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LOOK’S pal Trevor Myles has unearthed for us an amazing slice of rock and pop fashion history: a previously unseen and unpublished photograph of his shop Paradise Garage taken in 1971.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