A Peek at the Boutique: Pussy Galore

Image is © Len Fernandes.

One of the best things about my job is that people often get in contact with me in relation to the kinds of things I post about. I sometimes find this a bit overwhelming because the many aspects of my so-called vintage life can consume large chunks of my time, leaving me very little room for following up on everything. The ‘to do’ list in my inbox is frightening.

But, thankfully, occasionally something and somebody will come along which is simple and important enough for me to deal with immediately. And when I received this picture from the lovely Len Fernandes of Hawaii, I knew I had to quickly and cheekily request to post it on my blog.

I have blathered on about Pussy Galore before, indeed my beloved Pussy Galore tablecloth dress was exhibited at the V&A in 2006, but I don’t have much concrete information on its longevity and had no idea what the shop frontage was like. It feels like Carnaby Street must have been photographed daily from 1964-1974, but the reality is that we only see the narrowest of snapshots in each snippet of film or each batch of photographs.

So I was delighted to see this photograph of the shop front in 1971. Delighted and a little sad, for it looks rather ‘on its uppers’ even then. As with so many boutiques that popped up there in the boom times, and flourished in the glare of the media hype, by 1971 it was starting to look less shiny, less innovative. Carnaby Street was a pastiche, a fiction… not the centre of the fashion universe. Everyone had decamped to the King’s Road or Kensington High Street.

Still, it is an amazing piece of history which tells you something of the deterioration, as opposed to the continuous glorification, of Carnaby Street.

Please also note the brilliant positioning which enables us to see the Carnaby Street sign and ‘Kids in Gear’ in the reflection. Thank you so much Len!

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10 Comments on “A Peek at the Boutique: Pussy Galore”

  1. sharon fox says:

    Re the tablecloth dress…………..that wasnt from Pussy Galore, it was from Lady Jane. Henry Moss went on to open Pussy Galore after severing his partnership with Harry Fox, my late Father, with whom he co-owned Lady Jane. AFter a few years of Lady Janes opening, Henry moved on. The tablecloth dress most definately originated from Lady Jane. I know this because it was my fathers idea and i have one to this day.

    • Hi Sharon! Thank you for the information!

      Well my dress is definitely Pussy Galore because it has the distinctive Pussy Galore label (with the half cat face). The others I have seen/owned have been The London Mob (another Henry Moss label sold out of Pussy Galore) and another one by Radley. So I’m sure your father did do it first, but they were definitely being done by several other people! Like all great ideas, especially one which can be so easily copied…

  2. Daniel Milco says:

    Do I spy your purple suede hotpants on one of the mannequins?

  3. […] many thanks once again to the wonderful Len Fernandes, who provided us with a fantastic image of the Pussy Galore boutique on Carnaby Street (from 1971) back in April. He has now sent two further images: one of John […]

  4. Vee says:

    I have a wonderful vintage Pussy Galore striped mini dress from Carnaby Street. It still has the fabulous label intact. I’d be happy to share a photo but I’m not sure how to do so here. Cheers, Vee

    • I’d love to take a look at it, you can email it to me or post it over on my facebook page (links at the side)

      • Joanie Boultbee says:

        Good afternoon
        Came across this link to Henry Moss/Pussy Galore whilst showing my daughter where I worked in the sixties. I was ‘girl Friday’ to Henry in 1968/1970 when I left to live in South Africa. After two years and on my return I again worked for Henry at the London Mob in Portland Street for the wholesale side of the business.
        Saw the mention of a ‘tablecloth dress’ I have a photo of me in a white lace one with another girl in a black lace version taken for a modelling shot in early 1970 and believe these were created by our in house designers to sell in Pussy Galore.
        Henry Moss also owned the shop called Sweet Fanny Adams in Carnaby St.
        Joan

        • Hello Joan! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and how wonderful. I would love to see the photo of you in the tablecloth dress. I’ve got a Pussy Galore one, but I’ve also had London Mob ones. I’ve not seen anything with a Sweet Fanny Adams label yet though, sadly.


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