Paul Gorman is…

The Photo Kid: Ben Kelly at the Royal College Of Art, 1974

Jun 13th, 2013

This is designer Ben Kelly at his 1974 degree show at London’s Royal College Of Art.

Kelly adopted the alter-ego The Photo Kid, who is portrayed in the work by which he is standing. The Photo Kid wore clothes – in particular brothel creepers – from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop Let It Rock, as did Kelly; the shoes, pink socks and belt in this photograph all came from there, while the Hopalong Cassiday & Topper top (see Ian Harris’s comment below) was picked up at a Paris flea market.

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My Anarchy Shirt archaeology at Dazed Digital

May 2nd, 2013

Dazed Digital is featuring a précis of my investigation into the roots of the Anarchy Shirt as sold in Sex and Seditionaries at 430 King’s Road in 1976 and 1977.

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Practical Styling: Previously unpublished photos of the shop of the 80s

Apr 30th, 2013

//An early 80s window display by Simon Haynes: Geometrically arranged brightly coloured platforms and ladders//

//This giant "toy" portcullis was produced by Haynes for Practical Styling in the mid-80s//

//Haynes' neo-classical backdrop for another mid-80s display//

These photographs from the archive of artist/set designer Simon Haynes convey the scope and ambition of the great 80s British independent retail outlet Practical Styling, operated by Paul Jones and Tommy Roberts on the ground floor and basement of London’s brutalist CentrePoint building.

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The story behind a long-lost single sleeve design

Apr 18th, 2013

Read the story behind this obscure record sleeve design – for a single which failed to dent the Top 75 on release 30 years ago – over on the Barney Bubbles Blog.

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When Kilburn + The High Roads played the King’s Road Theatre 1974: Ian Dury in Let It Rock ‘Alan Ladd’ suit + feather tie and Sue and Simon Haynes’ extraordinary Tower Bridge stage set

Apr 12th, 2013

//Keith Lucas and Ian Dury onstage at the Kings Road Theatre, November 1974. Photo: Simon Haynes Collection//

As these rarely seen photographs show, when the subject of my last book the late Tommy Roberts took over management of Kilburn & The High Roads he sought to elevate them from the pub-rock scene by upping the visual ante on every front.

//From left: Lucas, Dury, David Rohoman, Charlie Sinclair and Davey Payne//

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Another of Mr Freedom’s ‘monstrous oddities’: Sue + Simon Haynes’ giant blue fun-fur gorilla

Mar 18th, 2013

//Mirabelle, May 2, 1970//

From the archive of the late Tommy Roberts, this image from British teen fashion magazine Mirabelle shows a particularly outré commission from fashion’s master of flamboyant retailing: a 7ft high rendition of a King Kong-style gorilla in blue fun fur created by the design team Sue and Simon Haynes.

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Feast your eyes on this Barney Bubbles rarity

Feb 4th, 2013

Exclusive: Inside Paradise Garage at 430 King’s Road with Electric Colour Company, 1971

Jan 27th, 2013

//Interior, 430 King's Road, Chelsea, May 1971. Note coconut matting, shack-style dressing room doors, trompe de l'oeil gate painted on stockroom door... and fake tiger. Photography: David Parkinson.//

I first wrote about Electric Colour Company – the design studio formed in the East End by four fine art students in the late 60s – in The Look and then in more detail here.

//Amid the singlets, printed sweatshirts and appliqued denim, a bamboo cage housed birds of paradise, suspended from the matting covered ceiling.//

In my view, ECC deserves much greater recognition for executing some very clever work in the field of retail design and interiors in the period 1969-1973.

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Magazines: Paradise Garage in Harpers & Queen 1971

Oct 28th, 2012

//Outside 430 King's Road (from left) summer 1971: Unknown, assistant Lisa Petersen, manager Roly Poltock, designer Diana Crawshaw and founder Trevor Myles. Photograph: Julian Allason.//

Harpers & Queen ran this photograph of the short-lived but significant World’s End boutique Paradise Garage in the Shopping Bazaar section of the September 1971 issue.

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Pamla Motown returns with a new version of The Artist T-shirt

Oct 26th, 2012

//1975: Models Kathy + Jeremy in Artist tees at a New York fashion show.//

//2012: One of Motown's two new versions.//

Designer Pamla Motown – cherished for her contributions to 70s fashion with a run of sensational designs for Mr Freedom and under her own labels – is back with a new version of her graphic “Artist” T-shirt.

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