A very young Clive Powell before going on to find success as Georgie Fame. The name
change was given to him by his then manager Larry Parnes. Parnes was manager to a host of British Rock n Roll stars during the late 1950’s and 60’s. His first starlet was Tommy Steele (real name Hicks). Following this success he renamed a number of young singers who all went on to become stars. Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, Vince Eager and Duffy Power amongst them. All given racey act names to appeal to the roll n’ roll loving teenagers. The only Parnes act to have hits under his real name was Joe Brown, he decided against the name Elmer Twitch, and who can blame him?
Parnes turned his signings into teen idols before some of them went on to enjoy careers in film and televison. He used his contacts in the music industry to gain top twenty hits and as his acts were contracted to work for him he only paid them a weekly wage. This earnt him the nickname of Mr. Parnes, shillings and pence. He biggest mistake was, like Decca records
after him, to turn down The Beatles. Following the change in pop music style and the rise of bands like The Stones and Yardbirds his acts were seen as dated and Parnes gave up completely on the music industry in 1967. He went on to enjoy great success in the world of theatre putting on plays until 1981 when he took leave of work. A self made millionaire he died in 1989 aged only 59.
French New Wave film, from 1958, Les Tricheurs. Fashion from France, scooters from Italy and a jazz soundtrack from American players. Paris being a magnet for many of the American jazz and blues players, the Verve sound track recorded in Paris features Oscar Peterson, Roy Eldridge, Stan Getz, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Gus Johnson. Does film get any more Modernist?
Bespoke topcoat by Coleman & Son, London rd. Leicester. Made in a nice Wool/Cashmere mix cloth by Guabello of Biella, Italy. Working cuff, horn buttons, velvet collar, full canvas. Mr Coleman has done a sterling job on this coat, tip top craftmanship. Of course Bespoke doesn’t come cheap so unless your names Bunny Rogers its better to go for a “cut & trim”, this envolves supplying your own cloth. The idea being that you’ll purchase a quality cloth at the keenest price possible. Saving yourself the tailors mark up on fabric. This cloth was purchased via Italian company DNA Groove. Mr. Coleman couldn’t belive the price the cloth was purchased for. A pleasure to work with, he said. Colemans don’t use Guabello but Mr. Coleman said that a cloth of the same quality by Harrisons or Scabal would have cost at least 2500knr (£250ukp) more on the 4 meter length used for the coat.
Berg & Berg have put their new collection for spring and summer on their site.
Hand made Pocket squares and ties made in Italy in cotton, linen and silks as well as scarfs and socks. Some really nice garb on offer again. I really like the linen ties, perfect for the long summer nights.
My shiney new Hudson penny loafers by Cheaney.
Goodyear welt leather sole and fully leather lined. Hand crafted in calf, the shoe envolves nearly 200 stages of manufacture by some of the 120 skilled workers employed on the shop floor and takes about 6 weeks to complete each pair. The shoe is part of their leisure collection. I managed to get these online from Robinsons Shoes, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland on their end of season sale page. End of season sale, at the start of spring, for loafers. Perfect! http://www.robinsonsshoes.com/ Shipping was fast but I didn’t get a reply to my email asking if they can send as a gift, maybe ringing them would have been better. Those very nice people at the TOLL charged me 277knr (£27ish) tax.
Joseph Cheaney & Sons, founded in 1886 by Joseph and Arthur Cheaney has made its shoes on the same site in the small town of Desborough, Northamptonshire since 1889. As well as RTW the firm makes shoe care products and has a made to order service. They also offer a refurbishment service, removing the soles, heels,
welts and even the insoles if need be. The shoes are then reconstructed to original spec and then re-finished. They have 3 flagship stores in London and their shoes can be found in quality shoe stockists thoughout the world. They also have a factory shop which may be worth a visit. Opening hours are 10:00-17:00 mon-fri and 10:00-16:00 saturday and can be found on Rushton road in the town. I should think that the shop will stock end of lines and seconds, though wether you and I can spot on the faults on the shoes and boots would be doubtful. Next time I’m over in England I shall pop in to have a look as its about an hour from my home town.
You’ve read about them. The modernists of the late 50’s, hanging out in the coffee bars and jazz clubs of Soho. Wearing the lastest fashions of America and the continent, checking out french movies and the colour codes of Vinces and the Soho gays for inspiration for modernism in attire. A generation of youth creating their own fashion before teenage fashion was thought of and Carnaby st. led the way of an industry that would create fashions to follow. A time before fishtail parkas and fighting at the seaside. An underground movement of young dandies that never tried to be underground. But what of the coffee shops that were to be a meeting place for the hip to discuss the lastest Blue Note record or where seersucker jackets could be found? Below are some pictures of the infamous Coffee bars of Soho, taken in 1959.
above:2i’s, compton st.
below:inside & out. Moka-Bar, Frith st.
Journaux Etrangers cafe bar, address unknown.
Le Macabre, Mead st.
The White Monkey, address unknown
Scene Club DJ legend Guy Stevens.
LVC has been around for a while now reproducing garments from their archives using quality fabrics that are finished to a high standard. This season sees the 1960s Bedford 519 in light
colours added to their range as well as a number of 60s designed T-shirts. These proved popular amongst the students of Ivy colleges and British Modernists alike. Again the Modernists would look to America for inspiration.
Postwar America gave rise to a new generation of youth enpowered by education and progess, with the U.S goverments amendment to the education system, giving not the just the wealthy a chance of an Ivy college education. It was a time when a feel good America embraced all things modernist. An explosion in science, technology and design focused on modernist clean lines and simplicity.
Jazz and B-bop music culture saw the beginning of a seperation of the generations. For the first time young people were developing their own tastes in music and clothing instead of slavishly
following the example of their elders.
Denim, which was until this time a workwear fabric became a fashionable option on campus’s and Levi’s was first choice. The humble T-shirt similarly until this time was considered only underwear. The generation liberated unisex dressing. A simple and functional way of dress replaced the traditional and conventional and has shaped the way people dress today.
The T-shirts come in an interesting range of colours and stripes which are a reproduction of their 60s styles complete with breast pocket and are made in Portugal. The fabric is a top notch thick cotton. As with all Levi Vintage clothing these retail at a high price, around 750knr (£75).
The Bedford 519 comes in a light grey, cream and light blue. Made from 100%
cotton with an eleven inch rise and a slimfit with a 7.5 inch cuff. The cord of the Bedford has a waffle texture (Bedford are the finest of all the corduroys) and are made in Turkey. Even Heritage can’t stem the economic tide of globalisation! These are an authentic reproduction cut and fabric to the original 1960s model. As well as production taking place outside the USA there is one other difference to the 60’s version; for some reason Levi’s have added their famous rivets to the front of these five pocket cords. Again this LVC garment isn’t cheap with a retail of around 1 500knr (£150). Maybe the rivets are there to add a bit more for your money!
I suppose when these garments were bought by the modernists of the late 50s and 60s they too would have retailed a little on the pricey side. Regardless of where production of these clothes take place they are made to a high standard and make for a bright casual modernist look for the summer.
Johnny knew a thing or two about style. At the moment my English tailor, Mr. Coleman, is making a Kid Mohair suit, after that I’m going for something along these lines. A three piece single button lounge suit with velvet collar is next on the list.
Forget that over the top 4 button DB jacket. This is how it should be done.