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.
Media coverage of the event went on to inspire David Bowie in his creation of the look of alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. Within a year or so, he was sporting Yamamoto designs.
Crawshaw was in the audience for the Great Gear show, accompanied by Trevor Myles – then launching Paradise Garage at 430 King’s Road – and fellow designer Chris Snow.
Myles had previously partnered Tommy Roberts in Mr Freedom, for whom Crawshaw designed such outfits as the famous “baseball suit”, while Snow’s speciality was appliqué work: he was responsible for the intricate padded satin decorations on Mr Freedom clothing.
At the time, Myles himself was sewing the seeds for another stylistic revolution: as explored in Chapter 18 of THE LOOK, Paradise Garage became the very first British boutique so sell used denim. Après Myles le déluge.
Crawshaw was spotted by Express journalists at the Yamamoto show wearing the ensemble she sports in the Hickey shot (which was taken on the roof of Salter’s Carnaby Street store Gear): Paradise Garage ticking dungarees – possibly Osh Kosh B’Gosh – and a straw hat.
And the impact of such clothing is palpable in the Express article, which exclaims: “The very latest thing to wear is…somebody else’s cast-offs”.
Thanks to Diana Crawshaw for sending the cutting from her archive.