Archive for the Vintage/reproductions category

Spirit of Hapshash invoked for Lucy In Disguise

Lucy In Disguise poster by Nigel Waymouth and Tim Watkins

Within hours of mentioning Granny Takes A Trip and Lucy in Disguise (the new label from Lily Allen and her half-sister Sarah Owen) in the BBC Blast presentation, this beauty arrived in my in-tray – a poster for LID by Granny’s founder Nigel Waymouth with Tim Watkins.

As detailed in Chapter 10 of THE LOOK,  while he operated Granny’s in the 60s, Nigel joined forces with the late Michael English as Britain’s foremost psychedelic art/design team Hapshash And The Coloured Coat.

These days a prominent portraitist, Nigel collaborated with us on a fabulous line of t-shirts for THE LOOK PRESENTS a couple of years back. Congrats to him on invoking the spirit of Hapshash for the 21st century.

Banksy forgers plead guilty

Art forgers Grant Champkins-Howard, 44, and Lee Parker, 45, face jail sentences after confessing to selling fake prints by guerilla artist Banksy on eBay at Kingston Crown Court last Friday (June 4).

Charges in the separate case against the pair alleging the manufacture and distribution of fake 70s designs by the late Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood lie on file.

THE LOOK will not be publishing comments on this post.

Exclusive: Amazing BOY pieces in 80s vintage sale

Here is a exclusive selection of images from a vintage 80s fashion collection going up for private sale this week.


The vendor is selling a prime collection of streetwear, including key pieces from the Chelsea boutique BOY.

As detailed in Chapter 21 of  THE LOOK, BOY was opened at 151 King’s Road in the spring of 1977 by  John Krevine and Steph Raynor in the wake of McLaren and Westwood’s Seditionaries (unveiled at 430 King’s Road in December 1976).

These days original BOY clothing in good condition is much sought-after.  The pieces in this collection date from 1982 onward.

The so-called black cotton “bondage dress” is a multi-layered wonder complete with straps, apron, metallic poppers, an attached belt, plastic buckles and adjustable three quarter-length sleeves.

Dating from 1983 is a roll-collared cream and orange batwing sleeved top with Japanese script.

A black and gold chemise dates from 1985, when BOY’s designs chimed with the developing clubwear aesthetic.

This is when BOY was championed by Boy George, who appeared in many BOY designs, posed for the boutique’s catalogue and even created a couple of t-shirts.

A red-on-black crew-necked sweater is also from this period. The vendor also has printed BOY stockings, leggings, and other items. as well as garments from labels such as Fiorucci and WilliWear.

Inquiries to the vendor may be made via THE LOOK.

For sale: Sid Vicious’ SEX tee and New Boots & Panties!!

THE LOOK can exclusively reveal that the vendor of the swastika t-shirt worn by Sid Vicious in The Great Rock & Roll Swindle is also selling two more of the Sex Pistols bass-player’s possessions: another t-shirt designed by the late Malcolm McLaren as well as Vicious’ own copy of Ian Dury’s album New Boots & Panties!!.


//Image courtesy of

The swastika tee is priced at £10,000 in the sale, which is being conducted privately by independent rock and film memorabilia specialist Helen Hall.

//Image courtesy of

The other top – which has one of the variations of the Smoking Boy design, produced by McLaren in autumn 1975 – is £2,000, while the Ian Dury record, which has Sid Vicious’ signature taped to it, is £2,500.

//Image courtesy of

Both were housed as part of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame exhibition in Cleveland. The swastika tee was offered, but not accepted because of its inflammatory nature.

Hall says the items were given to the vendor by Vicious’ mother Anne Beverley, after his death on February 2 1979.

The Dury album (the sleeve of which was designed by the great Barney Bubbles) was a gift to Vicious from a fan named Patsy during his spell in New York’s Bellevue Hospital in October 1978.

//Pages 8-9, Anarchy In The UK No 1, 1976//

There are no photographs nor documentary evidence of Vicious wearing it; in 1978/9 during his time in London and New York he favoured more recent designs from 430 King’s Road in it’s Seditionaries incarnation, including Expose! and Fuck Yr Mother & Run Away Punk!,  McLaren’s provocative and overtly sexual adaptations of novelty shirts bought at LA sex shop The Pleasure Chest and on New York’s gay strip Christopher Street.

Vicious did wear a version of SEX‘s Smoking Boy shirt in 1976, as shown in the Ray Stevenson photographs in the first and only issue of the band’s fanzine Anarchy In The UK (a copy of which I bought on my 17th birthday in December 1976 in a news agent’s in Goodge Street, central London).

//Detail, page 9, Anarchy In The UK No 1, 1976. Photo: Ray Stevenson//

The image, which was replicated in a number of different ways, came from a copy of unsavoury English magazine Boys Express McLaren bought in south London.

“This was my first attempt at making a Sex Pistols T-shirt; I was acting on behalf of the group and wanted to create something of a stir,” McLaren told me last year.

“In the back streets of Brixton, I found photos of nude young boys, smoking. I chose one and he became my sexy young assassin: a ‘sex pistol’.  All I needed was to draw a guitar.”

McLaren attempted to persuade associate Bernie Rhodes to print the t-shirts. “This was too much for him,” he said. “Bernie used to perspire at the kitchen table, as if somebody was about to break down the door, arrest him and charge him with being a paedophile, and so he would go to prison. That would all be my fault. I ended up simply making a single nude boy on pink jersey shirts for myself.”

For the versions with multiple images, McLaren coerced the Sex Pistols founding member, bass-player Glen Matlock to utilise the screen-printer at his college, Saint Martin’s School Of Art.

How Vicious had one two years later on the other side of the Atlantic is not explained.

“It was with Sid’s belongings when he died so we have to assume he likely wore it at some point,” says Hall, who was a specialist in rock and film memorabilia with Christie’s London and New York from 1998-2008.

**This post was updated on June 4 2017. Having reviewed more material relating to the Smoking Boy shirt including originals with provenance it is my opinion that this shirt is questionable as is the Ian Dury LP.**

“El Look”! We’re in with Itfashion

We’re very flattered that this blog – “El Look” – is being featured today by leading Spanish online magazine Itfashion.

“The Look presents large amounts of new information, often first-hand from Paul Gorman’s personal archive, packed with fresh insights into a vast range of subjects,” writes Estel Vilaseca, who has run Itfashion since 1999.

Estel is a freelance fashion editor, consultant (having worked with the likes of Dresslab), and the author of a number of books; her latest is out next month: Runway Uncovered: The Making Of A Fashion Show.

Gracias Estel! Follow her and Itfashion on twitter here.

430: Mr Freedom serves up sex and sass in Club

Long before SEX served up, er, sex from 430 King’s Road, Mr Freedom – which started out from the same premises  – supplied clothes which fused a celebration of sexuality with a bedazzling take on pop art and trash culture iconography.

This was outlined in a May 1971 eight-page colour feature in short-lived men’s magazine Club delivered to us piping hot from the archive of our pal Steven Millington.

The report by the ever spot-on Michael Roberts with photographs by Mike Berkofsky pointed to the fashion-forward velvet hot-pants, bumster trousers, ice-cream brooches and Disney licensing by Freedom founder Tommy Roberts and partner Trevor Myles (who exited to establish Paradise Garage).

By the time the Club piece was published, Mr Freedom had been based at 20 Kensington Church Street for six months.  It’s interesting to note the range included “Teddy Boy suits” (as well as boiler suits and “huge bovver boots”), presaging in part the stock at Let It Rock when the late Malcolm McLaren took over 430 King’s Road from Myles in November 1971.

As it happened, Mr Freedom did not last much more than a year in Kensington. Lack of financial controls and overheads including the cost of operating a warehouse spelled the end of the shop, which was superceded by City Lights Studio in Covent Garden.

Still, the Club article provides a superb showcase for Mr Freedom, highlighting such clothes as the skull-and-crossbones tee as worn by Marc Bolan and Freedom designers Jim O’Connor and Pamla Motown‘s wonderful and now highly collectible baseball suit.

Around the same time Michael Roberts took the opportunity to include Roberts and Myles in a separate Club piece on six of London’s leading auto-fiends, Tommy with his pillar-box red V8 Pilot and Trevor with the Paradise Garage Mustang tiger-striped and flocked by Electric Colour Co.

We’re really grateful to Steven M for thinking of THE LOOK as the place to showcase these fantastic editorial pages; check out his alter-ego Lord Dunsby’s sterling retrographic illustrative work here.

A Tale Of Nine Vintage Ties

A surprise Christmas “care package” of nine vintage ties from San Francisco rock&roll fashion collector and dealer Ben Cooney has reinvigorated THE LOOK’s interest in these flamboyant articles of clothing.


Having collected vintage ties for three-and-a-half decades, Ben’s selection has rammed home the joy derived from such simple accessories.


Unlike today’s models – and in particular the ultra-passé skinny noo-wave types still being pedalled by High Street chains – these ties are forever, for grown-ups of both sexes.


The bunch sent by Ben are not the highly-collectible painted variety, but printed in silk and rayon and available in Main Street outfitters and from department stores all over the US from the 30s to the 70s.


Invested with design detail, wit and invention, these come in a variety of styles, featuring everything from atomic art, kinetic decoration and tragi-comic fizzogs with saws such as “Don’t cry over spilt milk” to French beatnik illustrations, canine and equestrian imagery and geometric abstractions.


Would that modern articles of clothing were created with such care and attention.


The designer labels and retailer tags engage and intrigue: Countess Mara and Yapre’ are still going as is, of course, Neiman Marcus, and Houston’s Norton Ditto.


They also provide glimpses into a nearly forgotten past; who knew, for example, that Hemphill-Wells was “a Camelot of men’s style” in Lubbock TX from the 20s to the 50s? It make you wonder whether Buddy Holly ever visited and considered Countess Mara’s cream-on-green dog-leash adorned necktie.


Interest in these discreetly extravagant creations is regularly revived; the late Johnny Moke recalled in THE LOOK how the Bonnie & Clyde look of 1967 coincided with hipsters such as himself scoring kipper ties to go with their demob suits, while Let It Rock and Acme Attractions retailed  them in the early to mid 70s.


As the story  in the Evening Standard clipping above attests, Johnson’s in Kensington Market and the King’s Road was doing a roaring trade in vintage ties in 1980, by which time forward-thinking clubbers such as Chris Sullivan and performers led by August Darnell were making sure they became an essential part of that decade’s wardrobe.


//Chris Sullivan, 1980. Photo: Graham Smith// 

The 90s Swing revival and the 00s rockabilly/burlesque scene witnessed re-entries of the colourful and often wide vintage tie. Wherever we’re headed in the ’10s, the hundred or so in THE LOOK’s possession will remain an essential part of the wardrobe (though not worn all at once, obviously).



Broken Hearts go Beyond The Valley

Currently available from London’s Beyond The Valley (as well as ASOS and Farfetch) is the first collection from dynamic DJs, recording artistes and gals-about-town Broken Hearts.


Taking their inspiration from an unlikely source – Tod Browning’s 1932 classic Freaks – Amber Jane Butchart and Nisha Thirkell have concocted a capsule range of capes, blouses, playsuits, tops, shorts and dresses pitching frills, bows and a print of their faces against solid blacks and reds.

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And the duo tell us they have now finished the SS10 range for BTV and are about to start on AW10/11. Busy, busy.



Forthcoming DJ dates include London’s East Rooms, Bern’s Bonsoir Club and the Beyond The Valley Christmas Party in Newburgh Street.


//All shoes Terry de Havilland// 

We’ve had a sneak preview of Amber and Nisha’s new album Musical Theatre; it’s excellent and delivers on the promise shown by their fantastic debut single of a couple of years back, Black Cat/Bianco.

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Meantime you can keep up to date with Broken Hearts’ antics on their blog.


La Rocka! We love Johnson’s!

Good Lookin Sexy Kool Kat’s Motor-Lucifer Rockabilly Rockers II Robot Johnson’s Mania.

As Groucho Marx would have pointed out, we said a hatful there but it’s well worth enunciating, for that is the title of the very first book dedicated to the rock fashion business created by Lloyd and Jill Johnson in London in the 80s and 90s.

Written and compiled by Daitsuke Tsuda (who was a Johnson’s customer going back to 1982), the heavily-illustrated book homes in on La Rocka!, the label launched in the early 80s at the Johnson’s outlets in Kensington Market and at 406 King’s Road to accompany the change of direction away from mod and 60s British styles towards western, rockabilly and harder-rockin’ gear.


With hundreds of pages lovingly setting out every La Rocka! design option, shoes by Dave Fortune’s neighbouring store Robot are also represented, as are sister Johnson’s labels such as Beat Beat and Mex-Tex.

There are also shots of contemporary youth of both sexes sporting original pieces. Lloyd and Jill (who contributed photos from their own archives, including one with their daughter Ruby as a baby and a more recent depiction of the family garbed in Beatnik glory) confess to being honoured and delighted by the tribute. “Frankly we’re a bit taken aback,” says Lloyd. “They’ve got everything in there, including stuff I don’t even remember us selling!” 


And I’m particularly flattered that they thought to include a pic of me and the dynamic duo from my wedding last year.

This volume represents just one of Lloyd’s creative endeavours; the success of his Kensington Market partnership Cockell & Johnson from 1968, the investigations into vintage-wear in the mid-70s and the Tiki outlet in Notting Hill in the mid-90s – these and many other adventures deserve to be compiled in a dedicated book which would underline this unassuming and charming man’s importance to British fashion over five decades.

For now you can read more about Lloyd, Jill, La Rocka! and Johnson’s exclusively in THE LOOK.

Copies of the new book are available here.

Goodbye Heart Vintage

On the heels of THE LOOK’s post about the Balenciaga and Urban Outfitters parrot jackets comes news of an East West original for sale at new vintage site Goodbye Heart.


Launched recently by collector David Watkins and his ad copywriter wife Amanda Hughes-Watkins, San Francisco-based Goodbye Heart majors in leather garments from such historic outlets as North Beach Leather,  Oshwahkon and Vanson as well as East West.


//Military boots with BF Goodrich soles: $95/East West parrot jacket: $2,750// 

The parrot jacket is in leather and suede in shades of pale blue, green and brown tan and of a typically small size for the period: the chest measurement armpit to armpit is 18″, as is the length from collar to bottom.

Goodbye Heart features clothes from the 1910s onward, including such brands as Levi’s Big E, Louis Vuitton and Schott, as well as homeware.

Visit Goodbye Heart here.