Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dedicated followers of fashion // 1960s London

The Shop, Chelsea
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Granny Takes a Trip, 488 Kings Road, Chelsea (Read)
Granny Takes a Trip
Granny Takes a Trip
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The Antiques Supermarket (predecessors to today's vintage shops)
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Dedicated Followers of Fashion

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet, 293 Portobello Road, W10 (Read)
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Other clothing stores on Carnaby Street and Kings Road
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Nightclubs - Tiles, Flamingo Club, UFO Club
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion
Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion

BBC iPlayer have some great documentaries that you can watch up to a week or two weeks after they've aired on TV. As I'm in Ireland I couldn't previously watch these online, but a friend suggested a plugin for Google Chrome and Firefox called Media Hint. It takes mere minutes to install and within half an hour I had access to some great docs, including the above BBC4 'Timeshift' series doc Britain on Film: Dedicated Followers of Fashion focusing on the fashions of the 1960s. In this documentary series they take the footage of 'Look at Life', a regular British series of short documentary films of which over 500 were produced between 1959 and 1968 by the Special Features Division of the Rank Organisation for screening in their Odeon and Gaumont cinemas.

It portrays everything that was exciting about the early to mid 1960s, I love the Dandy fashions for men, those jackets, those linings! The explosions of colour, the mix of the antique with the modern. It always seems so strange to me, what we consider antique now were relative to them, as to how we regard the fashions our parents wore. Edwardian, art deco clothing would have been much easier to get a hold of them, and at much reduced prices to now. I think this one of the many reasons why I hold such a nostalgia for that period of time, of seismic change. Of course, if I had been growing up in rural Ireland then I wouldn't have had those opportunities to act out, unless I became a nurse and moved to London as many generations of Irish women before me have done. Lets not forget that the rent was affordable then! Such an exciting time appeals to me, as in the midst of a recession, as a young person I feel a lot around me is stagnant, but the prices are higher than ever.

I think my favourite outfits above is the girl in the purple velvet jacket with the orange shirt, two of my favourite colours, she looks so sharp and confident! I love the arts and crafts inspired window of The Shop, with a mod twist! Perhaps I am viewing that period through rose-tinted glasses, but even watching the nightclub footage it seems that efforts were made for a social purpose, and not a commercial one. If you walk through Chelsea today, you'll see what I mean.

You can view my full flickr album here.

If the above pictures have caught your interest you can watch the 30min documentary on YouTube (as I only discovered this afternoon):


2 comments:

  1. I'm going to see if this is still available, it looks great.

    I've been really lucky over the years to be handed down clothes from that era, either by my mum and her antique clothing finds from charity shops, or the odd biba piece. Namely corduroy coat and er, make up.

    I would love to go back in time and feel the excitement of visiting those shops, and feeling part of something so.....new.

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  2. Thanks for the tip, I will definitely check out these documentaries! I agree that it's so weird to see people in the 60s looking at vintage shops, when we look at vinatage shops to find 60s stuff there. The woman in blue looks amazing! xx

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