Paul Gorman is…

Refna revival: Elizabeth Hamey’s adventures in art, design + fashion

Aug 9th, 2017

//Jean Shrimpton in Mr Freedom Minnie Mouse top, Hans Feurer, Fancy Dressing, Nova, December 1970, with the original design on tracing paper by Refna. No reproduction without permission//

Exciting news: Elizabeth Hamey, who signs her work ‘Refna’, has granted me access to her amazing archive of work at the cross-hatches of art, design and fashion in the 1960s and 70s.

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Rarely spotted Mr Freedom designs emerge from Audrey’s wardrobe after 45 years

May 31st, 2016
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//Audrey Watson’s great grand-neice Carlie models the spot-print two-piece bought in 1971 from Mr Freedom’s branch at 20 Kensington Church Street in west London. All photos: Helen Smith//

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//Sooty & Sweep print Mr Freedom shirt also acquired by Watson on one of her shopping trips to London in the early 70s//

The emergence of good condition Mr Freedom designs with strong provenance is rare these days, so I’m delighted to showcase these unusual and original garments from the seminal early 70s London boutique operated by Trevor Myles, John Paul and Tommy Roberts.

They were acquired in the early 70s from the second Mr Freedom outlet in Kensington by the ultra-stylish British collector Audrey Watson, now 87 and a lifelong devotee of quirky and interesting clothing who has reluctantly begun the process of divesting herself of her fashion archive.

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Angie Bowie, Freddie Burretti, City Lights Studio, Ola Hudson, Kansai Yamamoto: My essay on the important factors in David Bowie’s style changes 1972-76 now live on SHOWStudio

Mar 25th, 2016

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My essay on David Bowie’s style changes 1972-76 is now on Oooh Fashion!, SHOWStudio’s current celebration of the late performer which also includes rare footage of Nick Knight’s photo-shoots for the 1993 album Black Tie White Noise and the 2003 British Vogue session of Kate Moss in Bowie stagewear.

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//Still from film of Nick Knight’s December 2002 London Black Tie White Noise shoot on SHOWStudio’s David Bowie: Oooh Fashion!//

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//Kate Moss in the Life On Mars Freddie Burretti suit from the film of the 2003 British Vogue shoot, also on David Bowie: Oooh Fashion!//

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Fabulousness: Rarely-seen footage of Kansai Yamamoto’s game-changing 1971 King’s Road catwalk show

Mar 19th, 2016

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“It was a spectacular coup de théâtre – Kansai’s models came on moving. They leapt, ran, whirled like dervishes, danced, flung out their arms so that the brilliant colours meshed and merged into a kaleidoscopic cartoon of colour. Kansai himself, black-clothed and masked, moved across the stage like a Samurai warrior, tearing off layers and layers of clothes, stripping down the beautiful, pyramidal outer garments, right down to the vests and body paint. Kansai’s clothes épatent les couturiers.”

Harpers & Queen, July 1971

As fuzzy as they are, the two precious video clips at the end of this post convey the game-changing nature of  Kansai Yamamoto’s theatrical introduction of avant-garde Japanese fashion design to these shores at the dawn of the 70s.

They also reveal the extent to which the late David Bowie subsequently drew on Yamamoto’s flamboyance and daring when presenting Ziggy Stardust on stage.

Several of the designs were worn by Bowie in performance during live promotion, in particular of the Aladdin Sane album, and he also adopted the sleight-of-hand layered costume reveals, the emphatic postures of the models and even the flame-red hair colouring as seen on the huge wig worn in the first excerpt below.

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Indefatigable Ian Harris + The Earth: Pop culture maverick’s 60s rock roots come to light

Jan 10th, 2016
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//Front cover, Elemental, The Earth, Rare Vinyl, 2016. Design: Ian Harris//

Ian Harris is one of those London characters who turns up at various stages in the capital’s post-war pop culture narrative.

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