Mother Wouldn’t Like It

Mother Wouldn't Like It

Have just formed a new organisation. It’s called SPOCC or the Society for the Protection of Clothes Customers. Idea came last night when I collected a couple of suits from the cleaners, only to find that the shoulder padding of one jacket was lost somewhere down the sleeve, and the trousers, supposed to be drip dry, were wrinkled like a Dutch dyke. The first suit came from Carnaby Street, the second from the Kings Road. Jose, my flat-mate, tried to pacify me by saying, “I thought you said clothes now are fashionable and short-lived. So what do you expect?” Simply that a suit shouldn’t disappear at the first clean! I accept built-in obsolescence and all those rubbishy excuses for using cheap materials, but I expect a suit to last a year, not a month. How about you? Let me know what you think … it might add up to some interesting revelations. Like the super trousers in the sketch. They’re Newman jeans from France; they cost much more than English or American but, in my view, are twice as good. I got a pair from the Heavy Metal Kids in the Kensington Market for £5. Elsewhere you can pay up to 8 gns. Shirts are another racket. The shirt here looks as if it costs 10 gns., and so it can at some places. In fact, it’s made by a man called Bryan King, who works in a Queensway attic, turning out great shirts handmade, frilled, tapered, for £2—£4, and sells them at his stall, Mother Wouldn’t Like It, also in the Ken Market. The tie-makers have become so ridiculously expensive that ties are out except for the odd occasion, and these shirts are as logical a take-over as the polo sweater. If Bryan can turn them out at this price, why can’t others? Remember—next time you think you’ve been rooked, let Luke SPOCC Jarvis know.

Written by Luke Jarvis.

Illustration by Wendy Buttrose.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Honey, March 1968.

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Pretty Things

Pretty Things 3

Left: Green felt hat from Bombacha. Grey crepe top and matching skirt both by Strawberry Studio. Gloves by Tuttabankem. Silk scarf by Eddie Yap for Howie. Right: Navy blue hat by Charles Batten. Green crepe top and matching skirt by Strawberry Studio. Gloves by Tuttabankem. Scarf from Essences. Brooch from Bombacha.

Skirts are big news! They come in soft, pretty fabrics like crepe and flanesta. Looks are soft and sweet too. So go feminine. Wear skirts that are full, and keep warm with chunky sweaters and long, knitted scarves.

Photographed by Arthur Elgort.

Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, October 1974.

Pretty Things 5

Left: Rust felt hat by Marida. Rust crepe de chine suit by Marie France. Mixed tweedy cardigan by Outlander. Brown leather shoes by Bombacha. Scarf by Eddie Yap for Howie. Bag from Nostalgia. Right: Hat by Edward Mann. Cream blouse and grey crepe de chine suit all by Marie France. Huge grey cardigan by Crochetta. Grey lace up shoes from Sacha. Silky scarf by Eddie Yap for Howie. Brooch from Bombacha.

Pretty Things 1

Left: Hat by Edward Mann. Blouse by Garilee. Wool cardigan by Johnson & Johnson. Skirt from C&A. Shoes from Sacha. Right: Hat from Bombacha. Green blouse by Garilee. Wool v-neck top by Outlander. Cardigan by Johnson & Johnson. Skirt from C&A. Shoes by Sacha. Beads from Bombacha. Brooch by Adrien Mann.

Pretty Things 2

Left: Red and white striped wool tank top and matching cardigan by Outlander. Cream crepe skirt by Mushroom. Right: Flannel beret at Essences. Cream crepe blouse by Jon Elliot. Cream tank top and matching cardigan by C&A. Pale pink crepe skirt by Marie France.

Pretty Things 4

Left: Blue felt hat by Charles Batten. White silk shirt by Carr Jones. Blue cord pinafore dress by Strawberry Studio. Leather shoes from Bombacha. Silk scarf from Essences. Right: Hat from Nostalgia. White Chinese shirt by Carr Jones. Blue tweed hacking jacket by Jenny Hare at Bombacha. Skirt by Inega. Shoes from Bombacha. Bag from Essences. Scarf by Eddie Yap for Howie.


Lloyd Johnson – The Modern Outfitter

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!


Pop Pop Pop

John Bates for Jean Varon crepe panelled dress

I have finally found a moment to blog about the Pop Art exhibition at The Lightbox in Woking, which is only open for a short while longer. The Lightbox is a tremendous space; airy and light, quiet and tranquil, and it has been transformed (briefly) into a repository of incredible Pop Art paintings, sculptures and….things. The ‘things’ are what I’m most interested in; as the exhibition draws you into the central space in the gallery, you are shown the influence of Pop Art on everything from clothes, to homewares, right down to the groceries you could buy from Sainsbury’s in the Sixties.

The fabulous Katherine Higgins has co-curated Pop Art, and very kindly got in touch with me about loaning some pieces. Well now, I can’t resist an exhibition and I can’t resist a good rummage in my personal collection and so I delivered four pieces (and a bonus extra which I just happened to have on me at the time). The fourth and final has only just been put on display this very day, and so I do hope you are able to go along to The Lightbox and have a look. It really is an incredible collection of works by some undeniably iconic British Pop artists; including Pauline Boty, Allen Jones, Peter Blake and, now rather poignantly, Richard Hamilton.

Mr Freedom halter neck skater outfit with hidden surprise...

Saucy! (I'm allowed to do this because it's mine, but you might get told off!)

Fulham Road Clothes Shop trousers with Zandra Rhodes lipstick print (please note the perfect pattern placement on the crotch)

Foale and Tuffin 'Chrysler' mini dress c.1966

Last minute addition: Original plastic lip sunglasses

There are some covetable clothes (as well as mine, of course), including the legendary Mr Freedom baseball suit, several Ritva sweaters, a superb Lloyd Johnson jacket and the most adorable novelty print Mr Freedom dungarees loaned by Jan De Villeneuve. Who, I’m afraid, has now been scuppered in her alphabetical superiority because of my earlier omission. Sorry Jan!

 

Pauline Boty

Richard Hamilton: 'Swingeing London'

Sweaters by Ritva

Jacket by Lloyd Johnson

Allen Jones

Grocery packaging