Monday, 29 July 2019

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



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? 


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).


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. 


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). 


'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)


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 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.


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.


''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.


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.