//Jah Wobble aka John Wardle: “I look a complete and utter ****!”//
Wobble looked especially scary, with a bouffant blond wig, perma-tan make-up and on-camera behaviour updating and bringing new extremes to the arrogant and manipulative character originally played by Hemmings.
Given that Wobble’s new song is a hard-edged 3/4 time three-minute instrumental bordering on drum ‘n’bass, the brief was that the atmosphere should be rooted in 1966 London, yet with a contemporary air so that it didn’t slip into either Benny Hill territory or pure pastiche.
Hence Wobble’s decision against skinny white jeans a la Hemmings (“too Nathan Barley”) and also the involvement of Missoni; he wore a jacket from their latest men’s wear range and model Laura works for the company, so the label’s retail manager Giesela Tschirpig was on hand supplying beautiful dresses from A/W09/10 and S/S10.
Jenny based her outfit around a red and black op-art mini while Emma (real name Liz) plucked a vintage cream and black striped mini shift from her extensive collection.
With an original chess-set designed by Hermann Ohme to underline the main character’s game-playing instincts, we took our cue from the cool jazz soundtrack to the original film and littered the record collection with the likes of Errol Garner and Chet Baker, as well as edgy mid 60s British r&b exemplified by Georgie Fame and The Spencer Davis Group.
Amid the contact sheets we placed Alan Fletcher plastic ashtrays, contemporary copies of Life, Esquire and Time, an original Anello & Davide ”Stallion range” catalogue and well-thumbed Penguins around the centrepiece: John D. Greene’s stunning Birds Of Britain.
//Lloyd and Liz take a break//
With other scenes including Wobble haring around town in an Aston Martin and luxuriating in a Canary Wharf penthouse, the promo – from the sure hand of Procam’s John Brennan – is shaping up to become an online favourite on release this spring.
John Brennan tells us that there are plans to build a microsite around the clip, tour it around film festivals and include it as a video installation at art galleries.
Jah Wobble’s single Blow Up is out soon on his label 30Hertz.
Check out my contributions to Paul Gambaccini’s BBC Radio 2 documentary Elvis The Brand; the first part was broadcast last night (and is available for the next six days here). The second part goes out tonight at 23.30 GMT.
//Elvis and Bernard Lansky, 126 Beale Street, Memphis, 1956. Photo (c) lanskybros.com//
The programme is part of the BBC’s week-long celebration of what would have been Elvis’ 75th birthday on Thursday (January 8).
In the documentary I cover The King’s style from 1952, when he first pressed his nose up against the Lanskys‘ shop window at 126 Beale Street in Memphis, through Nudie Cohn’s gold lame suit to the flamboyance of the Bill Belew outfit for the 68 Comeback special and Bob Mackie’s crazed costumery of the final Vegas years.
This is detailed in Chapter 1 of THE LOOK, which features an exclusive interview with clothier to The King Bernard Lansky.
In his introduction to THE LOOK, Paul Smith reveals how he has maintained his enthusiam for fashion in the four decades since he started out as manager of Nottingham’s The Birdcage.
//Paul Smith, Nottingham, mid-60s. Courtesy: Paul Smith//
Smith said: “You need an inner love, a passion for fashion and a curiosity for “stuff”: art, music, graphic and product design, what is happening in these interlinked worlds.”
//Paul Smith and Paul Gorman, Tokyo, 2006. Photo: Meri Juntti//
That passion was made manifest when Smith not only hosted the launch of THE LOOK in Tokyo but also invited me to curate an exhibition of photographs from the book in his Space gallery .
//THE LOOK exhibition, Space, Tokyo, 2006. Photo: Meri Juntti//
Smith’s inquiring passion has enabled this charming enigma to maintain his position outside of the corporate whirl, all the while heading up a global retail empire to which has recently been added a new shop in Marylebone, central London.
//Smith’s new store in Marylebone High Street, London W1//
A quick glance at Smith’s current activities underlines this curiosity: at his Nottingham shop Willoughby House there is a David Hockney exhibition, while fellow artist Robert Clarke’s show British Birds & Dogs is at the Paul Smith shop Globe at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 until tomorrow.
//Left: Wood Duck, Robert Clarke. Right: The Blue Guitar, David Hockney//
Read all about Paul’s enthusiams and interests, as well as his adventures in rock and pop fashion, in Chapter 27 of THE LOOK.
This evening’s launch of Kirsty Hislop and Dominic Lutyens’ estimable 70s Style & Design provides an opportunity to show off a couple of rare photos we’ve gathered from one of the places which receives extensive coverage in the book: the pioneering boutique Mr Freedom.
//Snapped at the Mr Freedom Kensington opening party, 1970. Top in hat: Pamla Motown//
The above shot of scenesters and fashion movers and shakers was taken at the opening party of the Mr Freedom branch at 20 Kensington Church Street in December 1970. From left they are: Micky Solomons, Mona (Solomons’ girlfriend at the time), and Ken and Pam Todd.
Top, in the hat, is designer Pamla Motown and we’re reliably informed that Ken Todd’s jacket was from Cockell & Johnson.
The shot has been supplied to us by Trevor Myles, who co-founded Mr Freedom with Tommy Roberts; not long after the Kensington store opened, they went their separate ways. Myles returned to the site of the original shop, 430 King’s Road, and relaunched that as Paradise Garage.
//Mr Freedom, 430 King’s Road, 1969: Trevor Myles, Tommy Roberts, John Paul and Gerald Tilling//
The first Mr Freedom was opened by Myles and Roberts in 1968, taking over the premises from Michael Rainey’s Hung On You.
Decorated by Electric Colour Company, one of its notable faces was flamboyant manager Gerald Tilling, while Roberts’ friend John Paul was brought in ahead of the move to the more ambitious store in Kensington.
//Pop art is covered from Allan Jones to Jon Wealleans’ design for the Mr Feed’Em restaurant//
Mr Freedom, Paradise Garage and Pamla Motown (in particular her association with fellow designer Jim O’Connor) all feature in the new book which is illustrated with 430 images, many rare.
//The vintage boom begins, featuring (centre) Anna Piaggi and Vern Lambert//
Hislop and Lutyens have covered the waterfront, checking for everyone from Swanky Modes, Fiorucci and Johnsons to Nova, the back to nature movement and radical architecture.
Ahead of djhistory.com’s Original Mods event at the Horse & Groom, London EC2, we thought we’d hip you to some rare images of a couple of tonight’s participants to show how the 59-62 Modernists developed as the years progressed.
//Lloyd Johnson, Maria Nilsson, Patrick Cockell, 1966. Photo: Sebastian Keep//
Above left is Lloyd Johnson in 1966 with Maria Nilsson and Patrick Cockell, with whom he opened the Kensington Market shop Cockell & Johnson in 1968.
“I’m wearing my first Granny Takes A Trip shirt, which cost £4-14/6d (or as they preferred it, 4 1/2 gns),” says Lloyd.
Pat Cockell’s shirt is also Granny’s – the pair were supplying ties to the King’s Road store, and received them in part payment.
“I was encouraging Patrick to grow his hair and side-boards, so gave him a high parting and back-combed the back,” adds Lloyd, whose own hair has just grown out after being cropped to an all-over one-inch length the year before.
//The Who with Jeff Dexter watching from the side, The Oval cricket ground, south London, 1971//
And here’s a couple of Jeff Dexter with superstars of the 70s who sprang from the mod milieu. Above there’s JD watching The Who headline a bill at The Oval in south London in 1971; he was the main DJ that day and donned his cricket whites (complete with pads) to mark the occasion.
Below that’s Jeff on the left enjoying a jolly-up with pals including his close personal friend Marc Bolan in 1970.
//JD (left) with Marc Bolan and pals, 1970. Pic: Keith Morris/Redferns//
I’ll be moderating this evening’s event which also features contributions from Mickey Modern and Jeff’s dancing partner from back in the day, Dena “Dynamite” Sprigens.
We’re hoping they’ll show us how it’s done after the chat, which starts at 8.30. JD is also DJing along with Hugh from Shindig, Benoit & Namedrop and Jonny 5.
Entry is free so come on down – it’s gonna be a good night!
We hooked them up with Long Gone John, the current owner of the jacket worn by Iggy on the back cover of the magnificent Raw Power, and received chapter-and-verse on how he added it to his stunning collection of esoterica, strangeness & charm.
And we’re continuing to supply orders of the limited edition long-sleeved versions tailored to the original design with full and signed provenance, packaged in a hand-stamped and numbered box and the all-important “Fuck art let’s do the t-shirt” wrapping paper.
Soho tailor Mark Powell is celebrating his association with shoemaker Berluti tonight (October 30) with a show which will surely deliver lashings of sartorial splendour.
Sharing a focus on traditionalism with a flamboyant and sometimes surreal edge, Berluti and Mark are made for each other. As detailed in THE LOOK, Mark has carved out a niche for himself as a truly independent figure in British fashion, whose tough, dandy aesthetic is often imitated but never bettered.
//Mark Powell menswear//
Berluti meanwhile draws on a heritage going back to 1885 when bootmaker Allessandro Berluti left Italy for Paris, where he opened his first shop in Rue de Mont Thabor in 1928.
//Mark Powell womenswear from his last show//
His niece Olga continues the family line. Olga is noted for the ready-to-wear range inspired by a conversation with Andy Warhol; the great American pop artist once asked her to design footwear with visible patches.
//Mark in his Soho studio. Photo: Chris Clunn//
Mark’s shows are always an event, with friends – either high-profile or faces-about-town – mingling with professional models on the catwalk.
Tonight’s event takes place at Berluti’s Conduit Street shop. All the tickets have gone but we’ll make sure that we post an image-heavy report soon.
BEV’s psychedelic murals adorned boutiques such as Dandie Fashions in the King’s Road and Lord John in Carnaby Street.
//Carnaby Street postcard, Lord John left, 1967//
Outside of the BEV umbrella and under the guise of “OM Tentacle” (in conjunction with Mike McInnerney), Edwards was also responsible for the swooping serpent which formed the frontage of infamous Chelsea hangout, the Dragon Cafe.
The Dandie Fashions’ commission is significant; the shop exterior was decorated in lavish style for owner Tara Browne and manager John Crittle.
Just a few weeks back Big Biba designer Steve Thomas told THE LOOK that, as a student at nearby Chelsea College of Art, he was drafted in to paint the straight lines (as Edwards points out, the BEV team were more than capable of completing their own straight lines but the scale of the job required assistance from a number of students).
Edwards has related that when the team worked through the night they were often visited by intrigued local Eduardo Paolozzi.
Browne was on his way to view progress on the exterior when he died in a car crash in December 1966. This of course became one of the inspirations for the narrative of the Sgt Pepper track A Day In The Life.
//Left: BEV Cobra and Buick. Right: Poster for The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave//
BEV also decorated interiors for Lord Snowdon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with a stunning array of furniture and cars. In fact it was Edwards who painted McCartney’s piano; he lived with the Beatle for six months. ”I wrote Getting Better on my magic Binder Edwards & Vaughan piano,” said McCartney recently. “Of course the way in which it was painted added to the fun of it all.”
This association led to McCartney contributing The Beatles’ experimental and still unreleased electronic track Carnival Of Light to BEV’s multi-media extravaganza The Million Volt Light And Sound Rave at London’s The Roundhouse on January 28, 1967.
//Left: BEV with Tara Browne (back centre) 1966. Photo: musicpictures.com. Right: Dudley Edwards painting Paul McCartney’s piano 1967//
The Cobra is featured in this 1966 Pathe newsreel about BEV’s work shot at Robert Fraser’s gallery at 69 Duke Street, Mayfair; that’s Browne sitting proudly in the car as it is hauled through the gallery window.
THE LOOK has been granted a web exclusive we can’t wait to share with you – a couple of the amazing images from this year’s must-have fashion book, 70s Style & Design by Kirsty Hislop and Dominic Lutyens.
//Jim O’Connor and Pamla Motown, 1972. Photo: Steve Hiett//
Dominic and Kirsty have served up a feast in terms of the visuals and verbals, exploring the art, architecture, fashion and design of the decade that really delivered.
//Edwige, Maripol and Bianca Jagger. Photo: Edo Bertoglio//
With (appropriately enough) 430 eye-popping images, 70s Style & Design succeeds by steering clear of the cliches (platforms, polyester flares) and crisply presents the reality of the era: creative, iconoclastic and, in contrast to the elitist 60s, healthily democratic.
Saluting but avoiding entrapment in the better known aspects (Biba, punk), the book charts areas and movements not commonly identified as having an impact on visual culture at the time, such as eco and high-tech architecture, minimalism, the cult of androgyny, the proto-punk craze of kitsch and the impact on style of the black civil rights and women’s and gay liberation movements.
// 70s Style & Design cover. “All Weather” shoes by Thea Cadabra. Photo: Ian Murphy//
Above all, this book is enormous fun: simultaneously an education, entertainment and celebration.
THE LOOK will return to 70s Design & Style (with a chance to WIN a copy!) soon; in the meantime we urge you to seek it out.
As Mark has explained, he clipped one of the nine photos for a home-made badge. Not only did that go missing, but Mark couldn’t recall the photograph at all.
//Johnny Rotten, September 1976. Photo: Wolfgang Heilemann//
So we put a call out and THE LOOK fan Dai Ando from Japan has come up trumps. Here is the missing image in all it’s glory: a close up by the photographer Wolfgang “Bubi” Heilemann of Johnny Rotten in full flight, teeth bared, Peter Pan shirt collar turned up, studded wristband to the fore.
Thanks to Mark and Dai for enabling us to present this long-lost artefact in it’s entirety for the first time online. Nice work chaps.
Following yesterday’s publication of reader Mark Ogilvie’s ultra-rare Sex Pistols poster, here are a series of images which have never previously been presented individually.
The shots were positioned in a line along the bottom of the poster. Grainy and suitably ripped and torn in the 32 years since the poster was printed, the isolated images provide an intriguing insight into a band on the cusp of international infamy.
As we reported here, in early September 1976 German photographer Wolfgang “Bubi” Heilemann took shots of the band in the streets of Soho as well as in a mocked-up performance at the Notre Dame Hall, just off Leicester Square.
The photo-session provided the basis for a feature later that month in the German teen magazine Bravo, and others were used in an issue dedicated to punk the following year.
These are different again, and appeared in the Swedish magazine Poster, also published in 1977.
There are some illuminating images: a clear shot of drummer Paul Cook in Johnny Rotten’s I HATE Pink Floyd tee, a close up of the ring-pulls with which Rotten decorated his pink school blazer, a band line-up in which they exude confidence and cool and a number of exciting “live” shots .
Later that month the Pistols played the 100 Club’s Punk Festival, the event which broadcast the movement to the mainstream media, and returned to Notre Dame Hall on November 15 for two shows, one of which was filmed by London Weekend Television.
Mark tells us that, many years ago, he clipped one of the shots from the poster and made a badge out of it. He’s long since lost that and also forgotten what was in the photograph; anybody out there who can help us track it down?
THE LOOK is indebted to reader Mark Ogilvie for this rare poster of the Sex Pistols, created from images taken during a photo session at the Notre Dame Hall in London’s Leicester Square in the late summer of 1976.
//Poster from Swedish music magazine, 1977 courtesy Mark Ogilvie//
Most of the poster photos did not appear in the feature in the September 30 1976 issue of German teen magazine Bravo we revealed exclusively here, but were also taken by Abba’s favourite photographer Wolfgang “Bubi” Heileman.
Mark was given the 24″ x 17″ poster by a friend from Sweden in 1978/79. “I presume it was from a Swedish music magazine from 1977,” he says. “It’s a bit tatty on the corners and well creased across the centre but it’s well-travelled, having been to South America, the West Indies, USA, Canada, Denmark and even Wales! I’ve never seen this picture or poster, original or reproduction, anywhere in the past 32 years and I’m pretty sure I must have seen every photo, film, book, article, documentary, etc about the Pistols 1975-78.”
These are a great addition to the recently unearthed Bravo images; clear for all to see are bassist Glen Matlock’s Jackson Pollock-ed jeans and Let It Rock shirt, as are singer Johnny Rotten’s customised school blazer (later to inspire the Seditionaries inside-out felt jacket) and lurex-threaded Let It Rock trousers.
//Westwood and model, Gold Label S/S 2010 show, Paris, October 2. Photo: EPA//
It’s apposite that Westwood should chose to revive this after 33 years, given continuing concerns among collectors over the authenticity of many Sex and Seditionaries garments in circulation, but Westwood is clearly hoping to tap into the potency of the original design by conveying a contemporary message.
The 2010 Anarchy Shirt carries images and slogans related to her Active Resistance campaign, while the show’s leaflets were headed: “Call to action for all eco-warriors – dress up!”
Just a couple of snaps which illustrate the sense of occasion created by Pam Hogg at last night’s showcase of her S/S 10 collection in the On/Off space occupying the car park underneath Somerset House during London Fashion Week.
These photos – taken by Mrs G using her phone, she insists you know – hopefully convey the flavour of the event, which was accompanied by dry ice and a suitably bombastic soundtrack provided by the peerless Andrew Weatherall.
//Anita Pallenberg on the set of Barbarella, 1967//
One of THE LOOK’s most popular posts is based on an exclusive interview conducted a couple of years back with the high priestess of rock chic Anita Pallenberg.
The last month or so has seen an influx of new visitors and subscribers to our site, so here’s a refreshed and re-edited chance to appreciate this bewitching figure whose combination of innate style, fashion-savviness and earthy sexuality brought Continental sophistication to Swinging London and turned it on its head.
//German press coverage of her appearance in Mord Und Totschlag//
Gawky gamins and dolly-birds melted into insignificance in the presence of the impressive 21-year-old who arrived on the scene in 1965 having already studied graphic design in her native Rome, assisted Vogue photographer Gianni Penati and modelled in Paris.
Through the 70s to this day, Pallenberg has embodied rock & roll chic – much emulated, never bettered.
The conversation below focused on the King’s Road in 1967 for a piece for Mojo magazine.Not that Anita was remotely interested in dwelling on the past; she was buzzed about visiting Karl Lagerfeld in Paris the next day, her interest in photography, the bargains to be found in charity shops, how the High Street chains are Carnaby Street reincarnated, and her thoughts on launching a new collection based on the MA show from her studies at Saint Martins in the 90s.
//Anita and I at THE LOOK’s event at Port Elio LitFest 2007//
Pallenberg is said to have suggested not only the samba beat for Sympathy For the Devil but also the “woo-hoo” backing chorus; in the clip above from Jean Luc-Godard’s movie of the same name she’s joining in dressed in a long cape. Pallenberg said that one of these nights she’ll DJ at a LOOK club-night. Having seen her move in person (after all it was she who taught Mick Jagger to salsa and mambo) we can’t wait!
So, where were you in 67?
I was living all over the place, sometimes in hotels with Keith, but I was hardly in London, because I was working a lot. That was my big year as an actress. I was making Barbarella in Rome, and then my German film (Volker Schlondorff’s Mord Und Totschlag aka A Degree Of Murder, for which Pallenberg’s former partner Brian Jones contributed the score).
Where did you shop for clothes?
We’d go to places like Emmerton & Lambert in the Antiques Market, Hung On You and Granny’s. I wasn’t into Mary Quant; she was too middle of the road, and that mod, op-art thing wasn’t really for me. And Biba was too big. I wasn’t into that very English look. In Italy we’d always had salsa, the mamba, all those Latin dances which gave me a different feel for things, so my style was fedoras, belts, little 20s jackets, lace that I’d collected. If I wore mini-skirts I’d have them made by Granny’s. We’d try on clothes and have a joint in the back. Granny’s was very small, just two rooms, so everyone knew each other.
//Anita, Keith Richards, Gram Parsons, and Gretchen Burrell, Villa Nellcote, 1971. Photo: Dominique Tarle//
How did you feel when the “peasant look” (the rock & roll gypsy style created by Pallenberg’s combination of antique clothing and scarves with handmade belts and boots) was revived a couple of years ago by Sienna Miller et al?
I just felt: ‘Where we you were all those year ago?!’ It all seemed a little late. I was always obsessed with clothes, but of a particular sort. I’d modelled in Paris in 63, 64 and the first time I was paid I went straight out and bought a snakeskin Marlon Brando-style motorcycle jacket in the Champs-Elysees. The second time I bought the second-hand red fox fur coat which is in Performance. I’d wear that to modelling jobs with just my underwear, boots and a bag because you couldn’t leave your clothes lying around. The other models would steal them!
//Early 60s modelling assignment//
You didn’t mind wearing fur?
I had a ratty fake mink coat I wore to a gig by Hendrix somewhere on Chelsea Embankment. I went with (art dealer and member of the Stones inner circle) Robert Fraser. I couldn’t tell Keith; he wouldn’t have liked it at all. As we left Robert, gentleman that he was, picked up my coat from the cloakroom. I wore it for a couple of days and thought it was a bit tight before I realised he’d picked up the wrong coat, a real mink!
What was it like going back to college (Pallenberg studied textiles at Central Saint Martins in the early 90s)?
I loved it. One of my favourite fabrics is devore (printed velvet and satin) and so I did my collection for my finals in that. It’s really hard work because the process is so intense but I loved it. There’s a Michael Cooper photograph of Marianne (Faithfull) in a devore dress, which she probably nicked from me! We used to nick from each other all the time because they were all one-off pieces.
//Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg, 1975. Photo: Getty Images//
What was Ossie Clark like?
He was a nasty piece of work, a trouble-maker. If he came to Cheyne Walk, he’d be so unbearable we had to throw him out. And he was like that till the end. He was backstage at a Stones concert a couple of years before he died (in 1996, murdered by his psychotic lover Diego Cogolato) and he was so loud, unpleasant and arrogant we had to throw him out again!
//Shoot for Italian Glamour magazine, 1994//
What didn’t you like about the scene?
I remember walking down the Kings Road one time and everybody seemed to be on acid. There were kids running around with no shoes on their feet. I’m Italian; the last thing you’d do is go barefoot. Shoes are a status symbol, the first thing you get. Everybody in Rome walks around discussing shoes. I had my boots made for me back home, so I thought it was very weird.
//At Vivienne Westwood’s London Fashion Week show, 1998. Daughter-in-law Lucie de la Falaise far left//
You weren’t really a hippie then?
No. Definitely not. Even though I was away in America for much of the 70s, when punk came along and Vivienne (Westwood) and Malcolm (McLaren) were making those wonderful rubber clothes I felt much more in tune with them.
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