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Groovy time capsule of ‘Swinging Britain,’ 1967
04.22.2014
12:29 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Carnaby Street
Mary Quant


 
Another week brings further glories from the vaults of British Pathé. “Swinging Britain,” a finished eight-and-a-half-minute report on the goings-on down at Carnaby Street and elsewhere on the isle, presents the establishment’s benign take on fashion-obsessed youth of the day. The video shows us London (and Manchester and Newcastle, too), features several (apparently) noted figures from the worlds of fashion, art, and music, and generally presents a wow-gee-whiz attitude as to the fervent artistic activities of the Swinging Generation.

Mary Quant can be glimpsed briefly, and you’ll also see a “Happening” staged by one Keith Albarn (you guessed it, father of Damon), DJs Simon Dee and David Symonds, and a groovy young artist named Paul Whitehead who paints his compact automobile swirly colors (three years later, he’d be responsible for the cover art of the album Trespass by Genesis). Dee, of course, is practically synecdoche for Carnaby Street of the era, being the purported inspiration for the shagadelic Austin Powers.
 
Intro Magazine
 
The group serving as the emblem of the new generation are the folks behind the new psychedelia-tinged Intro Magazine, in which “youth talks to youth in its own lingo”; it boasted the talents of well-known fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. In a loose “narrative,” the news piece basically cuts back and forth between footage of young people at play (whether in a park in the daytime or a “speakeasy” at night) and the industrious young editors of Intro. One of the best things in the video is a brief discussion of “paper dresses.” We see a young woman in a park wearing one with a striking b/w photo of an eye over her midsection. She peels that off and begins to sunbathe in the bikini she had been wearing underneath. When a young fellow tosses her paper dress into the garbage, she shrugs and whips out a different paper dress, only this one has the youthful visage of Bob Dylan on it! Totally priceless.

Speaking of garbage, the voiceover explicitly praises the new generation for being so good about picking up litter, which may remind some viewers of “The Gold Violin,” from the 2nd season of Mad Men, which featured a pointed scene of the middle-class, suburban Drapers heedlessly leaving the remnants of their picnic all over the park in which they had been spending the previous afternoon. Maybe series creator Matt Weiner had a point, there. The whole tone of the documentary is one of indulgent compassion, as one might have for some harmless alien race from another planet.
 
Swinging Britain
 
There is a band identified as the Intro Group (somehow affiliated with the magazine) as well as one called the “117 Group,” and we hear a bit of their music, I think. Those names mean anything to anyone?
 

 
via { feuilleton }

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sharon Tate gives Merv Griffin a tour of London’s Carnaby Street, 1966

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Sharon Tate takes Merv Griffin on a tour of swinging London’s Carnaby Street, in August 1966.

A poignant piece of TV history capturing much of the innocence, idealism, and happiness that seemed to infuse the sixties. All of which is usurped by our grim knowledge of what happened to Sharon Tate only a few years later.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Blondie on Merv Griffin, 1980


 
With thanks to Simon Wells!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Carnaby Street in Color, from 1968

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Color photographs and footage of London’s Carnaby Street from 1968. Doesn’t look all that swinging, does it?
 
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Via How to be a Retronaut
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment