Lennon + Paradise Garage’s 70s workwear revolution


//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.

A few months before 430 had been the first branch of Mr Freedom; it’s ironic that one of the most high-profile work-wear outlets these days is LA’s Mister Freedom.


//From the Evening Standard, June 21, 1971.//


//Second left: Rolly Poltoch also worked at Paradise Garage; far right, Trevor Myles matched drainpipe jeans with striped socks + clogs.//


//Second left: Paradise Garage designers Diana Crawshaw + Chris Snow; second right: Sunday Times stylist Michael Roberts; right: Zandra Rhodes.//


//Street-Porter's article.//

Street-Porter reported on the part played by customisation in this particular blossoming of British make-do-and-mend culture: for example, Zandra Rhodes added patches, embroidery and studs to her old jeans, while David Bailey took time on transAtlantic flights to stud a leather jacket he had picked up in the US.

For customising materials, Street-Porter recommended Lewis Leathers‘ original store in Great Portland Street (where Malcolm McLaren was to buy studs the following year for adornment of clothing at the subsequent incarnation of 430 as Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die), the Baggage & General stall within Tom Salter’s Great Gear Trading Company and Badge & Equipment Ltd in The Strand.

Thanks to Diana Crawshaw for making this cutting available from her archive.

[…] Read how Myles started the pre-worn denim explosion here. […]

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