On the 7th of June the Royal Mail held a celebration party at the Commonwealth Club (just off Trafalgar Square) for the designers whose work is featured on their “Great British Fashion” stamps. Amongst the guests were John Pearse and Nigel Waymouth who were reunited with the Granny Takes a Trip jacket from our collection which they made for their Kings Road shop in 1967. They were full of great stories about the shop and their part in the very first alternative fashion movement when they, along with Michael Rainey and Jane Ormsby-Gore who had opened Hung on You at 430 Kings Road just before Granny, changed the way people dressed.
Nigel told me how the V&A’s Aubrey Beardsley exhibition of 1966 had influenced his own psychedelic poster designs for Hapshash and the Coloured Coat and the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement in general in deciding to buy several William Morris print furnishing fabrics from John Lewis to make the jackets. The fabric was bought in reasonably small lengths and the tailors made the jackets according to how much fabric they had to work with, so they had no idea what sizes they would turn up in. One in “Chrysanthemum” print fitted him (pictured below).
Other people who wore the William Morris print jackets include:
George Harrison in ”Golden Lily”
Noel Redding, bass player with the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Mitch Mitchell drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Roy Wood with the Move
and Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon who was the original owner of our jacket
Back to the commonwealth club:
John Pearse (above) and Nigel Waymouth (below) signing a blow up of the Granny Takes a Trip stamp
Above left to right: me, John and Nigel. I’m wearing a Granny Takes a Trip suit which had belonged to Mick Taylor. It was made during the second incarnation of the shop after John and Nigel had sold it to Gene Krell and Marty Breslau.
John Pearse is still tailoring making bespoke suits from his Meard street studio, and Nigel Waymouth works as a fine artist.
Norman Hartnell and Ossie Clark
The two other outfits form our collection were also on display at the party; the fuchsia pink opera coat by Norman Hartnell and the Ossie Clark fringed culotte suit. Just before the guests arrived someone had the great idea to place a fan behind the Ossie Clark suit echoing the dramatic movement caught beautifully by Solve Sundsbo on the stamp itself.