Celia Birtwell’s discreet yet substantial contribution to British fashion, interiors and art has been overlooked for decades. This autumn’s publication of a book penned by the designer with Dominic Lutyens is a welcome addition to THE LOOK library, writes Mrs G.
Prompted by the appearance of Anello & Davide’s Winged Western boots in a recent post, Marco Pirroni has sent these photos of three pairs he acquired in the late 70s and early 80s.
“These are the boots as worn by Johnny Kidd, Charles Hawtrey in Carry On Cowboy and me,” says Pirroni. “I had my first pair – the pink and black ones – made for me by Anello’s in 1978 and the others in 1980/81.”
Today THE LOOK was granted a sneak preview of some of the incredible exhibits to be featured in Rebel On The Row, the forthcoming exhibition celebrating the talents and legacy of the late Tommy Nutter.
Curated by Timothy Everest – who was a Nutter trainee (others include John Galliano) – and the FTM’s Dennis Nothdruft, the show centres on exhibits contributed by such Nutter clients as Mick Jagger, Elton John, Cilla Black and Justin de Villeneuve.
//Vivienne Westwood (third right) with LIR assistant Addy Isman + Teddy Boys outside 430 King's Road, Chelsea, 1972. Photo: David Parkinson.//
Vivienne Westwood has asserted her rights to the marks Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die and Worlds End (the names of the shop at 430 King’s Road operated by Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in 1971-72, 1973-74 and 1980 to date respectively).
This is significant. While Worlds End has clearly been Westwood’s since she split with the late McLaren in 1984, they adopted a laissez-faire attitude to enforcing their intellectual property rights to the shop names and dozens of designs created during the 13-year partnership which also included the incarnations of 430 as SEX (1974-76) and Seditionaries (1976-80).
//Alan Holston outside Dandie Fashions, 161 King's Road, SW3. From a European pop magazine, 1967.//
Alan Holston has provided these photos from his time as of one the team at key 60s boutique Dandie Fashions.
Holston joined Dandie in 1966 when it was opened by Tara Browne and Neil Winterbottom with John Crittle and Freddie Hornik in premises in South Kensington. Tailoring was supplied by Foster & Tara, the business Browne set up with father and son team Pops and Cliff Foster.
Among my current book projects is the life and career of Tommy Roberts, the British design figure whose track record includes operation of an amazing run of retail outlets – Kleptomania, Mr Freedom Kings Road, Mr Freedom Kensington, City Lights Studio, Practical Styling + Tom-Tom – and associations with the who’s who of music, fashion, art + design over the last five decades.
Tommy has sent me a number of reminiscences which I’m posting occasionally on my own blog as tasters for the book, which will be out next year.
The first of Tommy’s tales, about City Lights Studio, is here.
//Second right: Lennon; far right: T.Rex manager/stylist Chelita Secunda.//
Over the last couple of years, the recession has inspired the return to popularity of utility clothing. As this cutting shows, the first British workwear wave occurred in the early 70s when a former Beatle’s penchant for denim coincided with the opening of Paradise Garage at 430 Kings Road.
In London local newspaper the Evening Standard, Janet Street-Porter described how fashionistas and music fans took their cue from John Lennon’s US-flag emblazoned bib & braces and flocked to Trevor Myles’ shop in World’s End for hickory stripe dungarees, Women’s Land Army overalls and second-hand Levi’s.
The first edition of THE LOOK was launched with a party at Astral, Soho, in March 2001.
It was packed to the gills with media, well-wishers and many of the contributors.
Cover stars Pippa + James performed as Shopgirl and the DJs represented different eras covered by the book: Jeff Dexter played his mid-60s Tiles set; Don Letts + Dan Donovan shook the walls with the sounds Don played at The Roxy in 77; Jay Strongman span the early 80s music from The Dirtbox; and Count Indigo the 90s loungecore scene centred on his Madame Jo-Jo’s club Indigo.
This photograph of designer Diana Crawshaw from the Daily Express Wiliam Hickey column was taken the day after a momentous event in post-war style; on Wednesday May 12 1971, Kansai Yamamoto showed his new collection at Tom Salter’s Great Gear Trading Company at 85 King’s Road, inaugurating appreciation of Japanese fashion design in the West.
According to the owner – who is now prepared to part company with it – this is one of only three python coats produced by Clark; one of the others was apparently retained by his business partner Alice Pollock.
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