430 Exclusive: Paradise Garage images unearthed after four decades!

THE LOOK’S pal Trevor Myles has unearthed for us an amazing slice of rock and pop fashion history: a previously unseen and unpublished photograph of his shop Paradise Garage taken in 1971.


//Pic: Trevor Myles collection//

And, as if to take up the challenge, we are responding with a scan of a long-forgotten piece on the shop in Design magazine from the same year.

//Top left: The Paradise Garage Mustang, Design 1971//

Paradise Garage had already undergone some changes by the time Trevor took sole control of 430 King’s Road early in 1971, having been an unnamed clothes shop run by couple Bill Fuller and Carol Derry in 1966, Hung On You in 67/68 and Mr Freedom from 1968-70. And that was just the start. Under the command of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood from November 1971 it was to evolve consecutively into Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, SEXSeditionaries, and, to this day, World’s End.


//SEX 1976 and World’s End 1984//

The snap of the shop at the top of this story was taken by one of Trevor’s friends in the early summer of 1971. The familiar landmarks of this cultural crucible – which measures no more than a few hundred square feet – are all in place: the phone box outside of which Westwood, Jordan and others were to pose for a Seditionaries fashion shoot in 1977, the forbidding brickwork of Chelsea Conservative Club next door, the ever-changing restaurant which shares the street number on the other side.

In 1971 Trevor had split from Mr Freedom partner Tommy Roberts and opened up this new establishment which sold Osh Kosh B’Gosh and used denim, Hawaiian shirts and other retro and rock & roll styles.


//Trevor Myles, King’s Road 1971. Pic: Michael Roberts//

As revealed in Chapter 17 of THE LOOK, Trevor directed interiors team Electric Colour Co to cross South Seas charm with American authenticity. The bamboo sign was erected onto painted corrugated iron, a 50s petrol pump was placed outside (sometimes with Trevor’s tiger-striped Mustang parked nearby) while inside there were caged lovebirds, a jukebox and  and even a tiny dance-floor.

And Design magazine quickly picked up on these radical moves being made down the wrong end of the King’s Road. In the Things Seen section of the September 1971 issue, it printed a photograph of the car alongside this copy: “Paradise Garage is not, as might be expected, the home of this flock-finish Ford Mustang – but the name of a shop doing brisk trade in second hand US boiler suits and dungarees. The proprietor of the shop, Trevor Miles (sic), also owns the Mustang: its tiger-striped finish, now looking a little grubby from King’s Road exhausts, was created by the Electric Colour Company.”

Paradise Garage became a focal point for creativity that year. New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain recalls hanging out at the store on a trip to London with his  knitwear brand Truth & Soul, while the design team there included John & Molly Dove. While using the premises as an impromptu studio they created the infamous Wild Thing t-shirt which is reissued next month by our own new label The Look Presents.


//The NY club Paradise Garage and its logo//

The Paradise Garage name was snaffled in the mid-70s by the gay disco crowd who launched the historic nightclub at 84 King Street in Greenwich Village which spawned such giants of the dance scene as the late uber-DJ Larry Levan.


//New wave band The Perfectors outside Paradise Garage Cardiff 1980//

And by the late 70s it was also adopted by ex-Amen Corner member Alan Jones for his punk shop in Cardiff, which became a magnet for the burgeoning Welsh new wave and new romantic crowd, including Chris Sullivan and Steve Strange.


//New LaRocka styles from Myles’ company Secret Ingredient//

Trevor, meanwhile, moved on to to such brands as Million Dollar in the 80s and recently his company Secret Ingredient has been working with King’s Road legends Lloyd and Jill Johnson on reinventing their LaRocka brand for the Noughties.


//World’s End today//

The World’s End shop has become the home for the clothes which express Westwood’s Active Resistance manifesto, as discussed in her book Opus. In these post-globalisation times, it is staggering to conceive that, apart from a brief spell of financial insecurity in 1986-6, 430 Kings Road has now continuously traded in cutting edge ideas and adventures in rock and pop fashion for more than 40 years.

Long may it continue.

Tim B. said,

April 4, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

Paul! This is the best post yet about this hallowed Kings Road space. Thank you!

Lloyd said,

April 5, 2008 @ 9:26 am

Hi! Paul ….That brings things flowing back….Both Trevor and I are still in contact with Allan Jones…alais BOY-O!….if you ever want to contact him…he nust have more pics of his shop and maybe even some of ‘LET IT ROCK’ in the 80’s on Melrose Avenue..LA….must pick up the ‘BEAT INSTRUMENTALS..when’s a good time?…LOL…Lloyd…XXXX

La Rocka Fan said,

April 12, 2008 @ 11:18 am

La Rocka stuff is tres cool – its nice to see a bit of the history here. Some great photos!

IAN BATT said,

February 2, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

Alan’s first attempt of fashion retailing in cardiff was in the morgan or one of the other arcades,with the then to be husband of Julie Nibbs of Zig Zag (name escapes me; Mark poss?) who is now, having remarried, living in Barry and working as a photographer.
Paradise was not only a shop for the punks,but for us funk followers ie Willie Mharney, Chris Sullivan, Bob Channing (who still works in Robert Barkers), etc, buying Alan’s cloned Acme pegs along with his Johnsons originals.
Mind you, the look was to buy as near to the American 50s as possible, and, as the Seventies weren’t a too-distant memory then, at the charity shops you could buy originals, or indeed a jacket or suit which you could get altered into a bum-freezer (remember Bowie, fashion magpie).
Happy days. The series was quite a talking point amongst ourselves re the clothes circa 76 in clubs like Drones in Bridgend, Baker’s Row, Scamps, Rudy’s, Stage Door in newport or even Alan’s Paradise Soul night in The Stowaway on Stow Hill on a Monday night.
Apart from The Showbiz or Showboat, Cardiff never really had a funk/disco scene until late 77/78.
Newport was the place to be, London apart, or another one of Alan’s haunts: the Prince’s Court, Bristol.
Ask Alan if he ever bumps into Vivian (a tall red head who was a regular of the Bristol scene in the day); be interested to know.
Be interested in your response.

rockpopfashion said,

February 3, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

Alright Ian?
Thanks very much for your memories; great detail.
Reminded me to send off someqs to Alan and see if I can get some more pix etc.
Know Newport was the place to be in that neck though I never strayed far from London (apart from the Boathouse Bedford etc) in those days. I was at one of the clubs which were interconnected in Cardiff late 77 and had the time of my life – was that the Showboat?
I know of Vivian not I’m afraid. Want me to ask Alan?

IAN BATT said,

February 25, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

Thank you for your reply. I think those two inter-joining places were the Philharmonic (which happened to be next to Paradise Garage) leading to the club behind. years later that club became Lloyds. Please do ask Alan. I think he will remember he had Vivian’s life-size picture on the wall in the Princes Court in Bristol (a great club).

IAN BATT said,

November 27, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

SHOWBOAT WAS A GREAT CLUB (FOR THE MUSIC AND DANCING).
NOW I THINK IS THE HQ FOR THE W.R.F.U.
USED TO GO THERE WITH WILL MARNHEY, FROM MERTHYR, A MATE OF CHRIS SULLIVAN’S -HE OF THE WAG CLUB AND BLUE RONDO A LA TURK.
THAT WAS THE ONLY PLACE IN CARDIFF THAT COULD COMPETE WITH NEWPORT ON A MUSICAL (IF YOU LIKED UNDERGROUND OR WHAT PASSED FOR IT IN WALES) AND FASHION FRONT BACK IN 76.

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