Cutting a swathe with Judy Nylon

Another day, another Californian clothes store snaffling the name of a classic British boutique.
Recently THE LOOK pointed to the Hung On You sign currently appearing above a shopfront on Sunset in Silverlake. We knew about the Granny Takes A Trip operating in Hermosa Beach but then yesterday came across Mister Freedom in West Hollywood.


//The sign above the outlet on Beverly Blvd//

OK, it’s not spelt exactly the same as the ground-breaking Mr Freedom which occupied 430 Kings Road from 1968-70 and then a larger space in Kensington Church Street for another year.


//The original King’s Road Mr Freedom. Pic: Harold Chapman/Topfoto//

Inside, however, homage is paid with a display of an orange pant-suit from the original store, as well as an image of models wearing the pop-art t-shirts which sealed the reputations of the Mr Freedom design team headed by Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles.
That said, this outlet’s owner Christophe Loiron has carved out a special niche for his shop in LA’s over-crowded, over-hyped and over-priced vintage/thrift market.
The pieces, though expensive, are one-offs in good condition and supplemented by a collection of French-sourced stock from matelot shirts and rough-edged denim peacoats to crazy beach-wear and worn denim.


//Japanese coverage of LA’s Mister Freedom owner Christophe Loiron//

And we’re grateful to Loiron because the Freedom connection gives THE LOOK a chance to show a couple of exclusive images which underline the unique flavour of the original store, and in particular the classy work of one of the shop’s overlooked designers, Brent Sherwood.


//Judy Nylon in Brent Sherwood suit jacket for Mr Freedom, 1970//

Sherwood has a champion in his friend and subject of these shots, Judy Nylon. She’s the stylish American who cut a swathe through London and NYC as part of the entourages around key groups such as Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols to name but two.
Her group Snatch with fellow ex-pat Patti Palladin recorded such pioneering post-punk tracks as RAF, which was produced by Brian Eno and based on her own recordings of wire-taps by the German police of terrorist Andreas Baader.

Meantime, as THE LOOK noted only a couple of weeks back, style guru Peter York named Nylon a key member of the fashion elite Them.

“Nobody had more lateral mobility through British society at that time than American girls,” says Nylon, these days a prime mover in collaborative art project Aether9. “I felt, in a way, objectified to invisibility.”


//Nylon matches the Sherwood suit trousers with a Hawaiian shirt//

Nylon was given Sherwood’s gabardine suit from Mr Freedom in 1970. “It was Schiaparelli pink with a Kelly green and white striped satin lining in the jacket,” she says. “Brent also did 50s-referenced stuff in a custom-designed fabric that said ‘Oodles Of Poodles’, though that wasn’t my thing.”

Nylon, who describes Sherwood as her “first London friend” also points out that one of his T-shirt designs is uncredited in Georgina Howell’s book on 60s years of British Vogue.

“It’s time Brent was written into history,” she adds. “I wish I still had all the clobber.”

Nylon has been working on her own book which tells the story of her adventures from the Factory, the New York Dolls and Aerosmith and Chelsea in the early 70s to UK punk, New York NoWave to the present day.

There is no doubt it will make a right riveting read and THE LOOK wishes this true style icon great success with it.

The most recent Aether9 performance – on February 16 – downlinked to a new Media Arts Centre in Brussels. To view the show online go here.

Thombeau said,

February 21, 2008 @ 3:16 am

FABULOUS!

Michelle Coomber said,

August 20, 2009 @ 10:42 am

Hi Paul,

I was chatting to Judy Nylon from my Biba page on MySpace and then I discover through your site that she knew Brent Sherwood. I knew Brent from my ‘Che Guevara’ days, he also worked at ‘Boobs’ in Ken High Street and would sit on the steps with his sketch pad! We someimtes hung out at El Sombrero where Freddie Burretti would come along. I showed Brent my design sketches (which I still have!)and he was always very encouraging but sadly, I never went to art school but had a fab career in fashion during the seventies which left me with treasured memeories of that era. I love these kind of coincidences!xx

rockpopfashion said,

August 20, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

Great aren’t they?

Hi Michelle,

I love Brent’s t-shirt design in the British Vogue book.

So tell us, what was Boobs about then?

I was just old enough to go to the Sombrero when punk was beginning to happen. Remember it had the best, though, tiniest dancefloor.

All the best

P

Michelle Coomber said,

October 29, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

Hi Paul

Sorry, not been around and just checking your site and saw your response! Boobs was a small shop at the far end of Ken High Street, near the market. It sold fab glam clothes and Brent was often in there, I think he must have had connexions there of some sort, but everyone knew each other in the high street and there was a real ‘family’ about it. It was pretty easy to drift from shop to shop as an assistant, once you made friends and there was no amniosity, just plenty of discounts. As you klnow, I worked in Che’s for quite a while but my freinds worled in Bus Stop et al and we had a ball. I love the memories your site conjours up. Yes, The Sombrero was tiny but great fun, We also went to Maunkberrys in Jermyn street,another tiny club but full of the current designers. We went to Zanzibar with Sheridan Barnett and his crowd quite a bit, he’d give me samples to wear but I was tiny back in those days :) I also had samples from Ossie Clark. Sadly, I didn’t have the foresight to hang onto any of them. We just wore them until they walked off us! I’m back in London now, so would love to have a chat sometime!

Barry Thackray said,

January 8, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

Hi all, it’s great to read such kind words about Brent. I lived with him for 37 years till his death and was always his greatest fan. He was an amzing talent but as with so many in the fashion trade he was used and tossed aside. Still my love to all who knew him and admired his work.

Lyndsey Buck said,

January 9, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Brent was my uncle and an inspiration. I still have on of his jackets that he designed. It’s lovely to hear this about him and has put a smile on my face. Thank you. Anymore stories would be lovley to read.

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