaby Street The Musical, Topper Shoes business card courtesy of the Mod to Suedehead thread on StyleForum, Raver's Map of London & close-up scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine April 1966. Topper Shoes facade 45 Carnaby Street © mario de biasi/Mondadori 1966. Inderwicks the Pipe & Tobacco Specialist illustrated by Malcolm English scanned by Sweet Jane from Carnaby Street by Tom Salter 1970. Bob Dylan © Barry Feinstein 1966. Just Dennis/Topper Shoes scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine November 1966. Brian Jones & Anita Pallenberg December 3rd 1966 Photo courtesy of Bentley Archive/Popperfoto/and J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images. Just Dennis/Topper Shoes scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine February 1967. Ian McLagan image scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine April 1967. Johnny Rave scanned by Sweet Jane from Rave Magazine February 1968 & August 1968. Topper  Shoe signage screenshot from The History of Carnaby Street archive footage. Topper Shoes, 45 Carnaby St 1973 courtesy of Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, Topper Shoes 146 Markham Street courtesy of Sixties City. Topper Shoes King's Road screenshots courtesy of Thames Television via British Pathé. Ox Blood Crepe Wedges courtesy of the Mod to Suedehead thread on Styleforum. 

Watch 'Eat The Document' a documentary film of Bob Dylan's 1966 tour of the United Kingdom directed by D.A. Pennebaker. View the aforementioned outtakes from the Thames Television 'Platform Shoes' news report. A review of Sympathy for the Devil - The birth of the Rolling Stones and the death of Brian Jones. Here, you'll find an example of an Inderwicks Shell Bulldog Pipe. Participate in the Mod to Suedehead thread on Styleforum here. Visit the Sixties City website. Nobody Expects the Sartorial Inquisition —a pair of Topper shoes featured in 'The French Cut' article over on Film Noir Buff. Discover more about the early years of Ariella. Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?.  And finally, The Buzzcocks also wanna know Whatever Happened to? (well, quite a lot of stuff actually!).