Monday, 7 May 2018

The early illustrations of Wojtek Siudmak - Plexus 1969

                                       LA  REVUE  QUI DÉCOMPLEXE

Some examples of early graphic artwork created by the Polish-born painter Wojtek Siudmak for Plexus, the French erotic/art magazine, which ran for a total of 37 issues from 1966-1970. It was originally published bimonthly from Issue No.1 (April/May 1966) for twelve issues, then every six weeks from Issue No.13 (March 1968) - No.17, and finally published monthly from Issue No.18 (November 15th 1968) - No.37 (July 1970). I have an almost complete collection (missing four), it's a really interesting magazine, and although eroticism is the thematic focus, each one also contains many interviews and features on various topics such as philosophy, history, literature, art, and fashion, almost all are heavily illustrated throughout with incredible artwork and comic strips, the covers (always illustrated) are pretty spectacular too. Siudmak, better known for his work as a 'fantastic hyper-realist' artist, became a regular contributor to the publication towards the end of the decade, after he had relocated to France in the mid 1960s. These particular graphics were used consistently in varying colourways throughout the later issues from December 1968 onwards, as an introduction to the reviews, theatre, exhibitions, books, cinema and event guide sections. I've enlarged them here for display purposes, but in reality each one only measures around 1½'' x 1½''. You can discover more about the artist and view some of my previous posts about Plexus Magazine via the links at the end of the page.

                                                                    IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from Plexus, Issue No.23, April 1969. All illustrations by Wojtek Siudmak. View some the artist's current work on the Official Siudmak Website and the Siudmak Online Shop. Further information about Siudmak in this Dangerous Minds post To ‘Dune’ and Beyond: The Interstellar Hyper-Realism of Wojciech Siudmak. View some of my previous Plexus Magazine posts: Aubrey Beardsley Prince De L'Art  Plexus 1968; Dandy Fashion: Les Assassins du Bodygraph - lancent le prêt - à - choquer Plexus 1967; L'Homme Qui Ramassait Les Épingles - Plexus 1968. And finally 'Le Creux Du Rêve' - Illustrations by Paul Barrué - Plexus 1969.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Smoke and Leather 1971

                                                 Pour La Peau 

La chance du Short...Leather Jacket and shorts by Brezin, the upper back and elbows of the jacket are studded. Maxi-socks by Colette Brezin,  Baroux boots, and José Cotel belt for Beige.

Fine trench coats. In thin, supple skins, the trench becomes a truly feminine garment. On the right: a coat in Lambskin by Gérard Silvi, Boots by Maude Frizon. On the left: a leather-treated Cowhide coat by Thierry Mugler for Divya, braided in red leather. Tilbury boots.

Quilted. Quilting is a general trend this year. It is particularly suitable for leather clothing. Right: a jacket closed on the side, in quilted lambskin, by Charles Ambers. It is worn with trousers in Paprika. Belt Baroux. On the left: a quilted jacket and lambskin pants from Everskin. Choker and leather strap from José Cotel for Beige. Shoes by Salamander.

The airmen's jackets. Right: a jacket in lambskin from Gets. It is tightened at the bottom by a belt closed with a metal buckle. José Cotel Belt for Beige: Left: a Furs Ettex (Paris) jacket in lambskin, lined with fur. The shoes are from Salamander.

Long jackets. In leather or velvet skin, they are always in good stead. On the left: a lamb jacket with a patina of Sahara-style Paprika. On the right deer skin and fur jacket, and trousers in lambskin by Gérard Silvi. The turtleneck is from Colette Brezin. Salamander shoes.

                                            IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original editorial in Dépèche Mode, May 1971. All photographs by Dominique Ruat. Hair by Elrhodes, 122, faubourg, Saint-Honoré, Paris. Models uncredited.  View some of my previous posts featuring the designs of Gérard Silvi and Thierry Mugler, and also more Hair Styling by Jean-Yves Elrhodes (1968). The confessions of Manfred Thierry Mugler: on George Michael, Beyoncé, his physical transformation and his new career. Biker influenced leather fashion, by John Stephen of Carnaby Street in Dolly Rockers (1968), and Rags for Riders 1971Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the biker Jacket-an online exhibition at FIT New York. Marianne Faithfull making the most of her black leather, fleece-lined jumpsuit designed by Lanvin, Paris, for her role in the 1968 film The Girl on the Motorcyclealso known as Naked Under Leather (1968). You can't talk about leather without mentioning Suzi Quatro's iconic leather jumpsuit, designed for her by Nigel Preston in 1973 under his Maxfield Parrish label, view an interview with Suzi about the look on the BBC Documentary  Oh! You Pretty Things: The Story of British Music and Fashion - Idols [Episode 2 of 3]. Watch Suzi Quatro As Leather Tuscadero - All Her Performances On "Happy Days. Discover more about the heritage of the Nigel Preston/ Maxfield Parrish Design Label, and Nigel Preston the man behind it. The Black Leather Jacket (Book & documentary) by Mick Farren. The Evolution of Women Smoking in Film. And finally, The Runaways Black Leather (1978).

Thursday, 5 April 2018

What's wrong with beads and bells? 1967

                      WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEADS AND BELLS?
What's all the fuss about flower children? It seems that everyone over the age of thirty—particularly the national press, the police, and the establishment generally—has had something hard to say about hippies. Loud cries of free love, junkies, nude parties. It seems any girl who throws off her office clothes on Friday night and puts on a cut-down Indian bedspread is in danger of having herself labelled. It means nothing to these critics that the vast majority of Britain's hippies are part-timers; weekend flower children with five day week jobs. Intro's countrywide investigation estimates that nine out of ten of them DON'T take drugs, DON'T sleep around and, most important DON'T harm anyone. All the same, they're being harassed by police and maligned by the papers. Few people have chosen to discriminate between the hard-core, hard drug beat, who is using the hippie movement to excuse his way of life, and weekend part-timers; young people with a desire to be differentto show that they're something more than extensions of the old generation.  Who dares to dictate that we must all dress alike, all look alike?  

''I can have a good time without drugs.'' Jean MacIlroy, eighteen, (cover model), a Brockley, London, bank clerk, also said she's a part-time hippie. ''I don't use drugs, but I feel it's a matter of individual choice.''

In defence of unconventional dress among young people, Dr. Barbara Gray, a Birmingham University lecturer in Social Studies and a member of the Latey Committee (which recommends that young people should be regarded as adults at eighteen instead of twenty-one) says: ''Almost every group of teenagers tries to produce a different style of dress. Each generation produces something that distinguishes them from the middle-aged. When they dress in a style which could identify them with the hard-core hippie, then everybody gets tarred with the same brush; perhaps it is not so surprising. The fault is partly ours for not trying hard enough to look at each person as an individual; I think that we should try hard to avoid criticizing them as a group.''

                                                              WOBURN ABBEY LOVE-IN
Support has also come from one of Britain's most progressive aristocrats, the Duke of Bedford, who threw open his stately home, Woburn Abbey, to a love-in. He said: They were absolutely charming; the most polite people I've ever met.'' It's estimated that there are no more than two hundred real and dedicated hippies in Britain (they utterly ignore society and live a tribal experience. All life is sacred and they preach love and complete freedom to do as they wish). The remainder are part-timers; almost 50,000 young people who are in it partly because they agree it's better to love someone than to hate, and partly for the fun of a new experience. But, part-timers are having a tough time with the law, especially in London. Many of them gather in the West End before moving on to a club or partyand the police take a dim view. To test this point, two INTRO staffers, a girl and a boy, hung around in Trafalgar Square. They were dressed quite normally and ignored by police. Later, they returned, dressed in Indian Guru jackets, bells and beads. Twice they were moved on; each time the girl was roughly questioned-apparently on how she was dressed.

The Festival of The Flower Children, Woburn Abbey, August 26th-28th 1967 - billed as a 3-day, non-stop happening, the line-up of acts included the Small Faces, Jeff Beck, Eric Burdon and many more! plus DJ sets from Jeff Dexter, Mike Quinn and Tommy Vance. Along with the promise of free flowers and sparklers for 'the beautiful flower children in the most beautiful surrounding'.


                                              BRUSH WITH THE LAW
It happens with other weekenders too. Two eighteen year olds, Linda Evans and Janis Coles, factory workers from Middlesbrough, came to London for a week's holiday. They saw the hippies, liked their clothes, and dressed with beads and bells. They were talking to friends in Trafalgar Square when a policeman approached. ''He said to us, in front of everybody: 'Are you prostitutes?' Then he took us to the police station and kept us there for over two hours.'' Despite these embarrassing brushes with the law, Britain's part-time hippie cult is growing and spreading to major provincial centres. In Bristol, there's already a weekend community, mostly hippie parties in private flats. John (he doesn't use a surname), a twenty year old telephone engineer, said: ''Soon the whole scene will be going on in parks in Bristol...until the fuzz comes along. At the moment they just shrug their shoulders.'' York, Littlehampton, Leeds and Cambridge are also developing weekend groups. Christine Simpson, sixteen, a student from York, said: ''I'm a part-time hippie. I've worn beads in Yorkthey're catching on.'' Mandy Harvey is fourteen, still at school, and comes from Harston, Cambridge. She says: It's sickening that the papers put out a completely wrong image, but I suppose I'm lucky; my mother isn't misled by these reports and she doesn't mind me dressing like this.'' Mandy wears beads, bells and no shoes. She uses heavy make-up round her eyes. Drugs are condemned by almost all weekend hippies. Jeanette Osborne, a sixteen year old student from Gosport, Hants, said: ' I don't take drugs and if people can't live without them, life can't be worth much. I wouldn't take them. '' Bernadette Jarvis,  twenty-three, a Wembley bank clerk, said '' I can have a good time without drugs.'' Jean Macllroy (she's on our cover), eighteen, a Brockley, London, bank clerk, also said she's a part-time hippie. ''I don't use drugs, but I feel it's a matter of individual choice.''

                                When hippies met in Trafalgar Square for a sit-in, the police made it a move-on.                                               

                                                                   GREAT GEAR FOR FUN
Few of the girls in hippie dress are upset by people's stares. ''We don't feel embarrassed,'' said Janis Coles. ''Why should we?'' Jeanette Osborne said: ''I wear jeans, flowers and blouses with love written on them. I go around as a flower child and have a laugh.'' Bernadette Jarvis and her friend Jill Simpkins said: ''We do it because we don't like conservative dress. Unfortunately we can't dress like this all the time because we wouldn't be accepted in our jobs.'' And some girls have mother problems. Ann Bolger, eighteen, a secretary from Leyton, said: ''I'd like to wear the gear but I'm afraid people would laugh.'' And Ann's mother added ''I wouldn't like it at all.'' A South American secret society has an initiation ceremony at puberty for girls and young men, involving intricate body painting (some part-timers have adopted this idea to ''baptise'' new friends). Eyes of ancient Egyptian girls, about to perform acrobatic dances, were heavily decorated with paint. They also wore bangles, flowers and coloured ribbons in their hair-and very little else. Intro says: We don't think the flower children are doing anyone harm. There's nothing wrong with wearing beads. There's nothing wrong with a dress that's different. And it's certainly not wrong to make the most of weekends after a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday life.

                            Smiling flower children (above) with a banner saying: ''Follow Us''  everyone did.

                                                                         Be●In Dress from Way In (1967).

                                          Unisex Kaftans, beads, and bells, available from Chelsea Mail (1967).

That you could also purchase an (almost) complete hippie outfit via these mail order adverts from the same issue of this teen magazine, pretty much signalled the toll of the impending death knell, as the look of the counterculture moved steadily into the mainstream faster than the ideology of the lifestyle behind it. Approximately two weeks after this issue went to print, the Death of Hippie was formally announced in San Francisco, the Death Notice stated: HIPPIE ~ In the Haight Ashbury District of this city, Hippie, devoted son of Mass Media ~ Friends are invited to attend services beginning at sunrise, October 6th, 1967, at Buena Vista Park. The ceremony was led by Ron Thelin, owner of The Psychedelic Shop at 1535 Haight Street, which was set to close, having found itself in debt (to the tune of $6,000, according to Barry Miles author of Hippie - Cassell Illustrated), as were many of the other businesses and clinics in the area. Attendees filled a cardboard coffin with various hippie artefacts and trappings of the lifestyle, such as copies of underground newspapers, beads, bells, and clothing etc, the open coffin was then carried down Haight Street in a funeral possession, stopping at the junction of Haight-Ashbury for a kneel-in, before being ceremonially burned at its final destination. However, although pronounced dead and buried by the people who truly believed in it, in its purest wouldn't be allowed to 'rest in peace' for long. I doubt that it immediately stopped the coach tours full of of hippie-spotting day trippers driving down Haight Street, and it most certainly didn't stop the mass media from continuing the pursuit (as they had hoped it would). The proof is evident in the proliferation of films, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and especially through the advertisement agencies which continued to repurpose the imagery, ideas and language of the counterculture long after it had reached saturation point in San Francisco, and appropriated it for consumers who were living conventional, suburban lives (see examples from 1969-1971 below). Personally, I'm quite fond of a lot of these adverts and artefacts, it was a very creative period, but i'm sure it must have been extremely disheartening to the people who were committed to the counterculture, because they had such high ideals and hopes for the movement, it probably felt like a failure on many levels at the time. Of course with hindsight, we know that it wasn't, it just took a long time for the best ideas and practices to filter down and integrate properly into mainstream society, it always does, you can change the world, but you can't change the world overnight.

A Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc print advert (1969) which makes reference to the counterculture lifestyle, in a bid to put a slightly new slant on their usual 'tried and tested' selling technique in keeping with the times, by tapping into the decade's quest for freedom from the mainstream, and appealing to the desire for individuality within the non-conformist. 


This William Barry Outerwear  'before and after' print advert, would have you believe that trading in an alternative lifestyle choice and look, and returning to a conventional one, was a good move! (note the well worn, real fur and natural fibres on the left Vs. the ''Put On'' in warm, plush pile of 100% Orlon manmade Acrylic on the right), making a clear distinction between hippie culture and mainstream consumerism. 

An advertisement for a range of leather belts by Fife & Drum, originally published in September 1971, and although not necessarily 100% hippie, there are many references to the imagery and ideals of the counterculture in both the ad copy and art work, they've even managed to work Frank Zappa into it. And on a subliminal level, the mention of 'a holding company' made me think of Big Brother and the Holding Company..even if that wasn't their intention.


                                           IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original article for Intro Magazine September 23rd 1967. Photographer, illustrator and models all uncredited in the original publication, except for cover model Jean MacIlroy. Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc image scanned from 60s All-American Ads (Taschen). William Barry Outerwear and Fife & Drum advert (1971) scanned from The Male Mystique- Men's Magazine Ads of the 1960s and 1970s by Jacques Boyreau. If you did happen to find yourself in trouble with the law under one of these circumstances in particular back in 1967, the best people to look for were Rufus Harris and Caroline Coon, who founded Release, a civil rights agency providing legal advice for young people charged with the possession of drugs. View an interview with Caroline Coon filmed in 1968, this interview was conducted on the day Coon was released from Holloway Prison, having been arrested for protesting about the prosecution of Rolling Stone Brian Jones for drug possession. Here you'll find a small archive of documents from the drug advice and referral agency, Release, dating from its inception in 1967 through to its tenth anniversary. And in some of my previous posts you'll find Felicity Green's report on the flower power fashion scene, August 1967; Apple Clothing - Apple Boutique 1968; Rave Magazine's in-house dandy decked out in flower-power finery from Kleptomania 1967; Flower Power Maddie Smith (1967) before she became more widely known as an actress; Dentelle Galler & the King's Road Hippies 1969, and The Rise and Decline of the Afghan Coat 1966-197?. Discover more about the Death of Hippie October 6th 1967 (lots of photographs of the event included). And here, you can view some filmed footage plus an interview about it with Ron Thelin. More film footage of  protest scenes outside The Psychedelic Shop after the Police arrested Allen Cohen (store clerk) for selling "The Love Book" by Lenore Kandel, on grounds of obscenity in 1966. A fantastic review of the recently published Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman (a must-read!).  And finally, you know the dream is over when ''they're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's man!''

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Would you let your own daughter undergo - The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1967

                                             THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
It was only a year ago, between the end of military gear and the start of Flower Power, that Jimi Hendrix, a completely unknown 22-year-old coloured American guitarist and singer, came to Britain. This autumn he topped the Melody Maker poll as the No.1 musician, and his group ''The Jimi Hendrix Experience'' goes out for £700-£1000 a night. All his records have been tremendous chart successes, but it is in his live appearances that he has made his mark. He burnt a guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival in June, the Daughters of the American Revolution complained that he was too sexy; he treats his guitar like sex-organs and his loudspeakers like lovers. On stage, dwarfing the three group members, are 12 giant cabinets containing 48 loudspeakers, each one of which can fill the Albert Hall with sound. The effect is rather like having the Albert Hall fall in on top of you. Hendrix and his group affect fuzzed-out hairstyles and a giddy variety of brocaded, multicoloured clothes on stage and off. But in spite of the noise, and a riotous, balletic stage act, he is a talented and even significant artist. For James Marshall Hendrix, like any other coloured American, and a generation of teenagers in the Western world, grew up with the violent, vivid tradition of the blues, the urban folk music of the West: and his playing and singing are closer to the blues than any artist of comparable popularity. In his fine, smoky voice can be heard an echo of one of the great hero-figures of the Negro blues, McKinley Morganfield, who is better known as Muddy Waters. For Hendrix, with his hair, the lucky charms hanging round his neck, and the devilish, overt sexuality, can be seen as an embodiment of Muddy's most famous song, the solemn, voodoo-tinged hymn of male potency 'Hootchie Cootchie Man'. Blues of this temper were popularised in Britain by the Rolling Stones, who took their name from another Muddy Waters song, 'Rolling Stone Blues'. But the twitching Mick Jagger can't conjure up the power that is Jimi's birthright. Jimi Hendrix is our very own Hootchie Cootchie Man, our noble savage, a hero riding in a fine frenzy high over the fairytale meanderings of Britain's psychedelic kids, who love him for his pretty clothes. The hard, tough lads who know dig him too. When Jimi first played at a club in London's West End, a young connoisseur turned to Paul McCartney, 'Look, I know blues mate - you need a guitarist like that in your band.'

                                   Jimi Hendrix photographed at his London flat by Terence Donovan, 1967. 

Hendrix was born in Seattle on the Pacific Coast in 1945. His father is a landscape gardener. In the honey-beige, wildcat face there is Red Indian from his pure Cherokee grandmother, whom he saw much of when his parents marriage broke up. 'I used to spend summer vacations on her reservation in Colorado, and the kids at school would laugh when I wore shawls and poncho things she made. But on the whole my school was pretty relaxed. We had Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos - we won all the football games! I wanted to be an actor or a painter. I particularly liked to paint scenes on other planets. ''Summer afternoon on Venus'' and stuff like that. The idea of space travel excited me more than anything.' He has a child-like fascination with outer-space. One of his compositions is about visitors to earth from another planet: O strange beautiful grass of green, With your majestic silken scenes, Your mysterious mountains I wish to see closer, May I land my kinky machine? After landing from a three month tour of the United States, Hendrix and his group strolled casually through London Airport Immigration like other-world birds of paradise....Hendrix, tolerant, relaxed good humoured with the customs officials as they impound his portable stereo equipment, fingers his silk and velvet clothes. The entourage - drummer Mitch, bassist Noel, road manager Gerry Stickles, the assistant known simply as 'H', and promotion man Tony Garland - glide smoothly and efficiently past autograph hunters and into the hired Rolls. The chauffeur is apologetic...''The firm couldn't send the new one, sir, as last time it came back with ''I Love You'' scratched on the paintwork with a nail file.' It is all as normal as could be, all part of the gig. Three streams most usually taken by ambitious coloured boys in the United States are: the armed forces, sport - and music. Explaining this, Jimi's hands flutter, making freaky little science-fiction scenes, harps, waterfalls. 'After school I joined the Army Airborne, and got to Spec 4 - that's what you would call a corporal - but I got injured on a jump and hung up on the discipline. I was on the road for a while hitch-hiking with my discharge pay and a guitar. I got to New York. A big rock 'n' roll tour manager saw me playing in a vaudeville act and I started out to play backing guitar to all the big name combos.'  Jimi's Career for three years reads like the sleeve-note for an Identikit rebel, for every guitar-picker in every poor dusty town really hopes that his guitar will buy him a Cadillac and deep-freeze. But the way up the professional ladder for a Negro musician is tough. For Jimi, the discipline of playing on one-night stands behind the great names of the 'Solid Gold Soul' (where you could be fined five bucks for missing a step in the routine) was worse than the army.

                               Jimi Hendrix live at The Monterey Pop Festival 1967 - Photograph by Bruce Fleming.

One of the big names he played with was the ordained preacher-rocker, Little Richard: 'He wouldn't let me wear the frilly shirts on stage, just these shiny silk suits. He said, ''I'm the only one allowed to be pretty.'' ' This conformity in dress, plus the endless repeated phrases in the music and the mechanical climaxes of commercial Negro bands, couldn't hold a young man with ideas of his own. Jimi kept missing the tour bus, checking out of motels, leaving songs he'd written behind in lieu of payment. Eventually, in August last year, he hitched back to New York. He was having a bad time in a small club in Greenwich Village when Chas Chandler, an English pop star in New York, heard him and saw how he might take to the British pop scene and it to him. Today Chas, long, sleek, and boyish, is at 28 a confident, expansive Geordie tycoon, happy with life.  'I saw Jimi as the governor rebel of all time. I mean he may be nice as ninepence as a bloke, mind, but here was the guy who was going to turn on all the chicks, crucify every blues guitarist in the world. 'He wanted to use a wider idiom than blues, and was being drawn towards Bob Dylan-type fantasy, so we could give him the chance to write his own songs, which he has done with great success. I went into partnership with my own manager Mike Jeffrey to manage Jimi. We spent £5000 before Jimi did a single gig, including wages for Jimi's group. For the group had to be the best possible, both temperamentally and musically.'

They got drummer John 'Mitch' Mitchell from Georgie Fame's outfit, and Noel Redding for bass, who together with the electric hardware make up the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitch, is small, alert, quick, an Ealing lad, who has been a child actor, with fond parents who sent him to the Corona Stage School ... 'I saw all my friends becoming faggots because it was the done thing. I thought - ''There must be something else.'' ' He had his twenty-first birthday in Miami Beach after playing the Hollywood Bowl at the climax of last summer's US tour. His parents in Bordars Walk, Ealing, had a cake made for him on his return in an exact full-size replica of a snare-drum with sticks. Mitch gestures  like Jimmy Cagney with 10 spread fingers, dead serious. 'I find so many British musicians go to the States determined to be inferior - I mean no one, no one scares me.' On stage his drumming matches Hendrix's pyrotechnics with perfect confidence. He wants to plough back his money into musical experiments, working with jazzmen, but couldn't resist buying a yellow Lotus Elan. Noel the bassist is slight, with a stringy frame, relaxed and laconic. He has a soft, handsome, bookworm's face, with steel rimmed National Health specs and a wooly buzz of hair more spectacular than Hendrix's. 'Mitch perms: mine's natural.'  Noel is a straight rock 'n' roller up from Folkestone: 21 years old, a hundred and fifty quid a gig, all the birds he can get and doesn't give a sod. He is a Red Barrel-and-gin man with long experience in groups. 'I've seen it all, been on the road for four years. I get very lonely but I don't show it. What I really like is making love to a girl and seeing her straight after standing there while I'm playing. I'm saving up to buy a nightclub in Spain. I see soldiers there sometimes looking at me, laughing. I just think to myself ''Who's the fool?'' ' Noel has the kind of steady temperament to stand up playing like an anchor, keeping the foundations solid while Jimi and Mitch are skyrocketing into the fourth dimension. Hendrix has three guitars on stage (he has smashed 13). Two are white and sculptural, and one is like a bizarre painted arrow. He has opened up the expressive range of blues. His playing sounds like about a thousand miles of thin steel sheet in the sky being ripped apart...Sounds like a posse of 500cc Rockers playing chicken in a tunnel...sounds like all the sawmills and goods yards in the world...Jimi rides it all like a child on the big dipper. A composition of his is called 'Stars that Play with Laughing Sam's Dice'. On one level it's all about a trip on a space rocket called 'Butterfly Rollerskate' and it all flies apart as it passes Mars 'somewhere on your left': Jimi himself can be heard shouting delightedly 'I hope you're all enjoying the ride - I know I am'. 

                                                               IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original article by record producer, graphic artist, painter, lyricist, poet, manager and film-maker Austin John Marshall for the Observer Magazine, 3rd December, 1967. Jimi Hendrix photographs © Terence Donovan and Bruce Fleming respectively. Jimi Hendrix lyric © 1967 A. Schroeder Music Publishing Co. Ltd. Discover more about the photographer Terence Donovan and view his portfolio of work via the Terence Donovan Archive. Visit the Bruce Fleming Photography Website here. An interview with Bruce Fleming: On Jimi Hendrix, the 1960s and the Art of Photography and you can also listen to a podcast about the time that he spent Christmas with Jimi Hendrix. A great piece on Jimi Hendrix's arrival in London in September 1966. More on the Jimi Hendrix influence from this period in one of my previous posts, and view Jimi wearing a shirt by the label Sam Pig in Love created by Paul Reeves, a new line of clothing available from Kleptomania Boutique in 1967. Discover more about this particular clothing label over on The Look: Adventures in Rock and Pop Fashion. And finally, pay a visit to Jimi's London flat on the upper floors of 23 Brook Street.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Le Masculin Féminin - Dépèche Mode 1971


                               LE MASCULIN FÉMININ  

The mini-skirted tailored suit on the right is probably the earliest example of Thierry Mugler's work that I've ever seen, judging by the date, this would have been created during the period when he was freelancing for various ready-to-wear fashion houses throughout Europe, precisely two years before he designed his "Café de Paris" Collection, the first one to have been designed under his own name in 1973, and long before he became known for the sculptural, futuristic designs, which we now associate  with the peak of his career in the 1980s and 1990s.  It was also interesting to note that the printed blouse worn underneath the suit was designed by Gérard Silvi, who was part of his circle of friends, along with Claude Montana and Guy Paulin. I hadn't previously been aware of the fact that Gérard Silvi had also moved into fashion design, I only knew of him as a model/stylist. As you can see in the last image below, he had great personal style, this photograph of him by Chantal Wolf, was included in a feature on Dandyism for Plexus in 1967, and you can view the original article in one of my previous posts Les Assassins du Bodygraph - lancent le prêt - à - choquer from a number of years ago.  

From left to right: Double-breasted trouser suit, closed by 6 buttons, in black and grey striped flannel (Miss Diff). Saint-Clair blouse. Tilbury shoes. Felt Fedora from Madelios. Feremé frock coat, with 6 button closure, in finely striped black, grey and white cotton (Sim's Imper). Pink silk blouse from Saint-Clair. Stockings by Sisley. Danaud shoes. Softly curved semi-fitted suit with shoulder pads and very short pleated skirt in black crȇpe. (Thierry Mugler for Karim). Blouse in printed crȇpe by Gérard Silvi. Felt hat by Jean Charles Brosseau. Stockings by Exciting. Shoes France Favert.                                                        

                                        Designer Gérard Silvi - Photograph by Chantal Wolf (1967). 

                                                                   IMAGE CREDIT & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original fashion feature in Dépèche Mode, May 1971. Photograph by Jean-Paul Merzagora. Models uncredited. Gérard Silvi photograph by Chantal Wolf, scanned from Plexus Issue No. 9, 1967. It's good to see the Masculin Féminin look resurfacing so strongly in 1971, five years after Yves Saint Laurent had debuted his somewhat controversial Le Smoking suit, and also to see the continued influence of the Bonnie and Clyde 30s era and 1940s Gangster style revival, which was triggered by the 1967 Arthur Penn directed movie of the same name. This is a recent review of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ at 50: A Revolutionary Film That Now Looks Like the Last Work of Hollywood Classicism - by Owen Gleiberman for Variety (August 2017). Some more examples inspired by Chicago's gangsters of the 1930s in these Hats by Edward Mann from his 1966 Collection. Twiggy modelling the Masculin Féminin Dandy Look for Vogue in 1967, and once again here for the Biggy Twiggy Super Poster 1967. Another poster girl of the look - Faye Dunaway, star of Bonnie and Clyde, and the inspiration behind a full-blast return to '30 styles in 1968. Discover more about the origins of the Frock Coat here. Thierry Mugler, a monster talent - an in-depth article on the elusive designer by Eric Dahan for Vanity Fair (2016). View a Thierry Mugler - Designer Profile by Jeanne Beker for Fashion Television. And finally, while putting this post together (not being a native French speaker) I found myself a little bit Lost in Translation once more.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Multiplex Minis by Peter Max 1970

                                     ✰ ✰ ✰ MULTIPLEX MINIS BY MAX ✰ ✰ ✰

''You can fall under the spell of astrology and plan your life accordingly. Or you can go beyond it and control the star power yourself.'' Who's the speaker? Peter Max, one-man design explosion and Pied Piper of effervescent young ideas. His joyous creativity begins here, bursts into fashion (for the first time!) on the following pages and practically paints this whole issue in the warming colours of peace and love. His message above is simply this: ''Everyone has to make choices and there are some that only you can make.'' We'll go along with that! 

Make tracks to Peter Max-land, where joy and freedom reign supreme! Here, his exuberance fairly bubbles on a lanky, tanky streak of star power. A triangled crest shields the front; if you swivel round, you'll show the rectangular version. Wear-Dated dress of basically-plum Stretchknit fabric double-knit of Monsanto's Blue C nylon. Sizes 3-13. For Bryant 9; about $27 at Lord & Taylor, New York. Panty hose designed by Mr Max, for Burlington-Cameo. Background artwork also by Peter Max. Our model is Bonnie Lysohir; her helmet of hair by Phillip Mason of Vidal Sassoon. Photographed by Bruce Laurance. 

A more recent example of the Peter Max dress above, with an excellent shot of the aforementioned geometric design on the back, which although referred to in the description, wasn't photographed for the original editorial. Sadly the item is no longer available for sale, but you can still view the listing and several other photographs on the Circus Cat Vintage shop website.  


Zap! Here's Peter Max, splashing phantasma-graphics on little-knit cutups (it's his first flash into fashion-we'll try to decode the messages). From the left: Love is in the stars, blinking pinks on a sink of soft-bodied knit. Mark XIV choker, spiraling Eye Plus bracelet. Harmony arrives in three tiers: red stars announce the pull-dress, the inner circle is a wide work-of-art midriff, green gives the go signal! 


Happiness is an exuberant shirtdress, clowning around with a dotty top. The budding Peter Max tie hides a placket: the skirt cuts corners for a latticed print. Shoes, so far, by Latinas. Balance is the mirror-imagery reflected in a supple symmetrical knit buttoned up and dotted down. Fashion Craft shoes. All by Bryant 9; each $27. Pantyhose by Peter for Burlington-Cameo.


Some more examples of the trend for painted tights in this Petticoat fashion feature, which was published around 5 months after the previous Peter Max editorial appeared in Seventeen Magazine.

                                          IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original fashion editorial in Seventeen Magazine, April 1970. All background illustrations and clothing designed by Peter Max. All hairdos by Philip Mason of Vidal Sassoon. An interview with cover model: Bonnie Lysohir - who went on to become executive vice president of Barneys Inc. and the director of women's fashion for the company. And although uncredited in the editorial, I think it's possible that the other model may be Joyce Wilford, who regularly featured on the fashion pages of the magazine during this period and also shared the cover with Bonnie a year later in the July 1971 issue. Peter Max sleeveless dress photograph courtesy of Circus Cat Vintage. Watch an interview with Peter Max on the classic public television talk program Day at Night which aired from 1973-1974. Some film footage of the Swami Vishnudevananda Peace Plane, designed by Peter Max in 1970. Discover more about the recent Wrangler x Peter Max collaboration and shop the limited edition collection. And here, you'll also find some vintage pieces from his original 1970s collaboration with the Wrangler brand. View one of my previous Peter Max Accessories posts from 1970, and another example of the trend for painted pop art fashion, accessories, and astrological fashion. The Petticoat fashion feature was scanned from Petticoat Magazine - 8th August 1970. Photographer and models uncredited. And finally, you can connect with Peter Max on his official Facebook and Twitter a/c.

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