Pilfered from a SuperSonic annual (1977) I found in a charity shop in Ramsgate. Some of the best and worst examples of manhood from the period. I don’t know all of them terribly well, so feel free to pipe up if you used to throw your knickers at any of them.
For all the ridiculousness of how some of them look, it alarms me a lot less than how most modern men dress. I saw a chap the other week wearing a tweed jacket (tick) with crotch-at-the-knee jeans (ick). You might be 50% vintage, but you still look like a prat. Top marks, of course, to the BryanGod and the guy from The Arrows (below) in the velvet trousers. Yum.
You all thought I’d forgotten about Mensday, didn’t you? Pah! Never! I was simply awaiting fresh meat inspiration, and what could be better than a space-themed suit advert? A suit made of steel and silk, no less. ‘A lightweight faultlessly superior.’. Nothing, that’s what.
Mmmmm, patronising… Still, it’s a dude and his missus in faux fur coats so I find I cannot disapprove too much!
Many thanks to Paul Gorman for the invite to the opening of the superb Lloyd Johnson exhibition at Chelsea Space on Tuesday night. True to my usual form, I found it mighty hard to take any half-decent photos amongst the crowds so I must apologise for the poor quality which lies herein. I’m also definitely planning to return on a quiet weekday, so I can absorb it all properly.
I must confess that menswear is not one of my great areas of expertise, but I do know what I like. And those early Johnson and Johnson printed shirts and jackets are incredibly covetable – I actually cannot resist a novelty print. I know Mr Brownwindsor fancied a few of them, and it is yet another reminder of the tragedy of how dull most modern menswear is. (Snuggling up in a sloppy ‘La Rocka’ jumper, seen below, would also be very desirable!)
The highlight of the exhibition is probably the original ‘Johnsons’ shop frontage from within Kensington Market. Such a hallowed place, formerly full of many of my favourite designers of the Seventies and Eighties, it’s remarkable to see something like that having survived!
For me, La Rocka was just one of those names (like Red or Dead and Joe Bloggs) which stuck in my head during my childhood but which had little contextual information. This exhibition is a terrific insight into one man’s journey through several different eras of street style in London, always managing to stay idiosyncratic but never stalling at the one style. And as someone the other night said to me, you can’t really be different if you look the same as everyone else.
The exhibition runs until the 3rd March, so make sure you make a trip!
I think someone favours his Acrilan sweater over a bit of how’s your father, because I’m sure he won’t be getting any more there…
Scanned from Men in Vogue, November 1966. Illustration by Alan Aldridge
Both Mensday and Mild Sauce in one go. Who says I don’t spoil you?
While Oliver Reed is my declared rugged-actor-of-choice, I must admit that Alan Bates looks pretty hot in this feature from Vogue, September 1973. Not only are the tweedy, wooly clothes damn sexy, but he’s also got a red setter – my dream dog! Perfection…
Photos by John Vere Brown.
Alan Bates, photographed in his native Derbyshire, wearing the kind of country cashmeres and tweeds that the British do so well. He’s now in his first season with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford playing Petruchio in The Taming of The Shrew. He had previously completed over two years in the title role of Butley—first in London, when he won the 1971 Evening Standard Best Actor Award, then in New York where he collected a Tony Award, and earlier this year shooting the film version to be released here after its premiere in the States in October.
Ok, so this can’t possibly be a proper book review, because I don’t own the book. The reason I don’t own it, is because it costs £345. It’s £345 well spent, if you have the money, in my opinion. But it’s still £345. You pay for superior materials, lush production and great exclusivity; it’s bound (ha!) to hold/increase its value. It also contains a lustworthy amount of photos of rockstars in beautiful clothes.
I did, however, get to see a preview at the launch, at Genesis HQ in Guildford, on Tuesday night. Once the crowds had cleared somewhat, the feather-headed pseudo-mods had drifted away, I had spotted Peter Blake (again!! It’s the Zandra Rhodes effect; you start feeling bored of seeing them everywhere!) and gobbled up as many canapés as I could find, I carefully flicked through the book and tried to take some lousy phone shots of the photos up on the walls. I was in heaven. Men in satin. Men in flares. Men in feather boas. Men in platforms….
Personally I’m a Ronnie Lane kinda girl. Rod Stewart is fine in this period, and he wears some of the most brilliantly bonkers gear out of all of them. Ronnie Wood is tolerable, but he doesn’t float my boat. Ian McLagan has instantly gained major points in my book for being seen wearing a Bus Stop Forties-lady print blouse throughout the book. And Kenney Jones is….there. But put them all together, and it’s just magical. The photos are largely unseen; vivid, candid and energetic.
I’ll just have to keep hoping for that windfall so I can buy the damn thing! The Faces: 1969-75 is available here:
|“..designed for men to get birds in sight and girls over barrels.” -Yikes!|
And, finally, he’s really not the most swinging of dudes, but I have to admire a man who wears a bri-nylon shirt and tie on a tropical island…