Archive for the Boutiques category

LaRocka!’s pink leather Wild Child jacket


Memories of Emma Ridley come flooding back with the current listing of a LaRocka! pink leather”Wild Child” biker jacket on eBay.

LaRocka Wild Child

Demonised as the embodiment of indulged and out-of-control 80s youth, Ridley’s turn in the media spotlight was brief.

These days, it seems she runs a pole dancing school in LA.

LaRocka Wild Child

LaRocka Wild Child - back

View the “Wild Child” jacket on eBay here.

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.

Madame says…the shop is open!


Madame Says…, Pippa Brooks’ most excellent blog,  has set up shop.

Featuring Madame’s favourite Oscar Wilde epigram ‘Everything popular is wrong”, the first range comprises a selection of Ts –  tee-shirt, tea-mug and tea-towel.

Visit Madame’s shop here. For our report on the other shop in Pippa’s life – M. Goldstein, run by her partner Nathaniel Lee Jones – go here.




Paul Smith first look exclusive

Cycling enthusiast Paul Smith has granted us a first look exclusive at this new film he has created featuring the Rapha Condor Sharp cycling team training at the Manchester Velodrome…in his “London line” suits.

The film will be released to coincide with the UK’s biggest professional bicycle race, this month’s The Tour of Britain.

Read all about how cycling is inextricably intertwined with Paul’s fashion career in Chapter 27 of THE LOOK.

When The Angry Brigade bombed Biba


Two years after the most recent flop, Biba’s back again, and owners House Of Fraser have attracted some flak for positioning the label as a High Street brand fronted by Daisy Lowe.

On May 1 1971 Barbara Hulanicki’s third Biba incarnation was subjected to a serious attack, as confirmed by this, Communique 8 of 12 sent by urban guerillas The Angry Brigade and published in underground magazine IT.

The stock room was damaged and 500 people were evacuated though no-one was seriously hurt.

According to Jonathon Green’s mandatory All Dressed Up, The Angry Brigade were responsible for 25 “infernal devices” exploded in this country from 1968 to 1971. This period witnessed 100 more bombings of political targets on the British mainland, the majority of which are still unattributed.

Love Lewis Leathers


Lewis Leathers rocks.

After less than a year, the LL shop in Whitfield Street – a thoroughfare with fine pedigree after all, where Iggy & The Stooges recorded Raw Power in 1972 and The Clash their debut album five years later – has become a must visit, as you can see from these photos from mainman LL cool D(erek Harris).





The hyperreal art of Masafumi Kamei


We hadn’t come across the work of artist Masafumi Kamei before this mention by Hiroshi Fujiwara on his honeyee blog yesterday.

Kamei’s hyperreal depictions of objects (including the distressed Anarchy shirt acquired by Fujiwara for his collection from Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook 20 years ago; see below) was the focus for the artist’s only exhibition so far, held at the end of last year.


Thanks to Hiroshi for supplying these photographs of Kamei’s arresting work.






Ssion: Cody + Peggy = unstoppable

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The wunderbar Peggy Noland first turned us on to Cody Critcheloe and Ssion in our interview a couple of years back.

Then we picked up with her antics in Germany. A year down the line and she’s firing away on all cylinders. Truly Peggy, Cody and the gang are unstoppable.

BOY fashion shows at Limelight and Mud Club in the 80s

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These clips capture London boutique BOY on the cusp of its mid-80s reinvention with a clubwear collection of padded patched tops, overprinted jersey tees, leggings, stockings, etc.

Rare groove was tailing off though elements of that genre’s silhouette were taking over the clubs: cycle shorts, leggings, MA1-style jackets, chunky shoes and baseball caps.

The two videos above were taken from a show at Phillip Salon’s Mud Club in 1987, and must have been in late summer since Michael Jackson’s Bad opens the show. The media hysteria over the Beastie Boys-inspired thefts of VW signs was at its height, hence the presence of the massive insignia hanging over the audience.

The short film below, which features more of BOY’s overprinted range, was shot during another show held around the same time at The Limelight, hosted by Steve Strange.

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430: Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die


The early 70s in England weren’t as culturally bereft as pundits would have it, particularly if you were lucky enough to live in London.

The evening news magazine TV show Nationwide (BBC1) and Thames TV’s local programme Today could always be relied upon to report from the far side (usually accidentally in their search for quirky stories).

Historically overshadowed as the siting of “the Bill Grundy incident“, Today featured many such off-beat items, usually sourced by hip researchers/occasional presenters Janet Street-Porter and  Lyndall Hobbs.

Part of the Australian invasion of London during that period along with such other King’s Road habitues as Richard O’Brien and Nell Campbell, Hobbs was particularly spot-on.

With Grundy and Eammon Andrews rotating nightly as studio anchormen, Today’s regular roving reporter was Monty Modlyn, a self-styled schlemeil prone to shouting Tubby Isaac‘s cry from his popular  jellied eel stall in Islington: “All the jell’!”

Guess you had to be there.

And so to this clip dug from the British Pathe archive.


The 25-second reel is likely to stem from 1972, when Malcolm McLaren created the new incarnation for 430 King’s Road in reaction to the sartorial and social conservatism of Let It Rock‘s neo-Edwardian customers.

Along with the new Ton Up lines of leather jeans and rocker tees, TFTL continued to stock creepers and take orders for drapes, hence the two Ernies lurking outside. Behind them, the shop’s previous name is visible studded into the back of a motorcycle jacket (and  the new gear continued to be stitched with Let It Rock labels, like this shirt bought in 1973).


Right at the end of the clip, Monty Modlyn enters the scene to interview the Teds. Pathe says this footage was not broadcast. I don’t recall it. By the look of the end-frames there was hair in the gate or somesuch so it was likely to have been deemed unusable.

In the context of 430 King’s Road Modlyn’s name cropped up a couple of years later – on the “wrong” side of the You’re Gonna Wake Up And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On! tee, between right-wing journalist Peregrine Worsthorne (the second person to say “fuck” on British TV before the Pistols Steve Jones became the third in 1976) and Angry Young Man John Braine.

You can see the Pathe clip here

On Youtube it has been stuck non-chronogically at the end of film of DAs being sculpted at British barbers in the 50s:

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Janette Beckman: Archive of Attitude


Archive of Attitude is the current exhibition from photographer Janette Beckman at LA gallery Project Space.


On until September 5, the show spans Beckman’s work from the late 70s to the current day and incorporates personal artefacts relating to the areas she has worked in, such as hip-hop and punk.

“The Hip Hop exhibit has my Def Jam jacket (with my name embroidered on the front, circa 1987), The Face 1984 with my Run DMC & Posse photo, a Salt ‘n’ Pepa CD cover I shot around ’87, a Run DMC single with my photo, Adidas sneakers and sweats and my Kangol hat.”

Here are a few of THE LOOK’s favourites from Beckman’s archive:


//Boy, 153 King's Road, London, 1980.//

Christos & Chris

//Chris Sullivan + Christos Tolera, Blue Rondo a la Turk, London, 1982.//

SKA GIRLS Coventry 1980

//Ska girls, Coventry, 1980.//

johnson's 1

//Inside: Phil, stockroom, Robot, King's Road, London, 1980.//

johnson's 5

//Outside: Johnsons, 406 King's Road, London, 1981.//

“The bands and the fans, I loved the music and the styles,” says Beckman, who recently completed a shoot for Schott in Japan in the style of her punk portraits.

These feature a variety of NYC characters shot on location around the city: DJs, dancers, actors, skateboarders, BMX riders, artists and musicians.


//Chad (actor) NYC 2010.//


//Ralphy (BMX) NYC 2010.//

band us royalty

//US Royalty (band) NYC 2010.//

Dister dancer

//Dister (dancer) NYC 2010.//


//Brian (artist) NYC 2010.//

Go see:
Archive of Attitude
Project Space
603 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90036
Telephone +1 323 938 8818


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.**

In praise of the most XLNT Demob

For our money, Demob doesn’t receive enough acknowledgment for its considerable and enduring contribution to British style.

//Exterior, 47 Beak Street, Soho, London, 1983. Photo: Rex Features//

We’re proud there is a shout to this combination boutique, fashion label and design/music collective in Chapter 26 of THE LOOK.

//Full-page ad, The Face 24, April 1982//

Following the discovery in an old trunk of some fab pieces bought there – blimey! – at least a quarter of a century ago, it seems apposite to celebrate the creative hub founded by Chris Brick in 1981.

Collecting a group of like-minded fashion players (including fellow son of Merthyr Chris Sullivan), Brick assumed occupancy of the former fishmonger’s at 46 Beak Street in London’s Soho, retaining the wonderful tiled interior and many of the fixtures.

In May 1981 Demob had been part of the British “Blitz invasion” of New York along with Sullivan, Jon Baker of Axiom, journalist Robert Elms, photographer Graham Smith, the members of Spandau Ballet and others, including then-Demob designers Sade Adu and Sarah Lubell. Read about that at David Johnson’s Shapers Of the 80s.

//Debut 5: Pages 46-47. Thanks to Dalston Oxfam Shop//

//Debut 5: Pages 48-49. Thanks to Dalston Oxfam Shop//

Back in the UK Demob clothes were regularly featured in fashion and style mags, with the spreads above modelled by Susie Bick in the short-lived 12sq in Debut, which included a free vinyl compilation.

//”Prison shirt”, 1984//

Also selling through such venues as Chelsea’s Great Gear Market, and later “Disco Dave”‘s  King’s Road shop Review, Demob pulled off the feat of transforming the 40s aesthetic suggested by the name into a glamorous offer, with fabulously-tailored garments in drilled cotton, denim, tweeds and other utilitarian and sometimes unusual fabrics.

From the get-go music played a powerful part of the Demob mix; their legendary warehouse parties gave breaks to such club pioneers as Noel Watson.

Arguably the most prominent designer associated with Demob was Willie Brown, who had made his name at the fashion-forward Modern Classics in Shoreditch’s Rivington Street.

//71 Rivington Street, London EC2, 1980. Photo: Derek Ridgers//

Within a few years Brown had established his own Old Town imprint with a satellite store also in Beak Street. This introduced the XLNT quadrant logo and the excellence of the designs lead to  widespread rag trade plagiarism, particularly the heavily stitched “Soul Bay” anoraks with black and white checkered detailing.

Demob also spawned Demop, the hairdressers which occupied a space on the other side of Beak street at the top of St James’ Street. Among the employees here was another person who would go on to make his name in global street fashion (and also featured in THE LOOK), Fraser Cooke.

//Left: ABC’s Mark White in “Soul Bay” anorak//

The yoked prison shirt you see here is made from exactly the same fabric as that provided to guests of Her Majesty at that time.

Once, driving away from my flat in Brixton Hill in the mid-80s a couple of likely geezers in the next car spotted me wearing it and, assuming I had just left the gates behind me, asked what I’d been inside for.

Demob had more than enough brushes with the law itself and was eventually closed after the hell-raising and parties became too much for the neighbouring businesses and local Old Bill.

Brick and his wife Judy went on to found NY stores Smylon Nylon and The Centre For The Dull, where he circulated his much-sought after Smylonnylon mixtapes. Check out where he’s at these days with his online music video presence Brickchannel.

The spirit of Demob’s uniquely crafted take on British clothing design has resided for some years at Will (as he has has been known for a while) Brown and Marie Willey’s great Old Town Clothing.

From their Norfolk base they produce  50 individually-made garments each week in such natural fabrics as cotton twill, tweed, drill, serge and denim. For superb clothing that will last 25 years and beyond – like those pieces which re-entered my life recently – THE LOOK can’t recommend Old Town Clothing highly enough.

XLNT! The spirit of Demob lives on.