Showing posts with label tommy nutter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tommy nutter. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Richard Lester - Boutique London


   Recently, I had the pleasure of finally reading this well researched tome and would recommend it to all Paraders with an ounce of interest in the period and the book's unique yet obvious premise of grounding the 1960s and '70s clothing experience where it truly took flight - in its shops

  Without scans, it's difficult to review this meaningfully - hence the quoted copy below - but it is a very worthy compendium of photographs and Malcolm English artwork that is only intermittently available from other immediate sources (like something called "The interweb," apparently) and, without directly stating it, places much of the emphasis on the now undervalued concept of shopkeepers designing their own desirable products; to do this in a time when practically anything was permissible, desirable and born from one of the boldest cultural intersections in living memory would always ensure these luminaries' places in stylish and entrepreneurial history

   For the record, my favourite portraits naturally feature, or relate to, Hung on You's Michael Rainey and Christopher Gibbs, The Beatles' Apple Boutique, Michael Fish, Blades of Savile Row and Tommy Nutter, as well as the beauties that modelled for BIBA and Annacat. I'll be forever glad, also, that there was ample room for Vivienne Westwood and the late Malcolm McLaren's concern, Sex 

   It is affordable, unfussy to the point of sparseness in its writing and is fundamentally a well presented snapshot of a diversely presentable time. More helpfully, it compiles all the names of all those faces that made this scene one that hasn't lost its large footing in the cultural consciousness into one neatly packaged book. Groovy, Lester
To any style conscious Londoner in the sixties just two places mattered: the King's Road and Carnaby Street. By the end of the decade the whole world came to see and be seen, to take part in the theatre that played out of the new boutiques and onto the street. From the sleek modernist tailoring of 'Top Gear' and 'His Clothes' to the nostalgic dressing up box style of the World's End boutiques, at the heart of it all were the young designers whose conviction to make and sell clothes on their own terms generated an explosion of talent which lasted and evolved over twenty years, leaving an indelible mark in fashion history. 'Boutique London' follows the journey of the first risk-takers like Mary Quant and John Stephen, to the celebrity salons of Ossie Clark, 'Mr Fish' and 'Granny Takes a Trip', stopping along the way to include the weird and the wonderful, the glamorous and the bizarre. With in-depth profiles of over thirty retailers and lavish illustrations, the clothes, interiors and characters of 'Boutique London' are as diverse as they are colourful, vividly bringing to life a vanished London, which changed the way we shop forever.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Not For Mortals

   Tommy Nutter, seen here firing one of his cannonballs into the wilderness of the conservative doldrums, had a knack for bending my theory that fine tailoring can surmount almost any flamboyant flight of go-to-hell fancy when it comes to suiting. This definitely constitutes one of those moments

   Nevertheless, the structuring is rather exquisite - between the brilliant shape of the aircraft-grade lapels and the built-up form of the shoulders, he is a plaid-clad hero for the late 20th century. This should be little surprise - for all of the focus on Nutter's eccentricity, the product masterminded by Edward Sexton, Joseph Morgan, Roy Chittleborough and him, along with those who worked with him in the ensuing "Tommy Nutter" days, was pure Savile Row at its heart; the tailoring tradition of generations anchoring the theatrical preening of what might have otherwise been showy and difficult to wear clothing (to say nothing of the quality of their more conventional creations). Despite acknowledging the abrasiveness and humour of this look - and I've no idea what the original colours are - in all other aspects, down to Nutter's hair even, it is far from unsophisticated. The pattern combination alone lays Tom Ford's latter day ideas utterly bare

   The sobriety of thought and craft that went into this gleefully insensible ensemble makes an interesting counterpoint to the visual histrionics of Luca Rubinacci, Lapo Elkann and the Pitti crowd, who often strike me as throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sprezzes

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

When I Was in London

   ... I was mostly clad in the gloves and the coat because I respect my body's temperature that much:

   It was good to be back. And now I've left again. And The Mode Parade is going to experience a few small adjustments for the time being, but it certainly isn't going away for now. Indeed, more to come