Monday, 29 July 2019

The Hippie Hautes Couturières! Felicity Green on the Flower Power Fashion Scene (1967)



FELICITY GREEN

 ON THE FLOWER POWER FASHION SCENE

The hippie cult, like it or loathe it, is here. Compared with its baubles, bangles, beads and bells, the Quant-type mini-skirts pale into Establishment respectability. Where does it all come from? 























THE HIPPIE HAUTES COUTURIÈRES


In case you have been kept awake o' nights wondering where Patti Beatle Boyd Harrison got that get up in which she flew off to Los Angeles, I can now reveal the secret fashion source! It's a basement in London's Montague Square, where the founder members of the Hippie haute couture hang out.

Two girls, a man, and a business manager co-habit here among the paraphernalia of psychedelia, turning out those snappy little Hippie numbers for boys and girls that are being so enthusiastically received by the Pop elite. You know the kind of stuff. The female version look as if they're made of a patchwork quilt that got too hot and melted. And the finished fully-accessorised effect is somewhere between Ophelia, Pocahontas and a sale of work. 

Actually doing the designing are two king-sized Dutch girls, they are Marijke Koger and Josie Leeger, both twenty-three. Helping them along their beaded, baubled and braided path is Marijke's Dutch husband Simon Posthuma who is twenty-eight, has longer hair than either of the girls, and at the moment of our meeting wore a pendant, a purple velvet tunic, pale yellow peep-toe sandals and some extremely form-fitting pants in pink and lime satin stripes, bias-cut.




Above: The mini dress designed by Marijke Koger and Josje Leeger for Pattie Boyd in 1967, which has remained in her personal collection along with several other items of clothing designed by The Fool. Image courtesy of The Daily Beatle (Rockheim Museum, 2014).





LOVE

The only un-Dutch number of this Hippie set-up is a Northern lad called Barry Finch, who goes in for rather self-conscious hand kissing, agrees with his Dutch chums that Love is All, and was once a publicist for The Saville Theatre. ''We are now,'' says Simon, explaining their success in the dizzier reaches of Swinging London, ''personal tailors to the Beatles''.  ''We also, of course, make Patti's clothes,'' said Josje (pronounced Yoshy), who claims to have had a ''whole fashion scene going for her back in old Amsterdam.'' Josje was wearing blue printed silk braid-bound pyjamas, a blouse in three multicoloured, unrelated prints, snakeskin thong sandals up to her knees, a jewelled breastplate and a bandeau and beads in her freak-out hairdo so recently acclaimed by Paris. Apart from designing clothes Marijke―pigtails, purple thong sandals, beads, a string of hippie bells, and a multi-coloured mini-frock in the psychedelic manner―designs posters, while Simon concentrates on commercial art and painting. 





The dress can also be seen worn as a top by Pattie's sister, Jenny Boyd, throughout this 1967 promotional film for Donovan's 'A Gift From a Flower to a Garden' directed by Karl Ferris, which is available on Sunshine Superman - The Journey of Donovan (Double Dvd). 


His work includes oils, watercolours, a psychedelic surround for a fireplace for George Harrison, and a psychedelic piano for John Lennon. Immediate plans include writing a show suitable for all the family, opening a shop to sell Beautiful Things to Beautiful People, and most important of all branching out into fashion mass production. ''Not just for women shouted Marijke, over the Indian music on the hi-fi, ''but for children too, and for men. Our things will be so beautiful that anyone who sees them won't be able to bear not having them.'' Prices? They put forward some beautiful vague thoughts. ''Oh, competitive,'' they said. With what, I asked?  They just smiled dreamily. Well, how much for instance, was Patti Boyd's dress? ''Expensive,'' said Josje. How expensive? 'It's all pure silk and hand-done,'' said Marijke counting her beads and bells. With a deft change of the subject, Simon suggested that the whole world was ready for the Hippie way of life and fashion, and anyway, Carnaby Street was dead, finished, and full of rubbish.



Above: The aforementioned psychedelic fireplace mural which George and Pattie Harrison commissioned for their Kinfauns home in 1967. Although The Daily Mail article seems to imply that this was entirely Simon Posthuma's work, it was actually designed by Marijke Koger, and executed by both Simon and Marijke. 



SQUARES

If it weren't for the squares of the world, there would be no problem. They wouldn't for a start have to repaint their front door. Their Landlord it seems, would prefer something in basic black, to the electric blue with stars, that now marks the portals of the headquarters of London's first Hippie Haute Couturières.


     Leading the Hippie fashion parade―Josje (pronounced Yoshy) and Marijke. Photograph by Kent Gavin (1967). 





IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS

'Felicity Green on the Flower Power Fashion Scene' scanned by Sweet Jane from an original article by Felicity Green for The Daily Mirror, August 8th, 1967, which was republished in Sex, Sense, and Nonsense. Felicity Green on the 60s Fashion Scene (ACC Editions). The colour image of the psychedelic print mini dress designed by Marijke Koger and Josje Leeger for Pattie Boyd in 1967 is courtesy of The Daily Beatle (via Pattie Boyd's exhibition at the Rockheim Museum, 2014). The Kinfauns fireplace mural was scanned from Electrical Banana by Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel (Damiani). Discover more about Marijke Koger, Simon Posthuma, Josje Leeger and Barry Finch, otherwise known as The Fool Design Collective (1967).  View some examples of Pattie's modelling career via Fine Feathers For Night Birds: Pattie Boyd in Rave Magazine (1964) and Big News! Little Prints! Pattie Boyd and Jill Kennington in Vanity Fair (1965). You'll find Pattie on the other side of the camera at Pattie Boyd Photography. As seen in this Dutch newspaper article from December 1965,  Josje Leeger and Marijke Koger did indeed have a successful Flashing Fashion scene going, long before they arrived in London! And finally, some further reading on the continuing influence of the Hippie scene on fashion in What's wrong with beads and bells? (1967), The Rise and Decline of the Afghan Coat 1966-197?, and Native Funk & Flash! An Emerging Folk Art (1974). 

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Apple, the Beatles' London boutique is the beginning of a whole new Beatle empire! Rave Magazine (1968)




WHAT ARE THE BEATLES UP TO NOW?

Apple, the Beatles' London boutique is the beginning of a whole new Beatle empire. Here Jeremy Pascall describes the ambitious venture that the Beatles are aiming at young people!

The Beatles' Apple Boutique in London's Baker Street.


It started with a footnote referring to Apple on the Beatles' ''Sgt.Pepper'' album, and it was the first intimation that the Beatles were branching out into other fields of activity. The pop world began buzzing with all sorts of rumours about the Beatles newest ventures. Officially nobody was saying anything, and for months rumours had to suffice, but bit by bit the pieces of the jigsaw have come together. In the summer when Rave introduced readers to that way-out couple Simon and Marijke, we hinted that the Beatles would have interests in a boutique to be opened in conjunction with them.




Now, four months later, in a blaze of publicity, a flood of champagne and a crush of some of the trendiest people in town, Apple boutique has burst into London's sombre Baker Street with a dazzle of colour that is attracting more day trippers than the city's Christmas decorations did! The Beatles have influenced our generation more than any other single phenomenon. They've done so much for pop music, fashion, films, television, books and almost every other form of communication and entertainment angled at young people, that it is natural for them, as very rich and shrewd young men, to go into business, marketing for us what they themselves like. And who, has the following, the flair, the opportunity and the contacts to do it better? 

Apple is not just a boutique. It is a whole commercial venture, and eventually it will be the largest and most successful in the world aimed at young people. Already, in offices above the boutique, Apple Publishing has been set up under the management of Liverpudlian Terry Doran, an old friend of the Beatles and a business associate of the late Brian Epstein. Terry has signed up Apple's first group, Grapefruit. (The name was John Lennon's idea.). They are a prototype of what Apple is to be. 



APPLE BOUTIQUE CLOTHING

Apple Boutique at 94 Baker Street, London, W.1 is a wonderland of the way-out both inside and out! The appearance of the boutique stops passers-by in their tracks, and inside you can rummage through piles of exotic, ornate gear, designed and made mostly by Simon and Marijke, Beatle friends and part owners of the boutique. Here RAVE fashion girl Lee shows you some Apple clothes, photographed in Apple!




Deep green velvet waistcoat called "Flipster" that fits tightly under the bust, and has the added flippancy of a tassel at the back! Price 4gns. Matching velvet skirt, circle shaped, short and full, Price 5gns. Brilliant yellow satin blouse called "Daisy", £4 10s. Ornate jewelled bangle, £1 7s. 6d. and headscarf, 15s. 6d.




Design in shades of pink for a wool dress in a beautiful soft fabric. The puffy sleeves add a medieval touch. It's called "Fatima" and costs 9gns. Rope necklace, £1 17s. 6d. Bell belt wound in hair, 4 gns. Narrow bangle, 1s 6d.




Dress in tiered crêpe called "Sunflower" (there's a huge purple crêpe sun on the bodice). Price £8 18s. 6d. It's worn eastern style over a long skirt, £4 14s. 6d. Headscarves, 15s. 6d. and £1 19s. 6d.




FIRST GROUP

Three Grapefruit members have done stints with that popular but unrecognised group, Tony Rivers and the Castaways. They felt they were going nowhere fast and wanted a new scene. John Perry, one of the three, met Terry in London's Speakeasy Club, chatted about ideas and Terry thought they were right for Apple, so John and brother Pete and Geoff Swettenham left Tony Rivers and joined up with another young signing to Apple, George Alexander, who also happens to be a brilliant song-writer. And so Grapefruit were born. Is it necessary to tip them for fame in '68? Hardly! With the Beatles' backing, their own natural talents and the producing genius of Terry Melcher (forty-five top U.S. hits!) this group are looking very pleased with themselves. Grapefruit are already causing a great deal of interest in the pop world. They claim to be a pure pop group in the classic Small Faces' tradition, and plan to fill the gap between the pleasant banality the Troggs and the almost incomprehensible progression of the Stones. The fact that they are extremely good looking young men should also help them along to success! Grapefruit and Apple Publishing, which will push the song-writing efforts of highly talented but undiscovered musicians, are not all that the Beatles have in mind.






John: Grapefruit, the name was his idea.










FILM VENTURE

''Magical Mystery Tour'' was the first film production on Apple's film side, and will be followed by others, including some for the cinema. Apple Films is under the control of Neil Aspinall, a young man who has risen from being the Beatles' road manager to his present position as their personal assistant. Also in line is Apple Electronics, to be run by an unknown Greek genius named Madras, who is hatching in a laboratory all sorts of electric wizardry, quite mystifying to ordinary mortals. Look out soon for an Apple recording label, clubs and even, it is rumoured, supermarkets! The day is not off when perhaps there will be an Apple Fun Palace, full of beautiful clothes, gadgets, hair salons and other delights. The Beatles are the patrons of young talent and enthusiasm. People have been good to them and now they are returning it. They remember old friends and want to encourage them. Do you remember the art exhibition they arranged for their painter friend Jon Hague? It's possible that many of the people who came up with the Mersey boom but faded away will benefit. For instance, Lionel Morton, ex-Four Penny, can be seen working out numbers in Apple's complex tape room. Apple is a fertile, blooming concern. It is for the young and of the young, it is going to make a tremendous impression on our lives. The Beatles have the Midas touch and they know how to use it. They are not racketeers out to cash in on their names. Everything they do is of the highest quality. The Beatles make a point of never associating themselves with anything second-rate. And when Apple branches out, we will eat of the fruit, and the fruit that it yields will be good.







IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original feature by Jeremy Pascall for Rave Magazine, February 1968. All fashion photographs by PL James, model Lee, all other Beatles photographs were uncredited. View some of my previous posts about The Beatles, Apple Boutique, and The Fool Design Collective: How much is a Beatle worth? (1966), The Fool and Apple Boutique (1968) and The Fool Design Collective (1967). The Official website of the artist Marijke Koger-DunhamThe Summer of Love with Marijke of The Fool - a documentary (2017). Grapefruit - Around Grapefruit  full LP (1968). Review: 'Strange Fruit' A Solid, Fascinating Look At The Groundbreaking Failure Of The Beatles' Apple Records and Strange Fruit: The Beatles’ Apple Records (Documentary excerpt).  Inside Apple Corps with the staff who worked there: The story of the band's business venture Apple Corps in Ben Lewis’s entertaining and revealing new film and The Beatles, Hippies and Hells Angels: Inside the Crazy World of Apple - Documentary Trailer (2017). John Lennon and George Harrison at the wedding of Magic Alex Mardas (1968). Magic Alex sings Walls Of Jericho (Magical Mystery Tour outtake). Magic Alex: Apple workshop and inventionsAnd finally, The Beatles, Apple and Me by Lionel Morton. 


Monday, 17 June 2019

On the Boutique Beat! Hung On You, Pygmalia, Gladrags, Dee Doe, Trend, and The Red Queen (1967)





  ON THE BOUTIQUE BEAT BOY/GIRL BOUTIQUES

(1967)



HUNG ON YOU
430 Kings Road, London S.W. 10
Difficult to notice as the name is written Arabic-style on the door. The shop is filled with simple Arabic clothes too, backed by Arabic music. Michael Rainey, the owner, has clothes made that are straightforward and uncomplicated, and ''not symbolic of the commercial rat race of most clothes today.'' Some of the clothes are made in Morocco, like the robe and headband in the sketch below―they're for boys or girls. ★For being one of the most way out and mysterious boutiques in London.






TREND
80 Abelwell Street, Walsall, Staffs.
An eye-catching frontage with psychedelic paintwork. The interior is on a spilt level with menswear at ground level and the girls' department a few steps up, the interior is in midnight blue, lime green and orange. Pop music booms all dayhas done since last April when The Move opened Trend. In the mens department there are flared hipster trousers in tweed from 47s 6d., Regency jackets and coachmen's suits. Hooded corduroy culotte dresses at 89s 11d. are very popular in the girls' shop. Tent-dress styles in light wools from 65s. in camel. burnt orange, bottle green, and lilac are exclusive to Trend. Also clothes by Slimma, McCaul's, Highlight Sports, and Susan Barry. ★ For a good selection that's at everyday prices.




PYGMALIA
3 Backpool Fold, Manchester 2.
Used to belong to The Hollies pop group, now owned by ex-Dakota. A really big shop with two floors―girls up top, menswear down below. Decor is Regency-influenced but not the loud pop music. Most of the stock is specially designed for Pygmalia which has lots of snazzy culotte dresses in brown, black, gold and red. In the men's section they have caftan's in Bush Baby and satin. There are flared trousers more waisted than last year, and frock coats in brocade and velvet. Lots of shirts in new muted colours, dark green, blue and cream. Very popular now, cape-coats in red and black from 8gns. each.★ For a friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.  



Pygmalia, which opened in November 1965, was originally owned by Graham Nash and Tony Hicks of The Hollies, the boutique was run by Nash's first wife Rose Eccles until the couple moved to London. It was then taken over by Tony Mansfield (the drummer from The Dakotas) along with his wife Brenda, and remained open until the 1970s. 




GLADRAGS
76 High Street, Croydon, Surrey.
The shop is packed full of beautiful clothes for boys and girls. They have lots of other bits and pieces too., like little Victorian books, and big personality posters. One of the main features of their Autumn stock is the maxi skirt: they have maxi dresses, skirts, capes and coats. Most popular labels: Gerald McCann, Foale and Tuffin, and Veronica Marsh. Lots of separates too. Accessories include bags, tights, belts, hats and jewellery. Note for male readers: the menswear section downstairs specializes in made-to-measure caftans. ★ For a selection unlimited.





DEE DOE
13 Meer Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
A genuine fifteenth-century building with genuine oak beams and a large, chopped off tree on the ground floor. Some of the stock is exclusive to Dee Doe but most of it is Quant, Twiggy, and John Craig. Their specialty for November is long velvet skirts at 5gns., teamed with frilly Victorian-style blouses at 49s 11d. In the male section next door the 1930 Gangster look is strong with dark shirts, bright and gay ties and striped suits.★ For unusual decor and friendly atmosphere. 





THE RED QUEEN
78a Liverpool Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafs.
A very old building-used to be a public house. The walls are now 'marbled', the ceiling red. They have old-fashioned dummies decorating the shop, painting from the local art school liven up the walls. Half the merchandise is their own stock and second-hand fur coats are on sale at £5. Special buy: Sailor trousers which are updated surplus government stock. Plenty of corduroy dresses at £3 19s 6d. and zippy wool dresses at 4 gns. In the boys section, floral shirts at £2 10s., needlecord waistcoats, sailor trousers and cloaks. ★ For a bit of everything.


IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original article for Intro Magazine, November 1967. Artist uncredited/unknown. Discover more about the British Boutiques of the 1960s and 1970s in some of my previous posts: The British Boutique Boom! (1965); The New Boutiques (1965)Biba Postal Boutique, Victoria & Albert, Topgear and Harriet; The Carrot On Wheels - David Bailey's Boutique! (1965); View an example of the Art Nouveau window designed by Antony Little for  Michael Rainey's Hung On You boutique at 22 Cale street (1966).  Lift Up Your Skirt And Fly, Sheffield (1969). Gear Guide: A hip-pocket Guide to Britain's Swinging Fashion Scene―Who's Who in Carnaby Street & Kings Road etc. (1967); The first Mr Freedom outlet located at 430 King's Road (1969) which previously operated as Michael Rainey's  Hung On You;  Quorum, Biba, Bus Stop and more in The Boutiques Business (1970). Further reading on unisex fashion via Swop Shop―Fashion is for him and her. (1970). See also, Girls are stripping men of their shirts! Well, not bodily, but girls are crowding into men's stores to snap up their snappy shirtsPinch the shirt off his back! (1968). Read an excerpt from Sex and Unisex: Fashion Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution by Jo B. Paoletti over on Pop Matters. And finally, a film clip of ⚤ shopping at Irvine Sellar's Mates  boutique,  25 Carnaby Street, 1966. 

Sunday, 28 April 2019

You've heard of Twiggy, you've heard of Jean Shrimpton, but have you heard of Peter Gregory, Nicholas Head, Jess Down, David Platt or James Feducia? The Pretty Boys (1967)



THE PRETTY BOYS

You've heard of Twiggy, you've heard of Jean Shrimpton, but have you heard of Peter Gregory, Nicholas Head, Jess Down, David Platt or James Feducia? Probably not, but they're the gorgeous men on our cover, and they can earn just as much as the girls can and they're top models, too. Their lives are just as exciting. Want to know more? Then turn the page; read all about them and the whole male model scene. 

Cover models: James Feducia and David Platt (1967).


WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MALE MODEL
Why are our top girl models household names, with powerful influence on the way we dress, make-up and do our hair, while top male models are unknown and unimportant to everyone except magazine and advertisement agencies? The difference is in our attitude. Female models have always been thought glamorously feminine, male models have more often than not been thought simply effeminate. But the attitude is changing. Male modelling's beginning to get glamorous. Successful designer's, actors, and singers are taking it up as a hobby, although there are still boys who admit: ''I don't tell people I'm a model unless I know them very well.'' 


Why the change in attitude? Two reasons: first, modelling's much more difficult than it was ten years ago; a lot of it is television and advertising work, which requires acting ability and intelligence, not just a toothpaste smile. Secondly, young exciting clothes for men, started by Carnaby Street, have woken up even older men's interest in what they look like. Only the die-hard traditionalist thinks it's cissy to look (and smell) nice, and even girl's magazines often include a man's fashion page. And now, a new male model agency, English Boy, has aroused interest in the whole male scene―no rugged, tanned, big-chested he-men here. Most of the models are pale, thin and long-haired, and include well-known names like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, actor James Fox, the hon. Julian Ormsby-Gore, and David Mlinaric, the interior designer. 




The Sweet Jane Blog: English Boy Ltd Model Agency head sheet, featuring Julian Ormsby-Gore, Nigel Weymouth, Maldwyn Thomas, and Brian Jones (1967).




Above: A section of an English Boy Model Agency headsheet, which displays a couple of the aforementioned male models on their books. Namely, the hon. Julian Ormsby-Gore, and just seen on the far right is Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones. The layout of the headsheet resembled a full  deck of playing cards spread out over the entire poster, and all of the agency models were each assigned an individual card which represented them, so for example, Maldwyn Thomas was the Jack of Diamonds, Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma of The Fool Design Collective were given the Joker card, Rufus Dawson was the King of Hearts, Jess Down was the Jack of Clubs and so on, but I particularly love that they printed the photo of Brian Jones on the Ace of Spades! This is just a screenshot of one of the original model agency posters from Hapshash Takes a Trip―a short promotional film clip about the retrospective exhibition of the sixties work of Nigel Waymouth, which took place at The Idea Generation Gallery in London back in 2011. There are some other close-up shots of it in the film, but for those of you who have never seen a complete English Boy Ltd headsheet, you'll find a very good example of one, courtesy of the photographer Heather Harris, whose partner  Mr Twister, was a former model with the agency.




BREAD AND BUTTER WORK

How seriously in the world of advertising is this new-style male model taken? Kelvin Webb of English Boy, with sixty-one male and fifty female models on his books, said they're doing ''marvellously well. We are specialized of course. We're covering the younger market, which no one has catered for up to now. The more sophisticated magazines like Queen , Nova, Town, use us, and our models advertise 'young' products like Coca Cola, cider, cigarettes and so on. Actually, we're mainly interested in film and acting rather than modelling. ''The point about our models is that they aren't just clothes-hangers. They're more natural looking, and have more interesting faces than the old fashioned cheese-cake type.'' English Boy models get a lot of work in Germany, France and Spain because they've got the new gear-y look, but the big advertising in this country is based on American ideas. Advertising campaigns are very carefully thought out-every product has an image, and the male model has to project that image. Although some products, like sports cars or alcoholic drinks require a sophisticated, man-about-town appeal, the products most advertised call for a family image―food of all kind, soap, powders, etc.



Cover Models: Top: Nicholas Head. From left to right: Jess Down, and Peter Gregory (1967).


Scotty's, one of the top model agencies, said: ''The kind of man most used in advertisements has changed over the last three or four years. There's still a call for the big, virile family man, but the trend is to the account executive type, who may have two children but still manages to be young and 'swinging'. This doesn't mean long hair though; two of our youngest models bought very expensive long-haired wigs, but they've only worn them once.''  J.Walter Thompson, probably the biggest advertising agency in the country, described the new type as ''mid―atlantic definitely American influenced. He's still got to be healthy and wholesome looking, but not as 'square' as the old British-dad image.'' Advertising films for television have made a big change in the modelling business, and helped make it more respected, more and more actors are doing part-time model work, and more models need acting ability.  ''Actors used to hate doing television commercials,'' said Peter Benison's agency. ''They said they would never get serious roles after doing commercial work. Now they find that it doesn't really make much difference and, of course, basic modelling fees are nothing compared to  the repeat fees on a big commercial job.'' (Apart from the basic fee, models are paid a repeat fee for every time the film is shown.)''


''The old male model image couldn't work in front of a moving camera―the actors are used to it.'' Apart from acting talent, athletic ability is often needed for films, which can include riding, swimming, rowing, playing tennis or football and dancing. Fashion work is still a big part of the male models life―men's fashion shows and features in magazines provide some work, but the biggest employers of male models are the mail order firms with their 2,000-page catalogues. No English Boy models for them. ''Catalogue work calls for a very conventional masculine appearance,'' said Olympic Enterprises, who have 100 models on their books. But longer hair is creeping in (note: longer, not long). Blaney model agency found: ''Last year they wouldn't touch anyone with long hair, but this year they are featuring more and more sections for the 'modern young man,' and they use boys with longer hair―but not extreme. The great bulk of work is for men who look fairly standard.''





GAINING RESPECT
One thing everyone agrees on―the main trend is for more natural, individual looking models, men who can move about and act, instead of standing like shop dummies with a plastic grin. And as their job becomes more skilled and more important on the advertising and fashion scene, they become more respected. There's less room for the amateur, though there are still a great many male models who use modelling as a stop-gap between jobs or a quick way to earn a few pounds. They make the photographer's job harder, and we'll leave the last word to Mike Berkovsky: ''I don't like working with male models at all, although I have to a fair amount. Most of them treat the whole business as a real drag―they are slow, unhelpful and bored. They want the money, but they don't want to do anything for it. The professional boys from the biggest agencies are generally hard workers, but most models are young guys who just won't put themselves out.''

Last minute checks before a photo session: from left, Jess Down, David Platt, and James Feducia (1967). 




THE MALE MODELS THEMSELVES
What's it like being a male model? Well, it can be very profitable. Top men earn up to £10,000 a year. But if your brother or boyfriend jumps at this, and runs for the phone to ring the nearest agency―tell him to read on first, because it's an expensive business to get into. Look at this list of clothes, which shows the minimum wardrobe a successful model needs. A car is very handy too. A model is rather tied down without one, now that so much work is for advertising films, which may be made on location anywhere from Stonehenge to Tahiti. And it's hard work―a lot of boys who jump at modelling because it's ''money for old rope'' get a rude shock. Standing in an icy stream for six hours, dressed in swimming trunks, in mid-January can change their minds, or even spending a sweltering day under studio lights in a fur-lined overcoat.


A list of clothes, which shows the minimum wardrobe a successful model needs (1967). 






WHAT OUR COVER BOYS SAY!
Five of the most ''wanted'' male models. Top: Nicholas Head. From left to right: Jess Down, Peter Gregory, James Feducia and David Platt.







PETER GREGORY, twenty-nine, has been modelling four years. ''I like the life. There's definitely not so much stigma attached to being a male model now, although I still don't tell people what I do for a living unless I know them very well. I generally prefer doing photographic work to anything else.''  NICHOLAS HEAD is twenty-eight, and has also been modelling for four years. He's married to young designer, Sue Locke, who runs a boutique in Chelsea. ''I got into modelling by accident really. I used to act, and I compose music. I like advertising work, I've just finished the big milk advertising campaigns.''  JESS DOWN, is twenty-one, and has been working five months with English Boy. I had some friends there who said they might be able to get me some work, which was fine by me. The English Boy crowd are very much a family. Modelling subsidizes my painting―I average about £25 a week.'' JAMES FEDUCIA, twenty-two, has modelled eight months. ''I dig it, I think it's fine. The main thing I like about it now is that you can come over as a person, and not just a body. This whole idea of male models just being a body, standing there, is beginning to break down.''





WHAT OTHER MODELS SAY


BILL CHENAIL, is twenty-one. ''I'm doing a lot of work; in all kinds of fields, particularly films, and not just commercial films. I love the work and like the girl models―especially if you find one you can get on with, though often the amateurs are very nervous. ''Everyone will start using models looking like me soon. We're the new look. Looks are changing a lot. ''Why shouldn't men project love and beauty as well as women?'' 




DEREK NESBITT, is twenty-six. ''My brother began modelling before I did, and it was through him that I started. Before that I was a manager in a commercial firm in Belfast. I came over to the great metropolis, and never regretted it! It's my sole profession now, and I make about £3000 to £5000 a year, though it's difficult to average out. I do a complete cross-section of work from television commercials and magazines to catalogue work and fashion shows. If anything I prefer television because it's more of a challenge. ''Photographers tend to get to know a few models well, and obviously they prefer to use someone they know they can work well with; it saves time, which in this business is very expensive.''




 JON RENN, twenty-six, is an American. ''I've been in England a year and a half. I am primarily a writer, also do film directing and acting, this ties in very well with modelling, as it helps to be able to act. This job is ideal because I only need to work two or three days a week to earn enough to keep me while I get established in other fields. The main thing I have against modelling is the irregular payment; you can do a job and not get paid for six months. ''I mainly do advertisements and TV commercials as I am usually too tall (six foot four inches) for fashion or catalogue work. But my height can help, I can make outrageous clothes look elegant.'






EDDIE SOMMER, twenty-three, has been modelling for fifteen months. ''It's a very insecure life, but the insecurity keeps you on your toes. One sometimes works every day for three weeks, then not at all for a fortnight.  You have to wait ages for the money; but on the Continent they pay you at the end of the day's work.  ''I started out thinking modelling was money for old rope, and in a way it is, but it's tiring. I'd like to do something else, but there's no job with such freedom and good pay. I earn an average over the year of about £40 a week.''





NIGEL WOOD, twenty-three, ''I started modelling almost by accident while studying engineering at university. I'm not really worried about wasting my brain-power, brains are just not particularly valuable in this country. There are more engineering graduates than god jobs. I'm now earning about £3, 500 a year modelling, and I'm in it for the money. ''I don't like telling people I'm a model. They regard you as something apart, and assume you are very conceited, but this is inevitable in a profession where you are selling your looks.''




Several perfect examples of the trend for the new look, longer-haired male models described in the magazine feature above can be found in this kaleidoscopic coffee commercialmade just a year after 'The Pretty Boys' article was published. In my opinion, it seems to embody everything that Mark Palmer, Kelvin Webb and Trisha Locke of the English Boy Agency were striving towards. Very little is known about the film, which is available as part of the BFI's Other Grooves Collection, except that it was produced by the advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn in 1968. Intriguingly, someone has suggested via a comment on the BFI's Youtube channel that the male lead model is Bruce Robinson, I'd like to add my two-cents worth to that nugget of new information about the film, by suggesting that the voice-over sounds remarkably like the work of the late, great Ken Nordine


IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS

All images scanned by Sweet Jane from Intro Magazine, November 11th, 1967. Original feature by Anne Campbell Dixon. Unfortunately, the photographer was uncredited, but it's quite possible that it may have been the aforementioned Mike Berkovsky who contributed to the interviews, I also think it's possible that there was a slight error made in the spelling of the surname and that the photographer referred to is actually Mike Berkofsky. View some other examples of male models from this period in my previous posts ➽ Jess Down: English Boy Ltd Model & Artist (Jackie Magazine, 1969). Dentelle Galler and the King's Road Hippies (Jours De France, 1969). Models sporting the latest military look from I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet in What's Phisticated Then? (The Daily Telegraph Magazine, 1967). Screenshots from the commercial film Good Strong Coffee (1968) by Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, courtesy of the BFI's Other Grooves.  Operation Venus  (Queen Magazine, 1968). Les Assassins du Bodygraph (Plexus, 1967). Actor Peter McEneryMan on Safari (A Dandy in Vogue, 1967). The Immanence of the PastCavalli Shoes (Queen Magazine, 1969). Michael Fish of Mr Fish Clifford Street modelling his own designs (Queen Magazine, 1968). You'll find some highly recommended reading about the modelling industry from this period and beyond, over on The Model Archives of Marlowe Press, founded by Peter Marlowe in London in 1965, and also Ellis Taylor's A model’s life in London: Glamour, drama…and a demon lurking. And finally, an ode to long-hair ➽ I wish you'd listen when I tell you now, Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long! courtesy of Brian Wilson

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...