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.